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From the Editor
March 31, 2011   
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Spring has arrived with upheavals around the world—from Japan to northern Africa, chiefly Libya. The government in Greece wants to economize but the people don’t. The Portuguese prime minister proposes belt-tightening measures but resigns in the face of the opposition’s hostility. The Japanese are wiping away their tears, counting their losses and grit their teeth as the rest of the world aims its Geiger counters at the sky to detect the tiniest amount of radioactivity. Gaddafi goes on a killing spree, the U.N. Security Council gives the green light to international action against him but no one wants to be the operation’s commander. The European Union is focused on its own internal division into the major and minor leagues (with and without the euro).

Chaos. Chaos? Exceptional chaos?

In Warsaw in April we usually remember the Ghetto Uprising, and then the Warsaw Uprising in August. These are hardly reference points for the present day. April symbolizes the culmination of the Holocaust. August is a symbol of heroism and sacrifice. Today we tend to worry about inconveniences and are afraid of the future; our fears are relatively normal though we sometimes blow them out of proportion, especially when it comes to our life here and now.

In this issue of The Warsaw Voice, Katarzyna Person writes about the terrifying world of the Warsaw Ghetto, where death was just one of many atrocities lying in wait for people. Her essay is a sobering reminder that this horrifying world once existed.

Let us take a look at the other extreme, a time that is normal and joyful.

Adam Małysz is a great athlete and a great person, hard-working, unassuming, open and modest. That’s what we’d like our norm to be. I am really proud that 10 years ago we handed Małysz our Chair of the Year award, which on other occasions we have also presented to presidents, prime ministers, and other VIPs from the world of politics, business and culture. I remember that hot day in the small mountain village of Wisła, Małysz’s hometown. I remember the smiling young man we could barely tear away from his fans when we wanted to give him the Chair, as he signed autographs by the thousands. Today Małysz has said farewell to his sport in great style—he is retiring at the peak of his fame and success, in superb form. As sports judges would say, he gets top marks.
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