In grateful remembrance: In Warsaw, FM Steinmeier signs the book of condolence in memory of W. Bartoszewski.

Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, former Polish foreign minister, academic, journalist, honorary Israeli citizen, and a key figure in German-Polish reconciliation after the Second World War has died in Warsaw  April 24 at 93.

Wladyslaw Bartoszwski, the former Auschwitz prisoner who helped save Jews from the Holocaust and later became Poland´s foreign minister, was a joyful person who inspired deep respect, top European officials said in eulogies Monday at his state funeral in Warsaw.

During the war, Bartoszewski had worked for the “Zegota” underground movement seeking to save Jews from death at Nazi hands, an organization that is believed to have saved in the region of 4,000 lives. Bartoszewski had organized assistance for the resistance fighters. Prior to this, Bartoszewski spent several months as an inmate at the Ausschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in occupied Poland – he was released after efforts from the Polish Red Cross, having served as a stretcher bearer for the group during the civil defense of Warsaw..

Bartoszewski had two short stints as foreign minister of Poland, resigning in 1995 when President Lech Walesa’s term came to an end. He returned to the role in June of 2000, as part of Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek’s cabinet, leaving the post in October of 2001. He had also operated as Poland’s ambassador to Austria, and played a crucial role in mending fences between Poland and Germany in the post-war era.