A Polish history institute is seeking to exhume and move the graves of 194 communist-era figures in order to reach the remains buried below — World War II and independence heroes killed on orders from some of those officials.

Andrzej Arseniuk, spokesman for the Institute of National Remembrance, told The Associated Press on Monday that a motion to have the graves moved in Warsaw's military Powazki cemetery has been filed with the provincial governor, who will negotiate with the families.

The institute is hoping to reach the remains of some 100 independence heroes killed in a Warsaw prison and then secretly dumped in an unmarked mass grave between 1945 and 56.

Many remains have been found under a lawn, but more are buried under graves dating to the 1980s.