WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — A former activist with a far-right nationalist group was named head of a branch of a Polish government institution whose archives detail crimes committed against Jews.
Tomasz Greniuch, a former activist with ONR, or the National Radical Camp, was appointed to last week as head of the Opole branch of the Institute of National Remembrance, one of the country’s leading institutions for public education about World War II and the communist era. Its archives contain materials detailing crimes committed by Poles against Jews.
Before World War II, ONR was a banned political party because it organized anti-Semitic attacks on Jews and advocated the expulsion of Jews from Poland.
In an interview Friday with Radio Opole, Greniuch said that he had once belonged to ONR but that he spent his time in “self-education and reading books, instead of going to discos.”
Also Friday, the president of the Institute of National Remembrance, Jaroslaw Szarek, visited Washington for meetings with representatives of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
“In Poland, we particularly understand the pain of the Jewish people, since we were victims of German totalitarianism from the first day of World War II,” Szarek said.