Research Programmes


1. The Structure and Modus Operandi of the Security Apparatus of the People’s Republic of Poland

Co-ordinated by Łukasz Kamiński, Ph.D. (the PEO Head Office)

In the years 2006-2007 the project was dedicated to the personnel of the security apparatus between 1944-1990. As a result, two volumes of publications were issued devoted the managerial staff of the security authorities (vol. 2, Warszawa 2006; vol. 3, Warszawa 2007). Thus, the first stage of the project was closed. 

At the moment the aim of the project is to prepare monographic elaborations focused on the basic operational structures of the security apparatus (co-ordinated by Władysław Bułhak, Ph.D.), the counter-intelligence (co-ordinated by Krzysztof Persak, Ph.D.), the departments engaged in counteracting opposition/resistance movements (Łukasz Kamiński, Ph.D.), and the department for fighting the Church (Adam Dziurok, Ph.D.).
In 2009 a publicationis planned consisting a collection of documents (regarding individual departments of the secret police); the conclusion of the project (in the form of conferences, followed by publications) is scheduled for 2010.


2. The Security Apparatus Fighting the Political and Armed Underground Movements, 1944-1956

Co-ordinated by Tomasz Łabuszewski, Ph.D. (the BPEO Warsaw)

Between 2006-2007 the substantial and editorial work was carried out on the monumental Atlas of the Polish Resistance Movements 1944-1956 (2008), concluding the first stage of the project. This is an unprecedented publication, which includes nearly 500 maps and a research on the armed underground movements within the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The Atlas has been awarded the Oskar Halecki Prize for 'The Historical Book of the Year'. The promotional activities included an extensive informational and educational campaign with the participants in the project; this was dedicated to the question of the independence underground. The campaign included the donation of a copy of the Atlas to all secondary schools in Poland, by means of an aid in teaching history.
A new phase of research work was launched at the end of 2006, the most important element of which is the ongoing documentary project entitled ”Following Traces of Crime”, aiming to document the venues of Communist crimes that were committed in the years 1944-1956.


3. The Security Apparatus Fighting the Church and Freedom to Worship

Co-ordinated by Adam Dziurok, Ph.D. (the BPEO Katowice).

The years 2006-2007 saw, within the second stage of the project, the preparation of a volume of studies concerning activities, as undertaken by the security apparatus against the bishoprics and curial institutions in Poland in the years 1945-1989. The referent volume comprising studies thereof is now in print.
The third stage of the project, which is currently being launched, involves the project team addressing the Church’s involvement in supporting independent culture in the 1980s.


4. The Authorities of the People’s Republic of Poland towards Social Crises and the Democratic Opposition

Co-ordinated by Łukasz Kamiński, Ph.D. (the PEO Head Office).

A new phase of the implementation of the project was launched in 2006; it is divided into two stages.
Stage one, which was basically already realised, aimed to describe, on a nationwide scale, the oppositional activity in the People’s Republic of Poland in the years 1976-1980. As a result, the following volumes have seen the light of day so far: two monographs (a reprint of J.J. Lipski’s book on the Workers’ Defence Committee, and a monograph on the Movement for Defence of Human and Civic Rights by Grzegorz Waligóra, PhD). Within the project two collections of documents were also released in 2007; these were devoted to the Security Service uncovering of the Students’ Solidarity Committees (Code Name ”Wasale”) and the Society for Educational Courses (the Flying University) (Code Name ”Pegaz”). A volume of studies recapitulating the work within this stage is now being prepared for print, entitled Opposition in the People’s Republic of Poland. 1976-1980 (Łukasz Kamiński (ed.)).

A research-documentary project is now being realised that is devoted to the history of the Self-governing Trade Union “Solidarity”, within which a 5-volume synthesis will be prepared of the history of the Solidarity movement, alongside with over 50 volumes dedicated to its documents (each region in two volumes comprising: the union’s own documents and documents that were produced by the state and repression apparatuses). Furthermore, a monograph by Grzegorz Majchrzak will be published within the project, dealing with the Security Service uncovering “Solidarity” in the years 1980-1981.
A research-documentary project has been realised in parallel since 2006, which is devoted to the Fighting Solidarity organisation; here, in 2007, the first volume was published of a series entitled Fighting Solidarity in Documents.


