The decision to bury President Lech Kaczynski along side the country’s heroes and royalty at the Wawel Castle has sparked protests across Poland and abroad. It seems that, though grief-stricken, Poles do not think that the president should be buried at a place reserved for the nation’s bravest and brightest.
Recently, demonstrations were held in Warsaw and Krakow. A Facebook page dedicated to opposing the decision generated over 30,000 supporters in just hours, and Polish Forums have been on fire with discussion about the topic. Numerous articles across Poland and the world have been written about this and Krakow based English language blog Poloandian has also joined the discussion with some interesting insights.
Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda has said the following:
“President Lech Kaczynski was an ordinary and good man, but there is no reason for him to lie in the Wawel among the kings of Poland and Marshal Jozef Pilsudski”
The funeral will happen on Sunday and many of the world leaders are slated to attend, among them U.S President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and leaders of Russia, France and Germany.
According to the Sacred Destinations website:
…Since 1037, Wawel Cathedral has been the burial-place of Polish kings, even after the capital moved to Warsaw. The royal tombs of all but four of Poland’s 45 rulers can be seen in the cathedral’s side chapels…
…From the 19th century, only great national heroes were honored by a burial in Wawel Cathedral. These include: Tadeusz Kosciuszko (buried 1817); the great romantic poets Adam Mickiewicz and Juliusz Slowacki (whose bodies were brought back from exile for burial here); and Marshal Józef Pilsudski, the hero of independent Poland between the two world wars (buried in the crypt in 1935)…
So what do you think?
To learn more about the Wawel Cathedral visit its website.