We the people of Poland, which for the past seventy years have failed to accept the loss of our favorite sons murdered In the Katyn forest, thank the people of the Russian Federation and appeal for reconciliation.

We are touched by the help and solidarity we have received from Russia, and from its average inhabitants, during these tragic days. In the plane crash in Smolensk, near Katyn, we lost not only the head of our country, but once again as we did seventy years ago, we lost many gifted members of the elite circles of an independent Poland.

The crime committed against Polish officers In 1940 divided our nation for generations. Now we stand stunned by the blood of present day heroes sinking into the same soil. Both events are connected in terms of geography and pain, but in as much as the first was the result of Stalinist terror that also touched the Russian people themselves, the second was a horrible accident for which we cannot blame the host country.

Experiencing today’s tragedy we see that we are not alone as was the case seventy years ago. The legal successors to the Soviet Union, the Russian government and the Russian people are with us expressing sympathy and making easily understandable gestures of help. We are particularly moved by these words and actions because they negate the murder committed in history – they manifest a Russia, that we always wished for its citizens.

We are citizens of the Republic of Poland, but we are also the spiritual children of the Polish Pope John Paul II. This heritage obligates us to speak out and not leave these expressions of solidarity unrecognized.

For this reason we appeal to the Russian nation: let the new blood spilled near Katyn join us, let it help us reconcile with each other. Let it be a sign of a new beginning in Polish-Russian relations, relations long strained by mistrust, lies and prejudices. Let the Poles and Russians set an example for the world of how to rise above a terrible loss. We are certain that we share the same conviction; evil will not win, good will triumph over evil!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the goodness we are experiencing from you during these difficult days. We are hopeful that together we can build more goodness in the future – for Poland, for Russia for Europe and the world.

The Foundation for European Studies “Sarmacja” in Kraków
Zdzisław Jurkowski, Father Professor. Jan Szczepaniak, Aleksander Galos, Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz

‚Nowa Europa Wschodnia’ bimonthly
Małgorzata Nocuń, Andrzej Brzeziecki

‚Tygodnik Powszechny’ weekly
Ks. Adam Boniecki

‚Onet.pl’ internet portal
Marek Dziewięcki