Schindler’s Factory Museum in Krakow. Photo by Geneviève Zubrzycki, July 2010.


On April 10, 2010, the President of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, along with his wife and a VIP delegation, were killed in a plane crash in Smoleńsk, Russia. The President and dignitaries were on their way to commemorate the Katyń forest massacre of 1940, which claimed the lives of over 20,000 Polish officers who were executed by the Soviet NKVD. In the days and weeks following the tragic crash, mourners paid tribute to President Kaczyński on a monument erected in remembrance of “Katyń.” A political sticker with the President’s photo was glued to the bronze plaque, powerfully juxtaposing the plane crash in Smoleńsk and the Katyń massacre; mourners and political supporters also adorned the monument with a Polish flag, candles, as well red and white flowers (both fresh and plastic).