War crimes which are not affected by statute of limitations according to Polish law include:  crimes of the Soviet and Polish communist regimes committed in the country from 17 September until fall of communism on 31 December ,  deportations to the Soviet Union of Polish soldiers of Armia Krajowa ,  and other Polish resistance organizations as well as Polish inhabitants of the former Polish eastern territories , pacifications of Polish communities between Vistula and Bug Rivers in the years to by UB- NKVD ,  crimes under the category of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The law stipulates that the IPN should oppose publications that dishonor or harm the Polish nation and that history should be popularized as "an element of patriotic education". The new law also removed the influence of academia and the judiciary on the IPN, and four Law and Justice candidates were appointed to the IPN kolegium replacing the former independent members. On 29 April , acting president Bronislaw Komorowski signed into law a parliamentary act that reformed the Institute of National Remembrance. The director may not be dismissed during his term, unless he commits a harmful act. Prior to , the election of the director was a complex procedure, which involves the selection of a panel of candidates by the IPN Collegium members appointed by the Polish Parliament and judiciary.
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The Institute is headed by the President whose post is independent of the state authorities. The President of the IPN is elected for a five-year term. The Institute started its activities on July 1, The headquarters of the Institute of National Remembrance is located in Warsaw. This is the expression of belief that no unlawful deeds of the state against its citizens can be protected by secrecy or forgotten.
On the basis of the statute constituting the IPN, Communist crimes are understood as the deeds performed by officials of the Communist state in the period from September 17, to December 31, , whose activities led to repress individuals and groups of people or to broke human rights in another ways. Crimes against humanity are understood mainly as crimes of genocide as defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of December 9, , as well as other forms of persecution and oppressions by official agents which were directed against people who belong to a given political, social, racial, religious or nation group.
In accordance with the principles conveyed in the international law, no statutory limitation shall apply to war crimes, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity, whether committed in time of war or in time of peace, irrespectively of the date of their commission. The IPN is responsible for gathering, assessing, disclosing and custody of the documentation created between July 22, and December 31, by Polish security agencies. The documentation would also include records regarding the Communist, Nazi and other crimes committed against Polish citizens in the period from September 1, to December 31, , as well as political repressions carried out by officials of the former Polish investigative and justice organs in that time.
The documentation concerning the activities of the security organs is also the subject of interest of the IPN. The access to the IPN records is granted to foreigners on the basis of reciprocity. Another major responsibility of the Institute is to investigate Communist and Nazi crimes as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity and peace.
The IPN investigates crimes against people of Polish origin, as well as Polish citizens of other origin and other citizens who were harmed in the Polish territories. Finally, the IPN is in charge of public education and has been engaged in research regarding the period, as well as dissemination of the research results in the form of publications, exhibitions, seminars, etc.
The activities performed by the IPN while fulfilling its mission must take into consideration the need to protect personal data of the repressed. These documents concern the following issues: Nazi crimes, Communist crimes, as well as other felonies comprising crimes against peace, humanity, or war crimes committed against people of Polish nationality or Polish citizens of other nationalities, in the period from September 1, to July 31, ; Other political repression performed by the officers of the Polish law enforcement bodies or judicature, or persons acting on their order; Activities of the state security authorities.
Biuletyn Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej
Trzy tony publikacji IPN dla polskich szkół na Litwie ruszają do Wilna
Archiwum Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej
Biuletyn IPN, nr 5 (138) * maj 2017