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Polish PM: Patriotism Is the Fruit of the ‘Memory Tree’ that Helps Build Identity

Poland
FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has spoken in praise of patriotism, saying that it helps his nation “build our modern identity.”

“Patriotism is the fruit of the memory tree above all. And this tree is very much needed,” Prime Minister Morawiecki told delegates at the Guardian of Memory gala hosted at Royal Castle in Warsaw on Tuesday by Polish newspaper Do Rzeczy.

Evoking the importance of patriotism, history, and memory, he said: “Thank you to all who water this tree, care for it, because only on this foundation, we can build – or rebuild – the memory of our great history and build our modern identity.”

“Thanks to these values, we will look more confidently at the future and achieve those goals that we assume,” the premier added.

President Andrzej Duda, who could not be there in person, sent a message to the gala, which awards public figures, institutions, and organisations that promote the memory of Polish history.

Saying that Poles are “united by the same goals” and “united by our country,” President Duda honoured ancestors who struggled for the country’s independence, writing: “We owe them gratitude for the fact that we can live in a free Poland, but in their persons we also find motivation and role models.”

That is why, he added, “we should especially cherish the memory, let us know where we came from and where we are going.”

Amongst those to receive awards were Ambassador Jakub Kumoch and the Polish embassy in Bern for their work to commemorate the rescue of Jews during World War II, conducted by Polish diplomats; and the Association of Remembrance for the Victims of the Augustów Roundup, an institution which commemorates members of the anti-Communist resistance murdered by Soviets shortly after World War Two.

Poland is coming under increasing pressure from the European Union on issues of sovereignty, with President of the European Council Donald Tusk saying this week that the country could find itself leaving the bloc — voluntarily or otherwise.

The European Commission triggered Article 7 proceedings against the right-wing Law and Justice-led government in December, over Poland’s refusal to accept the forced redistribution of migrants and for judiciary reforms Law and Justice says are needed to clear out remnants of the former Soviet satellite nation’s Communist past.

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