Respect. Dialogue. Understanding.
30 years of the Krzyżowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe.
Having in mind our roots, the people who created our organization and the events that formed it, we want to dedicate 2019 to a profound reflection on what we can learn from the past and how to build a future based on respect, dialogue, and mutual understanding. These three values will accompany us during this period, setting the direction of our actions, but also emphasizing the values that have always been important in and for Krzyżowa.
The year 2019 will be a special time for us in Krzyżowa. It will be time, when we return to our foundation's origins, important events and, above all, to the people who discovered Krzyżowa and dreamt of creating a place of international meetings here. We would like to invite you to accompany us on this journey in time. But we also want to encourage you to reflect together: what has changed over the past 30 years? To what extent have we seized this opportunity? What challenges do we face today?
The year 2019 is a special year for us, people involved in Polish-German dialogue and associated with Krzyżowa, a year rich in symbols. For the Krzyżowa Foundation 2019 is first of all year of the 30th anniversary of two events, which became the cornerstones not only for its creation - but also for the values on which it has been constituted.
30 years ago, on June 2-4, 1989, an international conference was held in Wrocław, organized by the Club of Catholic Intelligentsia, under the title ’A Christian in society‘. It was then, on the eve of the June elections, in the mood of waiting for a change, which will affect not only Poland, but the entire Central Europe, that the participants made a decision to make efforts to create an international meeting place in Krzyżowa. A place that will become a space for free, open dialogue for young people, especially from Poland and Germany.
Before our June happened to us, it took a few months, which suddenly started to flow in Poland at an accelerated pace. In order to understand the circumstances of the creation of the Krzyżowa Foundation, it is necessary to outline the atmosphere of those times.
After the sad years of the grey and coarse communist regime of the 1980s, important and extremely interesting things began to happen in Poland. Everybody frantically discussed the political changes and asked what would happen next. The economy in the country has been ruined. In the Soviet Union, Gorbachev introduces Perestroika, civil movements are beginning to form in the Baltic states, in Hungary, the right to free association (an unknown phenomenon in communism) is enacted, in the USA, the president is Ronald Reagan, who has set himself the goal of defeating communism. Germany was divided into two German states, and in the GDR the rebellion, the first protests and the first arrests began to grow. In Poland, after a dark night of martial law, strikes broke out every now and then and then and it was clear that something was hanging in the air. The authorities bent and agreed to meet the opposition at a round table, where the first free elections, freedom of the press and many other things that were not in the minds of anyone were established. A lot thing was going on at a fast pace. Newspapers became fascinating from day to day, which did not happen before. There was no end to the discussions of Poles until late at night.