The Knesset on Monday honored the memory of Professor Władysław Bartoszewski, a former inmate at Auschwitz, foreign minister of Poland
and an honorary citizen of the State of Israel who was recognized as a Righteous Gentile.
Bartoszewski, who died on Friday at age 93, was one of the founders and a leading activist of the Polish Council for Aid to Jews, which
was code-named Zegota. The Council operated during World War Two to save Poland`s Jews. He was recognized by Yad Vashem as a Righteous
Gentile and an honorary citizen of the State of Israel.
Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein told the plenary session that Bartoszewski`s death marks a ”great loss, not only to Poland and the
State of Israel, but to the entire human society; a loss of a voice for morality, of a man who never hesitated to speak his mind, even at
a high personal cost.”
”The members of Knesset bow their heads in deep and sincere appreciation of Prof. Bartoszewski. His inspiring personality and work for
the benefit of the Jewish people will not be forgotten. Blessed be his memory,” said the Knesset speaker.
As a former prisoner at Auschwitz, Bartoszewski dedicated a significant portion of his life to commemorating the Holocaust. He initiated
the establishment of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, which aims to preserve all authentic remains of the former concentration and
extermination camp with the help of donations from the world`s countries. Bartoszewski was a member of the National Council for Polish-
Jewish Relations in the office of the President of Poland, and served as chairman of the International Auschwitz Council. From 2001 until
the time of his death, he was chairman of the Council for the Preservation of Memory of Combat and Martyrdom dedicated to commemorating
the memories of war heroes and victims.
As Poland`s foreign minister, and later as a minister in the Polish Prime Minister`s Office, Bartoszewski worked consistently to deepen
the connection between the Jewish and Polish nations.
Just a few days before his death, Bartoszewski attended a celebration of Israel`s Independence Day held in Warsaw. He was accompanied by
Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz.