Polish historian resigns state position over 2007 photos of him performing Nazi salute


(JTA) — A senior state historian in Poland resigned following the publication of photos from 2007 in which he appears to be giving a Nazi salute.

Tomasz Greniuch had served as acting director of the Institute of National Remembrance’s branch in Wrocław, in southwestern Poland, since 2019.

The institute in its announcement Monday wrote on Twitter that Jarosław Szarek, its president, had received and accepted the resignation.

“Due to the circumstances regarding the appointment of Tomasz Greniuch for the post of acting Director of the IPN’s Wrocław Branch, he cannot continue to perform this function,” Szarek said.

Last week, the Gazeta Wyborcza daily published the pictures from 2007 of Greniuch extending his right arm in a gesture similar to the Nazi salute during a meeting of the far-right ONR group to which he used to belong. Greniuch’s appointment was controversial in Poland because of his ONR ties, which he said at the time extended mostly to reading the group’s literature on Polish nationalism.

The publication of the photos sparked an uproar and protests, including from those close to the right-wing government of the Law and Justice party.

In addition to millions of Jews, the Nazis murdered about 3 million non-Jewish Poles during the Holocaust. Subsequently the sort of glorification of Nazism that is prevalent in Ukraine, Hungary and the Baltic states, among other parts of Europe, is a rare phenomenon in Poland.

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