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Hamburg intensifies relations to Poland ahead of Bundesrat chairmanship

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24-25 November 2021, Warsaw, Republic of Poland: Hamburg’s First Mayor Dr. Peter Tschentscher travelled to Warsaw at the invitation of Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski, who attended this year’s Matthiae-Mahl as guest of honour in February.

In the run-up to Hamburg’s presidency of the Bundesrat in 2022/23, First Mayor Tschentscher encountered the Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, Prof. Dr Tomasz Paweł Grodzki. Additionally, First Mayor Tschentscher likewise visited the Pawiak Prison Museum as well as the Memorial to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Instytut Energetyki, one of the largest research institutions in the field of renewable energy in Poland.

Dr. Tschentscher was accompanied for the high-level visit by State Counsellor Almut Möller, Plenipotentiary to the German Federation, the European Union and for Foreign Affairs. The German Ambassador in Poland Dr. Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven, partook at the bilateral rendezvous. 

Rafał Trzaskowski, Dr. Peter Tschentscher and Almut Möller – Picture by Senatkanzlei, Pressestelle.

Tête-à-tête with the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski

The meeting between First Mayor Tschentscher and Mayor Trzaskowski took place at noon. Both parties wished to deepen the cooperation between their two cities. The exchange, lasted several hours, and focused on climate protection and the role of cities in implementing the European Green Deal.

As per statement below in its original German version, First Mayor Tschentscher said: “Worldwide, cities are responsible for 70 to 80 percent of all CO2 emissions; in the European Union, three quarters of all citizens live in large cities and conurbations. As European metropolises, Hamburg and Warsaw bear a special responsibility for the implementation of global climate protection goals. Together, we want to contribute to the implementation of the European Green Deal through sustainable, innovative urban development. The climate-friendly transformation of the economy, our energy supply and mobility infrastructure are among the great challenges of the 21st century, which we can overcome more quickly if we work together.”

Bilateral conversation with Senate Marshal, Prof. Dr. Tomasz Grodzki

In the afternoon, First Mayor Tschentscher met the Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, Prof. Dr. Tomasz Grodzki. On the initiative of Senate Marshal Grodzki and former Bundesrat President Dietmar Woidke (incumbent Premier of Brandenburg), the German Bundesrat and the Polish Senate founded a friendship group in October 2021.

Its mission is to deepen German-Polish relations and strengthen cooperation between the two chambers. First Mayor Tschentscher represents Hamburg in the German-Polish Friendship Group. Senate Marshal Grodzki and First Mayor Tschentscher became acquainted to each other during a visit to the Bundesrat in September 2021, and used the exchanges in Warsaw as a possibility to enhance their personal relationship. 

First Mayor Tschentscher said: “The German Bundesrat and the Polish Senate have maintained good relations for many years. We are very interested in a dialogue in partnership on important issues in Europe, including questions of the rule of law and a liberal society. I look forward to further deepening our cooperation with the Polish Senate in the run-up to Hamburg’s Presidency of the Bundesrat in 2022/23.”

State Counsellor Almut Möller_ First Mayor of Hamburg, Dr. Peter Tschentscher and German Ambassador Dr. Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven – Picture by Senatkanzlei, Pressestelle.

Commemoration of the victims of National Socialist crimes

First Mayor Tschentscher commemorated the victims of National Socialism in Warsaw with a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial in the courtyard of the Pawiak Prison Museum. During uprisings in 1943 and 1944, resistance fighters from the underground organisation “Armia Krajowa” (“Home Army”) and Jewish citizens in the Warsaw ghetto rose up against the German occupiers. Both uprisings were brutally put down.

6,000 people involved in the 1943 “Home Army” uprising were subsequently deported to the Neuengamme concentration camp in Hamburg and its outposts. A memorial plaque in the courtyard of Pawiak prison commemorates them. There is also a memorial plaque for the deportees of the Warsaw Uprising in the Neuengamme concentration camp memorial.

First Mayor Tschentscher: “6,000 members of the Polish resistance movement were deported to the Neuengamme concentration camp in Hamburg after the Warsaw Uprising. The Pawiak Prison Museum commemorates the victims of the suppression of the uprising and the deportation by the National Socialists. Germany and Hamburg bear a historical responsibility. The memory of the victims reminds us to stand up resolutely against nationalism, intolerance and discrimination. International understanding, democracy and freedom are the basis for a strong and peaceful Europe.”

Visit to the Institute for Energy Technology (Instytut Energetyki – IEn)

Following the meeting with Senate Marshal Prof. Dr. Tomasz Grodzki, First Mayor Tschentscher visited the Instytut Energetyki (IEn) later in the afternoon and spoke to Prof. Jakub Kupecki, who heads the Centre for Hydrogen Technologies at the institute. An exchange on the topics of the hydrogen economy and renewable energies against the background of the European Green Deal is planned. 

The Instytut Energetyki is one of Poland’s largest research institutes in the field of innovative energy technologies. Among other things, the institute focuses on the energy transition and modern energy grids. The institute is subordinate to the Polish Ministry of Climate and Environment.

For further information

Government of Hamburg:
Further images of the visit:

Embassy of Germany in Poland (HE Ambassador Dr. Arndt Freiherr Freytag von Loringhoven):

Polish Embassy in Germany (HE Ambassador Prof. Dr. Andrzej Przyłębski):

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