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The radio play "The One Who Dies" among the 26 best European radio play productions of 2023

The radio play "The One Who Dies" by Magdalena Miecznicka, directed by Łukasz Lewandowski, is among the 26 best European radio play productions of 2023 and was qualified for the final of the Prix Europa festival, which will take place on October 22 – 26, 2023 in Berlin. The names of the winners will be announced at a gala in the Rotes Rathaus (Red City Hall) in Berlin on Friday, October 27.

This radio play starts with the story of a Polish woman who lives in London and wants to impress her English lover. However, it isn’t easy to impress a wealthy Englishman if you come from Eastern Europe. There is, though, something they don’t have - a recent history of living in a dictatorship. So she tells him the true story of the torture and death of a Polish secondary school graduate at the hands of the riot police. In May 1983, towards the end of martial law, an 18-year old poet Grzegorz Przemyk went out with his friends to celebrate the end of his secondary school exams. He took off his sandals and when asked by a riot policeman to show his ID, he refused. As a punishment for this outrageous display of individualism, he was taken to a police station and beaten so hard that he died within two days. During these two days nobody understood how serious his injuries were because nobody knew what had happened.This made his death horribly lonely. After he died, the authorities put in motion an impressive machine of lies to deny their blame. For years, they persecuted Grzegorz’s mother and his friends with interrogations and libel in the press, trying to make them sound as some sort of degenerates. The mother fell ill and subsequently died. The case has become a cause célèbre. It has become a symbol of how the authorities set different social classes against one another - and of so much else. But it was also, simply, a very lonely death of one gentle young man.