In a divided Poland, a united Gdansk mourns slain mayor

The murder of Gdansk mayor Pawel Adamowicz, who was supportive of the city's Jewish and LGBT communities, brings residents together to question a climate of hate.

By
January 20, 2019 18:51
1 minute read.
In a divided Poland, a united Gdansk mourns slain mayor

. (photo credit: AGENCJA GAZETA/BARTOSZ BANKA VIA REUTERS)

 
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The crowd that accompanied the coffin of slain Gdansk mayor Pawel Adamowicz on Saturday is estimated to be 45,000 strong, marking the love and admiration the people of the port city felt towards their mayor.

Similar civic expressions of grief and solidarity were held in the capital Warsaw and in Poznan.

Adamowicz, one of Poland's longest-serving mayors, was attacked on stage during one of Poland's biggest annual charity events on January 13 and died the following day.

His murderer. Stefan W., is a 27 year old former prison inmate.

After stabbing the mayor on stage he seized the microphone and said he was wrongly put in prison and tortured by the Civic Platform Party [PO]. The current Polish government is led by the right learning Law and Justice Party [PiS].


“The polarization in Poland is absolutely horrifying,” said Antoni Dudek, a conservative political scientist at Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, the New York Times reported.

In a wave of arrests, police arrested over twenty people who promoted violence of threatened public figures and a special task force of 105 prosecutors was created to investigate hate crimes.
 
The archbishop of Gdansk, Slawoj Leszek Glodz, urged for a return of civility to public life.

"We need to rid Polish politics and public life from the language of hatred," he said.

Reuters contributed to this article.

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