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Heniek, as we called him, was an outstanding activist of the democratic opposition during the communist era. He was a member of the Club of Catholic Intelligentsia, an organizer of legal and economic assistance for the repressed workers from Ursus after the June '76 events, and a member of the the Workers' Defense Committee.

He will be remembered as an eminent activist of "Solidarity", a political prisoner during the martial law era, a dissident working for the underground "Solidarity", and a man of great merit for free Poland. Throughout all this, he was always proud of his roots, of being a village child from the Lublin region. He was a victim of purges in the Zamość region; a physicist by education, and a social worker engaged in politics by passion and vocation.

Wujec was a close associate of Jacek Kuroń, Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Bronisław Geremek. After 1989, he served as a member of the Sejm, as the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and an advisor to President Bronisław Komorowski.

All this does not say much about Heniek. He was a wonderful, beautiful, wise and brave man. Wujec was exceptionally good and modest - his friends from the Club of Catholic Intelligentsia referred to him affectionately as "birdie". He was a Catholic not in the spirit of integrism and hatred, but in the tradition of Polish open catholicism symbolised by figures such as John Paul II, Father Józef Tischner, Jerzy Turowicz and Tadeusz Mazowiecki.

Heniek was a democrat with ecumenical spirituality. Ever since March 1968 he was always vigilant about all forms of anti-intelligentsia and anti-Semitic phobias. He could not stand chauvinism, intolerance, and above all the atmosphere of smear campaigns and persecution. He regarded diversity as a source of wealth, not as a threat.

He always stood up for the weakest. I will never forget how he was badly beaten for trying to protect Jacek Kuroń's wife Gajka and his son Maciek from the fists of a militiamen sent by the security apparatus to disperse an underground lecture in Kuroń's flat. However, Heniek never sought revenge - he only sought the truth. His defining character trait was wisdom without anger.

He was the editor of the underground "Robotnik" [Worker] magazine and co-founder of the free trade unions in the late 1970s. This naturally made him a a key figure in the "Solidarity" movement.

Heniek liked to like people - talking to them, listening to them, helping them. And both Heniek and his wife Lutka did a lot of helping.

Each meeting with them was always like a sip of fresh air in a world saturated with meanness and slander.

Today, Heniek would certainly be among those supporting the democratic opposition in Belarus. He would certainly vouch for Margot, the imprisoned LGBT+ activist. And he would certainly not vote for salary increases for himself - he would rather think about the need for better wages for nurses, paramedics and doctors.

It is deeply saddening that we will never get to hear Heniek's voice again.

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