May His Memory Be for a Blessing: Tadeusz Mazowiecki (1927-2013)

Mazowiecki served as the prime minister of Poland after the fall of Communism from 1989 to 1991.

— by Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress

Tadeusz Mazowiecki was one of the architects of the modern, democratic Poland and a friend of Israel and the Jewish people.

The Jews are grateful to Tadeusz Mazowiecki for his staunch defense of their rights as Poland emerged from communism, and for his help in resolving the crisis of the Carmelite convent on the grounds of Auschwitz in the early 1990s. He will also be remembered for speaking out against anti-Semitism clearly and unequivocally and exposing war crimes as special rapporteur for human rights in the former Yugoslavia. May his memory be for a blessing.

More after the jump.
The Mazowiecki government re-established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1990, and helped to open Polish airports for Jews leaving the then-Soviet Union. He was also part of the group that successfully fought for the repeal of the 1975 United Nations General Assembly Resolution, that determined that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.

Mazowiecki’s silent but effective diplomacy ensured that his country’s transition was successful. Together with Lech Walesa (pictured to the right), he laid the foundations for what is today the strongest country both economically and politically in Central and Eastern Europe.