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Thousands Of Poles At Funeral Of East Bloc's First Postcommunist PM

Tadeusz Mazowiecki during his first speech as prime minister in the Polish parliament in Warsaw on August 24, 1989.
Thousands of Poles have gathered together with European leaders in Warsaw to attend the state funeral of Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the first postcommunist prime minister in the former East Bloc after the collapse of communism.

A pro-democracy activist and writer, Mazowiecki was an adviser to Lech Walesa, the leader of the Solidarity freedom movement, which ousted communists from power in Poland in 1989.

Mazowiecki died at a Warsaw hospital on October 28 at the age of 86.

INTERVIEW: Former Polish PM Jerzy Buzek Talks About Mazowiecki's Legacy

Poland's transformation inspired other anticommunist movements in the region.

But the stringent economic reforms initiated by Mazowiecki’s government led to his defeat in the first popular presidential vote in 1990.

He later served as a United Nations envoy to Bosnia.

But he resigned from that post in 1995 to protest what he considered to be world inaction in the face of atrocities there.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP