Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement on the death of Tadeusz Mazowiecki today (28 October):
I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of Tadeusz Mazowiecki, an outstanding Polish politician, a freedom fighter and a great European. As the first Prime Minister of a free and democratic Poland from 1989, he was a central character during the historic watershed period in Poland and in Europe. His name is inextricably linked with the courageous efforts of Solidarność to overcome Communism and put an end to the division of Europe. Tadeusz Mazowiecki’s key role in paving the way for German-Polish reconciliation is especially relevant for us as Germans.
In 1993 Tadeusz Mazowiecki was, together with Willy Brandt (posthumously), the first person to be awarded the German-Polish Prize for his success in promoting German-Polish relations. As one of the jury members on the Polish side, Tadeusz Mazowiecki maintained his links with the prize until the end.