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Tadeusz Mazowiecki

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Collection: 1927 Births, 2013 Deaths, Candidates for President of Poland, Democratic Party – Demokraci.Pl Politicians, Democratic Union (Poland) Politicians, Freedom Union (Poland) Politicians, Knights of St. Gregory the Great, Légion D'Honneur Recipients, Members of the Sejm of the Polish People's Republic (1961–65), Members of the Sejm of the Polish People's Republic (1965–69), Members of the Sejm of the Polish People's Republic (1969–72), Members of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland (1991–93), Members of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland (1993–97), Members of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland (1997–2001), Pax Association Members, People from Płock, Polish Roman Catholics, Politicians from Płock, Prime Ministers of Poland, Prime Ministers of the People's Republic of Poland, Recipients of the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis, Recipients of the Order of Merit (Hungary), Recipients of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Recipients of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, Recipients of the Order of the White Eagle (Poland), University of Warsaw Alumni
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Tadeusz Mazowiecki

Tadeusz Mazowiecki
Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland
In office
24 August 1989 – 12 January 1991
President Wojciech Jaruzelski
Lech Wałęsa
Deputy Leszek Balcerowicz
Czesław Janicki
Jan Janowski
Czesław Kiszczak
Preceded by Edward Szczepanik (in Exile), Czesław Kiszczak
Succeeded by Jan Krzysztof Bielecki
Chairman of the Freedom Union
In office
Preceded by (Party formed)
Succeeded by Leszek Balcerowicz
Chairman of the Democratic Union
In office
Preceded by (Party formed)
Succeeded by (became a chairman of the Freedom Union)
Member of Sejm of the People's Republic of Poland
In office
Member of Sejm of the Republic of Poland
In office
Constituency Poznań (1991–97)
Kraków (1997–2001)
Personal details
Born (1927-04-18)18 April 1927
Płock, Second Republic of Poland
Died 28 October 2013(2013-10-28) (aged 86)
Warsaw, Poland
Political party PAX Association (1949–55)
Znak (1961–72)
Solidarity (1980–91)
Democratic Union (1991–94)
Freedom Union (1994–2005)
Democratic Party (2005–06)
Spouse(s) Krystyna (d.)
Ewa (d.)
Children Wojciech
Profession Author, journalist, social worker
Religion Roman Catholicism
Awards Order of the White Eagle (Poland) Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis Order Ecce Homo (Poland) Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas Legion of Honour Order of St. Gregory the Great Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary Order of Merit of the Italian Republic

Tadeusz Mazowiecki ; (18 April 1927 – 28 October 2013) was a Polish author, journalist, philanthropist and Christian-democratic politician, formerly one of the leaders of the Solidarity movement, and the first non-communist Polish prime minister since 1946.[1]


  • Biography 1
    • Catholic activist 1.1
      • PAX and WTK 1.1.1
      • Involvement in Communist propaganda 1.1.2
      • Club of Catholic Intelligence and 'Więź' 1.1.3
    • Politician and dissident 1.2
    • Solidarity and the fall of Communism 1.3
    • Prime Minister 1.4
    • Later years 1.5
  • See also 2
  • References 3
    • Citations 3.1
    • Bibliography 3.2
  • External links 4


Tadeusz Mazowiecki was born in Płock, Poland on 18 April 1927 to a Polish noble family, which uses the Dołęga coat of arms.[2][3] Both his parents worked at the local Holy Trinity Hospital: his father was a doctor there while his mother ran a charity for the poor.[4] His education was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. During the war he worked as a runner in the hospital his parents worked for.[4] After the German forces had been expelled from Płock, Tadeusz Mazowiecki resumed his education and in 1946 he graduated from "Marshal Stanisław Małachowski" Lyceum, the oldest high school in Poland and one of the oldest continuously-operating school in Europe.[4] He then moved to Łódź and then to Warsaw, where he joined the Law Faculty of the Warsaw University. However, he never graduated and instead devoted himself to activity in various Catholic associations, journals and publishing houses.[5]

Catholic activist


Already during his brief stay at the Warsaw University Mazowiecki joined the

Political offices
Preceded by
Czesław Kiszczak
Prime Minister of Poland
Succeeded by
Jan Krzysztof Bielecki
  • Periodic Reports on the situation in Bosnia

