Zygmunt Rolat has passed away

Zygmunt Rolat w holi głównym Muzeum POLIN.
Zygmunt Rolat. Fot. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich

We have been deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of Zygmunt Rolat, one of POLIN Museum’s first and most important donors, and a member of the POLIN Museum Council. New York-based businessman, philanthropist and patron passed away at the age of 93.

Zygmunt Rolat was born on July 1, 1930 in Częstochowa. He felt deep connection with his hometown—he acted as President of the World Association of Jews of Częstochowa and Their Descendants, he was a patron of the Częstochowa Philharmonic and the town’s Honorary Citizen.

During the German occupation, he lost his mother and older brother. He was imprisoned in the Częstochowa ghetto, and after its liquidation, to the HASAG Pelcery labor camp. In 1948, Mr. Rolat came to the United States, where he graduated in law and founded his own transport company.

He financially supported numerous projects and organizations in Poland and abroad, including: Singer’s Warsaw Festival and the Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków. POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews particularly dear to him—he was one of the co-founders and he co-chaired the American Friends of POLIN Museum. Mr. Rolat once said about POLIN:

"I think that any person who visits our Museum, if they are Jewish they will be proud, and if they are not Jewish they will walk out knowing all there is to know about the Jewish history in Poland."

Zygmunt Rolat was awarded the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for his efforts towards fostering Polish-Jewish dialogue.