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Stefan Michał Olszowski (born 28 August 1931) is a Polish politician, who was a member of the Polish United Workers' Party. He served as the foreign minister of the People's Republic of Poland for two terms.

Stefan Olszowski
Stefan Olszowski PZPR.jpg
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
21 July 1982 – 12 November 1985
Prime MinisterMieczyslaw Rakowski
Preceded byJózef Czyrek
Succeeded byMarian Orzechowski
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
22 December 1971 – 2 December 1976
Preceded byStefan Jędrychowski
Succeeded byEmil Wojtaszek
Personal details
Born (1931-08-28) 28 August 1931 (age 87)
Torun, Poland
Political partyPolish United Workers' Party



Olszowski was born in Torun on 28 August 1931.[1] He was a member of the Politburo of the Polish United Workers' party from December 1970 to his resignation on 12 November 1985.[2][3] He served as the propaganda chief of the party in the late 1960s and at the beginning of the 1970s.[4][5]

He was appointed foreign minister on 22 December 1971, replacing Stefan Jędrychowski in the post.[6] He was in office until 2 December 1976 when Emil Wojtaszek replaced him in the post.[6] In 1980, he was appointed ambassador to East Germany and left the politburo for this post that he held just six months.[3] Then he continued to serve at the politburo.[3] He acted as the party's central committee secretary for ideology and media from August 1980 to July 1982.[7][8] Then he was secondly appointed foreign minister in July 1982, replacing Józef Czyrek in the post.[8] Before his appointment as foreign minister he run for the presidency of the party, but he was not elected.[9] His term as foreign minister ended on 12 November 1985.[10] He was also dismissed from the party leadership in 1985, partly due to his relationship with a Polish journalist whom he married after divorcing his first spouse.[11] Then he and his girlfriend settled in New York in 1986.[12][13]

Views and activitiesEdit

Under the Edward Gierek's rule in the party, Olszowski was a reformist.[14] However, later he became a hard-liner politician and a supporter of the Soviet Union while he was in office.[12] In March 1968, he was the leading orchestrator of the anti-Semitic campaign began in Poland.[4] In November 1973, he paid an official visit to Rome that was the first official visit to the Vatican by a Polish government minister since World War II.[15][16] However, during the visit of Pope to Poland from 16 to 23 June 1983 he and Prime Minister Mieczyslaw Rakowski directly attacked on some of the Pope's pronouncements.[17]

Olszowski together with other hard-liners strived for an armed confrontation with the Solidarity movement.[18] He was instrumental in cracking down the movement at its initial phase.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

Olszowski married twice. Following his divorce, he married a younger Polish journalist woman.[13] They live in New York.[13]


  1. ^ Current world leaders: Almanac. 1972. p. 20.
  2. ^ "Poland's Foreign Minister Loses Power Struggle, Quits Politburo". Orlando Sentinel. 12 November 1985. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Poland's foreign minister off politburo". Toledo Blade. Warsaw. AP. 12 November 1985. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  4. ^ a b Tych, Feliks (2011). "A Historical Miracle: Jewish Life in Poland afterCommunism" (PDF). Deep Roots, New Branches: 31. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Red Poles put blame for economic failure". Star News. Warsaw. UPI. 7 February 1971. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Polish Ministries". Rulers. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  7. ^ Molin, Karl (30 June 2011). "The CPSU Politburo and the Polish crisis 1980—1981". Baltic Worlds. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  8. ^ a b Snutt, Anna (22 July 1982). "Veteran Polish politician is named foreign minister". The CS Monitor. Warsaw. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  9. ^ "New leadership team shifts focus to economy" (PDF). CIA. 10 December 1985. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  10. ^ Gillette, Robert (13 November 1985). "Poland Completes Leadership Reshuffle". Los Angeles Times. Warsaw. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Don't Mess with Cupid: A Remembrance". Hoover Archivists' Musings. Blog of the Hoover Institution Library and Archives. 7 September 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  12. ^ a b c Martin, Douglas (20 May 1988). "Love Moves Ex-Polish Leader From Warsaw to Rego Park". New York Times. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  13. ^ a b c "More of Polish Foreign Minister's Papers Received by Hoover Archives". Hoover Institution. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  14. ^ Werner G. Hahn (1987). Democracy in a Communist Party: Poland's Experience since 1980. New York: Columbia University Press. – via Questia (subscription required)
  15. ^ Schopflin, George. "Poland: Troubled Relations Between Church and State" (PDF). Biblical Studies. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  16. ^ "Warsaw minister calls on the Pope". The Calgary Herald. Rome. 13 November 1973. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  17. ^ de Weydenthal, J. B. (1984). "The Pope's Pilgrimage to Poland" (PDF). Religion in Communist Lands. 12 (1). Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  18. ^ Gasztold-Seń, Przemysław (4 October 2011). "The Road to Martial Law: Polish Communist Authorities vs. Solidarity" (PDF). Polish Institute of National Remembrance. Retrieved 13 June 2013.