WARSAW, Poland—Among the victims of Saturday’s plane crash that killed the Polish president, were many prominent members of the Polish clergy. The entire entourage was on its way to the Katyn forest in Western Russia to observe the 70-year anniversary of the mass execution of 20,000 elite Polish officers during World War II.
Father Jan Kaczmarczyk, a retired deacon and parson of parish in Sochaczew, about 30 miles outside of Warsaw, shares his reaction to the death of his close friends and colleagues.
Jan Kaczmarczyk: “For me this tragedy is tears and despair. My President died. My close acquaintances and friends have died, among others priest Roman Indrzejczyk [Chaplain to President Kaczynski], with whom I was studied in theological seminary.
“When talking with other priests, for whom this is a big shock, we concluded that this is a second Katyn. The same as then, when the flower of the Polish nation died. The same now, the flower of the Polish Nation and church, patriots, people who have a direct impact on the fate of the Polish nation, gave their lives on the same ground. Of course, it’s not that someone murdered them, but it’s about the symbolism of this tragedy.
“Talking about the future, I would like that this tragedy, this sacrifice of life of most important persons in the nation, not be wasted – that Poles and Polish political elite will receive the message carried by this occurrence, and that we will be able to unite and serve Poland well.
“This is a shocking experience, but the same as we survived first Katyn, we will survived this tragedy as well.”