External links

  • Baczyńska, Gabriela; Słowikowska, Karolina (28 October 2013). Alistair Lyon, ed. "Poland's Tadeusz Mazowiecki, first PM after communism, dies".  
  • BBC (corporate author) (28 October 2013). "Poland's former PM Tadeusz Mazowiecki dies aged 86". BBC News Europe (London: BBC). Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  • Club de Madrid (corporate author) (2010). "Mazowiecki, Tadeusz; Prime Minister of Poland (1989-1990)". Club de Madrid. Retrieved 30 October. 
  • Dudek, Antoni (1990). Bolesław Piasecki: próba biografii politycznej [Bolesław Piasecki: sketch of a political biography] (in Polski). London: "Aneks".  
  • Mazowiecki, Tadeusz (1997). Interview with Tadeusz Mazowiecki. EuroDialog (0/97). Interview with Małgorzata Dzieduszycka. EuroDialog. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  • Friszke, Andrzej (1997). Oaza na Kopernika: Klub Inteligencji Katolickiej, 1956-1989 [Oasis at Kopernika Str.: Club of Catholic Intelligentsia, 1956-1989]. Biblioteka "Więzi" (in Polski) 100. Warszawa: Biblioteka "Więzi".  
  • Friszke, Andrzej (2002). Koło posłów "Znak" w Sejmie PRL 1957-1976 ["Znak" parliamentary club in the Sejm of the PRP; 1957-1976] (in Polski). Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Sejmowe.  
  • Kopka, Bogusław; Żelichowski, Ryszard (1997). Rodem z Solidarnośći: sylwetki twórców NSZZ "Solidarność" [Roots in Solidarity: silhouettes of the creators of "Solidarity"] (in Polski). Stowarzyszenie Archiwum Solidarności. p. 135.  
  • kospa; dan; gaw (October 2013). " [Tadeusz Mazowiecki dead. He was 86. "He taught us humility in politics"]""Tadeusz Mazowiecki nie żyje. Miał 86 lat. "Uczył nas pokory w polityce.  
  • Leszkowicz, Dagmara (28 October 2013). "Poland's first post-communist PM Mazowiecki dead at 86". Reuters. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  • Musiał, Filip (3 December 2007). "Katolicy przeciwko kościołowi" [Catholics against the Church].  
  • Ost, David (1990). Solidarity and the Politics of Anti-Politics: Opposition and Reform in Poland Since 1968. Temple University Press. p. 219.  
  • J. Pac (October 2013). "Rodzinne miasto Mazowieckiego w żałobie" [Mazowiecki's native town in mourning]. Rzeczpospolita (in Polski) (28-10-2013). Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  • Pszczółkowski, Adam A. (02-11-2013). "Informacja prasowa na temat rodziny Tadeusza Mazowieckiego" [Press release: on the family of Tadeusz Mazowiecki] (PDF). (in Polski) (Związek Szlachty Polskiej). Retrieved 07-11-2013. 
  • Szporer, Michael (2012). Solidarity: The Great Workers Strike of 1980.  
  • Ścisłowska, Monika (October 2013). "Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Polish prime minister, dies at 86".  
  • Tagliabue, John (18 August 1989). "Solidarity seems on verge of forming Polish cabinet". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  • Tagliabue, John (13 September 1989). "Poles Approve Solidarity-Led Cabinet".  
  • W.Ż. (5 March 2008). "Poland Recognizes Kosovo".  


