• December 5, 2017
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Conference entitled “Without emotion. Polish-Lithuanian dialogue about Józef Piłsudski”.

International conference entitled “Without emotion. Polish- Lithuanian dialogue about Józef Piłsudski” had place in Vilnius city hall. Historians, language experts, journalists, political scientists were invited.

The opening of the conference was yesterday, in 5 November on the 150th anniversary of Marsal’s birthday. Alvydas Nikžentaitis, Lithuanian Historian read the letter written by Lithuanian Prime Minister. Letter’s recipients were all participants. PM emphasised importance of keeping polish- Lithuanian dialogue and how important is to remember Piłsudski saved Lithuanian from Bolshevik.

“This is a special moment, when ambassador of independent Poland in the capital city of independent Lithuania, inaugurates 150th anniversary of the Marsal’s birthday conference. I especially wold like to thank all Lithuanian participants. Piłsudski is promoted by Poland because in 1920 he defended country against Bolsheviks and created Poland”- Urszula Doroszewska, polish ambassador in Lithuania said.

Jarosław Szarek, chairman of National Memory Institute welcomed all gathered in the city hall. He marked that thanks to 2-days conference we can learn if Polish- Lithuanian dialogue included tough questions is possible to exist. He also reminded participation of Tomas Venclovy in conference, whose speech was about how do the Lithuanian perceived Józef Piłsudski.

Well known historian, Mr Alfredas Bumblauskas takes part in discussion entitled “if Polish- Lithuanian dialogue about Piłsudski is possible to exist?”. Bumblauskas emhasised, during conversation with „Kurier Wileński” that even though Pilsudski’s activities are ambiguously evaluated by Lithuanian, he is important person for them and continuously studied by new generations.

– Piłsudski is important for both Polish and Lithuanian.  For Polish because they like him, for Lithuanian because they don’t. According to historian -this “dislike” means there are many reasons for discussion.

In his opinion, there are plenty of unknown facts from Marsal’s live that we should discover.

– I would like to remind, in the past only few knew about samogitian’s roots of Pilsudski. Thanks to books authored by Vilnius journalist and publicist R.I.P. Jerzy Surwił, I learnt that 3 of Piłsudski’s grandfathers came from Samogitia. It is a huge success that times have changed and this kind of discussion have placed. When we show memorial plague of Stefan Batory in Vilnius University in 1994, protests were made about memorialize Polish person. It become possible because of current polish ambassador in Lithuania, Jan Widacki. At that time he said that perhaps in the future we show other memorial plague of re-established of University in Vilnius owed to Marsal Piłsudski. I said this isn’t the right moment- discussion is needed and presentation Piłsudski to Lithuanian. And now, after 20 years still this isn’t the right moment for the memorial plague… Though, I’m certain that this kinds of meeting can lead to such event in future. After a while Lithuanian realize if not controversial actions of Piłsudki, independent Lithuania with Kownie as a capitla city wouldn’t exist- said Bumblauskas.

Historian marked that in discussion predicts positive emotions due to participation of majority of Jerzy Giedroyci concept.

– Concept assumes that without Ukrainian with Lvov and Lithuania with Vilnius there will not be any county with friendly attitude to Poland.  Jerzy Giedroyć mentioned all of this in Stalinist times. This notable activist turn out to be “prophet” of XX century– was summed up by Alfredas Bumblauskas.

The aim of conference “Without emotion. Polish-Lithuanian dialogue about Józef Piłsudski” was presentation: Marsal on the Polish-Lithuanian relations background, relations with Lithuania and all aspects of his activity and output. It is also forum where people can exchange their opinion about his part in creating new Europe during interwar period and revived Poland.


Conference’s organizers: National Memory Institute,  Lithuanian Institute of History, The History Department at Vilnius University, Polish Institute in Vilnius


Translated by Ewa Kołaczyńska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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