The Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation (Polish: Instytut Pamięci Narodowej – Komisja Ścigania Zbrodni przeciwko Narodowi Polskiemu; IPN) is a Polish government-affiliated research institute with lustration prerogatives, as well as prosecution powers. It was created by legislation enacted by the Parliament. The Institute specialises in the legal and historical examination of the 20th century history of Poland in particular. IPN investigates both Nazi and Communist crimes committed in Poland between 1939 and the Revolutions of 1989, documents its findings and disseminates the results of its investigations to the public.
The Institute was established by the Polish Parliament on 18 December 1998. It began its activities on 1 July 2000. During the first fifteen years following its inception the IPN collected over 90 kilometres (56 mi) of archives, released 1,794 publications, organized 453 exhibits, held 817 conferences, and launched 30 educational internet portals. In the same period, the Institute researchers held interviews with over 103,000 witnesses and interrogated 508 individuals charged with criminal offences, leading to 137 sentences by the courts of justice.
According to a new law which went into effect on 15 March 2007, IPN was to be mandated to carry out lustration procedures prescribed by Polish law. However, key articles of that law were judged unconstitutional by Poland's constitutional court on 11 May 2007, so the role of IPN in the lustration process is at present unclear. The IPN is a founding member of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience organisation....LESS