Mgr Mateusz Grabarczyk
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
English abstract: The article is an analysis of the regulations regarding the reduction of pensions of former officers of the People’s Republic of Poland’s security services as an element of state politics of memory, presenting the Uniformed Services Pension Amendment Acts of 2009 and 2016 from the perspective of transitional justice.
Whilst investigating the admissibility of using such a retribution mechanism, the author draws attention to the purpose of this type of regulation. Reducing pensions has, in fact, two goals – a retrospective one and a prospective one. The retrospective goal is about administering historical justice by penalizing a specific group of people using various mechanisms (in this case administrative sanctions). In the prospective aspect, it is an element of institutionalizing memory and building a specific political narrative. As a consequence, apart from commemorative practices, it aims to produce and disseminate knowledge in public space, while clearly rejecting the past regime.
In relation to the Uniformed Services Pension Amendment Acts, while the Act of 2009 was to some extent aimed at the retrospective goal, the 2016 Act is primarily an element of politics of memory used by authorities to control the recollection of past events by explicitly condemning the previous system and all persons in any way related to it. For this reason, the author focuses on the mechanism of reducing pensions as one of the elements of politics of memory in Poland.
Keywords: Uniformed Services Pension Amendment Acts in Poland, politics of memory, institutionalization of collective memory, decommunization, reducing pensions of communist officials, transitional justice
Published: Number 3(21)/2019, pp. 67-80.
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