European Council president Donald Tusk and German President Joachim Gauck are attending the state funeral ceremonies for Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Poland's former foreign minister and a former Auschwitz prisoner who helped save Jews from the Holocaust.

Bartoszewski, a historian, writer and politician, died suddenly on April 24 at the age of 93.

A fragment of Mozart's Requiem opened the funeral Mass on Monday at Warsaw's St. John Arch-Cathedral, as soldiers stood guard by Bartoszewski's coffin covered with Poland's white-and-red national flag.

A member of underground World War II resistance, Bartoszewski helped save Jews. He was later persecuted under communism for his democratic views. He served twice as democratic Poland's foreign minister, and was Poland's deputy minister for dialogue with Germany and Israel.

He is to be buried at Warsaw's Powazki cemetery.