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Holocaust survivor and Polish-Jewish relations champ Zygmunt Rolat passes away at 93

20.05.2024 09:00
Zygmunt Rolat, a Holocaust survivor and a champion of Polish-Jewish relations, has passed away in the United States at the age of 93.
Zygmunt Rolat, pictured here in 2018.
Zygmunt Rolat, pictured here in 2018.Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

The Polish Embassy in Washington honored him as “a towering figure in the Polish-Jewish community and a beacon of hope and reconciliation […] a luminary who dedicated his life to fostering Polish-Jewish dialogue and understanding.”

Born on July 1, 1930, in Częstochowa, southern Poland, Rolat maintained a lifelong connection to his hometown, frequently visiting and serving as President of The World Society of Częstochowa Jews and Their Descendants.

In an obituary published on Facebook, the Polish Embassy highlighted Rolat's unwavering commitment to remembrance and education, despite the loss of his mother and older brother during the Holocaust. His journey brought him to the United States in 1948, where he pursued law and built a successful business. His philanthropic efforts were extensive, notably contributing to the founding of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

The Jewish Community Center in Kraków expressed deep sorrow over Rolat's passing, remembering him as “a proud son of Częstochowa, a Holocaust survivor, businessman, and long-time friend and supporter of the Jewish community in Poland [who] became one of the pillars of the revival of Jewish life in Kraków and other cities.”

Rolat's contributions were recognized with numerous honors, including the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for his efforts in promoting Polish-Jewish dialogue. He was also an honorary citizen of Częstochowa.


Source: IAR