Former advisor to US President Ronald Reagan leaves $250,000 to town of Cieszyn for maintenance of its Jewish cemeteries
An advisor to former US president Ronald Reagan has left five percent of his estate to the town of Cieszyn in southern Poland.
In his will, it was revealed that Richard Pipes who was born in the town left approximately $250,000 “for the improvement and maintenance of the two Jewish cemeteries located in the Cieszyn.”
Although Pipes died in 2018, administrative procedures in the United States meant that the announcement of the bequeathal could only be made by his son at this time.
But now Cieszyn mayor Gabriela Staszkiewicz has made the news public by revealing that in the will, Pipes asked for five percent of the estate to be left “at the disposal of the mayor of the City of Cieszyn
Posting on Facebook she added: "This is a fantastic gesture on the part of Richard Pipes and his family. In consultation with the owners of the cemeteries - the Jewish Community of Bielsko-Biała - we will try to make the best use of the funds.”
The two Jewish cemeteries in Cieszyn are considered to be among the most valuable historical sites in the town.
The old cemetery was established in 1647, the oldest tombstones located there date back to the mid-17th century.
A regular visitor to the Cieszyn, Pipes was born in the town on July 11, 1923 to a Jewish family of chocolate manufacturers.
Moving with his family to Warsaw in 1929, when WWII erupted the following year the Pipes family fled to the US.
Educated at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, and Cornell University, in 1950 he earned his doctorate at Harvard University, where he worked as a professor of history until his retirement in 1996.
A world-renowned authority on the history of Russia and the peoples of the Caucasus, in the early 1980s he served on the National Security Council and was president Reagan's advisor on Soviet and Eastern European affairs.
He achieved wide renown as a public intellectual deeply sceptical about the American policy of détente with the Soviet Union.
He was also the author of many works and the holder of numerous honorary doctorates, awards and honours.
In 1994, he was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of the City of Cieszyn.