For as not being Polish, but still a human being and a Christian. Still, this is a deplorable act to commit this act of murder by a known criminal as shown. Mr. Adamowicz life was taken for no good reason by this thankless act. It is of good hope and trust the criminal will pay the highest price the Polish court system will levie in judgement against him for his criminal act.
This is very sad John, Karl and Jaga. I have to say that this is not a Polish thing. There is something wrong in the European political climate. I have witnessed 2 political assassinations in my own country the last 2 decades. John will remember the assasinations of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. in the USA. It is sad when in a democracy where peace and equality exists these murderers kill public debate and honest people who work for the public cause.
Paweł Bogdan Adamowicz (2 November 1965 – 14 January 2019) was a Polish politician and lawyer. He served as the mayor of the city of Gdańsk, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland until his assassination.
Life and career
Adamowicz was born in Gdańsk in a middle-class family. His parents Ryszard and Teresa were economists, who were resettled to Poland from Vilnius in 1946. He studied law at the University of Gdańsk, where he also became a prominent student movement member. He was one of the organizers of the 1988 strike becoming the head of the strike committee. Between 1990 and 1993, he served as a vice-rector for student affairs at his alma mater.
In 1990, Adamowicz was elected a member of the City Council in Gdańsk and held this post until 1998, when he was elected the Mayor of Gdańsk. On 10 November 2002 he was re-elected gaining 72% of votes.
He was awarded with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Golden Cross by Pope John Paul II and with the Cross of Merit by the President Aleksander Kwaśniewski. In 2014, he also became the recipient of the Cross of Freedom and Solidarity to honour his contributions to the democratic opposition in Poland during the Communist Period.
In 2018, he provided honorary patronage over the 4th Gdańsk Gay Pride Parade in which he personally participated.
On 13 January 2019, Adamowicz was stabbed on stage at the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity event in Gdańsk and was taken to hospital in a critical condition. He died the following day. The assassin was later apprehended. A Gdańsk police spokesman said the detained man was a 27-year-old who lived in the city, named as Stefan W. by the Gdańsk prosecutor's office. After stabbing the mayor, he seized the microphone and claimed to have been wrongly jailed by the previous centrist government of the Civic Platform (PO) and tortured.
- Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Golden Cross (Vatican, 2001) - Medal of Merit of the Lions Club International (2005) - Silver Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis (Poland, 2005) - Saint Adalbert Medal (2010) - Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (Poland, 2010) - Knight of the Legion of Honour (France, 2012) - Order of Civil Merit (Spain, 2013) - Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana (Estonia,2014) - Cross of Freedom and Solidarity (Poland, 2014)
Donald Tusk flew to Gdańsk to say goodbye to Paweł Adamowicz. He took his voice during a rally of silence in tribute to the mayor of Gdańsk, a member of his political party Civic Plaform (Platforma Obywatelska).
Today, dear Paweł, I want to promise you that for you and for all of us, we will protect our Gdańsk, our Poland and our Europe against hatred and contempt - said the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, at the rally dedicated to the memory of Gdańsk President Paweł Adamowicz.
Opinion A Mayor Is Murdered, a Country Hums With Violence In Poland, hateful language is ubiquitous. Its consequences can be deadly.
By Olga Tokarczuk Ms. Tokarczuk is a Polish writer.
Jan. 21, 2019
WROCLAW, Poland — In Gdansk, psychologists have been called in to help the public. Such is the great shock following the murder on Jan. 13 — on live prime-time television with millions watching — of the city’s mayor, Pawel Adamowicz.
The 27-year-old man accused of killing the mayor was released from prison a few months ago. He had planned every detail of the telegenic attack: After stabbing the mayor in the heart, he shouted into a microphone that he had killed Mr. Adamowicz to get revenge against Civic Platform, the centrist opposition political party that he alleged unjustly put him in jail.
On Sunday, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Gdansk to say goodbye to their mayor; spontaneous gatherings took place in other Polish cities. Much of Poland seemed, for once, united — in shock and mourning.
To understand the whole situation, you have to know the context. Mr. Adamowicz was killed at the Great Orchestra of Christmas, which for the past 27 years has been held just after the holidays. The Orchestra, the country’s largest charity event, collects money for Polish hospitals. In the days before, the streets fill with the red hearts people receive in exchange for their donations, and Poles become kind to one another.
