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Poland bids farewell to Maria and Lech Kaczynski | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 18.04.2010
Thousands of people have gathered in Krakow for the state funeral of President Lech Kaczynski. Many world leaders were unable to attend because of flights grounded by Iceland's volcano. 

Thousands of mourners gathered for the funeral Mass and burial of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria on Sunday in Krakow.


Tens of thousands of people lined the streets with outstretched hands, some holding flowers and national flags, and many wiping tears from their eyes. Hundreds of thousands were watching the events broadcast live in Poland and around the world.


"The death of these outstanding representatives of our people is a great loss for us. People from all stations of life and various political views are lost," said acting president Bronislaw Komorowski, in eulogizing not just the Kacynzskis, but all those killed in the crash.

During the funeral mass, the couple's only child, Marta, sat with her uncle, head of the opposition Law and Justice Party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, in the first row. Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski were twin brothers. Some 700 Polish officials, foreign dignitaries and others sat behind them.


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 11:51:23 AM EST
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Polish-Russian Reconciliation Highlights President's Funeral - Bloomberg.com

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Poland bid farewell to President Lech Kaczynski and his wife in the country's ancient capital of Krakow as the leaders of the country's two historic enemies, Germany and Russia, prayed amid calls for reconciliation.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev lit a candle at the service for presidential couple, who died on April 10 when their plane crashed in Smolensk, Russia, on the way to a ceremony in Katyn forest honoring 22,000 Polish officers and officials killed in 1940 by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's secret police.

Medvedev and German President Horst Koehler were among 700 foreign guests, Polish government officials and family members gathered at the 14th-century St. Mary's Basilica on the medieval Market Square, where a Mass led by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow and the former secretary to Pope John Paul II, opened to the strains of Mozart's Requiem.

"Seventy years ago Katyn divided two nations," Dziwisz said at the beginning of the Mass, addressing his words directly to the Russian president. "The tragedy eight days ago has released stores of good will in individuals and nations, and the sympathy and support we have received from our Russian brothers revives hope for reconciliation."

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 12:12:48 PM EST
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