- May 30, 2014
The Jerzy Giedroyć Award for Adam Michnik and Bogdan Szlachta
The Jerzy Giedroyć Lithuanian–Polish Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (pl. Forum Współpracy i Dialogu Polsko-Litewskiego im. J. Giedroycia), which was founded in 2012 on the initiative of Polish and Lithuanian intellects for the first time gave the Jerzy Giedroyć Award (pl. Nagroda im. Jerzego Giedroycia). This is the award for helping in improving the relationship between Poles and Lithuanian people. The ceremony took place in Vilnius, in Chodkiewicz Palace in Vilnius.
Lithuanian intellects gave the Jerzy Giedroyć Award to the editor of ‘Gazeta Wyborcza’- Adam Michnik and to the dean of the International and Political Studies institution of The Jagiellonian University in Krakow (pl. Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Wydział Studiów Międzynarodowych i Politycznych) – prof.dr.hab. Bogdan Szlachta. In 2015 the Lithuanian laureates of the prize will announce the Polish intellects.
During the ceremony in Chodkiewicz Palace in Vilnius the speech in honour of Adam Michnik was made by a poet, essayist and translator Tomas Venclova. ‘Adam Michnik is the main candidate of Giedroyć work, the creator of free Europe in our region. Like Lech Wałęsa, Jacek Kuroń, Tadeusz Mazowiecki. His newspaper disarms demagogy and stupidity, which are always present’, said Tomas Venclova.
In the laudation in honor of prof. dr. hab. Bogdan Szlachta his Lithuanian friend, prof. dr. Alvydas Jokubaitis from The Vilnius University (pl. Uniwersytet Wileński) mentioned that ‘Bogdan Szlachta intervened in the Polish- Lithuanian relations only when he was the most necessary’. Alvydas Jokubaitis also said that when Lithuania was fighting for independence, Bogdan Szlachta was the first to prepare a publication in Poland devoted to the contemporary Lithuania, what is more in his Krakow house all arriving Lithuanian were warmly welcomed.
After the award ceremony the discussion summarizing the study visits of journalists from Lithuania and Poland in Sejny and Soleczniki, organized by The Jerzy Giedroyć Lithuanian–Polish Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation. In Sejny journalists met with the representatives of Lithuanian minotiries, in Soleczniki – with the Polish community.
‘Journalists have a schematic look at Polish-Lithuanian relations: when something happens, Lithuanian journalists go to Sejny and ask Lithuanian living there, how Poles harm them, while the Polish journalists go to Wileńszczyzna and wonder how many times per day Poles are beaten. I have never seen a report in which journalists would try to present the position of both parties. Therefore appeared the conception of such a joint visit of journalists from Poland and Lithuania in Sejny and Puńsk’, said the chairman of the management of The Jerzy Giedroyć Lithuanian–Polish Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation prof. dr. hab. Alvydas Nikžentaitis. According to Alvydas Nikžentaitis such direct meetings are extremely significant because journalists meet each other and gain new sources of information. ‘I consider that the more we acquaint ourselves with each other, listen to the arguments from the opposite side the more our lifes become much more comfortable’, added A. Nikžentaitis.
Tłumaczenie by Diana Doniczenko w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Diana Doniczenko within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.