Tomasz Gerniuk, a Polish historian appointed to the post of director of the Wrocław’s branch in the city, responsible for investigating Nazi crimes, was forced to announce his retirement after a picture of him saluting was published in a local newspaper.
Gernich began working at the Institute for National Remembrance, which is responsible for investigating Nazi crimes and preserving the memory of the Holocaust in Poland in 2018.
Until recently, he served as acting branch manager in the city of Wroclaw, and a few days ago was officially promoted to branch manager.
The appointment was criticized even then, after it became known that Gernich had previously been a member of the ONR organization, a far-right organization whose members are not sick of Nazi salute and violence either.
The office of Polish President Andrzej Duda was also implicitly criticized for the appointment, with Wojciech Kolarski, the person in charge of Polish – Jewish relations in the office, saying that “the president emphasized his unequivocal position that a branch manager of the Institute for National Remembrance” could To be just a person without problematic opinions and biases. “
But in recent days, the Polish newspaper Gazeta Viborce published a photo from 2007 in which Gerniuch himself was seen saluting during a parade of members of the organization. Following the publicity and outcry caused by the picture, Gernich announced that he had decided to resign from his position at the head of the institute, which was to investigate Nazi crimes and possibly even prosecute the last surviving Nazi criminals.
The chairman of the Institute of National Remembrance in Poland, Jaroslav Sark, issued a statement stating that “due to the circumstances regarding the appointment of Tomasz Gernich as branch manager of the Institute of National Remembrance in Wroclaw, he can not continue to fulfill this role. On February 22, I received Garnich’s resignation. ”