  1. ^ a b c d e f BBC (corporate author), p. 1
  2. ^ Kopka & Żelichowski, p. 135
  3. ^ Pszczółkowski, pp. 1-2
  4. ^ a b c Pac, p. 1
  5. ^ a b Friszke, "Koło posłów Znak...", p. 606
  6. ^ a b Dudek, p. 181
  7. ^ Dudek, p. 218
  8. ^ Dudek, p. 219
  9. ^ Dudek, pp. 219 & 222
  10. ^ , "Historia Do Rzeczy", issue No. 1/2013Jak Mazowiecki zwalczał podziemie
  11. ^ Katolicy przeciwko kościołowi Rzeczpospolita 3 12 2007
  12. ^ Friszke, "Opozycja polityczna...", p. 186
  13. ^ Friszke, "Oaza na Kopernika...", p. 39
  14. ^ Friszke, "Oaza na Kopernika...", pp. 297-298
  15. ^ Friszke, "Oaza na Kopernika...", p. 51
  16. ^ Szporer, p. 259
  17. ^ Friszke, "Oaza na Kopernika...", p. 89
  18. ^ Friszke, "Koło posłów Znak...", p. 100
  19. ^ Friszke, "Oaza na Kopernika...", p. 70
  20. ^ Friszke, "Oaza na Kopernika...", p. 86
  21. ^ Ost, p. 219
  22. ^ a b Friszke, "Koło posłów...", p. 44
  23. ^ Friszke, "Koło posłów...", p. 50
  24. ^ Friszke, "Koło posłów...", p. 83
  25. ^ Friszke, "Oaza na Kopernika...", p. 116
  26. ^ Friszke, "Oaza na Kopernika...", pp. 128-129
  27. ^ Friszke, "Oaza na Kopernika...", pp. 157-159
  28. ^ Friszke, "Oaza na Kopernika...", p. 179
  29. ^ Friszke, "Opozycja polityczna...", p. 398
  30. ^ Friszke, "Opozycja polityczna...", pp. 501-502
  31. ^ Tagliabue, "Solidarity seems on verge...", p. 1
  32. ^ Baczyńska & Słowikowska, p. 1
  33. ^ Tagliabue, "Poles Approve Solidarity-Led Cabinet", p. 1
  34. ^ a b Sachs, pp. 44-46
  35. ^ Leszkowicz, p. 1
  36. ^ WŻ, p. 22
  37. ^ Amnesty International (corporate author), p. 1
  38. ^ Club de Madrid (corporate author), p. 1
  39. ^ Dzieduszycka, p. 1
  40. ^ Kospa et al., p. 1
  41. ^ a b Ścisłowska, p. 1



See also

Mazowiecki died in Warsaw on 28 October 2013,[40] having been taken to hospital the previous week with a fever.[41] Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski stated that he was "one of the fathers of Polish liberty and independence".[1] He was survived by three sons from his second marriage.[41]

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.[37] Mazowiecki was a member of the Club of Madrid.[38] He was a supporter of a more united Europe.[39]

In 2005, he became one of the founders of the Democratic Party – – created through expanding the former Freedom Union by new members, especially young people and few left-wing politicians. He was a leader on the parliamentary list in parliamentary elections in Warsaw constituency in 2005 with 30143 votes. The highest number of votes he gained in Żoliborz district, and the lowest in Rembertów. Until 2006 he was the leader of its Political Council.

Mazowiecki in 2007

Mazowiecki was a member of parliament in first, second and third term (member of Democratic Union), later the Freedom Union. During the National Assembly (1997) he introduced compromise preamble of Polish constitution (previously written by founders of Tygodnik Powszechny weekly), which was accepted by the National Assembly. In November 2002, he left the Freedom Union, in the protest against abandoning Christian Democrat International, as well as his party's electoral and local coalition with the Democratic Left Alliance and Self-Defence Party in Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship.

In 1991, Mazowiecki became a chairman of Democratic Union (later Freedom Union), and from 1995 he was its honorary president. Together with Jan Maria Rokita, Aleksander Hall and Hanna Suchocka he represented the Christian Democratic wing of the party. Between 1989 and 2001 Mazowiecki was a representative to the Polish Parliament (first from Poznań, later from Kraków).

A conflict with Lech Wałęsa resulted in disintegration of Citizens' Parliamentary Club that represented Solidarity camp. The Citizens' Parliamentary Club was divided into Centre Agreement, which supported Wałęsa, and ROAD, which took sides with Mazowiecki. That conflict lead both politicians to compete in presidential election at the end of 1990. Mazowiecki, who during Solidarity times was an advisor to Lech Wałęsa and strike committee in Gdańsk's shipyard, stood against Wałęsa in election and lost to him. He did not even join the second round (he gained support of 18.08% of people – 2,973,364 votes) and was defeated by Stanisław Tymiński, a maverick candidate from Canada.

