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Saturday, 16 February 2019

President: Jan Olszewski made Polish history

  |   The funeral mass at Warsaw Cathedral The funeral mass at Warsaw Cathedral The funeral mass at Warsaw Cathedral The funeral mass at Warsaw Cathedral The funeral mass at Warsaw Cathedral The funeral mass at Warsaw Cathedral Former Polish Prime Minister Jan Olszewski was laid to rest on Saturday at Warsaw's Powązki Military Cemetery among other eminent Poles Former Polish Prime Minister Jan Olszewski was laid to rest on Saturday at Warsaw's Powązki Military Cemetery among other eminent Poles Former Polish Prime Minister Jan Olszewski was laid to rest on Saturday at Warsaw's Powązki Military Cemetery among other eminent Poles Former Polish Prime Minister Jan Olszewski was laid to rest on Saturday at Warsaw's Powązki Military Cemetery among other eminent Poles Former Polish Prime Minister Jan Olszewski was laid to rest on Saturday at Warsaw's Powązki Military Cemetery among other eminent Poles Former Polish Prime Minister Jan Olszewski was laid to rest on Saturday at Warsaw's Powązki Military Cemetery among other eminent Poles Former Polish Prime Minister Jan Olszewski was laid to rest on Saturday at Warsaw's Powązki Military Cemetery among other eminent Poles Former Polish Prime Minister Jan Olszewski was laid to rest on Saturday at Warsaw's Powązki Military Cemetery among other eminent Poles

Jan Olszewski was not only a witness, but also a creator of the history of the Republic of Poland, President Andrzej Duda said during Saturday's funeral mass held in Warsaw for the former Polish prime minister who died on February 7.


"Looking at those 100 years of Poland reborn after 1918, he was certainly one of the most important figures in the country's history, the president stressed.

 

Andrzej Duda described Jan Olszewski as "a truly non-Communist prime minister of a truly non-Communist government," adding that "a free, sovereign and independent Poland" was his aspiration and essence of his life.

 

"Certainly, along with President Lech Kaczyński, it is Prime Minister Jan Olszewski who is one of those people whose vision of Poland we are implementing today, trying to make it the way they saw it - a great, proud Poland, but above all, a Poland of solidarity, this interhuman solidarity," the president said.

 

Jan Olszewski headed the Polish government in 1991-1992. In the communist era, notably in the 1960s and 1970s, he was a defence attorney in political trials of oppositionists. In the 1980s, when the nationwide Solidarity movement emerged in defiance of the communist authorities, Olszewski became an advisor to what was the first independent trade union in the Soviet bloc and its leader Lech Wałęsa.

 

When communism collapsed in 1989, Olszewski became a political leader and later an advisor to late President Lech Kaczyński. He was awarded the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's top distinction, in 2009. (PAP)

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