Menu JTA Search

A Leader of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and of the Solidarity Movement Allowed to Emigrate from Poland

Marek Edelman, 64, one of the leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, has been allowed to emigrate from Poland and will settle in France. French government spokesman Georgina Dufoix announced today that Edelman, a surgeon, will join his wife who has been living in France for several years.

Edelman, at the time a young medical student, helped organize and then led the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. He was one of the handful of survivors who managed to flee the Ghetto through the city’s sewers and escape. After the war he finished his studies and then worked as a surgeon, mainly in his native city of Poznan.

Although he tried to steer away from politics he became one of the main spiritual leaders of the Solidarity Movement. He was imprisoned in 1981 for his statements in favor of Solidarity and its leader Lech Walesa. A wave of protests throughout the world and inside Poland itself against the imprisonment of a war hero forced the government to set him free a few days later. His wife left Poland at that time and has since been living unobtrusively in France.

It is believed that President Francois Mitterrand personally pleaded his case during his meeting last month in Paris with Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski.