Mayor of Cleveland's Polish Sister City Assassinated at Charity Event


  • Twitter / @AdamowiczPawel
The Mayor of Cleveland's sister city in Poland died Sunday night after he was stabbed in the chest at a charity concert.

Pawel Adamowicz, 53, was a six-term liberal Mayor who'd presided over Gdansk since 1998. Multiple outlets are reporting that he'd been a vocal critic of Poland's right-wing populist government. He died after five hours of surgery.

Via the London Guardian, Adamowicz "had long been considered a hate figure in far-right circles for his vigorous defense of migrants and refugees and LGBT rights, but no evidence has emerged that the attack was politically motivated."

The assailant was a 27-year-old who'd been released from prison the previous month. The Guardian reports that after he'd stabbed Adamowicz, he told the charity crowd that he "blamed Adamowicz’s former political party, Civic Platform, for his jailing in 2014 for a series of violent attacks."

From the New York Times report: "The attack stunned a nation that is increasingly divided politically, and rallies scheduled for Monday night to condemn violence and hate speech were expected to draw large crowds."

Gdansk is a Northern city on Poland's Baltic Coast, located at the mouth of the Vistula River. With a population of 464,00, it is slightly larger than Cleveland. It has been Cleveland's sister city since 1990.

Via Cleveland's Sister Cities website, Gdansk "gained modern historical significance when Hitler, citing Poland’s refusal to give control of the city to Germany, used it as an excuse to invade Poland, beginning World War II. Later, the famous Gdansk shipyards became the birthplace of the Solidarity movement, playing a major role in ending communist rule in Poland.

"The Gdansk lighthouse was modeled after a lighthouse in Cleveland. It has been said that a Polish delegation visiting Chicago’s World Expedition in 1893 took a side trip to Cleveland where they were struck by the lighthouse’s beauty."

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