The INSTITUTE OF NATIONAL REMEMBRANCE – Commission for the
The Institute was established by the Polish Parliament on 18 December 1998. It began its activities on 1 July 2000. During the first fifteen years following its inception the IPN collected over 90 kilometres (56 mi) of archives, released 1,794 publications, organized 453 exhibits, held 817 conferences, and launched 30 educational internet portals. In the same period, the Institute researchers held interviews with over 103,000 witnesses and interrogated 508 individuals charged with criminal offences, leading to 137 sentences by the courts of justice.
According to a new law which went into effect on 15 March 2007, IPN was to be mandated to carry out lustration procedures prescribed by Polish law. However, key articles of that law were judged unconstitutional by Poland\'s constitutional court on 11 May 2007, so the role of IPN in the lustration process is at present unclear. The IPN is a founding member of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience organisation.
* 1 Purpose * 2 Organisation
* 3 Activities
* 3.1 Research
* 3.2 Education
* 3.2.1 Board games
* 3.3 Lustration
* 4 Criticism
* 4.1 Role in lustration and Wildstein list * 4.2 IPN presidential election
* 5 Praise * 6 Notes * 7 External links
IPN's main areas of activity, in line with its original mission
statement , include researching and documenting the losses which were
suffered by the Polish Nation as a result of World War II and during
the post-war totalitarian period. The Institute informs about the
patriotic traditions of resistance against the occupational forces,
and the Polish citizens' fight for sovereignty of the nation,
including their efforts in defence of freedom and human dignity in
general. IPN investigates crimes committed on Polish soil against
Polish citizens as well as people of other citizenships wronged in the
* crimes of the Soviet and Polish communist regimes committed in the
country from 17 September 1939 until fall of communism on 31 December
* deportations to the
It is the IPN duty to prosecute crimes against peace and humanity, as much as war crimes. Its mission includes the need to compensate for damages which were suffered by the repressed and harmed people at a time when human rights were disobeyed by the state, and educate the public about recent history of Poland . IPN collects, organises and archives all documents about the Polish communist security apparatus active from 22 July 1944 to 31 December 1989.
IPN was created by special legislation on 18 December 1998. IPN is
governed by the chairman. This chairman is chosen by a supermajority
(60%) of the Polish Parliament (
The IPN is divided into:
* Main Commission for the
On 29 April 2010, acting president Bronislaw Komorowski signed into law a parliamentary act that reformed the Institute of National Remembrance.
Archive at the former IPN headquarters at 28 Towarowa Street in
The research conducted by IPN from December 2000 falls into four main topical areas:
* Security Apparatus and Civil Resistance (with separate sub-projects devoted to Political Processes and Prisoners 1944–1956, Soviet Repressions and Crimes committed against Polish Citizens and Martial Law: a Glance after Twenty Years);
* Functioning of the repression apparatus (state security and justice organs) – its organizational structure, cadres and relations with other state authority and party organs * Activities of the repression apparatus directed against particular selected social groups and organizations * Structure and methods of functioning of the People's Poland security apparatus * Security apparatus in combat with the political and military underground 1944–1956 * Activities of the security apparatus against political emigreés * Security apparatus in combat with the Church and freedom of belief
* Authorities dealing with social crises and democratic opposition in the years 1956–1989 f) List of those repressed and sentenced to death * Bibliography of the conspiracy, resistance and repression 1944–1989
* War, Occupation and the Polish Underground;
* deepening of knowledge about the structures and activities of the
Polish Underground State
* examination of the human fates in the territories occupied by the
Soviet regime and of Poles displaced into the
* examining the Holocaust (Extermination of Jews) conducted by Nazis in the Polish territories
* Response of the Polish Underground State to the extermination of Jewish population * The Polish Underground press and the Jewish question during the German Nazi occupation
* Poles and Other Nations in the Years 1939–1989 (with a part on Poles and Ukrainians);
* Poles and
* Poles and Lithuanians
* Poles and Germans
* Communist authorities – Belarusians – Underground
* Fate of Jewish people in the People's
Republic of Poland
* Peasants and the People's Authority 1944–1989 (on the situation of peasants and the rural policy in the years 1944–1989)
* inhabitants of the rural areas during the creation of the totalitarian regime in Poland; * peasant life during the Sovietisation of Poland in the years 1948–1956; * attitudes of the inhabitants of rural areas towards the state-Church conflict in the years 1956–1970; * the role of peasants in the anti-Communist opposition of the 1970s and 1980s.
