Tomasz Merta killed in plane crash


The late Tomasz Merta, Under Secretary of State,
Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
From a photo Jan Mehlich.

(Click on image to see original on Wikipedia and for details of licensing.)

The Smolensk tragedy has touched every sphere of public and private life in Poland. It seems that nearly everyone has connections with one or more of the deceased. As the principal subject of BTWT is Poland’s railways. It is appropriate for us to remember Tomasz Merta, the Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the National Conservator of Historic Monuments.

It was in the Minister’s latter role that he was visited by David Morgan, President of Fedecrail in November 2008. The two discussed the state of Poland’s railway heritage, Tomasz Merta promised to assist with publicising the importance of Poland’s railway heritage. A year later he was as good as his word and he facilitated arrangements for the Minister of Culture, Bogdan Zdrojewski, to be a patron of Poland’s first International Conference on Railway Heritage and Society.

Tomasz Merta was born in Legnica on 7 November 1965. He was born in Legnica, and attended the Hanka Sawicka High School in Kielce. He was awarded an MA degree in Polish Philology by Warsaw University. He continued his postgraduate studies in the School of Social Sciences within the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Science. He was awarded a PhD by the Department of Applied Social Sciences, Warsaw University. From 1996 to 1998 he worked as a lecturer at the Institute of Applied Social Sciences, Warsaw University.

He was an active publicist. From 1996 to 1999 was a member of the editorial team of the journal Res Publica Nowa. From 1996 to 2000 he was the Polish correspondent of the East European Constitutional Review. From 2000 to 2002 he was the editor of the Quarterly Conservative. He was linked to Cracow Centre of Political Thought. He was co-author and joint editor of In defence of Common Sense (2000) and Memory and Responsibility (2005). His articles were published in many newspapers and journals. He was an adviser to the Centre for Civic Education, co-author of curricula and textbooks about society, history and entrepreneurship and teaching guides.

In the period 2000 to 2001, he served as an adviser to the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Kazimierz Ujazdowski. From 2001 to 2002, was director of the Institute of National Heritage. He was one of the authors of the cultural programme of the Law and Justice party (PiS). He was a member of the Fourth Republic Council and the programme board of the Warsaw Uprising Museum. In 2005, was a member of the Lech Kaczynski election committee during the presidential election .

On 4 November 2005, Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski (the late President’s brother) appointed him to the Under-secretary of State in the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the General Conservator of Monuments. He retained his position after the Civil Platform party, under Prime Minister Donald Tusk came into power on 16 November 2007.

On April 10, 2010 he was in a plane carrying a delegates invited by the President of Poland’s to the ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Forest massacre. The plane crashed as it attempted to land in Smolensk. There were no survivors.


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