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Just a few weeks ago, Polish children could attend schools in Ceský Tešín, Poles could buy apartments there, and the Czechs did their everyday shopping in Poland. The outbreak of the coronavirus brought back border controls and separated Poles and Czechs.

Poles and Czechs miss each other

The inhabitants of Cieszyn and Ceský Tešín have begun to communicate via banners posted above the Olza River. First, a banner was hung on the Polish side with the inscription "I miss you, Czech.” 

- “We wanted to express our longing for the unexpected and suddenly limited contacts with our Czech friends. Border traffic that until recently was free and with no controls has suddenly been cut off” - said Stefan Mańka, one of the originators of the action.

- The situation of isolation is completely new for many young people, and also reminds the older ones about the not so distant past in general. It is all severely painful for all residents of the divided city - added Magdalena Szadkowska, co-organizer of the campaign.

The answer from Czechs was not long-awaited. On the other side of the Olza River they hung a reply banner saying “Likewise, Pole". 

- “We wanted the Polish side to know that we miss them too” - Domis Folwarczný told Gazeta Wyborcza.

The banner action now has an unexpected continuation. A banner ("Agnieszko moja princeznicko, vezmeš si mne? - Agnieszka, my princess, will you marry me?') has just been hung up in Ceský Tešín, through which a Czech man proposed marriage to Agnieszka, who lives on the Polish side of the Olza River. The lovers have not revealed themselves yet, but it is known that this unusual proposal was accepted. 

Every day, 400 journalists at Gazeta Wyborcza write verified, fact-checked stories about the coronovirus pandemic for you.

They are on the front lines in 25 Polish cities. They work on the ground, reporting from hospitals and airports.

We have decided to open online access to our news stories and special guides focused on the issue of public health, for free.

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Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation
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