5. The Security Apparatus versus the Emigration and Polish Diaspora

Co-ordinated by Prof. Krzysztof Tarka, Ph.D. (Opole University).

The goal of a new stage of the project, as launched in 2008, is to prepare a comprehensive volume of monographic studies that are dedicated to various aspects of the invigilation of the Emigration and Polish Diaspora by the Communist security apparatus.


6. The Security Apparatus versus National Minorities

Co-ordinated by Jarosław Syrnyk, Ph.D. (the BPEO Wrocław).

Implementation of a new stage of the project was launched in 2006 (as supervised at that time by Grzegorz Motyka, PhD). Co-ordination thereof was then assumed by Jarosław Syrnyk, PhD. Within the framework of the initiative, monographs have been published: by the latter (Ukrainian Inhabitants in Lower Silesia (1945-1989), Wrocław 2007) and by Igor Hałagida (“The Spy of the Vatican”. Bazyli Hrynyk, a Greek Catholic Priest. 1896-1977, Warszawa 2008).

Within the framework of the implementation of the current stage of the project, a sizable volume of studies was created in the years 2006-2008; it is dedicated to the policy by the authorities of the People’s Republic of Poland concerning national minorities. The volume is now being edited and reviewed. An international scientific conference will serve as a conclusion of the current phase of work within this project. The conference is entitled "Internationalism or? The Security Services in the States of "People’s Democracy" versus National Minorities", as scheduled for September 2009 and that is to be held in Wrocław.


7. The Security Apparatus versus the Representatives of Culture Making and Scientific Milieus

Co-ordinated by Sebastian Ligarski, Ph.D. (the BPEO Wrocław).

This is a new research project, which was implemented in the years 2006-2008. It aimed to present the role that the security apparatus played within the Communist authorities’ policy with respect to the representatives of three milieus: culture makers (co-ordinated by Prof. A. Chojnowski, in co-operation with S. Ligarski, PhD), scientists (co-ordinated by Prof. P. Franaszek) and journalists (Prof. T. Wolsza).

Within the project, two volumes of sources have been prepared, which are devoted, respectively, to the uncovering and invigilation of the literary men’s circles (S. Ligarski (ed.)) and the milieu of the associates of the Polish Academy of Sciences (P. Pleskot, T. Rutkowski (eds.)). Both volumes are currently being reviewed. Two further volumes of sources are now in preparation, which cover the issue of the uncovering of journalists and scientists.

In connection with the realisation of the project and the significant interest on the part of the respective circles and society in general, in the results of the project, two scientific conferences have been held in respect thereof: "Artists versus the Security Service", Wrocław, 19-20. April 2007, and “This is not the Type of Creative Activity that the Working Class Would Crave. The Apparatus of Repression with Respect to the Representatives of Creative Milieus in the Period of the People’s Republic of Poland”, Warsaw, 10-12. September 2008.


8. The Underground and Social Resistance in Poland 1944-1956. A Biographical Dictionary

Co-ordinated, in rotation, by a representative of the BPEO Warsaw, BPEO Krakow, and BPEO Wrocław.

In the period between 2006 and 2008, work was being performed on the third and fourth stages of the project’s implementation (i.e., respectively, volumes III and IV of the Dictionary). Volume III (thus concluding the third phase of the implementation of the project) was published in the year 2007, wherein the editor-in-chief was T. Balbus. Presently, the fourth stage of the project is being co-ordinated by Kazimierz Krajewski; the volume is, in practical terms, closed and ready for editorial processing.


9. War and Occupation 1939-1945

Co-ordinated by a committee of experts that comprises the following: Prof. Tomasz Szarota (President), Waldemar Grabowski, Ph.D. (Secretary), Andrzej K. Kunert, PhD, and Andrzej Chmielarz, PhD.

