Carla Tonini

The Polish Institute of National Remembrance. From the crimes "against" the Polish nation to the crimes "of" the Polish Nation

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The Polish Institute of National Remembrance - Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation (IPN) is a Polish government affiliated research institute with lustration prerogatives and prosecution powers. IPNmain activities include: research activities and documentation of losses "suffered by the Polish Nation as a consequence of World War Two and the Communist period"; research on "the patriotic resistance" against both Nazi and communist occupations; prosecution of Nazi and communist crimes; education of the population in recent history. Since its foundation in 1998 the IPNhas conducted research on many controversial topics such as Polish-Ukrainian relations during World War Two and the expulsion of German people from Poland after the War. One of the most famous cases investigated by the IPNis the Jedwabne pogrom, a terrible pogrom of Polish Jews committed by other Polish people in 1941. In 2006 the IPNacquired by law new lustration powers which allowed more extensive investigation on politicians and civil servants in order to uncover any possible collaboration with the intelligence services under the Communist regime. This article investigates the historical, political and cultural factors which make the Polish IPNa special case amongst similar institutions founded in post-1989 Eastern Europe.

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