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Polish community mourns plane crash victims

Zurich’s Polish community is mourning the victims of Saturday’s plane crash that killed Poland’s president, his wife and scores of senior officials.

The bells at the Sacred Heart Church in the suburb of Wiedikon tolled at noon on Sunday in remembrance of the 96 dead. Among the mourners was a representative of the country’s embassy to Bern.

The embassy and the country's embassy to the United Nations in Geneva put out books of condolence.

President Doris Leuthard and Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey on Saturday expressed their sympathy.

Around 9,000 people of Polish descent live in Switzerland. Many are descendents of refugees who came in the 18th century, after the first partition of Poland. Others came in the Second World War and after the suppression of the Solidarity movement in 1981.

Most of the community’s cultural life is concentrated in the German-speaking city of Baden, in canton Aargau, and in Geneva. There are Polish Catholic missions in Marly, near Fribourg, and in Zurich. and agencies

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