10 January 2010

Now off to Poland ...

Jane's diary, 10 January 1990, Wroclaw, Poland
We Wittenberg students have travalled to Poland. Stephan Bickhardt organized the trip. It's his last week with the group, he will soon start work as the general secretary of Demokratie Jetzt (Democracy Now). It's my first visit to Poland, my grandmother was born in this city, when it was still the German city of Breslau. We are being hosted by the Catholic Intelligentsia Club (KIK). We have speant a lot of time talking with them and Solidarnosc about economic issues, but also increasing xenophobia between Germans and Poles. Our discussions have sometimes been very painful, and I realise just how I am affected when there are antisemitic remarks about Jews. But we have also experienced a wonderful and warm welcome. Today we went to Kreisau/Krzyżowa, known for the Kreisau Circle, the name the Gestapo gave to a group of dissidents around Helmuth Graf von Moltke who gathered in his estate at Kreisau. The KIK in Wroclaw is supporting attempts to make the estate a place for intercultural and international exchange and dialogue. As we are going there, I noticed just how poor the people on the land seem to be. The countryside and the mountains are wonderful but where we walked the little stream was a strange dark blue coulour and it smelled of chemicals. Yes, said the priest, today the nearby factory is dying jeans. We also met a wonderful Catholic priest who had a picture of Pope John XXIII in his office. Why John XXIII and not Pope John Paul II, we asked. He said, the church belongs to JohnPaul, but in his office he can chose the pope he wants!


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