Former far-right activist will not head IPN branch - unofficial report

Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), the body charged with investigating wartime and communist-era crimes, has announced a man with past ties to a far-right group has resigned as acting head of IPN's Wrocław branch.

Jarosław Szarek, IPN president, said in a Monday statement that "Dr Tomasz Greniuch has handed me his resignation."

"I accepted it as of February 22," Szarek said in a statement published on IPN's website.

"In connection with the circumstances related to the nomination of Dr Tomasz Greniuch as acting director of the IPN's Wroclaw branch, it is impossible for him to continue to serve his function," Szarek continued.

Greniuch took over as the branch's acting head on February 9.

The decision aroused much controversy after it emerged that in the past, Greniuch had been an activist in the National Radical Camp (ONR), a far-right and ultranationalist Polish organisation.

Furthermore, in a published photo, Greniuch was shown extending his right arm in a gesture similar to the Nazi salute during an ONR meeting.

Among those voicing objection to the appointment was Polish President Andrzej Duda.

On Monday, the head of the Prime Minister's Office, Michał Dworczyk, said that for the sake of the IPN and the image of Poland, the decision should be reversed.

Government and opposition politicians, historians and former anti-communist activists as well as the Israeli Embassy in Poland also joined in the protests. The appointment has also been widely covered by foreign media.