After weeks of public strain, a former member of a Polish far-right group has misplaced his job as regional head of a strong authorities company tasked with – amongst different issues – investigating Nazi crimes towards Poland.

Tomasz Greniuch, a historian by coaching, has resigned his place as regional director of Poland’s influential Institute of Nationwide Remembrance (IPN). It got here on Monday after weeks of strain from politicians, activists and public figures, who noticed him as an especially inappropriate selection to carry the place given his previous ties to the far-right.

Till 2013, Greniuch was a outstanding organizer within the Nationwide Radical Camp (ONR) — an ultranationalist group that originated as a 1930s Polish fascist motion.

The IPN was created to analyze crimes dedicated towards the Polish nation first by the Nazis and the communists, whom Warsaw sees as equally evil. Greniuch’s current appointment was perceived by many as the newest piece of proof that the institute has turn out to be a automobile to advertise poisonous nationalism on behalf of the nation’s conservative authorities.

The 39-year-old was appointed as head of IPN’s Wroclaw workplace earlier this month. The promotion got here even supposing he by no means made a secret of his doubtful connections. Greniuch was a part of the ultranationalist Polish scene since 1999 and is even credited for founding the ONR department within the metropolis of Opole in 2002.



Additionally on rt.com
Poland’s Holocaust-related regulation triggers backlash from Israel


The group, which is also called Falanga, like many different fascist organizations all through the world, was behind quite a few protests soaked with xenophoic sentiment. Critics say it’s an brazenly anti-Semitic hate group.

Members routinely use the Nazi salute, although they themselves insist that the infamous gesture is supposed to invoke historical Rome. “Why ought to I be chargeable for the truth that it was appropriated by Hitler?” Greniuch himself defined to the media again when he was among the many ONR ranks.

The group’s purported opposition to Nazism nevertheless will not be that clear lower. The Falanga, for instance, holds in nice esteem Belgian Nazi collaborator Leon Degrelle. Greniuch authored a ebook glorifying the person, which was revealed in 2013. In one other ebook written underneath a pseudonym, Greniuch allegedly described himself as “100% Aryan.”

Because the home outcry over the appointment grew, the Israeli embassy in Warsaw mentioned it was “stunned” to be taught his angle to the Nazi salute and recommended he go to the Auschwitz Museum. The official reacted to the criticism by publishing an apology on the institute’s web site. He referred to as his previous ‘Roman salutes’ “youthful bravado, turning a deaf ear to widespread sense and penalties” and insisted that he was by no means a Nazi sympathiser.

The institute mentioned that when Greniuch lower ties with the far proper in 2013, he “selected the trail of a historian, researcher and reality seeker” and has confirmed his competence and dedication by working for the IPN for 3 years as the top of the sub-branch in Opole. His scholarly work throughout that point was appreciated by the federal government, as evidenced by President Andrzej Duda awarding him in 2018 with the Bronze Cross of Benefit, a state ornament.

The declare of him being a reformed man nevertheless was contradicted by pictures exhibiting Greniuch assembly numerous ONR activists as late as in 2018, which the Polish media dug up. Throughout one such encounter, which occurred in 2016, he apparently met two members of the group who had prior courtroom convictions for publicly selling Nazi ideology. In a radio interview that he gave in 2017, he reportedly mentioned he was “unashamed to invoke the unconventional nationalist custom” that had fashioned him.

The scandal lastly ended Greniuch’s directorship this week. Earlier than the sacking was confirmed on Monday night, President Duda remarked that the excessive workplace can solely be held by a “an individual of fine reputation,” whereas a high aide to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki mentioned there will likely be a change of management “for the sake of the establishment and picture of Poland.”

Like this story? Share it with a good friend!