A state funeral attended by thousands of Poles has been held for Tadeusz Mazowiecki, who died on 28 October 2013 aged 86, in Warsaw. The Polish author, journalist and politician was one of the leaders of the Solidarity movement and the first freely elected non-communist prime minister in Central and Eastern Europe after World War II. The funeral was held in Warsaw on 3 November.
Mazowiecki received numerous awards including an honorary degree from the universities in: Leuven, Genoa, Giessen, Poitiers, Exeter, Warsaw and the Katowice University of Economics. He also received the Order of White Eagle (1995), Golden Order of Bosnia (1996), Légion d’honneur (1997), Srebrnica Award (2005), the Giant award (1995) awarded by Gazeta Wyborcza (Election Gazette) in Poznań and Jan Nowak-Jezioranski Award (2004). In 2003, he was elected to the board of directors of the International Criminal Court’s Trust Fund for Victims.
Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski stated that he was ‘one of the fathers of Polish liberty and independence’. He is survived by three sons from his second marriage.
Even at his advanced age, Mazowiecki was committed to a united Europe. Europeana and the project partners are especially thankful that in June 2013 he became the project ambassador of Europeana 1989 in Poland. He inaugurated the Europe-wide project with his participation in an international round table discussion on 8 June 2013. He emphasised the need to collect and preserve memories and documents from ordinary people from the revolutionary times around the year 1989. The aim of Europeana 1989 is to collect such memorabilia from around Europe in a digital archive.
Mazowiecki was the first contributor to the project, with this congratulation letter from Jerzy und Anna Turowicz on the occasion of his election as prime minister. The letter is dated 20 August 1989. See his contribution on Europeana 1989.