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Ladies and Gentlemen! I would like to express my gratitude for the invitation and for the opportunity of presenting the modus operandi of the Bernese Group, diplomats who during the Second World War, in Switzerland, produced Latin American passports to save Jews from the Holocaust. As we know, such passports after 1942 saved Jews from immediate deportation to German death camps and gave their bearers a better chance of surviving the Holocaust. Diplomats from Bern and Geneva played a decisive role in this process. Among them were staff members of the Polish Legation (embassy), including my predecessor Aleksander Ładoś. That is why I requested a worldwide search for archival documents on this issue. I would like to express my gratitude and deep respect to our diplomats who have managed to find these materials. Some of them will, I guess, be new even to you, Holocaust scholars.

The message of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address of 1 March was clear: those in power have no agenda to reveal before the country’s presidential elections.  It is then easier to discuss what will occur during the next presidential term, based not on speculation about the government’s potential actions but instead on what the government objectively will be compelled to do purely by circumstance. 

Chciałbym podziękować za zaproszenie i możliwość zaprezentowania sposobu działania grupy berneńskiej – zespołu dyplomatów, którzy w czasie II wojny światowej produkowali w Szwajcarii paszporty latynoamerykańskie, by ratować Żydów. Jak wiemy, w latach 1942–45 paszporty takie chroniły przed natychmiastową wywózką do niemieckich obozów i dawały znaczną szansę przeżycia Zagłady. Istotną rolę w tym procederze odegrali dyplomaci z Berna i Genewy. Ponieważ byli wśród nich pracownicy Poselstwa Polskiego, w tym mój poprzednik Aleksander Ładoś, jako ambasador RP w Szwajcarii zarządziłem akcję zbierania na całym świecie wszystkich dostępnych dokumentów archiwalnych poświęconych tej kwestii. Chciałbym bardzo podziękować swoim dyplomatom za to, że dotarli do materiałów, które nawet dla państwa, historyków Holocaustu, będą – jak mniemam – nowością.

Russian hockey team claimed Olympic gold in South Korea. The team did not, however, compete under its own flag, but under the Olympic one due to the Russian doping scandals. Three weeks later, a plebiscite was held on the question of Russia’s short-term future. The majority of Russian citizens voted in favour of the sequel guaranteed once again by Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin - at the helm of the “Team” managing the “System - the Russian Federation” for 18 years. This is how Russia’s political system was defined several years ago by Gleb Pavlovsky, a former advisor of its all presidents.

SD: A year and a half ago, in an article published in Polski Przegląd Dyplomatyczny [Polish Diplomatic Review] you stated that we need to change the way in which we approach the question of the future of the European Union. You argued that we need to focus on issues that bind Europeans together, in order to boost our spirit of unity. Almost two years later, what is your assessment of Europe’s cohesion?

On December 20, 2017, the European Commission opined that changes initiated in Poland with respect to the judicial system could constitute a threat to the rule of law, which forms the basis of the European Union. 
Komisja Europejska 20 grudnia 2017 r. uznała, że zainicjowane w Polsce zmiany porządku prawnego w zakresie organizacji sądownictwa stanowią zagrożenie dla praworządności – kluczowej zasady państwa prawnego, w oparciu o którą działa Unia Europejska.

Diplomacy requires substantive debate and, above all, thoroughly considered and rational argumentation. This seems particularly important today, when the EU is in a crisis, facing increasingly serious challenges. All too often emotions overpower rational judgment and plain common sense, and voicing radical opinions in sharp-tongued language makes debate difficult, if not entirely impossible.

Four times in a row, Angela Merkel has led CDU/CSU to victory, this time in last year’s parliamentary elections. Although negotiations are still underway on a governing coalition and the outcome is difficult to predict, it once again may be a grand coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD. What we know for certain is that Chancellor Merkel has been at Germany’s helm for 12 years, and if she succeeds in forming a new cabinet, she will become the longest-serving head of government in the country’s post-war history. What imprint has she left on German society?

The decade of the 1960s was probably one of the stormiest moments in NATO history.  It was a time characterised by Moscow’s advantage in the field of conventional weapons, and its rapidly growing nuclear potential, and a persistent dispute over a new Allied strategy to escape from the “massive retaliation” trap and stalemate military escalation. It was also a decade  that debated nuclear policy, and one that saw France leave the Alliance in 1967. It was also a time of differences in opinion among the members in regards to the perspective of easing strained relations with the communist bloc. All of these factors appeared to have been leading the organisation to the edge of a crisis[1]. Finally, a solution came by way of a political reflection that resulted in the so-called “Harmel Report” released in December 1967.

ul. Warecka 1a
00-950 Warszawa

Redaktor naczelny:
Sławomir Dębski

Sekretarz redakcji:
Łukasz Jasina

Członkowie redakcji:
Łukasz Adamski
Karolina Borońska-Hryniewiecka
Adam Eberhardt
Jacek Foks
Mateusz Gniazdowski
Katarzyna Korzeniewska
Sebastian Płóciennik
Rafał Tarnogórski
Ernest Wyciszkiewicz

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