Poland's new PM picks Auschwitz survivor as foreign policy adviser
The Associated Press
Published: November 21, 2007
WARSAW, Poland: Poland's new prime minister picked an 85-year-old Auschwitz survivor and former foreign minister as a foreign policy adviser Wednesday.
Wladyslaw Bartoszewski's nomination was largely "symbolic" and meant to raise the country's profile on the international stage, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said.
"He is a patron of a new chapter in Polish history," Tusk, whose pro-business and European Union-friendly government took office last week, said at a news conference in Warsaw.
Bartoszewski's official position will be secretary of state in the prime minister's chancellery. He will advise Tusk and new Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski.
Tusk's Civic Platform party won Oct. 21 elections, promising to improve relations with the EU that were strained under the previous, nationalist government of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski
Bartoszewski said he planned to focus mainly on relations with Germany and the Jewish Diaspora.
A Roman Catholic, Bartoszewski was a member of the Polish underground during the Nazi German occupation during World War II. He was arrested in Warsaw in 1940 and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in occupied Poland.
He was released with the help of the Red Cross after some six months, and later fought in the failed Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis in 1944. After the war, Poland's communist regime jailed Bartoszewski for his political views.
The Israeli Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, awarded Bartoszewksi with the title of "Righteous Among the Nations" for his work saving Jews during the war.
After communism fell in 1989, Bartoszewski served twice as foreign minister in the 1990s.
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