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Slovenian President Borut Pahor and Polish President Andrzej Duda appeal to commemorate the Slovenian-Polish friendship

Ljubljana, 9. 5. 2016 | press release, speech

President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor, in agreement with President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, participated in a ceremony commemorating a memorial to Polish soldier Tadeusz Sadowski - Tomo. Tom Sadowski was a member of the National Liberation Army who led a sabotage operation at the Postojna Cave on 23rd April 1944. Having escaped from a German camp, Tadeusz Sadowski - Tomo, born in 1920 in Krakow, found a job working on the railway in Villach in February 1943 and, from there, went to join the Partisans in April 1943. He was an intelligence officer and saboteur in the Prešeren Brigade and the 31st division and participated in numerous operations, including a sabotage operation at the Idrija mine in February 1944 and at the Postojna Cave on 23rd April 1944. He lost his life during an attack on bunkers, when his group attempted to destroy the bridge in Praprotno at the Selška dolina Valley on 23rd October 1944.
President Pahor, who is also the honorary patron of today's ceremony, laid down a commemorative wreath.

In his speech held during the unveiling ceremony, Pahor reminded that, at the end of April, he was on an official visit to Poland, where he was kindly welcomed by hospitable Polish President Andrzej Duda. Slovenian President said that, on the occasion, the Polish President and himself exchanged their views “on all current issues relating to bilateral relations, the future of the European Union, and our common alliance in NATO.” “Although we mostly discussed the future, we were, due to the circumstances, inspired by both good and bad historical experience of the Slovenian and the Polish nation,” Pahor summarised his discussions with the Polish President Slovenian President, adding that Polish President requested and authorised him, upon today’s ceremony, “to appeal on both their behalf to all people to cultivate peace and friendship between Slovenia and Poland as well as in general, and to make the place of celebrated memory a place where, in the future, we can celebrate the friendship between Slovenia and Poland once a year.”

Furthermore, President Pahor invited everyone present to consider the occasion an opportunity not only to look back and show our gratitude for Slovenian and Polish liberation fighters, their suffering and sacrifices that enabled us to live as a free generation today and breathe in this freedom with full lungs, but to engage in a commitment to do everything in our power not to allow such bitter times to happen again.

President Pahor also reminded that the day when the German and other occupying forces were defeated is celebrated today as the Europe Day, a day commemorating a project that attempted to build a better world on the ruins of World War II and was, in many ways, successful. “This project secured peace and freedom; among the once feuding European nations, it exposed things that bring us together and things that we have in common. It was built on values for which Slovenian Partisans and Polish patriots gave their lives,” President Pahor said and added that it is our moral and political responsibility not to miss the signs of time and to continue making our best efforts in turning historical shifts, which usually happen every 25 years, into shifts that turn things to the better.

President Pahor concluded by saying that he was honoured to be able to attend the unveiling of a memorial dedicated to Polish soldier Tadeusz Sadowski - Tomo on behalf of the his Polish colleague.

The opening address at today’s ceremony was held by Mayor of the Postojna Municipality Igor Marenti, while the Chairwoman of the local Postojna Fighters’ Association also addressed those attending the ceremony. The attendees were also briefly addressed by Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Republic of Slovenia Pawel Czerwinski. The memorial was symbolically unveiled by Zofka Kovač, a veteran of the National Liberation Struggle. A musical performance at the ceremony was provided by a student of the Tadeusz Sadowski Primary School, Nina Pegam, who played the flute, and by Tine Leben, a former student of the same school, who played the accordion.

President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor, in agreement with President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, participated in a ceremony commemorating a memorial to Polish soldier Tadeusz Sadowski - Tomo.
Photo: STA