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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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