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Tags: Poles | burial | site | split

Poles Split Over Presidential Burial Site

Tuesday, 13 April 2010 08:21 PM EDT

WARSAW - Poland's late president Lech Kaczynski is to be buried alongside the nation's most revered kings and generals, in a decision Tuesday that instantly fractured the national unity surrounding the death of leader who in his lifetime was controversial.

Mr. Kaczynski and his wife Maria Kaczynska will be buried Sunday at Wawel Castle in Krakow, southern Poland and will rest with "heroes," Krakow's Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz said Tuesday. The couple died Saturday in a tragic plane crash along with 94 others.

The president's brother, Jaroslaw, right, and daughter, Marta, attend a ceremony in Warsaw on Tuesday.

The White House said in a statement Tuesday that President Barack Obama will travel to Poland for Sunday's funeral, "to express the depth of our condolences to an important and trusted ally and our support for the Polish people, on behalf of the American people."

Mr. and Mrs. Kaczynski will join nine of Poland's kings and several military leaders entombed at Wawel Castle's Cathedral. They will be laid in a crypt next to the tomb of Marshall Jozef Pilsudski, Cardinal Dziwisz said. Although a dictator, Marshall Pilsudski is a giant of modern Polish history. He is widely considered to have secured Poland's independence in 1918, after more than a century of partition by Russia and Germany. He also is credited with defeating the Bolshevik Red Army.

"Is he really worthy of the Kings?" read a banner held up by a few dozen protesters, who gathered outside the castle Tuesday evening to protest Mr. Kaczynski's burial at Wawel.

To read full Wall Street Journal story — Go Here Now.

© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010 08:21 PM
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