Gdansk is a place where history happens. The first shots of the Second World War were fired there on 1 September 1939, and a strike by its shipyard workers in 1980 set off events that brought the Cold War to an end. The mayor’s just been murdered, and at a time when Eastern Europe is looking fraught again, that feels like a true tragedy: not just sad, but ominous. I visited the seaport just over a year ago, and thought it might be worth posting a link to a short piece that I wrote then for the London Review of Books. It wasn’t exactly complimentary about where Poland’s headed, but I loved Gdansk itself – and the town’s vitality and vibrancy was a tribute even then to its principled liberal mayor. In a country that’s got too many villains these days, Pawel Adamowicz was definitely one of the good guys.