T. Mazowiecki with President Bronisław Komorowski, former President Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Minister of Education Katarzyna Hall

In 1991 Mazowiecki was appointed Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia. He also issued a 1993 report on human rights violations in the Former Yugoslavia. Mazowiecki stepped down in 1995 in protest at what he regarded as the international community's insufficient response to atrocities committed during the Bosnian war, particularly the Srebrenica massacre committed by the Serb army that year.[36]

Later years

In 1989, in his first parliamentary speech in Sejm, Mazowiecki talked about a "thick line" (gruba linia): "We draw a thick line on what has happened in the past. We will answer for only what we have done to help Poland to rescue her from this crisis from now on". Originally, as Mazowiecki explains, it meant non-liability of his government for damages done to the national economy by previous governments.[35]

Mazowiecki in 1989

Mazowiecki used enormous popularity and credibility of the Solidarity movement to transform Polish economy by a set of deep political and economic reforms.[34] Better known under the name of Balcerowicz Plan after Mazowiecki's minister of finance, Leszek Balcerowicz, the reforms enabled the transformation of Polish economy from centrally-planned shortage economy to modern, free market.[34] The reforms have prepared ground for measures stopping the hyperinflation, introducing free market mechanisms and privatisation of state-owned companies, houses and land.

On 13 September 1989 during his parliamentary speech introducing his new cabinet and government program for parliamentary approval, Mazowiecki had a dizzy spell which necessitated a one-hour break in proceedings. However the government was approved by a vote 402–0, with 13 abstentions. Mazowiecki's government managed to carry out many fundamental reforms in a short period. The political system was thoroughly changed; a full range of civil freedoms as well as a multi-party system were introduced and the country's emblem and name were changed (from the People's Republic of Poland to the Republic of Poland). On 29 December 1989, the fundamental changes in the Polish Constitution were made. By virtue of these changes, the preamble was deleted, the chapters concerning political and economic forms of government were changed, the chapters concerning trade unions were rewritten and a uniform notion of possession was introduced.[33]

Prime Minister

The Communists had originally planned for Solidarity to be a junior partner in the ensuing government. However, Solidarity turned the tables on the Communists by persuading the Communists' two satellite parties to switch their support to Solidarity. This would all but force Communist President Wojciech Jaruzelski to appoint a Solidarity member as prime minister, heading the first government in 45 years that was not dominated by Communists. At a meeting on 17 August 1989, Jaruzelski finally agreed to Lech Wałęsa's demand to pick a Solidarity member as the next prime minister. Walesa chose Mazowiecki as Solidarity candidate to lead the coming administration. On 21 August 1989 General Jaruzelski formally appointed Mazowiecki as Prime Minister-designate. On 24 August 1989, he won a vote of confidence in the Sejm. He thus became the first Polish prime minister in 43 years who was not either a Communist or a fellow traveler, as well as the first non-communist Prime Minister of an Eastern European country in over 40 years.[32]

He was one of the last prisoners to be released on 23 December 1982.[1] In 1987, he spent a year abroad, during which he talked to politicians and trade union representatives. Starting in 1988, he held talks in Magdalenka. He firmly believed in the process of taking power from the ruling Polish United Workers' Party through negotiation and thus he played an active role in the Polish Round Table Talks, becoming one of the most important architects of the agreement by which partially free elections were held on 4 June 1989. While the Communists and their satellites were guaranteed a majority in the legislature, Solidarity won all of the contested seats in a historic landslide.[1]

In August 1980, he headed the Board of Experts, that supported the workers from Gdańsk who were negotiating with the authorities.[1] From 1981, he was the editor-in-chief of the Tygodnik Solidarność weekly magazine.[31] After martial law was declared in December 1981 he was arrested and imprisoned in Strzebielnik, then in Jaworz and finally in Darłówek.

Solidarity and the fall of Communism

Having left the Sejm, Mazowiecki became the head of Warsaw chapter of the Club of Catholic Intelligentsia and one of the best-known Polish dissidents. In early 1976, soon after the publication of the Stefan Amsterdamski, Andrzej Celiński and Andrzej Kijowski, became one of the founding members of the Society of Scientific Courses, the predecessor of the Flying University.[30]

