FSE Newsletter Special Poland
Polish National Tragedy of 10th April 2010 with the death of President Lech Kaczynski (above the photo of the grave in Wawel Cathedral in Cracow) provoked a long week of national grief with spontaneous reactions of millions of people in Poland and around the world expressing their sorrow and sympathy with the victims and their families. Polish scouts with their etusiasm for service during these days were declared by the public opinion "the discreet heroes of the time of national grief". They were helping, especially, in front the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, during the longue cues of the people wanting to pay a last honor in front of the coffins of the President and his wife exposed inside the palace. With this edition of the FSE Newsletter we would like to share with all our FSE what happend during last week in Poland with respect to the service and presence of Scouts of Europe.
PRESIDENT KACZYNSKI - PROTECTOR OF POLISH SCOUTING
Each Polish President takes all the Polish scouting associations under his special protectorat. The sense is to give an importance to the scouting in the eyes of the society and state administration. On the photo above Tomasz Pałka, president of Polish association from 2006 to 2009 speaks with President Kaczynski during the ceremony of protecorate in the Presidential Palace in 2006.
This photo is from the same ceremony in 2006. Polish guides of Europe from the 4th Warsaw talking with Maria Kaczyńska, the wife of the President, died also on 10th April 2010. Behind Mrs Kaczyńska is Tomasz Szydło (without uniform), president of the Polish association from 1993 to 2003.
PRESIDENT KACZOROWSKI - THE LAST PRESIDENT ON THE EMIGRATION
In the catastrophe of 10th April died also President Ryszard Kaczorowski (at the age of 91), who was the last Polish president on the emigration. Between 1945 and 1989 the authorities of the Polish independent state, even if unrecognized internationally, continued symbolically in London. When in 1990 the first presidential elections in independent Poland took place, President Kaczorowski symbolically passed to newly elected Lech Walesa, the legendary chief of the syndicate Solidarność, the symbols of presidential legal authority. President Kaczorowski was a scout and chief scout himself in Poland before the II World War. On Friday 9th April, day before his death in the plane crash in Smolensk, preparing himself to the trip he was singing traditional polish scout songs, his wife said. The photo is from the same ceremony in 2006.
BISHOP TADEUSZ PŁOSKI - RESPONSIBLE FOR SCOUTING
Another important person died tragically in the catastrophe of 10th April was Bishop Tadeusz Płoski, Polish Army Ordinary and responsible for scouting. On the photo you can see him celebrating the Final Holy Mass of Euromoot in Czestochowa in 2007 (on his right you can see Jacques Mougenot, Federal Commissioner 2003-09; behind there is Mgr Cyrill Vasil, our former federal spiritual advisor and Zbigniew Korba, Polish general scout commissioner 2006-09). On the photo below, Bishop Tadeusz Płoski during Euromoot 2007 with Joanna Przypolska, former Polish general guide commissioner 2001-06, her husband Paweł, RS and their daughter Hanna.
KATYŃ - 10th APRIL 2010
A delegation of Polish Scouts of Europe was present, Saturday 10th April in Katyń, in the ceremonies of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the killing of 22 000 Polish army officials by Stalin regime. President Kaczyński and all the delegation that was on the fatal plane were to participate in this commemoration. As President Kaczyński wrote in the speech prepared for this occasion, that was never pronounced: "As the lie on Katyń was the fundament of the communist regime in Poland, the truth on it must be a fundament of new and free Poland and of new friendly relations between Russia and Poland". During 50 years after the massacre of Katyń, the communist regime denied the authorship of it. One must know that in Katyń and other nearby places the Stalinist regime killed also thousands of Russian non-communist elite. The Polish FSE delegation on the photo was composed of rovers from Garwolin and Pilawa FSE District, 60 km south-east from the Polish capital.
PRESIDENTIAL PALACE-GUIDES AND SCOUTS START TO SERVE WITHOUT ANY ORDER
What is fantastic in the story of last week, is that there was no order. It was spontaneously that, moved by deep sorrow over what happend, they came with thier patrols, troops and clans to organise people, to help them in the cue, to put the candles, to throw out the used ones, to distribute water, to organise medical service, to put the guards in front of the coffins and in other places inside and outside the Presidential Palace. The capital authorities and services were not prepared for such a reaction of thousands of people. The scouts were. And particularly guides ans scouts of Europe from Warsaw, Radom, Puławy, Garwolin, Rawa Mazowiecka and other cities.
MARCIN AND JAREK HONOR THE PRESIDENT AND WRITE TO THE CONDOLENCE BOOK
Anna Mikos, guide general commissioner with the help of Kasia Kieler, her deputy who lives in Warsaw, Marcin Kruk, scout general commissioner and Jarosław Sroka, president of the association together with other chiefs were working with 3 other Polish scout associations (ZHP, ZHR and SH) in order to coordinate services and presence during the mourning ceremonies. On the photo above they pay the last honor in front of the coffin with the President's body.
They wrote also a commemorative text in the official condolence book in the name of the FSE.
FSE OFFICIAL GUARD-WEDNESDAY, 14th APRIL 2010
Wednesday, 14 april, from 21.00 to 21.30, a delegation of 19 commissioners and chiefs from the Polish association together with the Federal Commissioner took guard of honor in front of the coffins of President and his wife inside the Presidential Palace where they were exposed for the public. We were not allowed to take pictures from this moment. Below is the photo taken outside during our guard. We are seen on the huge screen placed outside the Palace.
SERVICE DURING THE STATE MOURNING CEREMONY IN WARSAW 17th APRIL
More than 200 Polish FSE rovers, rangers, guides and scouts were helping in Warsaw to before, during and after the main state ceremony in Warsaw on Saturday 17ths April. After the services the great gathering was held in the Pilsudski Square where the ceremonies were held.
CRACOW, SUNDAY 18th APRIL: PRESIDENT KACZYŃSKI AND HIS WIFE FUNERAL
The Polish Association and FSE representatives were officialy invited to the Funeral Ceremony by the Polish authorities. Anna Mikos, general guide commissioner and Zbigniew Minda, Federal Commissioner together with Marek Mucha, Marcin Kuczaj, Piotr Synowiec and Anna Mamla were invited to the VIP sector with the deputies and other personalities.
It was in the recognition of our guides and scouts generous service.
The service and presence of scouts, also of Scouts of Europe was noticed and appreciated by the society. The press was full of photos and articles about the scout service. The TV channels were interviewing a lot of our guides and scouts. People on the streets spontaneously were approching to say: Thank you, or Congratulations or My respect or sth like that. Below some links to the press articles, photos and TV relations.
MORE PHOTOS OF GUIDES AND SCOUTS OF EUROPE YOU WILL FIND HERE:
FSE CONDOLENCES - POLAND IS VERY GRATEFUL
So much guides and scouts of Europe, whole associations, commissioners, National Teams expressed their grief and solidarity with the Polish association, that Father Bogusław Migut, federal spiritual advisor, said that the FSE has now a new meaning: Fundament of Solidarity of Europe. Thank you for that generous reaction.
You will find all the condolences in original language clicking at: