Call for Action: Stopping Hate in Poland

sylvar via flickr || CC 2.0

The assassination of Mayor of Gdansk Pawel Adamowicz has shaken Poland to the core. The tragedy may and must force us all to reflect on hate that has been getting out of control in the country for some time now. Hate that devastates the society and may destroy the Polish state. If we do not put a halt to it right now, it will be only a matter of time before next tragedies and shocking events take place. Only, when this happens, it will no longer matter whose blame was it, who had spun the wheel of hate.

The blame, just like the truth, never lies in the middle. We do not believe that all sides of the conflict are equally responsible for the creeping dehumanization of political adversaries and the growing divide within the society. While acknowledging the gravity of the situation, we consider this tragic moment to be a state of emergency that requires putting aside a typical manner of reckoning.

If we intend to survive as a community, we cannot call for unity by examining the self of others. There is only one way to break the wheel of hate: unconditional and radical forgiveness. “We forgive and ask for forgiveness” – the words of Polish bishops from fifty years ago are the only ethical message that may stop the destruction of the state and the nation.

We, therefore, call for such an action everyone and we declare: we forgive those who are motivated by hate and we apologize if we had contributed to perpetuating it. We address Polish political parties and their leaders to join us in forgiving our opponents in a hope that only such an ethical radicalism is capable of preventing similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

All of us, regardless of our beliefs, create a republic – a commonwealth ruled by law. The law that has the power to prevent wrongdoings. Following the example of other European states, we deem it necessary to adopt a law that would counter and penalize hate speech in the public space.

No political, economic, nor any other interests – often with the assistance of external forces – shall have priority over the need to put a halt to the destruction of this community. The Polish Parliament is the rightful place for such attempts – a space for shaping the system of the Republic of Poland.

It should also be the place for working on the new law, “lex Adamowicz” so to speak, in a designated committee combing an equal number of representatives of various political options.

Poland may be a democratic state, but it is one with a great divide within the society. Ethics and law exist in a republic so that they may rule over impetuous and wrongful vehemence.

In this context, we appeal to all people of good will to join us in our call. We must take a step back. Reach out, without any guarantees that the other side will reciprocate the gesture. Otherwise, the Poles versus Poles conflict might escalate and the shed blood will again spin the wheel of hate and violence.


  1. dr Magdalena M. Baran – Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Liberté!

  2. Bartosz Bartosik – Secretary of the Więź Laboratory, member of Zespół Komitetu Dialogu Społecznego

  3. Piotr Beniuszys – columnist, member of the editorial team of Liberté!

  4. Bogumiła Berdychowska – columnist, member of the editorial team of Więź

  5. Maria Borkowska – Member of Review Panel of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw

  6. Aleksandra Brochocka – Member of the Board of the Więź Association

  7. Andrzej Brzeziecki – Editor-in-Chief of Nowa Europa Wschodnia

  8. Ewa Buczek – Secretary of the editorial team of Więź

  9. Marcin Celiński – Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Liberté!, President of the Arbitror publishing house

  10. Piotr Ciacek – coach, business coach, Member of the Board of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw

  11. Jacek Cichocki – sociologist, coordinator of the “Oczyszczalnia” project in the “Więź” Laboratory, Member of the Board of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw

  12. Konrad Ciesiołkiewicz – Member of the Board of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw, President of the Social Dialogue Committee (KIG)

  13. Grzegorz Cydejko – Miasto2077

  14. Katarzyna Czayka Chełmińska – President of the Board of School for Leaders Foundation

  15. dr Piotr M. A. Cywiński – Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Oswiecim

  16. Maryna Czaplińska – cultural manager, Member of the Board of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw

  17. Andrzej Dębowski – member of the editorial team of Kontakt

  18. Łukasz Domagała – Fundusz Obywatelski

  19. Sławomir Drelich – member of the editorial team of Liberté!

  20. Ignacy Dudkiewicz – editor at Magazyn Kontakt and

  21. Anna Dziewit Meller – Tygodnik Powszechny

  22. dr Sebastian Duda – philosopher, theologian, member of the editorial team of Więź

  23. Wojciech Duda – Editor-in-Chief of Przegląd Polityczny

  24. prof. dr hab. Andrzej Friszke – historian, member of the editorial team of Więź

  25. Jakub Halcewicz-Pleskaczewski – Editor-in-Chief of

  26. Katarzyna Jabłońska – columnist, editor at Więź

  27. Damian Jankowski – editor at

  28. dr Łukasz Jasina – Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych

  29. Leszek Jażdżewski – Editor-in-Chief of Liberté!

  30. Tomasz Kaczor – editor at Magazyn Kontakt

  31. Rafał Kalukin – Polityka

  32. dr hab. Tomasz Kamiński – member of the editorial team of Liberté!