Among the most widely reported cases investigated by the IPN thus far is the Jedwabne Pogrom , a pogrom of Polish Jews "committed directly by Poles, but inspired by the Germans" in 1941. A selection of other cases include:
Bloody Sunday (1939) , an alleged massacre of ethnic Germans by
Poles after the
German invasion of Poland
German camps in occupied Poland during World War II , the system
of extermination, concentration, labor and POW camps operated by the
German Nazis in occupied Poland
Holocaust in Poland , persecution of the Jews by the German Nazi
occupation government in Poland
Katzmann Report , a detailed German report on extermination of
Kielce pogrom , a post-war pogrom of
Polish Jews by Poles
Koniuchy massacre , a massacre carried out by Jewish and Soviet
Kraków pogrom .
Massacre of Lwów professors , the mass execution of approximately
45 Polish professors of the University of Lwów
Massacres of Poles in Volhynia , an ethnic cleansing conducted by
Ukrainians in Volhynia during World War II
Nazi crimes against ethnic Poles , war crimes and crimes against
humanity committed against ethnic Poles by Nazi Germany during World
IPN is involved in dissemination of its research results in the form
of publications, particularly the IPN Bulletin (Biuletyn IPN,
Pamięć.pl) and the Remembrance and Justice periodicals, exhibitions,
seminars, panel discussions, film reviews , workshops and school
curricula. Since December 2000 IPN has organized over 30 academic
conferences (particularly the
The Public Education Office co-operates on a permanent basis with the Ministry of National Education and Sport , having signed a Co-operation Agreement in 2001. IPN gives opinions of curricula and textbooks on history that are used in Polish schools and is involved in teacher training activities. The IPN also co-organizes postgraduate diploma studies on history at the Jagiellonian University and the University of Maria Curie-Skłodowska .
The Institution of National Remembrance has created several board games to help educate people about recent Polish history
* 303 – a game about the
Battle of Britain
For more details on this topic, see Lustration in Poland .
On 18 December 2006 Polish law regulating IPN was changed and came into effect on 15 March 2007. This change gave IPN new lustration powers. However, key articles of that law were judged unconstitutional by Poland's Constitutional Court on 11 May 2007, making the role of IPN in lustration unclear and putting the whole process into question.
ROLE IN LUSTRATION AND WILDSTEIN LIST
One of the most controversial aspects of IPN is a by-product of its role in collecting and publishing previously secret archives from the Polish communist security apparatus, the Służba Bezpieczeństwa : revealing secret agents and collaborators (a process called lustration ). One incident which drew criticism involved the so-called Wildstein list ; a partial list of names of people who allegedly worked for the communist era Polish intelligence service, which was copied from IPN archives (without IPN permission) in 2004 by journalist Bronisław Wildstein and published in the Internet in 2005. The list gained much attention in Polish media and politics, and during that time IPN security procedures and handling of the matter came under criticism.
IPN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
The election of a new IPN president in December 2005 was controversial. Janusz Kurtyka , the incumbent IPN president, was contested by Andrzej Przewoźnik . Przewoźnik's candidature received a severe setback after documents were found which suggested his possible co-operation with Służba Bezpieczeństwa , the Communist Poland's internal intelligence agency and secret police. Przewoźnik was cleared of the accusations only after he had lost the election.
Przewoźnik and Kurtyka both died in the 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash .
IPN actions have also attracted support. In 2006 an open letter was published, declaring that:
" History of Solidarity and anti-communist resistance in Poland cannot be damaged by scientific studies and resulting increase in our knowledge of the past. History of opposition to totalitarianism belongs to millions of Poles and not to one social or political group which usurps the right to decide which parts of national history should be discussed and which forgotten."
This letter was signed by a former
Prime Minister of Poland , Jan
Olszewski ; the Mayor of
* ^ The
Institute of National Remembrance