Czech Ambassador Jakub Dürr during an interview with ČTK in a photo from January 4, 2019.
Prague – Czech Ambassador to Poland Jakub Dürr died suddenly today, he was 46 years old. This was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Dürr had been on sick leave since November and returned to the Czech Republic from Warsaw for health reasons. However, he subsequently returned to work in Poland. Among others, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau expressed their condolences to the bereaved.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces with great sadness that Jakub Dürr, the Czech ambassador to Poland, died suddenly today. We express our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones,” the ministry said on Twitter.
“I am having a hard time coming to terms with the news that one of the most talented Czech diplomats, Jakub Dürr, has passed away. I am extremely sorry and my thoughts are with his family and loved ones,” he wrote< /i> Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský (Pirates).
“He did a lot for Czech diplomacy not only in Poland, in the past he tirelessly promoted our interests in the European Union, he also devoted himself tenaciously to European affairs at headquarters,” he added in the ministry's press release.
Dürr became ambassador in Warsaw the previous December. Between 2018 and 2020, he was the permanent representative of the Czech Republic to the European Union. He ended his post prematurely at the time, and was replaced by Edita Hrdá. Previously, he was also Deputy Minister of Education and Minister of Foreign Affairs or Vice-Rector for Foreign and External Relations of the Palacký University in Olomouc.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Dürr left an indelible mark on the overall shape and direction of Czech EU policy. “He was a born diplomat, one of the most respected and popular wherever he went. Through his daily work and personal commitment, he improved the relations and reputation of the contemporary Czech Republic. He had the gift of suppressing disputes and mistrust, he was open, kind and positive, people of different opinions and orientations they not only recognized, but also liked,” the department said.
“It is with great sadness that I received the news of the death of Jakub Dürr, the Czech ambassador to Poland. A great diplomat, he worked hard for Polish-Czech relations. He died so suddenly , at such a young age. My sincere condolences to his family and loved ones. Rest in peace,” Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki wrote on Twitter.
Polish Foreign Minister Rau wrote on Twitter in both Polish and Czech that he received the news of Dürr's death “with great sadness”. “A few days ago, we celebrated together the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Poland and the Czech Republic,” he said. “I will remember him as an extremely professional diplomat and a warm-hearted person who contributed to the strengthening of Polish-Czech relations. My sincere condolences to the ambassador's family and friends,” added the head of Polish diplomacy.
Polish Ambassador to the Czech Republic Mateusz Gniazdowski he wrote that “a great colleague and an important diplomat, a sincere friend of Poland” had left. “Jakub was a great professional and, above all, a good person and friend,” wrote Vice-President of the European Commission Věra Jourová.
Condolences were also expressed by many other current or former colleagues of diplomats or journalists working in Brussels. The news was also reported by a number of Polish media, including the PAP news agency, the daily Gazeta Wyborcza and the weekly Wprost.