How the Smolensk tragedy is dividing Poland
Polish society remains divided over the Smolensk plane crash on the seventh anniversary of the tragedy. All 96 people on board, including then Polish president Lech Kaczyński, were killed in the crash. His brother Jarosław Kaczyński, the current chairman of the governing PiS party, has contested the official report on the crash and is trying to prove that the plane was downed in an attack. Polish media also take opposing views of the incident.
The truth must come to light
It is vital for Poland as a whole that the truth behind the Smolensk tragedy should come to light, explains Stanisław Pięta of the pro-government daily Gazeta Polska Codziennie:
“I was able to see for myself yesterday how great the need is to commemorate the tragedy. I had conversations with people who'd come from all over Poland. Not for the first time, they told me how much they want to know what really happened when this tragic event occurred. And how important it is for us all to finally learn the truth. I am convinced and strongly believe that the truth about the real causes of the tragedy and what happened afterwards will one day come to light. We owe this not just to the deceased and their families, but to the whole nation as well as the coming generations.”
Oppose attack theory with a cool head
The opponents of the attack theory propagated by the PiS must keep calm, Gazeta Wyborcza demands:
“This is the right moment to reflect on what form the protest against the spread of the theory about an attack in Smolensk should take. … The PiS media and their political camp say that the opponents of the attack theory have no right to demonstrate at the same time as those who believe in it. … Of course it's necessary to resist [the propagation of the theory] because we shouldn't be deceived. But in resisting the theory we must observe a key principle: there must be no aggression, no one should start shouting or get abusive. We should maintain friendly relations with our fellow citizens who share the opinion of the PiS on this issue. And we should show understanding for their feelings.”