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 Welcoming Letters of  

 Krzyżowa-Music’s Patrons  

Message from Minister Radosław Sikorski

to participants of the tenth edition of the

Krzyżowa-Music Chamber Music Festival

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a special privilege to join Ms Annalena Baerbock, the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Germany, as an honorary patron of this year’s jubilee edition of the International Chamber Music Festival Krzyżowa-Music. Music for Europe, which celebrates its tenth anniversary.


Krzyżowa is a symbolic place. Nearly 35 years ago, a Reconciliation Mass was conducted here to mark the start of a new chapter in Polish-German relations. The sign of peace exchanged here between Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Chancellor Helmut Kohl became a token of reconciliation between our two nations and an emblem of the changes underway in Europe at that time.

Polish bishops took the first step towards that rapprochement back in 1965 by addressing their German counterparts in a letter that famously pledged: “We grant our forgiveness, and we seek yours.” It is also apt on this occasion to recall the still timely words of Professor Władysław Bartoszewski, then Poland’s foreign minister, when he spoke before the Bundestag 50 years after the end of World War II: “Our bilateral relations must be accompanied by historical memory and reflection. However, the latter should not be the main motivation for better relations, but only clear the way for more modern, future-oriented concerns.” It is in that spirit that we need to face today’s challenges to peace and security in Europe.

The memory of modern history’s tragic lessons obligates us to prevent them from repeating themselves. Reconciliation is not a smooth process but one that must be built on understanding each other’s sensitivities, respecting one’s partner, and showing goodwill. It always begins with a symbol. Unquestionably, the Reconciliation Mass symbolised a change in our relations with Germany. I trust that we will be able to resolve issues that remain open between our countries—historical ones included—in the spirit of compromise and mutual understanding. 

While words can be divisive, music often unites. The Krzyżowa-Music. Music for Europe Festival offers more than a pleasant listening time for its audiences; it creates an opportunity for young talent to share experience and expand their knowledge through musical workshops. The same venue where these sessions are held is receiving financial support from the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to host the Krzyżowa Foundation project “From Conflict to Reconciliation. Poland in its relationship with Germany 1939–1989”. I am convinced that this programme will help a new generation of Poles and Germans better understand our not‑so‑easy history. 

I thank each and every one of you working here at the Krzyżowa Foundation for your effort to advance European understanding and for your invaluable contributions to building trust between our nations. Your activity is an inspiration for continued friendly cooperation in our part of Europe.

Today, Krzyżowa is a symbolic centre for international meetings, youth exchange programmes, and cultural events. It is a link between the past and the present in Polish-German relations.


To everyone here today, I hope you will take fond and lasting memories from this year’s jubilee edition of the International Chamber Music Festival.


Radosław Sikorski

Minister of Foreign Affairs

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