On the January 13th, 2019, the shocking, unjustified and incomprehensible barbarity happened. During the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity on last Sunday, the mayor of Gdańsk Paweł Adamowicz was murdered. We offer sincere and profound words of compassion and comfort to the family of the mayor, and people of Gdańsk including members of Gdańsk Branch of the PGS and the geographical community of the University of Gdańsk. We join the relatives and friends of the mayor, share your immeasurable pain, and assure of our support and prayers.
Death of the mayor Paweł Adamowicz makes us reflect and act to prevent such tragic events in the future and to stop using this situation as a pretext for blaming and slandering. After passing away of the public figure in this dramatic circumstances, some of active participants in public life have revealed unworthy attitudes, bad intentions and frustrations, instead of silence and deep mourning. In this context, the members of the century-old Polish Geographical Society with deep regret, sadness and disagreement are considering the growing hostility and mutual hatred in Poland, morbidly affecting political and cultural elites, and the entire society and its various institutions. It is not our role to judge who is right in this increasingly ruthless dispute. However, the pathological, and prolonged conflict is unprecedented in the history of Poland. We note with sadness that even in the holy time of mourning, tragic fate and painful violence did not stop Polish-Polish war which destroys our society as a cancer, ruins social ties, limits the country’s development and negatively affects the future of Poles generations.
We call on the entire political class: come to your senses! We have chosen you in a free, democratic election and we do not agree to public activities resulting in huge social losses for the country and shame in the international arena. We call the political elites to find ways of reconciliation and to get out of this disastrous socio-political situation. We strongly support these voices on both sides of the barricade, which prudently and responsibly appeal for a dignified passage of mourning, mending speech, stopping from accusations, respecting opponents and finding ways of reconciliation.
We definitely do not accept the attitude of some of the media that exacerbate and even create socio-political disputes provoking and inducing Poles, and making rational public debate impossible. We call journalists to restrain themselves, behave responsible, and respect the mourning and feelings of the family and friends of the mayor Paweł Adamowicz. We demand reliable information free from individual prejudices and preferences, abstinence in issuing hasty and hurtful judgments, honesty and ordinary human decency.
We believe that everything is not lost yet. The Polish Geographical Society, in its long and proud history, shared both joyful and sad events of Polish history. We were always able to face with challenges and issues thanks to the social goodness, political agreement across party lines, and acceptance the priority of the Polish raison d’etat. Let the sudden, tragic and meaningless death of the mayor Paweł Adamowicz change our lives for the better.
On this sad Saturday, January 19th, 2019, we join in mourning and responsibility with the all people of good will. We call for abandoning aggression and reconciliation.
Prof. Antoni Jackowski (Kraków), Chairman
Dr Tomasz Wites (Warszawa), Secretary
Prof. Wioletta Kamińska (Kielce)
Dr Marcin Mazur (Warszawa)
Prof. Urszula Myga-Piątek (Sosnowiec)
Dr Tomasz Napierała (Łódź)
Dr Wioletta Szymańska (Słupsk)
Prof. Przemysław Śleszyński (Warszawa)