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Warsaw commemorates former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski

28.03.2023 23:00
Former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has been honoured posthumously in his native Poland by having a passageway named after him in the capital Warsaw.
The US ambassador to Poland, Mark Brzezinski (second from left), attends a ceremony to name a passageway in Warsaw after his father, the late Polish-born US strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski, on Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
The US ambassador to Poland, Mark Brzezinski (second from left), attends a ceremony to name a passageway in Warsaw after his father, the late Polish-born US strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski, on Tuesday, March 28, 2023.PAP/Andrzej Lange

Zbigniew Brzezinski was an influential Polish-born foreign policy official and geopolitical strategist who served as US national security adviser in the Carter administration.

The naming ceremony took place on Tuesday, March 28, which would have been Zbigniew Brzezinski’s 95th birthday.

Warsaw authorities gave the name of Zbigniew Brzezinski to a pedestrian passageway in the downtown area close to Litewska and Szucha Streets, near the headquarters of Poland’s foreign ministry, state news agency PAP reported.

A commemorative plaque in honour of Zbigniew Brzezinski was also placed on one of the buildings in the area.

‘A great friend of Poland’

At the ceremony, Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski hailed Zbigniew Brzezinski as “an outstanding mind,” for many years “the architect of America’s foreign policy,” and “a great friend of Poland.”

Also present was Poland’s upper-house Speaker Tomasz Grodzki, among other officials.

Zbigniew Brzezinski’s son, the current US ambassador to Warsaw, Mark Brzezinski, told the gathering that although his father had been known as “a rational and analytical strategist,” two things “always moved him: family and Poland." 

The US envoy added, as quoted by the PAP news agency, that although his father “always sought to advance the US national interest,” he nonetheless “kept reminding all US politicians about Poland.”    

Mark Brzezinski said that without his father's efforts to ensure that Poland was taken seriously and that the country was admitted to the NATO alliance, ”Poland’s history would have probably looked differently.”

Mark Brzezinski also said that his father would have been “proud and moved” to see that NATO membership “ensures that Polish people feel secure,” and that “America is Poland’s staunch ally.”

He said Zbigniew Brzezinski would have been equally proud to see “how Polish people support Ukraine, setting an example for other nations,” the PAP news agency reported.

Tuesday’s ceremony came a day after a commemorative plaque was unveiled in tribute to the Brzezinski family in the southeastern Polish city of Przemyśl.  

Mark’s great-grandfather Kazimierz was a prominent social activist and local government official in Przemyśl, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s polskieradio24.pl website reported.

‘For my father, Poland was always a North Star’

In an interview with public broadcaster TVP Rzeszów at the weekend, Mark Brzezinski said: “When I’m here in Poland, and I go to Przemyśl and Rzeszów, I think of my father at a young age, a young man who wanted to be involved in international policy and in foreign affairs, and who experienced tremendous upheaval, like any children of war experience.”

The US ambassador added: “My father was cast on North America’s shores by World War II, growing up first in Canada, and then coming to the United States, going to Harvard to do a doctorate in government, and beginning an academic career before going into the US government and becoming like a blood brother to President Jimmy Carter.”

Mark Brzezinski told TVP Rzeszów: “They achieved so much during the Carter administration. But for my father, Poland was always a North Star.”  

Born in 1928 in Warsaw, Zbigniew Brzezinski served as America’s national security adviser under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. 

He played a significant role in the dismantling and collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and in preventing a Soviet military intervention in Poland following the emergence of the anti-communist social movement, Solidarity, according to historians. 

Zbigniew Brzezinski was awarded the Order of White Eagle, Poland’s highest state honour.

He died on May 26, 2017.


Source: PAP, polskieradio24.pl, pl.usembassy.gov