In working on this project, the experience and output by researchers and scientific-documentary teams co-operating with the IPN is fully utilised. A few important research topics are being realised within the project.

In the years 2006-2007, substantial work was being performed by a research team, as established in the initiative of the IPN. A team was composed of historians from various scientific centres in the country, studying the issue of the Bydgoszcz events of 3-4 September 1939 (the so-called "Bloody Sunday"). This work has recently been finished; the volume Bydgoszcz 2-4 September 1939. Studies and Documents was released in late September 2008 (P. Machcewicz, T. Chinciński (eds.)) concerning this matter.

In the years 2006-2008, the first stage of the work by a research team dealing with the Polish intelligence and counter-intelligence during World War II, within which a scientific conference was held ("The Intelligence and Counter-intelligence of the Home Army. The Structure, Activity and Achievement" – Gdańsk, 28 March 2007). At the beginning of 2008, a volume came out in print comprising studies of the intelligence and counter-intelligence of the Union of Armed Struggle-the Home Army, including, among others, the first mini-monograph in the Polish historiography of the underground counter-intelligence (co-authors: A.K. Kunert and W. Bułhak). The volume was edited by the project co-ordinator (its current stage is completed), W. Bułhak, PhD.

The year 2008 saw the beginning of the project entitled "Korboński’s Year – 2009". Three books by Stefan Korboński will be reissued within the framework of the initiative: In the Name of the Polish Republic, In the Name of Fighting Poland, In the Name of the Kremlin (compiled and edited by W. Grabowski). The project co-ordinator is Małgorzata Ptasińska-Wójcik, PhD, who, on her part, is preparing a volume of the Korboński–Giedroyć correspondence (to be published in 2009).

In 2008, within the project, the practical implementation of The Polish Underground State in Documents series. This is to supplement the hitherto source publications, with the fundamental publication entitled The Study of the Polish Underground State in London – The Home Army in Documents 1939-1945. Moreover, in the years 2008-2009, the following will appear: W. Grabowski, PhD (ed.): Minutes of the Sittings of the Committee for the Country’s Affairs, Volume One, and a volume of documents entitled Management of the Civil Fight.

Much social interest was aroused by Bogusław Kopka’s individual publication within the project, as prepared in the years 2006-2007, Konzentrationslager Warschau: the History and Consequences.


10. A Dictionary of the Two Occupations

A biographical dictionary of the Polish Underground State is being prepared by Andrzej Chmielarz, Ph.D., Andrzej Krzysztof Kunert, Ph.D., and Waldemar Grabowski, Ph.D. (acting as a co-ordinator on the part of the PEO IPN).

The programme, A Biographical Dictionary of the Polish Underground State (A Dictionary of the Two Occupations), has been implemented since 2007. Within the initiative, a few volumes will be published comprising ca. 1,500 biographical entries of the soldiers and employees of various structures of the Polish Secret State in the years 1939-1945. The first volume, including biographical entries of those persons whose names started with the letters A through J, will be published in September 2009. The next volumes will come out in succession. Following the conclusion of the Biographical Dictionary of the Polish Underground State, it is planned to elaborate and release a few encyclopaedic (problem-related) volumes of A Dictionary of the Two Occupations.


11. Poles Saving Jews

Co-ordinated by Aleksandra Namysło, Ph.D. (the BPEO Katowice), in co-operation with Grzegorz Berendt, Ph.D. (the BPEO Gdańsk).

The project is being currently carried out, mainly through the programme 'The Index of Poles Murdered and Victimised by the Nazis for Helping Jews', launched in collaboration with the General Director of State Archives, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and The Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority Yad Vashem. It explores the scale of the Nazi repression against the Poles who helped Jews at the time of the occupation. The programme aims at establishing the identity of the Poles and their biographies. The project is to be executed by the Institute for Strategic Studies in Krakow.
A separate, specific contribution by the IPN for the implementation of the project is to document the sites of the execution and burial of Polish Jews.