Ex-PM Jan Olszewski laid to rest

The main funeral ceremonies for former Prime Minister Jan Olszewski are being held on Saturday.

After a mass at St. John’s Cathedral in Warsaw, the main ceremony is set to take place at the Polish capital’s Powązki military cemetery following the tributes at the Warsaw Uprising monument. As a teenager Olszewski participated in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against Poland’s Nazi German occupiers.

Assisted by the army and police honorary guard, Olszewski’s funeral has been arranged as a state ceremony. Alongside the late PM’s family, participating in the funeral are Poland’s President Andrzej Duda and top Polish officials. The national two-day mourning had been decreed by the president, with national flags remaining lowered to half-mast until Saturday 7 pm.

Olszewski served as prime minister from late 1991 to mid-1992. His cabinet was formed after the country’s first fully democratic elections following the collapse of communism in 1989. A lawyer by education, he defended anti-communist dissidents in political trials during the communist era. He died last week at the age of 88.

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