To Kill a Priest: The Murder of Father Popieluszko and the Fall of Communism Hardcover – 4 Jun 2004
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'A dramatic story and Kevin Ruane tells it with pace.' Peter Conradi Sunday Times 'Everyone who would like to find out how communism was finally defeated should read this profound and well-documented book.' LECH WALESA, Nobel Peace-Prize Winner / former Leader of Solidarity and President of Poland
About the Author
Kevin Ruane read Classics at Peterhouse and worked at the top secret GCHQ Cheltenham before joining the BBC. A journalist for over 30 years and one of the BBC's most experienced reporters, Ruane covered the Sakharov human rights movement from 1977 as BBC Moscow correspondent and thereafter the nascent Solidarity movement from 1980-1986 as the BBC's Warsaw correspondent. He previously wrote The Polish Challenge (1982, BBC Books).
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Top Customer Reviews
How the Polish workers were suppressed and how a young catholic priest, Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko, supported the "Solidarity" movement, spoke out against the communist regime, and how it culminated in his murder by the secret police.
R.I.P. Fr. Popieluszko.
Father Popieluszko was a Solidarity supporter and chaplain who spoke out against the Communist regime from the pulpit. His fame and following in Poland led to the Communist party considering him a danger to national security. One day in October 1984 he was kidnapped and his badly beaten body later discovered in the icy waters of the River Vistula. Four relatively lowly Communist party workers were tried and convicted of his murder. But was someone higher up pulling the strings?
Father Popieluszko has been beatified as a martyr and will probably be canonised soon. He was not a particularly bright or educated man. His surviving writings reveal a very simple and childlike faith in God - he had chosen the path of priesthood after the death of his baby sister in childhood. Popieluszko was, in summary, a very ordinary person who did something extraordinary and brave - spoke out against oppression at the risk of his own person.
Despite the gravitas and worthiness of the subject matter, this is not the best written non-fiction book. Some of the writing and passages are rather dry. That is a great disappointment because this is such an inspiring story which deserves to be widely read.
Popieluszko's lack of fear in the face of oppression was what the communist's themselves were afraid of most. Their campaignagainst him culminated in his kidnap and murder by members of the security services in 1983.
The story of Father Jerzy Popieluszko has been made into a film which shows his life story, Popieluszko. Wolnosc jest w nas. DVD Poland, "Popieluszko: Freedom Is Within Us".
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Combatitive" ?!! "Alongside [...] Che Guevara" ?!!! Is the author of these words joking, out of her/his mind, or just plain and painfully ignorant?!!! Comparing the Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko to Che? The author of the review missed the entire point of Fr. Popieluszko's life and sacrifice.
For an introduction on the topic, I recommend the documentary "Jerzy Popieluszko: Messenger of the Truth."
I admit I did not read "To Kill a Priest" by Ruane, but the review on top of this page was so outrageously erroneous I had to respond.
It tells about his cruel murder,and how he fight communism, using the only weapon he had: his words.
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