Wladyslaw Bartoszewski was arrested at the age of 18 and incarcerated in the Auschwitz concentration camp. After about eight months he was released in April, 1941. He was one of the founders of the Polish Underground Association for Aid to the Jews, and in 1944 he participated in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
In his welcome address, Professor Dieter Lenzen, the president of Freie Universität, praised Bartoszewski's continuous struggle for freedomt: "Mr. Bartoszewski, your life is an expression of the ability to cultivate freedom in adversity and of the need to live for the sake of freedom."
"Wladyslaw Bartoszewski has not only devoted himself to the cause of freedom, but he has also taken over political resonsibility and leadership. He could have simply retired and written books in peace," said Paul Nolte, a professor of contemporary history at Freie Universität Berlin, who delivered the laudation. As Nolte said, Bartoszewski did not only write and criticize, but he also acted and intervened in the political process.
The 86-year-old laureate was the Polish Foreign Minister in 1995 and again in 2000/2001. In November 2007 he began working as a foreign policy adviser and Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.