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Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Polish shock at Angelika murder
By Jonathan Lessware and Stephen Stewart
BBC Scotland news website

It was a murder that left Scotland's growing Polish community deep in shock.

From those who fled from war and communist occupation to the newest wave of economic migrants, all are struggling to understand how a young student from Skoczow could meet such a brutal end.

Polish flas and flowers left for Angelika
The Polish community joined together to remember Angelika

The fact that Angelika Kluk was murdered and raped in the grounds of a church has added to the sense of disbelief among those who left their staunchly Catholic country to make a new life in Scotland.

Church and political leaders have moved to reassure the many parents of young Poles who are planning to come Scotland.

But they believe the overwhelming response to the tragedy demonstrated the strength of the community.

In the days after Angelika's disappearance, her sister Aneta, who was living in Glasgow, desperately used the message boards on a website serving Poles moving to Scotland to try and trace her.

Meanwhile, in St Simon's Church, where many of Glasgow's 6,000-strong Polish community worship, prayers were said after the tragedy.

Aleksander Dietkow, the Polish Consul General for Scotland, said he had been assured that the murder had not affected relations between Poles and their adopted homeland.

Aleksander Dietkow, Polish Consul General in Scotland
She was in the wrong place at the wrong time - a personal individual tragedy
Aleksander Dietkov
Polish Consul General for Scotland

"It was a terrible event, terrible tragedy for the family for the sister and the father," he said.

"But it's not related in any way to Scottish-Polish relations.

"It was no question that Angelika was killed as a Polish girl. It's just coincidence that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time - a personal individual tragedy."

Mr Dietkow revealed that her case had been raised with First Minister Jack McConnell ahead of the visit to Scotland by the Polish President Lech Kaczynskyjust weeks after the murder.

He said: "The first reaction was to help Strathclyde Police search for Angelika because in the first days we didn't know what had happened.

"Of course there was some fear that there would be a reaction to this story in the Polish community.

"But I spoke to several people, Polish priests, Father Marian Lekawa (the Polish chaplain at St Simon's), and they assured me there was no problem at all."

Aneta Kluk at service
Angelika's sister Aneta addressed a church service in Glasgow

Mr Dietkow also praised the way the community reacted after Ms Kluk disappeared by translating and distributing missing posters.

Karol Chojnowski, 26, is the general manager for Szkocja.net, a website providing information for Poles in Scotland.

He said that many Poles had been shocked by the sheer brutality of Angelika's murder.

He said: "The revelations during the court case were more and more shocking. This was a terrible crime.

"But I don't think it will affect Polish people who want to come to Scotland. Most of the contributions we have had from Poles said that they think Angelika was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"This crime could have happened anywhere and I don't think it will put people off. It has been hard for some people to comprehend how this has happened.

"Many people have been shocked by what has happened to Angelika and have been asking how could this happen?"

This is a question that will resonate among Polish people in Scotland for many years to come.


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