Poland Gives State Burial to World War II Resistance Commander Killed in 1951

While the Polish government attempts to face taboo events under decades of communism, its efforts to reconcile with the country's role during the Holocaust have come under scrutiny.

The coffin with the remains of Zygmunt Szendzielarz is driven on a horse carriage during his funeral in Warsaw, Poland, on April 24, 2016.
Alik Keplicz/AP

Polish President Andrzej Duda and government ministers have taken part in the state burial of a World War II resistance commander and communist regime victim whose remains were found in a hidden mass grave.

Sunday's funeral at a Warsaw military cemetery is part of democratic Poland's efforts to face taboo events under decades of communism. The current conservative government has made an effort to honor independence fighters who were imprisoned, executed and secretly dumped in unmarked mass graves by the communist regime in the 1940s and 1950s.

One of them was Zygmunt Szendzielarz, codename "Lupaszka," executed in 1951. Historians found his remains in 2013 among dozens of others, and he was identified through DNA tests

The government has come under scrutiny, however, for the way in which it is looking back at Poland's role during the Holocaust. Last February, it announced that that it's drawing up new regulations to punish use of the phrase "Polish death camps" when referring to wartime Nazi concentration camps on Polish soil.

Also in February, Duda's office requested the re-evaluation of a state honor conferred on a Jewish historian who researched Polish complicity in the Holocaust.