When an embittered ex-convict fatally stabbed liberal Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz in January, Poland was left shocked. The 53-year-old was on stage at a charity event when the man attacked him with a knife. Right-wing groups had threatened anti-government politicians online before, but a killing in front of the eyes of the nation turned words into harrowing reality. In 2017, a nationalist youth organization had issued “political death certificates” for politicians, including Adamowicz. The certificates were not an isolated case: The same year, nationalists hung photos of Polish politicians on gallows. Elected officials have also fanned the flames. This April, a senator from the ruling Law and Justice party said the country should be “purged” of those “not worthy of belonging to our national community.” In grief, the mayor’s wife and her two daughters left Poland and traveled abroad to reflect on Pawel’s death and its causes. Condolences poured in from figures such as Pope Francis. Magdalena Adamowicz came back with an idea for a campaign. She called it “Imagine There’s No Hate” and began with an open letter to her country’s political, religious and civic leaders, appealing to them to raise their voices against hatred. Pawel Adamowicz was reelected as… Read full this story
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