More information about the exhibition:
Polish History Museum
33/35 Mokotowska Street
Tel: 0048 22 211 90 02
Visits to the exhibition:
Krzyżowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe
Tel: 00 48 74 85 00 300, 00 48 74 85 00 200
Fax: 00 48 74 85 00 305
For Poland, Krzyżowa took symbolic meaning when the first non-communist prime minister of postwar Poland, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, exchanged the sign of peace during the Reconciliation Mass on 12 November 1989, celebrated by Bishop Alfons Nossol. It was the culmination of many years of preparation, of activities realized from the bottom up for Polish-German relations, such as the letter from Polish bishops to German bishops in 1965, and the kneeling by West German Chancellor Willy Brandt at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes in Warsaw.
The Reconciliation Mass on 12 November 1989 cleared the way to build confidence and peace between Germans and Poles and became an important element in the process of unifying Europe. Both nations became crucial beneficiaries of the political breakthrough in Europe, and their redefinition of neighborly relations opened the way to overcoming divisions between east and west on the Old Continent. The reconciliation also provides an instructive example to nations trying to overcome divisions and conflicts.