Home world Thousands of Poles gathered for the funeral of the mayor of Gdansk

Thousands of Poles gathered for the funeral of the mayor of Gdansk

Rally in honor of the mayor of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, on January 18.
Rally in honor of the mayor of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, on January 18. AGENCJA GAZETA / REUTERS

Officially these are not national funerals, but in fact they are royal. In Poland, less than a week after the knife attack that cost him his life on Monday, January 14, the mayor of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, was greeted for the last time by more than 50,000 people – the equivalent of 10% of the population of this city ​​- before being transported in the middle of a large escort to his final home.

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A salute of official tribute has yet to be paid Saturday, January 19 in the monumental church of St. Mary with the participation of President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, President of the European Council Donald Tusk and three retired heads of state, including the German Joachim Gauck and the winner of the Polish Nobel Peace Prize, Lech Walesa.

Although the high level of representation at this ceremony probably owes as much to the circumstances of death as to the biography of the victim, the people of Gdansk seem to have expressed their gratitude for "their" mayor, a child of the country elected six times in the town hall. In November 2018 he received almost 65% of the votes with the slogan "All for Gdansk" in the second round. "Gdansk was his third child for him"said in a moving speech Antonina Adamowicz, 15 years old and oldest of the two daughters of the deceased.

"Open, smiling"

The city is doing well. After offering their blood for transfusion in the night after the attack, when Pawel Adamowicz was still between life and death, the locals had organized spontaneous demonstrations through the week as a "bigger heart of the world" consisting of more than 30,000 candles. Thursday evening the municipality took over by exposing the body to the Center for European Solidarity, so that everyone could say goodbye to the mayor in one of his top performances. At the same time, the center is a place of debate and a museum dedicated to the famous social movement, bordering the cranes of the shipyards where Lech Walesa and his comrades in 1980 forced the communist regime to allow the establishment of independent trade unions.

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Throughout the night, several tens of thousands of people stood patiently in traffic for a final brief contact with their mayor. For Kazimierz, 72, "Pawel Adamowicz stood open, laughed and talked to everyone", properties that are repeated almost systematically. During the day there were fewer young people, but Gawel, 25, was there to regret the loss of"Very good man" who gave him a medal after a run.

In the queue only those who came in groups discuss. The tribute is a solitary exercise, even if it is practiced in crowds. The appearance is no longer wet or the faces tense as the day after the tragedy: the citizens of Gdansk are calm and just want to greet their mayor. Nobody speaks spontaneously about the issue of the killer or the climate of & # 39; hate & # 39; that many media and public figures are guilty of. "They say the man might be irresponsible, but for now we can not draw any conclusions, we have to wait for the results of the research"says Kazimierz. Certainly, the pensioner Wislawa also motivates her "Desire to protest against violence"but will no longer say about his sources. A day of mourning is not the point.

Risk of instrumentalization

A photo of the mayor of Gdansk Pawel Adamowicz at his funeral on January 18th.
A photo of the mayor of Gdansk Pawel Adamowicz at his funeral on January 18th. WOJTEK RADWANSKI / AFP

Out of the row, a man has an idea. "My name is Janusz Maliczenko, I am 63 years of age, half of whom went to shipyards Note that I support the PiS [Droit et justice, le parti ultra-conservateur au pouvoir depuis 2015 et dont le libéral Pawel Adamowicz était un opposant]. I have come to say goodbye to the mayor of Gdansk, killed by a bandit. He was not on my political side, but when I heard about his death on TV on Monday, I cried as if he were my brother. He was democratically elected, and although I did not have the same ideas as he, I could never have wished him dead. "

In his black windbreaker he stands back, his wife waiting in line, because his back complaints, he says, prevent him from standing still for a long time. This is not the only reason. "Maybe there's no PiS on my forehead, but I do not want to hear that it's the PiS that killed Adamowicz." Although nobody publicly confirms such a thing today, both parties fear that the other party will exploit the crime for political purposes.

Can the murder of Pawel Adamowicz on the other hand contribute to renewing the dialogue and restoring trust? That is what Janusz wants, even if he is pessimistic. "Christian logic leads us from love to hope for the living"Bishop Zbigniew Zielinski was recalled during Friday's funeralism. It is up to his superior, Monsignor Slawoj Leszek Glodz, to speak today for the political leaders.

meantime (Gdansk (Poland), special envoy)

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