Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Poland: Forced to resign after giving Nazi salute


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An official at a Polish research institute investigating Nazi crimes left his post on Monday following the publication of compromising photos.

A senior official at the Polish Institute for National Memory, tasked with investigating Nazi crimes (above, the Auschwitz camp), had to resign for his past acquaintances with a far-right group.

Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS

A senior official at a Polish research institute responsible for investigating Nazi crimes and those committed during the Communist era resigned on Monday after photos were posted showing him giving the Nazi salute in public a few years ago.

Tomasz Greniuch was appointed at the beginning of February director of the Wroclaw (south) section of the Institute for National Memory (IPN). Soon after, photos began to circulate showing the official giving the Nazi salute at far-right rallies several years earlier.

IPN director Jaroslaw Szarek announced in a statement that it was no longer possible for Tomasz Greniuch “to continue to assume his functions” and that he had accepted his resignation.

Youthful error

The IPN was set up in 1999 to investigate and prosecute crimes committed under Nazism and Communism in Poland. Tomasz Greniuch’s appointment immediately sparked criticism in Poland and internationally.

The Israeli embassy had thus estimated on Twitter “that in Poland, a country which suffered so much from the Nazi occupation, there should be no place for the use of Nazi symbols”. But at first, the institute had defended this appointment, Jaroslaw Szarek considering that Greniuch had “apologized” and that it was a youthful mistake.

Complicity in genocide

The Polish nationalist government has in the past been accused of politicizing the work of the institute, notably refusing to commemorate the memory of figures of the Communist era who fought against Nazism.

In early February, Polish courts ordered two prominent historians to issue apologies for “inaccuracies” in their book on the Holocaust, following a libel lawsuit that sparked heated debate on freedom. of scientific research in the country.

Professors Barbara Engelking, President of the Auschwitz International Council, and Jan Grabowski, University of Ottawa, are co-authors of a book entitled “Plus loin, c’est encore la nuit”, which reports numerous cases. of Poles’ complicity in the Jewish genocide during World War II.

(AFP)





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