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'Courier From Warsaw' Jan Nowak Dead at 91


Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, a member of the Polish underground during World War II and one of his country's leading anti-Communists, has died in Warsaw. He was 91 years old.

Mr. Nowak-Jezioranski, a journalist and broadcaster who lived much of his life in exile, fought against the Nazis who occupied Poland during the war, and against the Soviet-backed Communist state that took power afterwards.

In his book Courier From Warsaw, Mr. Nowak-Jezioranski recounted dangerous trips he made to bring news of the Polish resistance army's battles to his homeland's government-in-exile in London, and to the Western allies.

Born Zdzislaw Jezioranski, he was more widely known as Jan Nowak, a code-name (nom de guerre) he adopted during the war.

Mr. Nowak-Jezioranski left Poland and worked for the British Broadcasting Corp. in London for four years beginning in 1948. He then became chief of Radio Free Europe's Polish service, which was an important source of news for Poles during the Cold War, despite the Communist authorities' attempts to jam RFE signals.

After retirement in the mid-1970s, Mr. Nowak-Jezioranski moved to the United States, where he remained active in Polish affairs. In 1996, he was awarded the United States' highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Jan Nowak-Jezioranski returned to Poland in 2002, saying, "A moment comes when one must not look at one's country from far away."

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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