Professor Władysław Bartoszewski

Bartoszewski- born February 19, 1922 in Warsaw.

In September 1939 he took part in the civil defense of Warsaw. After an arrest a year later he found himself in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp from which he was released in 1941 thanks to action taken by the Polish Red Cross. The same year he became a student of the underground Humanities Faculty of the Warsaw University, where he took Polish philology studies. From November 1942 Bartoszewski worked for the Government Delegation for Poland. His responsibilities were, among others, organizing aid for the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and those incarcerated in the Pawiak prison.  He was a combatant in the Warsaw Uprising. Commander of the Home Army Tadeusz “Bór” Komorowski promoted Bartoszewski to the rank of the sub-lieutenant. 

In 1946 Bartoszewski got involved in the activities of the Polish People’s Party, which was in opposition to the communist rule. He was an editor of “Gazeta Ludowa”, “Stolica” and “Tygodnik Powszechny” papers. Since 1969 he is a member of the Polish pen club.
Due to Stalinist repressions he was forced to abandon his studies immediately after the war. It wasn’t until 1958 when he was readmitted and officially submitted his dissertation at the University of Warsaw. Nevertheless, in 1962, he was permanently removed from the university by the order of the rector. 

Bartoszewski was then repressed and banned from print in the early 1970s due to his contacts in the West and opposition activism. In August 1980 he co-signed an open letter of intellectuals sent to protesting workers and joined the Solidarity trade union. He was later imprisoned during the martial law in the early 1980s.  After his release Bartoszewski went to Bavaria in Germany as a visiting professor in a number of universities. From 1990 until 1995 he served as Poland’s ambassador to Austria. In years 1995 and 2000 – 2001 he was  Poland’s foreign affairs minister and also a senator from 1997 to 2001.   

Professor Bartoszewski was the chairman of the board of directors of the Polish Institute for International Affairs (Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych) and worked with the Institute of National Remembrance, the presidium of the Polish government and the Central Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland.

Władysław Bartoszewski received, among many honors, the Order of Polonia Restituta in recognition of his help for the Jews during the war, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Righteous Among Nations medal.