Few moments in Polish history in recent decades have seen the emergence of a united spirit, later transformed into a collective feeling of solidarity. This was the case after the conclave of October 16, 1978, when John Paul II was elected; in the summer of 1980, when the Solidarity movement was founded; on the occasion of John Paul II’s apostolic trips to Poland, from 1979 to 2002; with the political turnaround of 1989; and, finally, after the death of the Polish Pope on April 2, 2005, at the funeral Mass on April 8. This was also the case during the brief period of collective mourning over the tragic death of President Lech Kaczyński and all those who accompanied him on the state trip, when there was the April 10, 2010, air disaster near Smolensk, but the feeling of unity soon gave way to a frustrating period of confrontation between political opponents. The mirror reflecting a unity of Polish souls seems, in the end, to have shattered.
It is therefore significant that the current Polish President, Andrzej Duda, in his speeches just before the voting on Sunday, October 15, 2023 and in the parliamentary session on November 13, called for national unity. The same call was renewed on the same day by the presidents of the two chambers: that of the Sejm, Szymon Hołownia, and that of the Senate, Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska. Unfortunately, it is not certain that these signs of good intentions will have a positive outcome. Words must be followed by deeds. And deeds must confront a long history.