Professor, you are the director of the National Thought Heritage Institute. Roman Dmowski and Ignacy Jan Paderewski. The new authorities announce the confirmed or possible liquidation of various institutions established during the rule of the United Right. The institute she runs is one such vulnerable institution. What is his current status?
For now, we are here. Our enemies, who revealed themselves many times, did not succeed in liquidating our institute. But the future is unknown, of course. We'll see how things go.
I believe that Minister Sienkiewicz is currently facing different problems than our institute. We are not the most important place on earth to him. In short: we work, we work. If something really bad happens, i.e. we get eliminated, I think the public will definitely find out through me.
But the current authorities are talking about liquidating another institute. A very well-deserved award: Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). How does the professor comment on such an intention?
First, I would like to remind you that I was a long-time employee of the Institute of National Remembrance (from 2000 to 2015). And in very different situations. Both chief specialist, director and advisor to the president. So I have an overview of the institute from many aspects. Of course, I believe that it is one of the best and most important institutions created in the current Republic of Poland.
Because it was built on a sound foundation from beginning to end. That is, without post-communist influences. And this without anything significantly affects the quality of Polish democracy. So, without the presence of the communists who were not subjected to dismantling, as well as the security collaborators who were not subject to scrutiny.
The second thing that makes the Institute of National Remembrance a very important institution is the fact that from the very beginning (and especially in the time of the late Janusz Kurtyka), it greatly influenced the quality of Polish understanding of the period of the Polish People's Republic.
In the Third Polish Republic, we lived in “fumes of lies” when it came to knowing who was who during the Polish People's Republic. The lack of this knowledge was destroying the quality of democracy. As well as the quality of elite performance. Because if you don't know who is honest and who is lying; Who is free and who is a slave or a bound person, the image of our elite is necessarily distorted by ignorance. It is clear that the establishment of the Institute of National Remembrance had a very positive impact on the quality and transparency of public opinion's understanding of the true elite of the Polish nation.
The third very important issue regarding the Institute of National Remembrance (obviously the one closest to me, because I was directly involved in it) is the creation of an environment of scholars and teachers who certainly put Polish science at a high level. What I mean here is scholarly research primarily related to World War II and the Polish People's Republic. And also to include the files of the security services in the investigation to learn the truth about the communist era. This was an indispensable condition for Polish science to go beyond the current “Rubicon” of its cognitive capabilities.
Different environments do not understand this at all. But we, as scholars who practiced science before the year 2000 and after the year 3000, must frankly admit that without the IPN files, we would have been somewhat blind to the possibility of knowing the truth of history. If you do not understand this, then you are either ignorant or you deliberately want to return the development of Polish science to the period of the Polish People's Republic.
I think the reasons I mentioned are enough for the audience to understand that they are dealing with a unique institution. If someone wants to “throw stones” at her, let him first think about how to interpret “the hand that throws these stones.” How do you define these people? Let them think deeply about the image they create for themselves in this way.
Why – according to the professor – do they want to liquidate the National Remembrance Institute?
If we could guess anything, we would find that there is still a very powerful post-communist mental pressure group in Poland. As is the case with a formation that was “mired” in various types of crimes and abominations, he believes that the National Remembrance Institute is the institution that made it difficult to obscure the historical truth about this formation. The truth is present in the lives of many people, or even entire societies. Also intellectuals or scholars. After all, the process of purification affects all widely understood circuits of creativity and opinion formation, which powerfully influence social consciousness. The above-mentioned circles, which hold on their conscience the various harms caused to specific persons and entire groups, are undoubtedly interested in dissolving the IPN, because it is an entity that impedes their impunity. clearly!
However, I think there is also a real problem. The problem is whether a given institution of merit continues to develop. That is, he finds new areas to “exploit” history. So that we can constantly carry a modern message to future generations of young people. It is clear that the current president, Karol Nawrocki, has understood this challenge and is trying to create such a new openness for generations. Naturally, the question of whether he succeeded or not would be resolved when he ceased his position as president.
So it's not a matter of some fetishism towards the Institute of National Remembrance. This institution must be viewed within the limits of human capabilities. It can definitely be improved. For example, one might wonder which forms of work are becoming less capable of carrying out their tasks.
For example: Investigation Department. One might wonder whether the balance of his actions is actually positive or somewhat negative. This vertical probably needs some weight loss. Perhaps this process, which is the responsibility of the public prosecutor and rarely leads to the final result, i.e. the conviction of a criminal before the court, requires other tools? As we know, settling scores with the Polish People's Republic is not an easy matter, because the other party has enormous tools that prevent law and justice from ruling. I am not talking about the party, but about these two concepts.
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