Meeting of Bulgarian journalists and historians with Deputy President of the IPN Dr Mateusz Szpytma

On 23 May 2018, at the President's Office of the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw we hosted journalists and historians from Bulgaria interested in the activities and educational initiatives of the Institute of National Remembrance. The main tasks of the Institute were presented to our guests by the Deputy President of the IPN Dr Mateusz Szpytma.


Aat the beginning of the meeting Dr Szpytma presented the structure of the institute, its subsequent units and the statutory scope of their activity. He pointed out that an important point of reference for the Institute of National Remembrance was the earlier establishment of the Gauck Institute, but the research of our institution covers a wider historical period - 1917-1990. Dr Mateusz Szpytma explained that the longest operating unit at our institution is the Chief Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, continuing the work of its predecessors (including the Central Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland) and employing 76 prosecutors.

Journalists and historians from Bulgaria were interested, among others, in the  activity of the Lustration Office and the IPN Archive. Questions were asked about who can apply for the access to documents in the Archive, and what kind of documents are among nearly 100 km of files, which - as Dr Mateusz Szpytma emphasized - are the "heart of the Institute" and the basis for scientific research.

The guests from Bulgaria also asked about the punishment of public figures for concealing cooperation with the communist security apparatus in a lustration declaration (in the case of a judgment issued by the court), how the Polish People’s Republic period is dealt with in Polish history textbooks, or whether the perpetrators of political assassinations can count on statute of limitations.

The participants of the meeting were journalists Dżanan Dural, Irina Nedeva, Saint Terziev, Dr. Albena Simowa, editor-in-chief of "AzBuki National Publishing House" (a publishing house of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Bulgaria) and historians: Dr Mira Markova, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of History at the University of Sofia, Dr Dżeni Iwanowa from the Archives of Science of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Dr Vladimir Stanew, lecturer at the Department of New History of Bulgaria at the University of Sofia and Milena Michailova, employee of the Program Department of the Polish Institute in Sofia. A study visit on 22-27 May for the journalists and historians from Bulgaria was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. The meeting at the headquarters of the Institute of National Remembrance was organized by the Institute of National Remembrance.

The "AzBuki National Publishing House" publishes the prestigious quarterly "Historia". In 2017, a collection of articles was published that focused on the issue of "Historical Memory in the Context of Rescuing Jews During World War II". The results of research work were presented by the following IPN historians: Dr Marcin Urynowicz, Prof. Waldemar Grabowski, Dr Grzegorz Berendt (currently Deputy Director of the Museum of World War II), Dr Aleksandra Namysło, Dr Elżbieta Rączy, Dr Sebastian Piątkowski, Dr Mateusz Szpytma. The introduction was written by Deputy President of the IPN Dr Mateusz Szpytma.

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