Minister Cannon Mourns Death of Marek Edelman

(No. 302 - October 8, 2009 - 2:45 p.m. EDT) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today marked the funeral of Marek Edelman, last surviving leader of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today marked the funeral of Marek Edelman, last surviving leader of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

"On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish to offer our most sincere condolences on the loss of Marek Edelman to his family, friends and loved ones," said Minister Cannon. "We mourn his passing with them, with the people of Poland and with defenders of freedom everywhere."

During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Dr. Edelman helped lead a handful of poorly armed young Jewish men and women in their valiant but doomed fight against the Ghetto’s liquidation by the Nazi occupiers. One of the few escapees from that battle, he fought the Nazis again in the ill-fated 1944 Warsaw Uprising, when the Polish Resistance rose unsuccessfully to liberate the city before the arrival of the Soviet Red Army.

Dr. Edelman remained in Poland after the war and went on to challenge the communists as a Solidarity activist, and to save countless human lives as a leading heart specialist.

"Dr. Edelman was a man of great and unyielding courage and a lifelong defender of liberty and dignity," said Minister Cannon. "On behalf of all Canadians, I pay tribute to his enduring memory."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874