Janusz Onyszkiewicz

Janusz Onyszkiewicz
Minister of National Defense of Poland
3rd Minister of National Defense of the Third Republic of Poland
In office
11 July 1992  26 October 1993
President Lech Wałęsa
Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka
Preceded by Romuald Szeremietiew
Succeeded by Piotr Kołodziejczyk
Minister of National Defense of Poland
7th Minister of National Defense of the Third Republic of Poland
In office
31 October 1997  16 June 2000
President Aleksander Kwaśniewski
Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek
Preceded by Stanisław Dobrzański
Succeeded by Bronisław Komorowski
Personal details
Born (1937-12-18) 18 December 1937
Lwów, Poland
Political party Partia Demokratyczna - demokraci.pl

Janusz Adam Onyszkiewicz (Polish pronunciation: [ˈjanuʂ ɔnɨʂˈkʲɛvʲitʂ], born 1937) is a Polish mathematician, alpinist, politician[1] and was a vice-president of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee from January 2007 until mid-2009.[2]

Biographical note

Janusz Onyszkiewicz was born on 18 December 1937 in Lwów (then Poland, now Lviv, Ukraine).[3] He graduated in mathematics from Warsaw University. He became a famous mathematician and an alpinist in the 1970s. In the 1980s, he became the spokesman for the anti-communist Solidarity movement.[1] He became popular among foreign journalists because of his fluent English. After the introduction of martial law in Poland on 13 December 1981, he was arrested and interned.[4]

After the fall of communism in 1989, Onyszkiewicz became a member of the Polish Sejm. He served all subsequent terms from May 1989 until 2001. In the spring of 1990, Onyszkiewicz and Bronisław Komorowski became the first civilian vice-ministers of defence in the communist-dominated Ministry of Defence.[4] Later, Onyszkiewicz was Minister of Defence twice, in the cabinets of Hanna Suchocka (1992–1993) and Jerzy Buzek (1997–2000).[5]

Initially, he was a member of the Obywatelski Klub Parlamentarny, then the Democratic Union and the Freedom Union. Today, he is a member of the Democratic Party, the continuation of Democratic Union.[3]

In 1999, Onyszkiewicz was awarded the Manfred Wörner Medall by the German Minister of Defence.[1]

On 13 June 2004, Onyszkiewicz was elected to the European Parliament as a candidate of Democratic Union in the 10th constituency (Lesser Poland+Swietokrzyskie Voivodeships) receiving 50 155 votes (6,37%). On 20 July 2004 he was elected a Vice-President of the European Parliament. Onyszkiewicz is Chairman of the ICDT's International Board of Directors.[6]


  1. 1 2 3 Europa Publications, "The International Who's Who 2004", Routledge, 2003, pg. 1258
  2. "A 5-member delegation representing the European Parliament pays a 4-day visit to Taiwan.",
  3. 1 2 Dziennik Polski, "Ankieta Eurokandyta – Janusz Onyszkiewicz", , 20 May 2009,
  4. 1 2 Krzysztof Ciesielski and Zdzislaw Pogoda, "Janusz Onyszkiewicz", The Mathematical Intelligencer, Volume 12, Number 4 / December, 1990,
  5. Jeffrey Simon, "Poland and NATO: a study in civil-military relations", Rowman & Littlefield, 2004, pg. 19
  6. "An Open Letter to the Obama Administration from Central and Eastern Europe", International Center for Democratic Transition,

See also

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