Conservative incumbent Andrzej Duda has won Poland’s presidential runoff election by a narrow margin, according to updated exit polls released early this morning.
Projections by polling company IPSOS show Duda in the lead against challenger Rafał Trzaskowski 51.21 percent to 48.79 percent. IPSOS said its “late poll” findings combined exit poll data with partial official results and could vary by up to 1 percentage point from the final election results.
An initial exit poll released on Sunday evening had pointed to a slightly smaller gap between the two runoff contenders, putting Duda’s first-round support at 50.4 percent vs. 49.6 percent for Trzaskowski.
Voter turnout was estimated at a respectable 67.9 percent with many mail-in and overseas ballots still being processed. Official results of the vote are expected to be announced later today.
Source: Radio Poland
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Jan Karski, a hero of the Polish Underground State and the first eyewitness to personally inform the Allies of the horrors of the Holocaust.
Karski (formerly Jan Kozielewski) spent much of WWII serving as a political courier for the Polish Underground State. In pursuit of information, he twice infiltrated the Warsaw Ghetto and later snuck into the Izbica concentration camp, a transit hub for dispatching Jews to various extermination camps.
In 1942, he set off to visit Britain and the US in hopes of reporting his findings directly to the Allies. While he was able to meet with many high-ranking leaders, including US President Franklin Roosevelt and Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, many – including Frankfurter – simply did not believe such horrific tales could be true, a heartbreaking experience Karski recounts in Claude Lanzmann’s Holocaust documentary „Shoah.”
Karski remained in the US after WWII, becoming a highly-respected professor at Georgetown University. During the course of his career he authored several books detailing his experiences and was a recipient of numerous awards, accolades, and honorary degrees, including Poland’s Order of the White Eagle and Israel’s Righteous Among the Nations. Karski passed away on July 13, 2000 at the age of 86.
Source: PAP, dzieje.pl
British author Dermot Turing was recently honored by the Polish state for his book „X, Y & Z: The Real Story of How Enigma Was Broken”, in which he highlights the role of Polish mathematicians in breaking the code of Nazi German Enigma cipher machines.
Turing received the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland at a ceremony in London last week. In a corresponding Tweet, Polish ambassador to the United Kingdom Arkady Rzegocki, applauded Turing for „spreading […] knowledge about the vital role of Polish cryptologists in breaking the Enigma code.”
Polish mathematicians Marian Rejewski, Henryk Zygalski and Jerzy Różycki worked in the 1930s to crack the Enigma code, which was employed by Nazi Germany to encrypt military communications. The Poles handed over their research to the British at the start of WWII, where it was used by Alan Turing and other cryptologists at Bletchley Park to eventually crack the „impossible” code.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill later claimed that breaking the infamous Nazi German cyphers shortened WWII by two years, but the role of the Poles in breaking the code was little known for many decades after the war.
Source: Radio Poland
A record 629 proposals have been submitted for the eighth edition of the Gdańsk Civic Budget (Budżet Obywatelski) including 147 „green” projects.
Proposed projects include water playgrounds, a Gdańsk House of Dialogue, a sensory-rain garden, self-service dining rooms in every district of Gdańsk, additional trees to fight smog, construction of a Greek theater, and several proposals addressing the plight of homeless cats.
The city has allocated PLN 18.4 million to implement the winning projects, and over the next few months the projects will be evaluated for their feasibility and legal and formal compliance. All the proposals can be viewed online at http://www.gdansk.pl/budzet-obywatelski.
Today will be mostly cloudy with a light breeze coming in from the northwest and little to no chance of rain. Temperatures will peak around a high of 19°C, or 66°F, dropping overnight to a chilly 10°C or 50°F. Things will warm up a bit as the week progresses, with rain showers expected to return on Thursday.