Poland In Mourning Over The Death Of Lech Kaczynski

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An article about Poland’s mourning over Lech Kaczynski and what it is which in my opinion makes people cry over the death of their acting president even if he or she was one who was not exactly popular.

It happened on Saturday morning of last week that I woke to the news on CNN that the plane that was caring the President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski and his entourage of 93 people (his wife included) had crashed and all those aboard had probably been killed though it was not confirmed till later that all the passengers were in fact dead. I, for my part however as an American living in Warsaw Poland can not in earnest claim to have been an admirer of Kaczynski’s as either a person or President of the country of which I am now a permanent resident of . This being contrary to the case as I considered some of his policies to border on religious and nationalistic paranoia which held little regard for freedom of speech; specially the last law he signed. It being a blatant violation of freedom of expression, as it made it illegal to produce, sell or buy symbols of the communist era which many tourists tended to do as souvenirs rather than any inclination; real or otherwise toward communist ideology yet it is this law which can lead to any one; who as much as waves a red flag to be arrested. It being this and other of his ideas which made him unpopular with many of Poland’s upper classes as well as educated. This perhaps being the decisive factor in the candidate of the opposing party (P.O.), Hanna Waltz winning in the last elections for mayor of Warsaw; who in Poland for some reason unknown to me and even most of the people I know; is referred to as the president of the city.

Of course having stated the above I do not wish it to be understood that I desired or am glad because of Kaczynski’s demise. This being more so that I am not since it also included the loss of the lives of 93 other individuals yet having said so neither can I in all truth declare myself as a mourner. As such feelings I only hold for those whom I am in close personal relationships with.

Regarding Kaczynski however it was back in 2005 that he won Poland’s presidential election when he despite trailing in all the opinion polls to Donald Tusk (current Prime Minister) by a rather large margin managed to win the election. This in spite of loosing to Tusk in a first round election in which the winner did not get the 50% majority required to capture the presidency; it being in a run off election where Kaczynski prevailed by a narrow yet sufficient margin of victory. For myself I even recall how most of the people I was in contact with at the time were far from happy that Kaczynski had won, specially those who like my wife did not vote for Tusk in the second round though they did so in the first.

In a way I figure it is the nature of many to cry when somebody dies, even though they did not know them personally or even agree with what they did know about them. This perhaps being what leads people to such strong emotions as my mother told me occurred upon the year of her arrival in the States when Kennedy was killed or perhaps such sentiments are more influenced when the death of their leader comes unexpectedly and while still in office. As occurred with Josef Stalin, who was also mourned for with public weeping and sorrow though many have claimed that real suffering would have come to those who at least did not display such sentiments; for doing otherwise might have even been considered treason; punishable by death or being sent to the gulag.

It is not that I am surprised at the mourning which is currently going on in Poland, for such is usual in any nation when a tragic event takes the lives of a certain number of individuals; weather it be a plane crash or the collapse of a building even if nobody of fame or political significance be lost yet I wonder how it would have been if this accident had occurred after Kaczynski’s term in office had come to an end? Regarding Lech Kaczynski’s popularity, it was said that he had very few chances of repeating as president though many are already of the believe that his death could help both his party and twin brother; Jaroslaw get a large sympathy vote in this year’s presidential election. All of which seeming even a touch strange to me that so much is done to elect a man who in fact will have little if any real political importance, as the powers of the President of Poland are not all that much more than those of a figure head; who perhaps is just a tad more significant in the administration of the government than the President of Italy.

I however in all this have noticed through the years that there is something in the death of a President while serving as head of state as opposed to being past his time in office that makes a nation mourn and to a certain degree panic; even for dictators like Stalin and Mao. As in consideration it would be hard to believe that all those millions who wept did so out of fear even in a totalitarian system. For I believe there is an instinctive fear in people to see their president or leader as the power and security of the nation which when gone leaves a void as to make them feel that all law and order have gone. This to a certain extent even being illogical as most countries with a system of government, democratic or otherwise have a chain of command that always leaves some one in charge or at least till elections take place.

For my part I was not even born when Kennedy was assassinated in 63 therefore it is not that time which I can recall yet I can when Ronald Reagan died in 2004 and the lament shown by a whole nation; as was also the case though not as strongly when Nixon and Ford passed away. It going to the point that in death some leaders are held in kinder esteem than during their life time, as most of the good they accomplished is remembered while their errors are if not forgotten; at least slightly overlooked. This perhaps being what occurred when Pinochet died though he was denied a state funeral.

My name is Gianni Truvianni, I am an author who writes with the simple aim of sharing his ideas, thoughts and so much more of what I am with those who are interested in perhaps reading something new. I also am the author of the book entitled “New York’s Opera Society”.

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