37th Minister of National Defense | Chairman of the Smolensk Sub-Commission
Antoni Macierewicz is the legendary leader of the anti-communist resistance in the Polish People's Republic. He founded the Workers Defense Committee (KOR), the forerunner of Solidarity, later directing Solidarity’s Center for Social Research. He also established Głos, one of the first independent publications of the communist era. A former political prisoner, he was arrested over 20 times.
Since the fall of communism, Minister Macierewicz has served at the highest levels of government. He is Deputy Leader of the largest party in the parliament, Law and Justice. Minister Macierewicz has been the Minister of National Defense, Minister of Internal Affairs, Head of the Military Counterintelligence Service, Secretary of State in the Ministry of National Defense, and Chairman of the Verification Commission. He has also served as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for the Investigation of the Causes of the 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 Crash. On October 25, 2015, Minister Macierewicz was reelected for a sixth term as a Member of the Sejm, the main chamber of the Parliament of Poland.
Minister Macierewicz is responsible for two eponymous documents, which he prepared by resolution of the Sejm. Following an investigation of national leaders of all parties, Minister Macierewicz delivered a list of those who were identified in surviving records as collaborators of the secret police in the Polish People’s Republic. The Macierewicz Report examined special forces in the Polish People’s Republic and the Republic of Poland. Minister Macierewicz disbanded the discredited Military Information Services (WSI), an intelligence and counterintelligence agency with strong links to Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate. He established new entities, immune from foreign influence, that were responsible for providing military intelligence and counterintelligence.
A report of the geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor observed, “The move both removes Soviet influence and consolidates the twins' power in the government. The release of the WSI report is one of the largest and most decisive moves along these lines. By naming people in the WSI who are connected to Soviet intelligence, Kaczynski ensures their names will forever be known for — alleged or real — Soviet ties. The move undermines the entire structure of the WSI and all of its former personnel, ensuring that it and those attached to it can never recover.”
An academic, Minister Macierewicz has been on faculty at the Department of Iberian Studies of the University of Warsaw and has taught Polish history at the Jagiellonian University. He has written numerous scholarly articles published in Polish Ethnography.
Minister Macierewicz is a Knight of the Order of Polonia Restituta, bestowed upon him in 1990 by the President of Poland in exile. He was named the 2010 Man of the Year by Gazeta Polska. In 2015, Minister Macierewicz inaugurated the Rutgers Council on Public and International Affairs World Leaders Forum.
Minister Macierewicz holds a Master's degree from the Institute of History of the University of Warsaw. He is married to Hanna Macierewicz. They have one grown daughter, Aleksandra, and are proud of their three grandchildren.