100 years of Polish-Luxembourg relations

Grand Duke Henri and president Andrzej Duda have exchanged letters to commemorate the centenary of formal diplomatic relations between the Grand Duchy and Poland. Duda wrote that he hopes relations will continue to develop effectively “in all dimensions, especially at the political, economic and cultural level and in people-to-people contacts.”

It was on 18 April 1921 that Count Władysław Sobański presented his credentials to Grand Duchess Charlotte and became Poland’s first-ever ambassador to Luxembourg. He was based in Brussels, and it was not until 2005 that Poland established a full diplomatic representation in the grand duchy. Luxembourg opened its embassy in Warsaw a year later.

The Polish Embassy in Luxembourg has launched an anniversary campaign that includes a dedicated website (polonais.lu – solely in Polish and French) and an 8-minute video (with optional English subtitles). Polish ambassador Piotr Wojtczak says the project celebrates how important Poles have become in Luxembourg’s multi-cultural society–sculptor Katarzyna Kot-Bach and director of the Cineast festival Radek Lipka are among those noted. “It also shows little known ties some Luxembourgers have developed with our country,” he said. “I have worked and lived in several countries, and I can say with all certainty the grand duchy is among the most welcoming ones. That’s why so many Polish people have settled here and we are now proudly sharing their stories.” Indeed, close to 5,000 Polish nationals live in the Grand Duchy today.

The video includes Trois-CL artistic director Bernard Baumgarten telling the story of a Polish dancer, Stenia Zapalowska, who arrived in 1944 and helped establish standards for teaching dance in the grand duchy. And François Reinert at the Trois Glands museum talks about young Luxembourger Pierre Jengten, who in WWII managed to flee from the German army, to which he had been forcibly conscripted, and help the Polish Resistance.