Lech Kaczyński

Lech Kaczyński (1949 – 2010), who perished in an air crash near the Russian city of Smolensk on 10 April 2010, was elected President of Poland in December 2005. With his twin brother Jarosław he participated in student protests in 1968; in 1980 as a law graduate in Gdańsk he joined the free trade union Solidarity, becoming one of Lech Wałęsa’’s advisers. Together with Jarosław Kaczyński he founded the national-conservative Rights and Justice Party (PiS). In 2000-2001 he was Poland’’s Minister of Justice. Lech Kaczyński was a proponent of a strong state and champion of national values. His wife Maria, whom he married in 1978, died with him in the air crash; they had one daughter, Marta, and two grandchildren.

Surviving Memory

70 years ago, on 5 March 1940, Lavrentii Beria, the USSR People’s Commissar for Internal Affairs sent a memo to comrade Stalin regarding the more than 25,000 Poles held in Soviet prisoner of war camps and NKVD prisons, justifying the necessity of executing the Polish prisoners. The memo was signed by the Soviet Union’s leaders: Stalin, Molotov, Voroshilov and Mikoyan; a note on the margin said that comrades Kalinin and Kaganovich also agreed with this solution. On the same day Beria received the decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union giving its approval to […]