During his parliamentary career, he was an active member of the Commission on Education and the Commission on Work and Social Matters.[22] As Poland was effectively a single-party state, the role of the token opposition was mostly symbolic. However, some of Mazowiecki's speeches and interpellations made a large impact on the Polish society. Such was the case of his critique of the official curriculum of Polish schools underlining the crucial role of Karl Marx's historical materialism,[22] or his isolated protest against the new Assemblies Act, effectively putting an end even to a theoretical freedom of assembly in Poland.[23] In 1968 he was the only member of parliament to raise the issue of the brutal suppression of the students' demonstrations during the 1968 Polish political crisis.[24] In the aftermath of the bloody quelling of the 1970 protests, in which 42 people were killed by the army and the Citizens' Militia, Tadeusz Mazowiecki unsuccessfully demanded that the matter be investigated in order to find those responsible for the bloodshed.[1][25] This and similar acts of questioning the actions of the Communist authorities made Mazowiecki one of the unwanted members of parliament and consequently in 1972 the party did not allow him to run for his fifth term.[26]

One of the lasting effects of Władysław Gomułka's rise to power during the Polish October 1956 was the dissolution of PAX. A group of former PAX dissenters, the "Fronda", along with some of the professors of the Catholic University of Lublin approached Gomułka in 1956. In exchange for their support, Gomułka accepted the creation of Znak Association along with its publishing house, the only such venture independent from the communist government in contemporary Poland. Moreover, a small group of 12 Catholics associated with the Znak were allowed to run in the Polish legislative election of 1957, among them Tadeusz Mazowiecki. While the 12 members of parliament elected that year were formally independent, they formed the first form of opposition to the rule of the Polish United Workers' Party within the Polish Sejm, dubbed the "MP circle of Znak" (Polish: koło poselskie Znak). Mazowiecki remained a member of the Sejm until 1971, serving his second, third and fourth terms as a member of the Catholic "party".[21]

Politician and dissident

Mazowiecki was a friend and confidant of Pope John Paul II.

[20][19] ideas, sought intellectual dialogue with members of left-leaning lay intelligentsia.personalist's Emmanuel Mounier Mazowiecki, inspired by Więź In his texts published in [18][17] While relatively independent from the Communist authorities, the monthly was also independent from the Catholic hierarchy, which often led to conflicts with both.[16][15] Catholic monthly in 1958 and served as its first editor-in-chief.Więź He was also a founding member of the [14] Until 1963 he served as a board member of KIK.[13] Having left PAX, together with a group of his former colleagues Tadeusz Mazowiecki started cooperation with the

Club of Catholic Intelligence and 'Więź'

Despite criticizing Piasecki, Mazowiecki contributed the Communist authorities with his own support, expressed in press articles and other publications. In 1952, he published a pamphlet titled The enemy remains the same (Wróg pozostał ten sam, co-authored with Zygmunt Przetakiewicz, then editor-in-chief of WTK) imputing an alliance between Polish anti-communist resistance movement and Nazi war criminals.[10] In a press article published in WTK in 1953, Mazowiecki fiercely condemnned Czesław Kaczmarek, then Bishop of Kielce. Kaczmarek, groundlessly accused by the Communists of being an American and Vatican spy, was later sentenced to 12 years in prison.[11]

Involvement in Communist propaganda

[9] For that he was eventually dismissed from the WTK and eventually in 1955 expelled from the association altogether.[8] Until 1955 he served as the editor-in-chief of that journal, he also remained one of the leaders of the opposition within the association, criticising Piasecki and his associates for their conflicts with the Catholic hierarchy, loyalty to the communist authorities, and lack of democratic procedures within PAX.[7], WTK).Wrocław Catholic Weekly (Wrocławski Tygodnik Katolików daily newspaper. In 1952 the conflict between Piasecki and the opposition within the PAX (the so-called Fronda, composed mostly of young intellectuals) led to Mazowiecki being expelled from the daily and relegated to a less prominent role of an editor of newly created Słowo Powszechne weekly, in 1950 he became the deputy editor-in-chief of Dziś i Jutro He nevertheless rose through the ranks of various journals published by the association. Initially a journalist in the [6]'s vision of the association and his allegiance to the Communists.Bolesław Piasecki Mazowiecki joined PAX in 1948, initially as one of the leaders of the youth circles. He openly criticised [6] One of the exceptions was the

authorities of Soviet-controlled Poland. Almost all other non-communist organisations soon also became a target of state-sponsored repressions. Stalinist. However, later that year the party was de-legalised by the new Labour Party's Karol Popiel In 1946 he also joined [5]

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