The assassination of Mayor of Gdansk Pawel Adamowicz has shaken Poland to the core. The tragedy may and must force us all to reflect on hate that has been getting out of control in the country for some time now. Hate that devastates the society and may destroy the Polish state. If we do not put a halt to it right now, it will be only a matter of time before next tragedies and shocking events take place. Only, when this happens, it will no longer matter whose blame was it, who had spun the wheel of hate.
The blame, just like the truth, never lies in the middle. We do not believe that all sides of the conflict are equally responsible for the creeping dehumanization of political adversaries and the growing divide within the society. While acknowledging the gravity of the situation, we consider this tragic moment to be a state of emergency that requires putting aside a typical manner of reckoning.
If we intend to survive as a community, we cannot call for unity by examining the self of others. There is only one way to break the wheel of hate: unconditional and radical forgiveness. “We forgive and ask for forgiveness” – the words of Polish bishops from fifty years ago are the only ethical message that may stop the destruction of the state and the nation.
We, therefore, call for such an action everyone and we declare: we forgive those who are motivated by hate and we apologize if we had contributed to perpetuating it. We address Polish political parties and their leaders to join us in forgiving our opponents in a hope that only such an ethical radicalism is capable of preventing similar tragedies from occurring in the future.
All of us, regardless of our beliefs, create a republic – a commonwealth ruled by law. The law that has the power to prevent wrongdoings. Following the example of other European states, we deem it necessary to adopt a law that would counter and penalize hate speech in the public space.
No political, economic, nor any other interests – often with the assistance of external forces – shall have priority over the need to put a halt to the destruction of this community. The Polish Parliament is the rightful place for such attempts – a space for shaping the system of the Republic of Poland.
It should also be the place for working on the new law, “lex Adamowicz” so to speak, in a designated committee combing an equal number of representatives of various political options.
Poland may be a democratic state, but it is one with a great divide within the society. Ethics and law exist in a republic so that they may rule over impetuous and wrongful vehemence.
In this context, we appeal to all people of good will to join us in our call. We must take a step back. Reach out, without any guarantees that the other side will reciprocate the gesture. Otherwise, the Poles versus Poles conflict might escalate and the shed blood will again spin the wheel of hate and violence.
- dr Magdalena M. Baran – Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Liberté!
- Bartosz Bartosik – Secretary of the Więź Laboratory, member of Zespół Komitetu Dialogu Społecznego
- Piotr Beniuszys – columnist, member of the editorial team of Liberté!
- Bogumiła Berdychowska – columnist, member of the editorial team of Więź
- Maria Borkowska – Member of Review Panel of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw
- Aleksandra Brochocka – Member of the Board of the Więź Association
- Andrzej Brzeziecki – Editor-in-Chief of Nowa Europa Wschodnia
- Ewa Buczek – Secretary of the editorial team of Więź
- Marcin Celiński – Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Liberté!, President of the Arbitror publishing house
- Piotr Ciacek – coach, business coach, Member of the Board of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw
- Jacek Cichocki – sociologist, coordinator of the “Oczyszczalnia” project in the “Więź” Laboratory, Member of the Board of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw
- Konrad Ciesiołkiewicz – Member of the Board of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw, President of the Social Dialogue Committee (KIG)
- Grzegorz Cydejko – Miasto2077
- Katarzyna Czayka Chełmińska – President of the Board of School for Leaders Foundation
- dr Piotr M. A. Cywiński – Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Oswiecim
- Maryna Czaplińska – cultural manager, Member of the Board of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw
- Andrzej Dębowski – member of the editorial team of Kontakt
- Łukasz Domagała – Fundusz Obywatelski
- Sławomir Drelich – member of the editorial team of Liberté!
- Ignacy Dudkiewicz – editor at Magazyn Kontakt and ngo.pl
- Anna Dziewit Meller – Tygodnik Powszechny
- dr Sebastian Duda – philosopher, theologian, member of the editorial team of Więź
- Wojciech Duda – Editor-in-Chief of Przegląd Polityczny
- prof. dr hab. Andrzej Friszke – historian, member of the editorial team of Więź
- Jakub Halcewicz-Pleskaczewski – Editor-in-Chief of Wiez.pl
- Katarzyna Jabłońska – columnist, editor at Więź
- Damian Jankowski – editor at Wiez.pl
- dr Łukasz Jasina – Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych
- Leszek Jażdżewski – Editor-in-Chief of Liberté!
- Tomasz Kaczor – editor at Magazyn Kontakt
- Rafał Kalukin – Polityka
- dr hab. Tomasz Kamiński – member of the editorial team of Liberté!
- Ewa Kiedio – editor at the Więź Publishing
- Marcin Kiedio – graphic designer, cooperates with Więź
- Jakub Kiersnowski – President of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw
- Renata Kim – Newsweek
- Mateusz Komorowski – President of International Institute of Civil Society (MISO)
- Agaton Koziński – journalist
- Dominika Kozłowska – Editor-in-Chief of the Znak monthly
- Tomasz Kycia – jorunalist, member of the editorial team of Więź
- Tomasz F. Krawczyk
- Maciej Kuziemski – Harvard Kennedy School
- Jarosław Kuźniar – Onet
- Stanisław Latek – physicist, former Secretary of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw
- Błażej Lenkowski – President of Fundacja Liberté!
