Bratislavia, Slovakia – IRI stands today with the Republic of Poland and the Polish people in their hour of deep sorrow.   The tragic death near Smolensk of President Lech Kaczynski and his wife; the last Polish president-in-exile; leading representatives of the office of the president, the government, and the Sejm; the heads of all branches of the Polish armed services; and leaders of Poland’s community of historians and veterans even further hallows the memory of their countrymen killed at Katyn. 

Poland’s loss will not be forgotten, and its democracy will endure.  That democracy took root in what IRI offers our Polish friends unreservedly:Solidarnosc.

Among those who perished was former Member of the Polish Sejm, Arkadiusz Rybicki, who is pictured with a group from IRI’s youth Leadership Institute for Central and Eastern Europe.  Rybicki is leading IRI’s group through the Solidarity Museum at the Gdansk Shipyards in May 2006.  He stands before the wooden desktops on which he wrote, in August 1980 as a strike participant, the original 21 demands of the Gdansk Shipyard Strike Committee.

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