Bronis?aw Geremek, former Polish Foreign Affairs Minister, dies at age 76

Sunday, July 13, 2008File:Bronislaw Geremek.jpg

Professor Bronis?aw Geremek, a former Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, a member of European Parliament and chairman of the Freedom Union, has died today at the age of 76 in a car crash near Nowy Tomy?l, Poland. The accident occurred about 13:15 Polish time (12:15 UTC) along the way 92 near Lubie? in the Greater Poland Voivodeship.

According to the spokeswoman of the Greater Poland Voidodeships’s police, Hanna Wachowiak, Geremek died when the Mercedes he was driving collided head-on with a Fiat Ducato on the road from Warsaw to the German border. The reason of Geremek’s car crossing to the other side of the road and crashing into the oncoming car is still unknown. “The officers are investigating the reasons of the accident. They have interrogated first witnesses”, said Mariusz Soko?owski, the spokesman of the Main Command of Police in an interview with the Polish news channel TVN 24. Bronis?aw Geremek was the only casualty of the crash; the driver of the Fiat and his passenger as well as the passenger of Geremek’s Mercedes have been transported to hospitals in Pozna? and Nowy Tomy?l.

The daily Dziennik writes it was not the excessive speed which caused the crash. The newspaper’s Internet news service informs that both cars were driving with the speed of 90-100 km/h (56-62 mph). The daily reports it is assumed that Bronis?aw Germemek might have collapsed when driving; other assumptions include a defect of the car. “It lasted for a split of seconds. I don’t even know how it happened. I haven’t seen anything wrong happening to professor”, told Geremek’s passenger the police officers.

Bronis?aw Geremek was born on March 6, 1932 in Warsaw, Poland. Being a historian by training, he was an associate professor of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Polska Akademia Nauk, PAN), a member of the democratic opposition in the Polish People’s Republic, a member of Sejm from 1989 to 2001 and a chairman of the political party Freedom Union. He served as a Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland from October 31, 1997 to June 30, 2000. He was also a member of the European Parliament from July 20, 2004 onwards.

Bronis?aw Geremek is survived by two sons.

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