On the 17th of June, 1991, Poland and Germany signed a ‘Good Neighbourship and Friendly Cooperation Treaty’.
This Treaty formed the third part of a ‘triad’ that unfolded as efforts were taken to build a solid foundation for a new quality of Polish-German relations. This triad consisted of:
1. The Reconciliation Mass in Krzyzowa (this opened up new opportunities for dialog),
2. ‘The German-Polish Border Treaty’ (1990) (this treaty settled long standing territorial issued), and thirdly,
3. The ‘Good Neighbourship and Friendly Cooperation Treaty’, (designed to create a solid foundation for political, economic, social, scientific and cultural reconciliation).
We all have experienced this situation: we make an effort, we try to create the best possible quality, but the recipients of our actions seem not to notice it. But one mistake is immediately noticed, and then pointed out, undermining previous achievements.
This mechanism occurs in our interpersonal and professional relationships, as well as in the public and political spheres. I draw attention to it because I have the impression that Polish-German relations are perceived in a similar way. We get excited when something bad happens, but we stop paying attention to the fact that the "miracle of reconciliation" (Władysław Bartoszewski) is happening right in front of our eyes.
Klaus Zernack, a German historian who has greatly contributed to changing the approach of German historiography to Poland and to Polish-German relations, repeated that it is difficult to find in the history of the nations of Europe such a great estrangement as was shared by Poles and Germans after the Second World War. It is difficult for us today to imagine the scale of hostility, pain, fear, contempt and hatred that divided our ancestors only a few decades ago. Neither one nor the other believed that Poles and Germans could one day be good neighbours, partners and friends.
The Krzyżowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe
together with partners:
the Freya von Moltke Foundation for the New Kreisau
and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation
invite you to participate in the program entitled
„8 x Reconciliation”,
30th anniversary of signing
the The Polish-German Treaty of Good Neighbourship and Friendly Cooperation
On 14 October, another event in the framework of the project "8 x reconciliation" took place, which this time focused on Krzyżowa - the "Place of Reconciliation". Prof. Waldemar Czachur and Dr Gregor Feindt, authors of the book 'Kreisau | Krzyżowa 1945 - 1989 - 2019', tried to bring the listeners closer to the phenomenon of this unique place, which played such an important role for Polish-German relations in different periods of history.
We invite you to watch the video recording of the discussion, during which answers were given to questions such as: Why do thousands of young people visit the small Lower Silesian village of Krzyżowa every year? Why does this place inspire people from all over Europe? What was the Kreisau Circle? Why did Helmut Kohl and Tadeusz Mazowiecki choose this place for the Reconciliation Mass? How was the Krzyzowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe - one of the most important organisations for Polish-German relations after the Second World War - established?