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Veteran journalist Teresa Toranska dies in Warsaw

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 03.01.2013 14:10
Teresa Toranska, one of the most celebrated journalists of the Solidarity era, died in Warsaw on Wednesday aged 69.
Teresa Toranska: photo - wikipediaTeresa Toranska: photo - wikipedia


Toranska is best known for her ground-breaking 1985 book Them (Oni), which comprised of a series of interviews with leading Polish communists.

The book, which could not be officially published at the time, circulated on the underground and has now become a standard work on the era at universities across the globe.

Jerzy Urban, press spokesman for Poland's communist government between 1981-1989, told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that Toranska tended “to know more about the interviewee than the interviewee himself,” adding that her work has “historical value.”

He recalled that Toranska's interviewing style “was very warm towards her subjects, and yet at the same time she managed to be provocative.”

Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the first prime minister of Poland after the fall of communism, stressed her ability to show empathy, concluding that Toranska was “in a class of her own among journalists.”

Toranska created several follow-ups to Them, including 1994's We (My), with Solidarity luminaries, as well as 1996's Bygones (Byli), which dealt with communist veterans following their fall.

She was also active in television, making several documentary films and conducting interviews for television shows.

Toranska was decorated with the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta in 2001.

She died just one day after her 69th birthday, following a long illness. (nh)

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