  33. Ewa Kiedio – editor at the Więź Publishing

  34. Marcin Kiedio – graphic designer, cooperates with Więź

  35. Jakub Kiersnowski – President of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw

  36. Renata Kim – Newsweek

  37. Mateusz Komorowski – President of International Institute of Civil Society (MISO)

  38. Agaton Koziński – journalist

  39. Dominika Kozłowska – Editor-in-Chief of the Znak monthly

  40. Tomasz Kycia – jorunalist, member of the editorial team of Więź

  41. Tomasz F. Krawczyk

  42. Maciej Kuziemski – Harvard Kennedy School

  43. Jarosław Kuźniar – Onet

  44. Stanisław Latek – physicist, former Secretary of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw

  45. Błażej Lenkowski – President of Fundacja Liberté!

  46. Mateusz Luft – editor at Magazyn Kontakt

  47. Michał Łuczewski – Institute of Sociology of the University of Warsaw

  48. Rafał Madajczak – ASZdziennik

  49. Marcin Makowski – journalist, columnist

  50. Anna Materska-Sosnowska – University of Warsaw, Stefan Batory Foundation

  51. Magda Melnyk – columnist at Liberté!

  52. dr Marek Migalski – University of Silesia in Katowice

  53. Aleksandra Nizioł – editor at the Więź Publishing

  54. Zbigniew Nosowski – Editor-in-Chief of the Więź quarterly, Christian Co-President of Polish Council of Christians and Jews

  55. dr Grzegorz Pac – historian, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Więź quarterly

  56. Marcin Pera – General Coordinator of Clubs for Tygodnik Powszechny

  57. ks. prof. dr hab. Andrzej Perzyński – theologian, Professor at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw

  58. Jacek Purski – President of Polish Social Security Institute

  59. Przemysław Radwan – Vice-President of the Board of School for Leaders Foundation

  60. dr Maria Rogaczewska – sociologist, member of the editorial team of Więź

  61. Maria Rościszewska – editor at Magazyn Kontakt

  62. Łukasz Rozdeiczer-Kryszkowski – lawyer, Member of the Board of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Warsaw

  63. Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz – columnist, President of Instytut Wspólnot Obywatelskich

  64. Stanisław Skarżyński – Gazeta Wyborcza

  65. Jerzy Sosnowski – writer, columnist, member of the editorial team at Więź

  66. Agnieszka Szelągowska – Member of the Board of School for Leaders Foundation

  67. Konrad Szołajski – film director

  68. Kuba Wygnański – President of the Board of Pracownia Badań i Innowacji Społecznych “Stocznia”

  69. Stanisław Zakroczymski – editor at Magazyn Kontakt

  70. Konrad Piasecki – TVN 24

  71. Piotr Semka – Do Rzeczy

  72. Katarzyna Sadło (Kataryna) – Do Rzeczy

  73. Witold Jurasz – Onet, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Storytel

  74. Przemysław Staroń – Teacher of the Year 2018

  75. Marta Florkiewicz-Borkowska – Teacher of the Year 2017

  76. Joanna Urbańska – Teacher of the Year 2016

  77. Katarzyna Nowak-Zawadzka – Teacher of the Year 2015

  78. Marcin Zaród – Teacher of the Year 2013

  79. Anna Sosna – Teacher of the Year 2011

  80. Dariusz Kulma – Teacher of the Year 2008

  81. Danuta Konatkiewicz – Teacher of the Year 2006

  82. Bogumiła Bąk – Teacher of the Year 2003

  83. Barbara Halska – Teacher of the Year 2014

  84. o. Paweł Gużyński – Dominican friar, media commentator and columnist

  85. Michał Pac OP – Prior of the Dominican Monastery in Poznan

  86. dr hab. Tomasz Kalisz – University of Wroclaw

  87. Katarzyna Okrasko – translator

  88. Roman Pawłowski – TR Warszawa

  89. Kapsyda Kobro-Okołowicz – Rada Patronacka Fundacji im. Ks. Jana Kaczkowskiego

  90. Wojciech Pająk – Member of City Council in Suwalki

  91. Małgorzata Bilska – columnist at Aleteia Polska, cooperates with Więzi

  92. prof. ndzw. dr hab. Marta Leśniakowska – art historian

  93. Leszek Sarnowski – Editor-in-Chief of the Prowincja quarterly based in Dolne Powiśle i and Żuławy

  94. Dawid Droździkowski – President of the Board of Fundacja Centrum Działań Profilaktycznych

  95. Miłosz Markiewicz – art historian, cultural studies researcher, editor at the Fragile magazine

  96. ks. dr hab. Sławomir Szczyrba – Professor at the Higher Theological Seminary in Lodz, philosopher, editor of the Łódzkie Studia Teologiczne quarterly

  97. Jolanta Elkan-Wykurz – Łódzki Klub Tygodnika Powszechnego

  98. Ewa Kusz – psychologist, psychotherapist based in Tarnowskie Gory

  99. dr. hab. Maria Gabryś-Heyke – Professor at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music

  100. prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Heyke – Lodz Film School

  101. Marek Twaróg – Dziennik Zachodni

  102. Grzegorz Borys – co-creator of the Poznań Wolny Od Nienawiści initiative, Member of the Board of KOD Region Wielkopolska

  103. Marcin Wieremiejczuk – entrepreneur based in Warsaw

  104. dr Dorota Kowalewska – Institute of Political Science and European Studies at the University of Szczecin

  105. Dorota Nygren – Polskie Radio

  106. Michał Senk – Centre for the Thought of John Paul II

  107. Michał Łuczewski – Centre for the Thought of John Paul II

  108. Igor Janke – President of Freedom Institute

The call for action was originally published in Polish at:

Translated by Olga Łabendowicz