January 15, 2019 — Poland
We are stunned in disbelief that the Mayor of Gdańsk, Paweł Adamowicz, has died, stabbed by an assailant during a concert organized as part of the 27th edition of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (WOŚP). A man who became one of the symbols of opposition against racial and religious prejudices in Poland, himself became a victim of hatred. He was one of the mayors who firmly reacted to manifestations of discrimination and supported respect for diversity.
Sadly, hatred is becoming more and more visible and more widely accepted in Polish political and social life. As we witness this, we become increasingly upset and horrified that words of hatred call for violence or lead to violence. The death of Mayor Paweł Adamowicz is yet another tragic warning signal that in our society, ideological differences, and differences of worldview, can lead - in extreme cases - to acts of physical violence. We cannot let this happen. We urge all those who hold important political, social and religious functions in Poland: we cannot condone words and deeds motivated by hatred. We have to change the language of public debate. We must not become a society that accepts violence.
We express our deepest condolences to the family and associates of President Paweł Adamowicz, and a thank you for what he did to make Gdańsk - and all of Poland - a place of tolerance, respect and openness.
American Jewish Committee Central Europe
B'nai B'rith ‘Polin’
CLIL Jewish Choir
Jewish Agency Sochnut
Jewish Community of Warsaw
Jewish Historical Institute
Jewish Religious Community in Gdańsk
Prof. Moses Schorr Foundation
Second Generation Association
Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland Foundation
The Union of Jewish Communities in Poland
Anna Bakuła, Representative, The Ronald. S. Lauder Foundation
Marian Kalwary, President, Association of Jewish Veterans and Injured in the Second World War
Iga Kazimierczyk, Director, The Lauder-Morasha Schools in Warsaw
Rachel Lea Kesselman - President of "the Kesselman Museum in Radomsko"
Aleksandra Leliwa-Kopystyńska, President, Association of ‘Children of the Holocaust’ in Poland
Lucy Lisowska – President, Civic Education Center Poland Israel
Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland
Szalom Ber Stambler – Chabad
Karolina Szykier-Koszucka, Member, Religious Board of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland
Piotr Wiślicki, President, Jewish Historical Institute
Stas Wojciechowicz, Rabbi, Ec Chaim Synagogue, Jewish Community of Warsaw