Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Tadeusz Mazowiecki | Former Polish leader, 86

Tadeusz Mazowiecki, 86, Eastern Europe's first democratic prime minister after communism, key adviser to Poland's Solidarity freedom movement, and U.N. human-rights envoy to Bosnia in the 1990s, died early Monday. He had been taken to the hospital last Wednesday with a high fever.

A lawyer by training, a writer and thinker by temperament, Mr. Mazowiecki was well-equipped for his role in ousting communism from Poland and shaping a democracy.

As prime minister, he called for drawing a "thick line" to separate the communist past from the new Poland, a position that contributed to his ouster after a year in office.

He decided in 1980 to join thousands of workers on strike at the Gdansk Shipyard to demand restitution of a job for a fired colleague, better pay, and a monument to workers killed in the 1970 protest. Within days, the action grew into a wave of strikes that gave birth to Solidarity, Eastern Europe's first free trade union and a nationwide freedom movement. - AP

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