Poland in shock as mayor of Gdansk nearly fatally stabbed at charity event

Poland in shock as mayor of Gdansk nearly fatally stabbed at charity event
By Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw January 14, 2019

Pawel Adamowicz, mayor of the Polish city of Gdansk, was nearly fatally stabbed while on stage at a popular charity event on January 13.

Adamowicz was revived immediately after the attack and was rushed to hospital where he underwent life-saving surgery. He remained in critical condition because of a serious heart wound and other damage inflicted by the attacker. The coming hours will prove crucial for Adamowicz’s recovery, doctors said.

The assailant is a 27-year old man who recently completed a jail sentence following a conviction for a number of bank robberies in Gdansk. After stabbing Adamowicz, the attacker remained on stage long enough to grab a microphone to say he was unjustly jailed, tortured, and “that is why Adamowicz had to die.” He was consequently apprehended and handed over to police for questioning.

The attack took place at a concert organised as part of Poland’s annual Christmas charity, the WOSP, a popular event that culminates each January with hundreds of concerts and other festivities countrywide. The WOSP raises money for hospital equipment.

There was no evidence that the attack was politically motivated and not a desperate act of a lone agent. 

However, the stabbing of a popular politician – Adamowicz has been mayor of Gdansk since 1998 – at a mass event has prompted questions on lax security.

Some commentators also hinted at the broader political climate in Poland that might have provided grounds for carrying out the attack against a liberal politician at an event that has been for years criticised by the conservatives for "demoralising" young people.