In Memory

Paul Polansky VIEW PROFILE

Paul Polansky

Paul Polansky

February 17, 1942-March 26, 2021

Paul Polansky author, human rights activist, journalist, historian, poet and cultural anthropologist died Friday March 26, 2021 at the age of 79 in Knez Selo, Serbia after a brief battle with Cancer.

Paul is survived by his sister Kathy Leigh of Anthem, AZ. Son James Polansky, daughter in law Suzanna Polansky with his grandchildren Matilda, Sebastian, Maximillian, and Emilia Polansky. Daughter Sophie Bradbury, son in law David Bradbury with his granddaughter Emily Bradbury. Daughter Kate Skelhorn, son in law Richard Skelhorn, with his grandchildren Ella and Otto Skelhorn. All residing in England. Son John Polansky, daughter in law Danielle Polansky with grandchildren Madison Polansky and Camryn Polansky of Loveland, CO. He is preceded in death by his parents Nell Polansky and Victor Polansky, and siblings JoAnne Radasovich, Jerry Polansky, Ric Polansky, Vicki Johnson, and Kevin Polansky.

Paul was born February 17, 1942 in Mason City Iowa to Nell and Victor Polansky. He was an accomplished athlete, football player and won the Golden Gloves in boxing while attending Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He studied journalism with a minor in history and speech. In 1963 he travelled to Spain and never returned. Paul was a journalist for a local paper in Madrid before embarking on a very successful real estate development career in La Costa del Sol, Almeria. He developed several enduring seaside and golf communities most notably Cortijo Grande in Turre.

Around 1990, Paul retired from real estate development and pursued his lifelong passion as a human rights advocate, activist and tireless supporter of disenfranchised people. He fought against the genocide faced by the Roma especially, but not exclusively, in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. He lived and worked with the Roma in over 19 countries. He worked tenaciously for the next 30 years to educate people and fight for the rights of the threatened and persecuted people. Paul was renowned writer and poet and published more than 40 books, spoke at over 50 universities, and founded the Kosovo Roma Refugee Foundation.

He won numerous awards for his reports on human rights violations for such international organizations as the Society for Threatened Peoples, Voice of Roma, and the Kosovo Roma Refugee Foundation. Amongst the most prestigious of these was the 2004 Recipient of Weimer Human Rights Award for which he was unanimously selected following his nomination by Nobel Laureate for Literature Günter Grass. A collection of his oral histories was acquired by the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. A full collection of his work and awards can be found at

A funeral service was held Knez Selo, Serbia; the village he called home for the past 15yrs on March 29, 2021.

If so inclined, donations in honor of Paul Polansky can be made and will be used to further his mission of fighting genocide and the persecution of threatened people. Please send to: John Polansky, 5401 Stone Creek Cr, Ste1, Loveland CO 80538.


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Published by Globe Gazette on Apr. 3, 2021.

 Today, we are very sorry to announce a terrible loss:
A great, tireless fighter for Roma rights has passed away. Paul Polansky was born in 1942 to German and Czech immigrants in Mason City, Iowa, USA. But in protest against the Vietnam War, he left his birth country and lived in Europe, for the time being in the Czech Republic.

He was the main driving force behind the unearthing of the shocking details about the “Roma death camp” in Lety in South Bohemia in the early 1990s’, where over 300 Roma and Sinti were killed during the Nazi time and many hundreds tortured and deported to Auschwitz afterwards. In the 1970’s, the Czechoslovak Republic build a pig farm on the very spot of the camp – and Paul Polansky was the person discovering the erased history of this place.

In 1999, he was one of the main reporter about the war crimes on Romani people during the Kosovo war and about their devastating living conditions after the war. At the risk of his life, he experienced pogroms against Romani people after the invasion of NATO troops, which led to the expulsion of 90 percent of this population. Since then, Paul has put all his energy into fighting for the survival of the persecuted and despised ethnic groups in Kosovo.
Paul was a great supporter of the Jubilee Congress and was involved in its preparations till his last days. We were hoping to be able to listen to his important witness at the Kosovo panel on 9th April. We will carry on with his fight for justice and make it stronger and successful one day.

Our sincere condolences to Paul’s beloved ones.
May he rest in power.

Picture: (c) by Drphotos
#restinpower #opreroma 

More info on Google

Click here to see Paul's last Profile entry.