April 10, 2011

Memorial to President Lech Kaczynski

A year ago, President Lech Kaczynski was on his way to Smolensk, Russia with 100 members of his delegation to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Katyn Massacre.  He was planning to make an important speech to all those presiding at the ceremony, at which Putin would also be present. That speech was never heard. In the blink of an eye, Poland has lost it's President and the creme of Polish government - their voices silenced forever. But our voices carry on, and it is with this in mind that I reproduce that speech in Polish and translated to French, and Italian.

I dedicate this blog to the memory of President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria, and the members of the delegation who perished in the plane crash on April 10, 2010. They will always be remembered.

Dear Representatives of the Katyn Families Ladies and Gentlemen!

In April 1940, over 21 thousand Polish prisoners from concentration camps and prisons were murdered by the NKVD. The genocide was the will of Stalin, at the behest of the highest authorities of the Soviet Union. Alliance of the Third Reich and the Soviet Union, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the invasion of Poland on September 17, 1939 reached a terrifying climax in the Katyn massacre. Not only in the Katyn forest, also in the Tver, Kharkov and other known and unknown places of execution were killed citizens of the Second Republic, the people who formed the foundation of our statehood, relentless in the service of their country. At the same time, the family of the murdered and thousands of residents were pre borderlands were sent into the Soviet Union, where they marked the path of indescribable suffering of the Polish Golgotha ​​of the East.

The most tragic station of this road was Katyn. Polish officers, priests, officials, police, border guards and prison officers were killed without trial or sentence. They were victims of the undeclared war. They were killed in violation of the laws and conventions of the civilized world. Their dignity as soldiers, Poles and people. Pits of death hid the bodies of the murdered and the truth about the crime. The world would never know. Families of victims were deprived of the right to public mourning, to proudly commemorate their loved ones. Ground covered the traces of the crime, and lies were perpetrated to erase it from human memory.

Hiding the truth about Katyn - the effect of the decision of those who masterminded the crime - has become one of the cornerstones of policy in postwar Communist Poland: the founding lie of the communist era. It was a time when the memory and the truth about Katyn to pay a high price. But relatives of the murdered and the other courageous people kept the memory, defended it and passed to future generations of Poles. Took her by the time the communist government and have assigned countrymen free, independent Poland. Therefore, all of them, especially the families of Katyn, we owe respect and gratitude. On behalf of the Republic offer sincere thanks to the fact that defending the memory of their loved ones to save a highly important dimension of our Polish consciousness and identity.

Katyn became a painful wound in Polish history, but also for decades poisoned relations between Poles and Russians. Let's make Katyn wound finally heal.. We are already on the road. We, Poles, appreciate the Russians in recent years. In this way, bringing our peoples, we should go on, without stopping it or going back.

All the circumstances of the Katyn massacre must be investigated and clarified. It is important to make known the innocence of the victims, and of all documents relating to this crime. To Katyn lie disappeared forever from the public space. We demand these actions primarily for the memory of the victims and respect for the suffering of their families. But I also demand it in the name of common values ​​that must form the foundation of trust and partnership between the neighboring nations in Europe.

Let us pay homage to the murdered and pray over their heads. Glory to the heroes! Honor their memory!

A sea of candles in front of the Presidential Palace

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