- Mateusz Luft – editor at Magazyn Kontakt
- Michał Łuczewski – Institute of Sociology of the University of Warsaw
- Rafał Madajczak – ASZdziennik
- Marcin Makowski – journalist, columnist
- Anna Materska-Sosnowska – University of Warsaw, Stefan Batory Foundation
- Magda Melnyk – columnist at Liberté!
- dr Marek Migalski – University of Silesia in Katowice
- Aleksandra Nizioł – editor at the Więź Publishing
- Zbigniew Nosowski – Editor-in-Chief of the Więź quarterly, Christian Co-President of Polish Council of Christians and Jews
- dr Grzegorz Pac – historian, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Więź quarterly
- Marcin Pera – General Coordinator of Clubs for Tygodnik Powszechny
- ks. prof. dr hab. Andrzej Perzyński – theologian, Professor at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw
- Jacek Purski – President of Polish Social Security Institute
- Przemysław Radwan – Vice-President of the Board of School for Leaders Foundation
- dr Maria Rogaczewska – sociologist, member of the editorial team of Więź
- Maria Rościszewska – editor at Magazyn Kontakt
- Łukasz Rozdeiczer-Kryszkowski – lawyer, Member of the Board of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw
- Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz – columnist, President of Instytut Wspólnot Obywatelskich
- Stanisław Skarżyński – Gazeta Wyborcza
- Jerzy Sosnowski – writer, columnist, member of the editorial team at Więź
- Agnieszka Szelągowska – Member of the Board of School for Leaders Foundation
- Konrad Szołajski – film director
- Kuba Wygnański – President of the Board of Pracownia Badań i Innowacji Społecznych “Stocznia”
- Stanisław Zakroczymski – editor at Magazyn Kontakt
- Konrad Piasecki – TVN 24
- Piotr Semka – Do Rzeczy
- Katarzyna Sadło (Kataryna) – Do Rzeczy
- Witold Jurasz – Onet, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Storytel
- Przemysław Staroń – Teacher of the Year 2018
- Marta Florkiewicz-Borkowska – Teacher of the Year 2017
- Joanna Urbańska – Teacher of the Year 2016
- Katarzyna Nowak-Zawadzka – Teacher of the Year 2015
- Marcin Zaród – Teacher of the Year 2013
- Anna Sosna – Teacher of the Year 2011
- Dariusz Kulma – Teacher of the Year 2008
- Danuta Konatkiewicz – Teacher of the Year 2006
- Bogumiła Bąk – Teacher of the Year 2003
- Barbara Halska – Teacher of the Year 2014
- o. Paweł Gużyński – Dominican friar, media commentator and columnist
- Michał Pac OP – Prior of the Dominican Monastery in Poznan
- dr hab. Tomasz Kalisz – University of Wroclaw
- Katarzyna Okrasko – translator
- Roman Pawłowski – TR Warszawa
- Kapsyda Kobro-Okołowicz – Rada Patronacka Fundacji im. Ks. Jana Kaczkowskiego
- Wojciech Pająk – Member of City Council in Suwalki
- Małgorzata Bilska – columnist at Aleteia Polska, cooperates with Więzi
- prof. ndzw. dr hab. Marta Leśniakowska – art historian
- Leszek Sarnowski – Editor-in-Chief of the Prowincja quarterly based in Dolne Powiśle i and Żuławy
- Dawid Droździkowski – President of the Board of Fundacja Centrum Działań Profilaktycznych
- Miłosz Markiewicz – art historian, cultural studies researcher, editor at the Fragile magazine
- ks. dr hab. Sławomir Szczyrba – Professor at the Higher Theological Seminary in Lodz, philosopher, editor of the Łódzkie Studia Teologiczne quarterly
- Jolanta Elkan-Wykurz – Łódzki Klub Tygodnika Powszechnego
- Ewa Kusz – psychologist, psychotherapist based in Tarnowskie Gory
- dr. hab. Maria Gabryś-Heyke – Professor at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music
- prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Heyke – Lodz Film School
- Marek Twaróg – Dziennik Zachodni
- Grzegorz Borys – co-creator of the Poznań Wolny Od Nienawiści initiative, Member of the Board of KOD Region Wielkopolska
- Marcin Wieremiejczuk – entrepreneur based in Warsaw
- dr Dorota Kowalewska – Institute of Political Science and European Studies at the University of Szczecin
- Dorota Nygren – Polskie Radio
- Michał Senk – Centre for the Thought of John Paul II
- Michał Łuczewski – Centre for the Thought of John Paul II
- Igor Janke – President of Freedom Institute
The call for action was originally published in Polish at: https://liberte.pl/apel-powstrzymajmy-mowe-nienawisci/
Translated by Olga Łabendowicz
Cover photo: sylvar via flickr || CC 2.0