mcloudyn.png
Saturday October 16th, 2021 8:05AM

Polish historian with far-right past resigns from state job

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish historian resigned Monday from the government's historical institute after controversy erupted over his past ties with a far-right organization and photos of him making the stiff-armed fascist salute.

Tomasz Greniuch was recently appointed to head the Wroclaw office of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), a state organization whose role is to document Nazi and communist crimes carried out on Polish soil.

The head of the institute, Jaroslaw Szarek, said in a statement Monday that Greniuch offered his resignation and it had been accepted. Szarek said the circumstances surrounding the appointment had made it impossible for Greniuch to do his job.

Outrage had been mounting over the appointment in Poland, a country that suffered enormously under Nazi German rule in World War II. However, the fact that Greniuch was even named to the role was seen by some as evidence of how right-wing extremism has become mainstream under the Poland's conservative ruling Law and Justice party.

The party has sought to prevent other right-wing parties from cutting into its base, which has led leaders to sometimes try to appeal to ultra-nationalist voters.

Greniuch also authored a book, “The Way of the Nationalist,” published in 2013, which glorifies Léon Degrelle, a Belgian collaborator of the Third Reich, according to the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper.

President Andrzej Duda had awarded Greniuch in 2018 with the Bronze Cross of Merit, a state decoration awarded for his scholarship on the so-called “cursed soldiers.” Those were Polish resistance fighters who opposed communist forces in the later stages of World War II and in the war's aftermath.

Greniuch, who is in his late 30s, issued a public apolog y Friday for his past behavior.

“I have never been a Nazi. I apologize once again for the irresponsible gesture from several years ago and I consider it a mistake,” he said. He described his past behavior as “youthful bravado” and said he had never meant meant to glorify any form of totalitarianism.

A spokesman for the IPN office in Wroclaw said Greniuch was not available Monday to comment.

Officials close to both President Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki had signaled that Greniuch should be dismissed.

“For the sake of the institution and image of Poland, there should be a change in the position of the head of the Institute of National Remembrance in Wroclaw,” Michal Dworczyk, a top aide to Morawiecki, said earlier Monday.

Outrage in Poland has grown as images have been published of Greniuch making the stiff-armed salute years ago and participating in demonstrations as a young man with the National Radical Camp, a far-right group that traces its roots to an anti-Semitic and openly fascist movement which existed before World War II.

Greniuch had already been posted to lead the IPN office in the southwestern Polish city of Opole three years earlier. In a 2019 interview, he said he had not cut himself off from his earlier views but had changed his behavior.

"When you have your dream job, you try to be a professional," he said.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Sanofi to produce 12M vaccines for rival company
Sanofi is going to produce as many as 12 million coronavirus vaccine doses per month for rival Johnson & Johnson
8:49AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Boeing: 777s with engine that blew apart should be grounded
Boeing has recommended that airlines ground all 777s with the type of engine that blew apart after takeoff from Denver this weekend, and most carriers with the planes in their fleets said they would temporarily pull them from service
8:32AM ( 26 minutes ago )
UN to rich nations: Don't undermine COVAX vaccine program
The head of the World Health Organization is pleading with rich countries to check before ordering additional COVID-19 vaccine shots for themselves whether that undermines efforts to get vaccines to poorer nations
8:26AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
William says hospitalized grandfather Prince Philip is 'OK'
Prince William says his grandfather Prince Philip is “OK” as the 99-year-old royal consort remains under in a hospital for rest and observation
7:44AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Hard-hit French region faces weekend lockdowns
A region in southeast France is adding daytime weekend lockdowns to the 12-hour nightly curfew already in place seven days a week to slow a surge in coronavirus infections that is straining hospital resources
7:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
Hamas-ruled Gaza launches coronavirus vaccination drive
The Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip has begun its coronavirus vaccination drive following the arrival of the first vaccines to the blockaded coastal area
7:03AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
The Latest: Sanofi to produce 12M vaccines for rival company
Sanofi is going to produce as many as 12 million coronavirus vaccine doses per month for rival Johnson & Johnson
8:49AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Boeing: 777s with engine that blew apart should be grounded
Boeing has recommended that airlines ground all 777s with the type of engine that blew apart after takeoff from Denver this weekend, and most carriers with the planes in their fleets said they would temporarily pull them from service
8:32AM ( 26 minutes ago )
UN to rich nations: Don't undermine COVAX vaccine program
The head of the World Health Organization is pleading with rich countries to check before ordering additional COVID-19 vaccine shots for themselves whether that undermines efforts to get vaccines to poorer nations
8:26AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Goodyear acquires Cooper in all-American tire deal
Two of the biggest remaining American-owned and based tire manufacturers are joining forces
8:24AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Goodyear acquires Cooper in all-American stock deal
Two of the biggest remaining American-owned and based tire manufacturers are joining forces
8:13AM ( 44 minutes ago )