Late former PM Olszewski’s funeral on Saturday

The speaker of the Polish Lower House Marek Kuchciński said that the late former PM Olszewski’s funeral will take place on Saturday.

“Most likely, the national mourning will last from Thursday to Saturday,” said Mr Kuchciński, adding that he hopes the final farewell to the late former PM will be approached with full respect by all Poles.

Mr Kuchciński also stressed that Jan Olszewski was a model example of how “Poles should serve the nation, their homeland and Poland as a whole.”

A condolence book at the PM’s Office will remain available to the public until the day of the funeral.

Another person who revealed the funeral’s date was former Senate speaker Kornel Morawiecki, who said he had learned it from the late Mr Olszewski’s wife.

On February 9, the Presidential Palace’s facade was illuminated with an image commemorating the departed PM.

In his youth, Mr Olszewski was a member of the Grey Ranks (“Szare Szeregi”) paramilitary Polish Scouting Association and fought in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.

During the communist era, he defended opposition activists in court, who were often arrested on trumped-up charges. He became Poland’s first democratically elected PM in 1991 and served until June 1992. In the years 2006-2010, he served the late Polish President Lech Kaczyński as a presidential aide.

The former PM’s health deteriorated in the 2000s. In 2011, he suffered a stroke. In November 2018, he was hospitalised due to heart and spinal cord problems.

He passed away in a Warsaw hospital on February 7 at the age of 88.