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Farewell to Stefan Starczewski

We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Stefan Starczewski, a member of the Helsinki Committee and its long-standing chair, and lately a member of the Council of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.

In 1978-1981 Mr Starczewski was the editor in chief of the independent quarterly Krytyka. In 1980 he joined the “Solidarity” independent trade union. From 1981 he led the movement’s Schooling and Education Team, and was the head of the group negotiating issues related to the education system. After the 1981 Martial Law was imposed, he was interned at the Białołęka detention centre. Stefan Starczewski was an initiator and co-founder of the Helsinki Committee in Poland. At the same time he was a member of the editorial team of the independent gazette KOS (until 1989).

In 1988 he joined the Solidarity Citizens’ Committee. He took part in the Roundtable Negotiations as a member of the sub-team for science, education and technical development. In 1989, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Culture in Tadeusz Mazowiecki’s first non-Communist Cabinet. Later on, Mr Starczewski served as a long-standing Policy Director of the Culture Foundation.

He was decorated with the Commander’s Cross of the Polonia Restituta Order.

Stefan Starczewski was our mentor, ally and – above all – the Wonderful Friend.

He will be greatly missed. He will stay in our memories forever.

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