Former Polish President Lech Walesa said Saturday's plane crash that claimed the lives of current Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 96 others will go down in history as the nation's second-worst tragedy.
The 26-year-old presidential jet crashed while trying to land in thick fog as Kaczynski and some of Poland's most powerful military and civilian leaders were en route to a ceremony commemorating the 1940 massacre of 20,000 Polish POWs by Soviet forces in Katyn, Russia.
"This is a tragedy that's second after Katyn," Walesa said, according to The Wall Street Journal. "Over there, they tried to cut off our head. The elite of our country has been killed again. It will take a while to fill this gap. This is a great loss."
According to the Journal, “with Mr. Kaczynski's passing, even visceral political foes recognized that the country's political scene has suffered a loss that won't be easily rectified, although one that could simplify life for the current government and for Poland's interlocutors.”
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