The year 2019 was a special time for Krzyżowa - a time of jubilees. We celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Krzyżowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe and the 30th anniversary of the Reconciliation Mass. Eighty years have passed since the outbreak of World War II, and Poland has been a member of the European Union for fifteen years. This year was for us a time of reflection and memory.
We have wondered what the Krzyżowa Foundation has achieved and what new goals we should set ourselves today. In the anniversary year, together with our friends and partner organisations, we tried to recall the anniversaries we celebrated through various events. Therefore, throughout the year, we took initiatives addressed to different audiences to encourage different groups to think about the values that were the guiding idea of 2019: respect, dialogue and understanding.
On the 4th of June 1989 members of The Wroclaw Catholic Intelligentsia Club, accompanied by their friends from the USA, the Netherlands and both German states, set off to Krzyżowa. There, standing in front of the ruins of the palace of von Moltke family, they decided to create a European youth exchange centre. That was how the „Krzyżowa” Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe, one of the most interesting and vital civic initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe, was brought to life. Its history can be a source of hope and inspiration in the times of crisis of the European project, the increase of society polarisation as well as the passivity of the citizens.
The efficient force of vision and determination
Since its creation the „Krzyżowa” Foundation carried out thousands of educational projects, in which dozens of thousands of young people from almost all European countries, but mostly Poland and Germany, took part. And everything started from a completely utopian vision. On the 4th of June 1989 the palace in Krzyżowa was in shreds. The power in Poland as well as in GDR was wielded by the communists. In Poland, similarly to GDR, numerous Red Army troops were stationed. In these circumstances, how could it be believed that here and now a European meeting place could have been created? But it came off. The efficient force of vision and determination.
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?