But few events have also received so much hate. The Orchestra’s critics, most of them on the right, don’t approve of its style — slightly anarchist, evidently leftist — and don’t like the music it plays, for these benefits are also great concerts. The criticism has intensified in recent years, particularly after the victory of the right-wing nationalist Law and Justice party in the 2015 parliamentary election. One journalist wrote not long ago that the Orchestra’s leader was propagating evil; right-wing news media have described him as a “slimy dwarf” and a puppet in the hands of corrupt politicians.
And yet, for an overwhelming majority of Poles, the Orchestra has been a symbol of the Poland we have struggled to build since the 1990s with jejune but hopeful capitalism, of the Poland that joined NATO, of the Poland that voted in favor of joining the European Union. The Orchestra is a symbol of the three decades of civilizational change, and our country’s advances toward a better, more peaceful, prosperous and free world. The Orchestra has also become a sign of mutual respect and generosity, even if for just one day a year. It has enabled Poles — a gloomy people on the whole — to warm themselves at the fire of community. I would have nothing against the Orchestra declaring itself a nation unto itself; I would happily become a citizen.
The funeral process of Mr. Adamowicz. His murder is an attack on the vision of a liberal, progressive Poland.CreditAgencja Gazeta/Reuters Mr. Adamowicz, a modern conservative and an excellent local official, represented everything that Law and Justice is not. Though he was a traditionalist, he opposed parochialism with an openness of heart and mind. He also had a rare courage and social sensitivity. For instance, along with a few other mayors, he went against the policy of the national government, invited immigrants into his city and pledged to provide them with support, work and housing. His murder represents an attack on the vision of a liberal, progressive Poland.
One might wonder what motivated Mr. Adamowicz’s killer. Officials have described him as mentally disturbed, but no act occurs in a vacuum.
State television, from which a significant number of Poles get their news, consistently smears, in aggressive and defamatory language, the political opposition and anyone who thinks differently from the ruling party. The murdered mayor had been called a thief, a German, a homophile and a Mafioso. Furthermore, television propaganda has repudiated the justice system for the past three years, calling it harmful for citizens, in need of a complete changing of the guard; judges are accused of being a caste above the law. From his jail cell, this man would have seen precisely these messages, of bad guys and the necessity of radical solutions.
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The news in Poland today feels like a new kind of monster, a Frankenstein’s monster that has gotten out of control online and mutated into hate speech that can then be found everywhere else. Open your email, and you’ll see: “You’re a piece of trash, and you will die.” “We know where you live.” “We’re going to cut off that stupid head.” The internet hums with violence.
The body reacts to verbal aggression with reflexes. It curls up into a little ball and starts to sweat, adrenaline pumping. If this happens to many people at once, then we are in a mental war, where instead of bullets, words are fired. I believe absolutely that words must be treated as material weapons, every invective or threat as violence and aggression.
Unfortunately, as hate speech has proliferated, no one in Poland has been held responsible. The police take people’s statements and dismiss them. This tacit consent has demoralized weakened minds. Hate speech has seeped into public discourse and the process of lowering standards has become increasingly visible: elected officials publicly avow conspiracy theories; members of parliament post diatribes filled with hate, knowing that the more brutality and emotion there is in a tweet, the wider it will circulate.
Populists use language that is more aggressive and more hate-filled. They reach for scapegoats. In Poland, these scapegoats are the so-called crazy leftists, queer-lovers, Germans, Jews, European Union puppets, feminists, liberals and anyone who supports immigrants.
Add to this the silence and cynicism of the clergy, the clumsy, aggressive propaganda of state television, the consent of the police to anti-Semitic excesses, public demonstrations dehumanizing “enemies of the nation,” the denigration of the authority of the judiciary and the unforgivable destruction of the environment, and we have a suffocating atmosphere of hate, a highly emotional stalemate in which there can only be traitors and heroes.
In a healthy, normal society, people can disagree with one another, even have diametrically opposing views, and this does not at all mean that they must hate one another. The Polish authorities, however, have made the division of Poles their primary task.
Aggression is in the air in Poland. The emotions unleashed by the escalation of the language of political debate may easily pass over into action, and then this aggression gets directed at a specific object. One misguided soul is all it takes. The cord, pulled to the limit of tension, snaps at its most sensitive spot.