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Wladyslaw Bartoszewski honoured on 90th birthday

PR dla Zagranicy
Anna Bierzańska 20.02.2012 10:00
Warsaw's Royal Castle hosts birthday celebration for the war underground hero.

Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, a veteran of Poland's wartime resistance and former foreign minister, was honoured on Sunday in a special ceremony to mark his 90th birthday at Warsaw's Royal Castle.

Wladyslaw Bartoszewski (L) and president Bronislaw Komorowski (R). Photo: PAP/Bartlomiej Zborowski

President Bronislaw Komorowski led the tributes, describing Bartoszewski as “an incredibly strong moral compass, who shows where a just cause lies.” The president added that “some of us have reached the age when we are losing some of our natural mentors, such as grandparents or parents, but we are lucky because we have you.”

An Auschwitz survivor and a noted historian, Bartoszewski remains one of the most prominent veterans of Zegota, Poland's wartime Council to Aid Jews, a branch of Poland's underground army.

Following the war, he was accused of being a spy and imprisoned several times by the communist regime. He was freed in 1955 during the so-called Thaw that followed Stalin's death. In 1980, he joined the Solidarity pro-democracy movement and was again imprisoned following the imposition of martial law in December 1981. He was released in April 1982.

Following the collapse of communism in 1989, Bartoszewski has served as Poland's ambassador to Germany (1990-1995) and twice as foreign minister (1995 and 2000-2001). He is aligned to Prime Minister Tusk's centre-right Civic Platform party, and continues to be one of its most respected dignitaries.

“My recipe for life is that of a moderate realist cum optimist,” he said yesterday. “I like life and I like people,” he declared. (nh)


Wladyslaw Bartoszewski (L) and jazz singer Aga Zaryan (R). Photo: PAP/Bartlomiej Zborowski

Cover: Wladyslaw Bartoszewski with his wife Zofia during birthday celebration at the Royal Castle, Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Bartłomiej Zborowski

tags: Bartoszewski
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