The word makeshift made quite a career in the 20th century. In Poland, it deserved a monument, because without "temporary" solutions we would have been unable to do anything. Starting with repairing a leaking tap and ending with ... protecting the most important people in the country.
In 1989, the era of building socialism ended and capitalism began. The new ruling elite learned all elements of state management from scratch. However, it can be said with a little sneer that it was a lesson without a serious test. In his memoirs, just published under the title "On the scenes of the Third Republic of Poland", Jerzy Dziewulski recalls his impressions when, as Aleksander Kwasniewski's security chief, he was able to verify the technical condition of the limousine that the previous head of state used to move around the country:
It was a special model developed by some, um, company that adapted and armored it. Honestly, yes between us that there is no bigger crap than a car that comes off the mass production line and then undergoes selective pannighting . Fast here, reinforced plate there ... [...] In this presidential limousine the windshield began to separate [...].
In the nineties, Lech Wałęsa was the epitome of changes and new times, but he was surrounded by many random people who had no idea how to ensure the safety of the head of state. In retrospect, it can be said that in the first years of the elite of the Third Republic of Poland, luck was really favorable.
You have to be glad that no madman (or worse, an organized and armed group) wanted to assassinate the president. The results could be catastrophic. The head of state was driving around the streets in a self-made car - as mechanics used to colloquially describe "home fantasies" about the automotive industry. Let us once again give the floor to the head of security, Aleksander Kwasniewski, to understand how the leader of Solidarity was moving in a badly constructed vehicle:
[…] they put armor plates on him - of course. The panes were also armored. Besides, they strengthened its structure. Just please remember one thing:this car after term was completely dilapidated. Why?
According to Dziewulski, the presidential cars left a lot to be desired.
Not because Walesa or his driver intentionally […] destroyed it, but because the car was technically not prepared to be armored. It was a mass, normal construction, slightly reinforced. And suddenly they put a bulletproof glass in you, ten centimeters thick !
When Aleksander Kwaśniewski took over the office, it was decided that the provisional security could no longer be accepted. It was also influenced by the not the best political climate - it must be remembered that many people in Poland did not agree to the left wing's return to power.
It was this element that decided that, at the urging of Jerzy Dziewulski, key purchases were made and the existing security measures were changed. However, before this happened, Lech Wałęsa's successor had the opportunity to "test" various vehicles after his predecessor. Once again Jerzy Dziewulski:
[…] Kwaśniewski drove this Mercedes - after the presidential oath. Earlier there was also an armored car… […] So they gave us… strange. I watch, Volvo. And I can't believe my eyes, which they also praise me as an armored Volvo. They're making eggs… […] Where there is normally a sunroof, someone has welded a steel plate. This is your armored car, but this is not the end of these flowers, it turned out that this People's China car would not have passed the technical inspection ...
The curiosity is based on the book by Jerzy Dziewulski "About kulisach III RP" (Prószyński i S-ka 2019).
After a few months in office, Aleksander Kwaśniewski could feel safe, as the security services received the first professionally prepared BMW vehicle in the history of the Third Republic.
It can be assumed with a high degree of certainty that both Lech Wałęsa and Aleksander Kwaśniewski had no idea about the makeshift security measures that BOR had at its disposal in the first half of the nineties. Fortunately! It is hard to imagine a situation in which the president of the country constantly thinks about whether he will survive the next trip in a company limousine .
Trivia is the essence of our website. Short materials devoted to interesting anecdotes, surprising details from the past, strange news from the old press. Reading that will take you no more than 3 minutes, based on single sources. This particular material is based on the book:
- Jerzy Dziewulski in conversation with Krzysztof Pyzia, About the scenes of the 3rd Republic of Poland , Prószyński i S-ka 2019.
Check where to buy "About the scenes of the Third Polish Republic":