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12 sierpnia 2016

A Letter of Condolence by the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda
to Ms. Simone Shlomi, Mr. Jeffrey Bialowitz, Mr. Joseph Bialowitz,

Mr. Michael Bialowitz, children of Mr. Filip Białowicz

Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is with great sadness that I learned about passing away of Mr. Filip Białowicz. In these days I share your sadness and join you in the mourning following the loss of your Father. I want you to know that His passing away marks a great loss not only for You. We are bidding farewell to a wonderful, courageous and righteous Man. To the Witness and Promoter of truth about what happened to Him and millions of other inhabitants of His home country – Poland – during the invasion and occupation by the German Third Reich.

We are saying goodbye to an ardent advocate of mutual friendship and respect among nations, religions and world views. To a person who did much to ensure that the crime of the Holocaust forever remains a closed chapter of history. So that nobody, under no circumstances, experiences it ever again.

He was a member of the Jewish community and a Polish citizen. Hence, he was one of us. His dramatic fate will forever be etched in the memory of both: the Jewish and the Polish nations, as it reveals an immenseness of suffering experienced by our two communities during World War II. Mr. Filip Białowicz was an 18-year-old young man, a man entering his maturity, his head full of plans and dreams, when all of a sudden, having committed no crime, he was brutally separated from his family and arrested. He was cast into hell on Earth, as that was the name earned by SS-Sonderkommando Sobibor, i.e. the German extermination camp in Sobibor.

But even there, it was possible to remain human. To retain human feelings and human dignity. Mr. Filip Białowicz opposed his oppressors and took an active part in the prisoners`rebellion, as a result of which he found himself outside the camp. We could well say that he regained his freedom if not for the fact that the lands conquered back then by Germans constituted nothing more but a big prison for other nations. The Polish part of that prison was most dreadful of all, because here, next to establishing ghettos, concentration camps and extermination camps, the occupiers introduced a law which prescribed that every Jew and every person of a different nationality who helped him escape the annihilation, were supposed to die. Fortunately, Mr. Filip Białowicz came across the Polish Mazurek Family, at whose home Your Father lived to see the end of the nightmare, the victory of the Allies and the end of the war.

Following my predecessor in the office of the President of Poland, who three years ago awarded your Father with the Officer`s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, today I wish to pay tribute of remembrance to Mr. Filip Białowicz. It is with utmost reverence that I reflect upon his involvement in the community live, his lectures, meetings with the youth, his multiple visits to Poland. I admired his deeply wise and balanced view of the past and present of Jews, Poles, Germans, Americans, and last but not least, of the entire humanity who, until today, dwells on the tragedy of the Holocaust.

I am convinced that Mr. Filip Białowicz contributed to a world in which the shock caused by the Holocaust will forever soften hard hearts and will always act as a warning against the ideologies of disdain, hatred and violence.

One again, I wish to offer my heartfelt sympathy: on behalf of the Republic of Poland, on behalf of my compatriots an on my own behalf.

Andrzej Duda

President of the Republic of Poland