We cannot forget about Polish history in Siberia: ambassador

“We can not forget about the tragic history of Poles in Siberia, we also need to think about the future and build it,” Krzysztof Krajewski, Polish ambassador to Russia said during his week-long visit to Siberia, in the regions of Irkutsk and the Buryatia on Wednesday.

Sejm, Senate dep speakers commemorate those exiled by Soviets

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“This trip was planned as one of the first ones, because it is very important for me to visit those places related to the history and drama of Polish exiles,” the ambassador said. He emphasised however that there are also “positive” places in Siberia, with Poles who came to the region willingly.

The ambassador reported that he had also visited the place of Józef Piłsudski’s exile in Tunka. During the trip, he laid wreaths at the memorial site dedicated to Polish exiles (participants of the Zabaikal Uprising), in the town of Miszycha on the shores of Lake Baikal. He visited places in Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude commemorating the victims of political repression during the Stalinist period in the USSR.

Mr Krajewski stressed that each time the question of “why did they have to die?” arises. ”Every time coming here, we should all follow this trail, the trail of our human tragedies, bow our heads in front of them and pay them due tribute,” the diplomat said.

Ambassador Krajewski emphasised that his goal was to “honor the victims, meet with those who cherish the Polish tradition today and think about the future.”

“Without forgetting these difficult, tragic, blood-covered places, I would like to think about the future as well. We should remember that we are neighbours with Russia. These are our Slavic neighbours, with whom we have a lot in common, but also unfortunately a lot of division,” he stressed.

“From what history has left us, including the tragic moments, we should build a future that I trust will be better,” the ambassador summed up.