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katyn forest massacre

Since Poland's conscription system required every nonexempt university graduate to become a military reserve officer,[13] the NKVD was able to round up a significant portion of the Polish educated class as prisoners of war. [97], In the following years, 81 volumes of the case were declassified and transferred to the Polish government. Katyn Massacre, mass execution of Polish military officers by the Soviet Union during World War II. [104] In a ruling on 16 April 2012, the court found Russia had violated the rights of victims' relatives by not providing them with sufficient information about the investigation and described the massacre as a "war crime". Maurycy Broch.JPG 178 × 212; 5 KB. [43] The discovery was not seen as important, as nobody thought the discovered grave could contain so many victims. The largest camps were at Kozelsk (Optina Monastery), Ostashkov (Stolobny Island on Lake Seliger near Ostashkov), and Starobelsk. [17] As early as 19 September, the head of the NKVD, Lavrentiy Beria, ordered the secret police to create the Main Administration for Affairs of Prisoners of War and Internees to manage Polish prisoners. [22] In 1950, Van Vliet recreated his wartime report. [27], Those who died at Katyn included soldiers (an admiral, two generals, 24 colonels, 79 lieutenant colonels, 258 majors, 654 captains, 17 naval captains, 85 privates, 3,420 non-commissioned officers, and seven chaplains), 200 pilots, government representatives and royalty (a prince, 43 officials), and civilians (three landowners, 131 refugees, 20 university professors, 300 physicians; several hundred lawyers, engineers, and teachers; and more than 100 writers and journalists). [103] On 6 December 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed commitment to uncovering the whole truth about the massacre, stating "Russia has recently taken a number of unprecedented steps towards clearing up the legacy of the past. In his memoirs, he refers to the 1944 Soviet inquiry into the massacre, which found the Germans responsible, and adds, "belief seems an act of faith". [22] In 1989, Soviet scholars revealed Joseph Stalin had indeed ordered the massacre, and in 1990 Mikhail Gorbachev admitted the NKVD had executed the Poles and confirmed two other burial sites similar to the site at Katyn: Mednoye and Piatykhatky. [55] The journalists were less impressed and not convinced by the staged Soviet demonstration. by Charles Scaliger September 11, 2012. [90] In March 2005 the Prosecutor-General's Office of the Russian Federation concluded a decade-long investigation of the massacre. ), Xawery Czernicki (admiral), Stanisław Haller (ret. [18], Kozelsk and Starobelsk were used mainly for military officers, while Ostashkov was used mainly for Polish Scouting, gendarmes, police officers, and prison officers. [1][12][21] In December, a wave of arrests resulted in the imprisonment of additional Polish officers. [50] In April 1943, the Polish government-in-exile led by Sikorski insisted on bringing the matter to the negotiation table with the Soviets and on opening an investigation by the International Red Cross. Jeffery tried to inform the British government about the Katyn massacre, but was as a result released from the Army. 54 Views Dr. William Pierce - The Meaning of Democracy. An investigation conducted by the office of the Prosecutors General of the Soviet Union (1990–1991) and the Russian Federation (1991–2004) confirmed Soviet responsibility for the massacres, but refused to classify this action as a war crime or as an act of mass murder. The massacre was initiated in NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria's proposal to Stalin to execute all captive members of the Polish officer corps, approved by the Soviet Politburo led by Joseph Stalin. Chief Military Prosecutor Alexander Savenkov announced the investigation was able to confirm the deaths of 1,803 out of 14,542 Polish citizens who had been sentenced to death while in three Soviet camps. [64], In 1947, the Polish Government in exile 1944–1946 report on Katyn was transmitted to Telford Taylor. [40][41][better source needed] Józef Czapski investigated the fate of Polish officers between 1941 and 1942. The falsified Soviet version of the events has become known as the "Katyn lie", a term coined in an analogy with "Auschwitz lie". The Soviets are undoubtedly going to make it their business to discover as many mass graves as possible and then blame it on us". In the United Kingdom in the late 1970s, plans for a memorial to the victims bearing the date 1940 (rather than 1941) were condemned as provocative in the political climate of the Cold War. [63], At the beginning of 1944, Ron Jeffery, an agent of British and Polish intelligence in occupied Poland, eluded the Abwehr and travelled to London with a report from Poland to the British government. The Katyn Forest MassacreUnravelling One of the Many Secrets of the Second World War 3. [22], On 5 March 1940, pursuant to a note to Joseph Stalin from Beria, six members of the Soviet Politburo — Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Lazar Kaganovich, Kliment Voroshilov, Anastas Mikoyan, and Mikhail Kalinin — signed an order to execute 25,700 Polish "nationalists and counterrevolutionaries" kept at camps and prisons in occupied western Ukraine and Belarus. [71], At the London conference that drew up the indictments of German war crimes before the Nuremberg trials, the Soviet negotiators put forward the allegation, "In September 1941, 925 Polish officers who were prisoners of war were killed in the Katyn Forest near Smolensk". Griffin novel The Lieutenants which is part of the Brotherhood of War series, as well as in the novel and film Enigma. Directed by Andrzej Wajda. [30], Detailed information on the executions in the Kalinin NKVD prison was provided during a hearing by Dmitry Tokarev, former head of the Board of the District NKVD in Kalinin. Lieutenant Janina Lewandowska, daughter of Gen. Józef Dowbor-Muśnicki, was the only woman POW executed during the massacre at Katyn. They insist that the original version of events, assigning guilt to the Nazis, is the correct version, and they call on the Russian government to start a new investigation that would revise the findings of 2004. S. Congress,Central Intelligence Agency … During the interrogation, Soprunenko defended himself by denying his own signature. [16] According to Tadeusz Piotrowski, "during the war and after 1944, 570,387 Polish citizens had been subjected to some form of Soviet political repression". [80][81] His 3 March 1959 note to Nikita Khrushchev, with information about the execution of 21,857 Poles and with the proposal to destroy their personal files, became one of the documents that was preserved and eventually made public.[80][81][82][83]. In the … The Katyn massacre was a series of mass executions of nearly 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia carried out by the Soviet Union, specifically the NKVD ("People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs", the Soviet secret police) in April and May 1940. [36], Some 3,000 to 4,000 Polish inmates of Ukrainian prisons and those from Belarus prisons were probably buried in Bykivnia and in Kurapaty respectively,[37][38] about 50 women among them. [92][93], On 22 March 2005, the Polish Sejm unanimously passed an act requesting the Russian archives to be declassified. 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