Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation
The mission of the Institute of National Remembrance (the IPN) is to research and popularize the modern history of Poland and to investigate crimes committed from 8 November 1917, throughout the Second World War and the communist period, to 31 July 1990. The Institute was established by the Polish Parliament by virtue of the Act of 18 December 1998. Its actual activity began in the middle of the year 2000, after the Seym (the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament) with the Senate’s consent appointed the first President of the IPN.
The principles defining the work of the Institute of National Remembrance are: the preservation of remembrance about the enormity of the number of victims, losses and damages suffered by the Polish Nation during the Second World War and after it ended; the patriotic traditions of the Polish Nation’s struggles with its occupants, Nazis and communists; the obligation of prosecuting crimes against peace, crimes against humanity and war crimes; the actions of Polish citizens in support of the independence of the Polish State and in defense of freedom and human dignity; the obligation of the state to compensate all the aggrieved by a state which violated human rights;as an expression of the belief that no unlawful action by the state against the citizens can be classified or forgotten.
The Office for Commemorating the Struggle and Martyrdom deals with commemorating historical events, places and figures in Poland and abroad, as well as honoring the struggle and martyrdom sites of other nations from the period 1917–1990 which are located in Poland.
The Office of Search and Identification looks for unidentified burial sites of the soldiers struggling for independence and victims of totalitarian oppression from the period between 8 November 1917 and 31 July 1990. It restores the memory about the people who have been condemned to oblivion by the communist authorities.
The Archive of the Institute of National Remembrance collects, elaborates on, and discloses materials related to the history of the Polish Nation between 1917 and 1990, i.e. mainly under German and Soviet occupation, and during the communist period.
The Historical Research Office disseminates knowledge and conducts academic research on the 20th-century history of Poland and the Polish Nation, including the history of Polish emigration. The National Education Office knowledge about the most significant events in the modern history of Poland. The Institute organizes classes at schools, workshops for teachers, lectures, seminars, competitions and educational trips.