Guest Author - Barbara Swiech
10th of April 2010 will be for sure remembered by Polish nation. Couple days after the 5th anniversary of John Paul II’s death, and during the celebration of 70th anniversary of Katyn tragedy, the Poles have been left shocked. Presidential plane, with almost 100 people onboard (President of Poland and his wife accompanied by numerous politicians and other attendees), crashed nearby Smolensk (Russia) leaving no survivors.
As the presidential voting was coming closer, nobody had expected such a rush in organizing them. Now, as Poland was left with no President, there is the need to organize extraordinary voting.
The presidential plane was bringing the representatives of Poland to Russia where they were supposed to commemorate the anniversary of ‘Katyn’ – Polish tragedy of WW II. It is there where thousands of Polish soldiers were killed by the Soviets. It is also still an important issue between Poland and Russia, as the documents proving that fact were kept confidential for a long time.
The Prime Minister of Poland – Donald Tusk – visited Smolensk (nearby the Katyn woods) and met Vladimir Putin (Prime Minister of Russia) just 3 days before the visit of Polish President was planned. The plan of the celebration on 10th of April was, among others, the meeting of Lech Kaczynski (deceased Polish President) with families of Katyn victims. He planned to be there with 400 other representatives of Poland.
10th of April 2010 will for a long time remain the biggest tragedy of post war Poland – not only because of the death of its leader. Onboard the plane there were some of the most important Polish politicians, officials and members of defense forces. The event will surely leave the empty whole in Polish political life. No matter the political preferences there was the mourning period of 7 days announced in Poland.
Some of the deceased people that were onboard presidential plane are: Lech Kaczynski, Maria Kaczynska, Ryszard Kaczorowski (the last Polish President in excile), Anna Walentynowicz (an active member of Solidarnosc party) and many other politicians such as Krzysztof Putra, Jerzy Szmajdziński, Krystyna Bochenek and others.