Nearly two and a half years after the Smoleńsk catastrophe there was a funeral of the president of the Polish Republic Ryszard Kaczorowski in exile. For it turns out that the funeral which took place on 19 April 2010, attended by the supreme honorable and state people, concerned a different person. It was confirmed by DNA investigations carried out in October 2012, after the exhumation of bodies buried in the Church of the Divine Providence and in the graveyard Powązki in Warsaw. So, it turned out that other two casualties of the Smoleńsk catastrophe had been buried in improper graves.

Daughters of president Ryszard Kaczorowski, at a special press conference which took place on 31 October this year in the headquarters of ‘The Polish Community’ in Warsaw, informed that after the catastrophe on 10 April 2010 the family had not been asked for help in the identification of the body. A day after the catastrophe it was informed that the body had been ‘easily’ recognized. No investigation actions were undertaken, even when a widow of the president had not accepted a wedding ring brought from Smoleńsk, informing that it did not belong to her husband. Daughter of the president, Alicja Jankowska explained: We were said that our dad had been hardly injured, that he had been recognized immediately and that there had not been any doubts about him. Now we are finding out that the person who had probably recognized our dad (the vice-president of the Foreign Ministry Jacek Najder at that time) had not known him personally. This man only saw our dad during celebrations, in newspaper and on TV. I cannot understand why it was allowed for giving the responsibility for identification only to one person. After all, our dad was not a lonely person. She was also surprised that there had not been any procedures which would allow for avoiding making ‘such horrendous mistakes’.

– In thoughts we join another family which have surely been experiencing these moments in the same painful way as us, in these days-said Jagoda Kaczorowska, another daughter of the last president of the Polish Republic in exile.

Referring to the suggestions of combatant and independence communities in Cracow, to bury president Kaczorowski at Wawel, Jagoda Kaczorowska thanked for these expressions of acknowledgement and respect. – However, the family does not go away from the decision made two and a half years ago, about burying our husband, dad and grandpa in the Church of the Divine Providence. At last, this Saturday, the wandering of the Pole-patriot will end- she said. The funeral celebrations of the last president of the Polish Republic in exile started on 2 November this years at University in Wrocław. The funeral mass at the coffin with the body of Ryszard Kaczorowski was presided by cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz. The holy mass for the soul of the late president was celebrated in the academic church by the Wrocław metropolitan archbishop Marian Gołębiewski. The residents of Wrocław could participate in the prayer vigil at the coffin of the president for a few hours. At night it was transported to Warsaw. On 3 November in the Church of Divine Providence, the prayers at the coffin with body of the last president of the Polish Republic in exile were presided by bishop of Drohiczyn Antoni Pacyfik Dydycz. Later everybody could pay a tribute to president Ryszard Kaczorowski. The funeral holy mass was presided by the Warsaw metropolitan cardinal Kazimierz Nycz. The body of the last president of the Polish Republic in exile was buried in a crypt of the Pantheon of Great Poles in the Church of Divine Providence in Warsaw. As Jacek Świat said – the widower of Aleksandra Natalia Świat, one of the Smoleńsk casualties - the life of president Kaczorowski was one big wandering which ended now on the Polish land.


"Niedziela" 46/2012

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl