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Press Information published by the International Auschwitz Committee


100th anniversary of Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Polish Auschwitz survivor and subsequent foreign minister of the Republic of Poland

Władysław Bartoszewski

Władysław Bartoszewski




Tomorrow, 19 February 2022, Auschwitz survivors around the globe will be remembering their Polish fellow prisoner and fellow sufferer Władysław Bartoszewski with utmost respect and gratitude. He was incarcerated in Auschwitz at the age of 18, and tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of his birth. In Warsaw the Polish-Jewish Auschwitz survivor and President of the International Auschwitz Committee, Marian Turski, paid tribute to his long-time companion:

“Władysław Bartoszewski is one of the Auschwitz survivors who repeatedly called for, and promoted, the historical memory of the ‘Time of Contempt’. Heinrich Böll once described Władysław Bartoszewski as a fervent and passionate Pole, a fervent and passionate Catholic, a fervent and passionate humanist. It was a very apt description. Time and again throughout his life he refused to accept evil, and that is why he was always a tireless and outgoing champion of freedom and truth.

It was Władysław Bartoszewski who, as Chairman of the International Auschwitz Council at the end of the 1980s, stood up to ensure the truth was reinstated in the main exhibition at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial. For decades the truth had been concealed that Jews represented the overwhelming majority of the victims. The truth was his beacon to which he always remained true. And that’s why we are deeply grateful to him.”

And in Berlin Christoph Heubner, the Executive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee said: “In the life of Władysław Bartoszewski, the great Polish man and dedicated European, there were three chapters that formed the foundations of his special relationship with Germany and Germans:

There was the pain associated with the memories of Auschwitz and the sufferings of the Second World War; there was the fact that during the years when he was persecuted as a supporter of Solidarność, he found refuge and friendship in Germany; and then there was his lifelong esteem for German culture, especially his love of Heinrich Heine: All of these memories helped Bartoszewski to gain an acutely realistic perception of Germany and to make him into one of the most credible and important supporters of rapprochement between the Polish and German peoples.

His relentless opposition to the ignorance and hatred of anti-Semitism, his unswerving commitment to democracy and his intrepid insistence on naming uncomfortable truths will remain with us, old and young, as an inextinguishable guiding light.”

to the homage to Wladyslaw Bartoszewski by Marian Turski


For further Information

Christoph Heubner

Executive Vice President
International Auschwitz Committee
Phone ++ 49 (0)30 26 39 26 81