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Anna Maria Mickiewicz photo Tomasz Mickiewicz photo

Anna Maria & Tomasz Mickiewicz - Palewell Press authors

Anna was born in Lublin, Poland and studied at the Department of Education and Psychology of the Marie Curie-Sklodowska University (UMCS) in Lublin. After the breakthrough of August 1980, when the independent ‘Solidarity’ emerged, she became active in building the Independent Students Union at UMCS. Soon after, she also joined the Inter-University Committee for Defence of Political Prisoners and helped organise protests and marches in support of the members of the Confederation of Independent Poland, which resulted in their release from prison in mid-1981. During the November-December 1981 academic strikes in Poland she served officially as a liaison between UMCS and the Catholic University of Lublin (KUL), where she had the chance to meet Tomasz (her future husband). After Martial Law was declared on the 13th of December 1981, she was interrogated by the secret police and threatened to be expelled from the university and pressed to become an informer, which she refused. Meanwhile she was active organising help for her colleagues from the UMCS Independent Student Union, who had avoided detention and went into hiding. In 1985 her first collection of poems under her own name was published independently. Later, she worked as a journalist, and in 1991 she moved to California with her husband Tomasz and son Stan, and then to London, where she has lived for many years.

Tomasz was born on 24th December 1960 in Warsaw. As a secondary school student, he became involved in the Movement for Defence of Human and Citizen Rights in Poland, after he and his colleague and friend, Piotr Rogoyski, made contact with the Movement’s spokesman, Andrzej Czuma. In the Autumn of 1979, he became a student at the Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) and continued his engagement in the Movement for Defence of Human Rights. A document by the secret police, from July 1980, describes him in the following way: ‘he distinguished himself as the leading activist of the anti-socialist group active at the Catholic University of Lublin and a declared enemy of the socialist regime’. In August 1980 he participated in the hunger strike in Lublin supporting the workers’ strike in Gdansk led by Lech Walesa. Following Martial Law on 13th of December 1981, he went into hiding for almost nine months, staying in twenty-four different places in turn. He was also involved in printing illegal leaflets for the illegal, at the time, Solidarity union magazines. In 2007 he was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta by the President of the Republic of Poland, in recognition for his activity in the Movement for Defense of Human and Citizen Rights under the Communist regime.

Their pamphlet, Secret Love Letters - Poland 1982 tells how their friend, Piotr Rogoyski, carried love letters between them during Martial Law.

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