Jan Olszewski Honorary Citizen of Warsaw

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Jan Olszewski - Maciej Chojnowski/Maciej Osiecki, archiwum fotograficzne Prezydenta RP

Jan Olszewski (born 20 August 1930 in Warsaw, died 7 February 2019 in Warsaw)
Honorary Citizen of the Capital City of Warsaw from June 2014.

A lawyer, politician, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland (5 December 1991 – 5 June 1992).
During the occupation, he was a member of the Grey Ranks. After the war, he was employed at the Ministry of Justice and the Polish Academy of Sciences. Later, he was an editor of the “Po Prostu” weekly. In 1956-1962, he was a member of the Club of the Crooked Circle. In 1957, he was banned from working as a journalist for writing articles disclosing abuses of power in the judiciary and administration of justice. In 1962-1968, he ran a legal practice and was a defence counsel in political trials representing, e.g. Melchior Wańkowicz, Jacek Kuroń, Karol Modzelewski, Janusz Szpotański and students arrested in connection with the March events.
He was a co-founder of the Polish Independence Alliance. In 1976, he acted as a defence counsel in trials of workers from Radom and Ursus, and was a co-founder of the Workers' Defence Committee. Since 1977, he was active in the Movement for Defense of Human and Civic Rights. In 1980, he was a member of the Interfactory Strike Committee formed in the Gdańsk Shipyard and a co-author of the “Solidarity” Trade Union’s statute. Furthermore, he acted as a representative of the Union in the proceedings for registration. He also represented the family of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko at the trial of his murderers in 1984.
He participated in the Round Table Talks (of 1989). He co-founded the Centre Alliance, i.e. a Christian Democratic political party. In 1991-1993 and 1997-2005, he was Deputy to the Sejm; however, from December 1991 to June 1992, he held the office of Prime Minister. He founded and became Chairman of the Movement for the Republic of Poland (1992). In 1995 and 2000, he ran for the office of President of Poland. In 1995, he established a political party – the Movement for the Reconstruction of Poland and became its chairman (he held this post until 20 January 2011). In 2005-2006, he served as Deputy Chairman of the State Tribunal.
In 2008, the Council of the Polish Katyń Foundation awarded him the Medal of Memorial Day for the Victims of the Katyń Massacre. In 2009, he was honoured with the Order of the White Eagle by President Lech Kaczyński.

fot. Maciej Chojnowski/Maciej Osiecki, comes from a resource file photo President RP