Kaptur Hosts Wife of Slain Mayor of Gdansk for Roundtable in Washington

March 26, 2019
Press Release

 

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Co-Chair of the Congressional Poland Caucus, hosted Ms. Magdalena Adamowicz, wife of late Mayor of Gdansk, Poland, Paweł Adamowicz, and their daughter Antonina Adamowicz for a roundtable discussion with lawmakers, diplomats, and policy experts to honor Mayor Adamowicz’s memory and discuss policy issues related to U.S.-Poland relations and democracy in Poland. Gdansk, Poland is a sister-city of Cleveland, Ohio.

 

“Mayor Adamowicz was a passionate voice for liberty and freedom in Poland, and he was proud that Gdansk served as a beacon for a free and democratic Europe,” said Rep. Kaptur. “It is my honor to host Mayor Adamowicz’s wife Magdalena and their daughter Antonina here in the United States Capitol. It is our duty, and the duty of every person between America and Poland, to stomp out hate and extremism wherever it may arise. Indeed Pawel’s profound sacrifice and lasting legacy call on us to strengthen democratic institutions and an independent judiciary that provide for a stable, just and open society, free from politically motivated hate.” 

 

“I am deeply grateful to Rep. Kaptur for giving me the opportunity to be here, in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.,” said Ms. Magdalena Adamowicz. “It is from here, the heart of the US democracy and global freedom that we want to express our common commitment to the fight against hatred, hate speech and hate crimes in the social and political life in our countries and all over the world. It is my dream and ambition after this meeting to create a draft road map for a global program on opposing hate speech.”

 

On February 13, Congresswoman Kaptur introduced the “Paweł Adamowicz Democratic Leadership Exchange Act of 2019”, which would establish increased democratic exchange between the United States and Poland.

 

The program would grant elected officials and civil society leaders from both countries the opportunity to travel to the partner nation for 1-2 weeks, participate in educational conferences, gain important leadership skills, and build transatlantic networks between the two NATO allies. These valuable experiences would further strengthen the historic partnership between the U.S. and Poland and equip participants with the relationships and experience necessary to enrich their home country’s democratic institutions upon their return home.

 

Attendees:

  • Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9)
  • Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3)
  • Ms. Magdalena Adamowicz, wife of late Mayor of Gdansk, Poland, Pawel Adamowicz
  • Ms. Antonina Adamowicz, daughter of late Mayor of Gdansk, Poland, Pawel Adamowicz
  • Mr. Pawel Kotowski, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Poland
  • Former U.S. Ambassador to Poland Dan Fried, Senior Fellow at Atlantic Council and former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
  • Melissa Hooper, Director Human Rights and Civil Society, Human Rights First
  • Damir Marusic, Executive Editor, The American Interest

 

BACKGROUND:

 

On January 14, 2019, Mayor Adamowicz was tragically murdered while giving remarks at a fundraiser organized by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. In memory of Mayor Adamowicz’s visionary leadership, dedication, perseverance, and honorable service to his community and nation, the U.S. Congress stands ready to strengthen U.S.-Polish relationship based on shared democratic values.

 

Gdansk serves as a beacon for a free Poland and Mayor Adamowicz gave his life to defend it. Gdansk holds a special place in global history serving as birthplace of the Solidarity movement that brought down the yoke of Soviet tyranny.

 

While the true motives of the perpetrator remain undetermined, what is clear is that this malicious act took place in a troubling environment of social division and political challenges. This includes right-wing marches in the streets and the display of opposition leaders on gallows in public squares.

 

Poland is a critical NATO ally serving as a bulwark against Russian aggression in the East. NATO’s resolute strength is based on shared constitutional democratic values that bind its members together such as transparency, rule of law, an independent judiciary, freedom of the press, and human rights.

 

These democratic protections serve to protect the free world from the spread of Russia’s insidious influence and corruption.

 

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kaptur.house.gov