Home > Polish history > Russia won’t rehabilitate officers executed in Katyn

Russia won’t rehabilitate officers executed in Katyn

 

Read about it here and here, though I actually gleaned the information from a fellow wordpress blogger.

Note that Fantastical Melancholy already featured a lengthy entry about Katyń once in the past.

Some other sites to explore:

Polish government page on Katyn (in English)

Katyn massacre on English Wikipedia (looks quite well researched)

Zbrodnia katyńska on Polish Wikipedia (more photos from the exhumation)

Polish Institute of National Remembrance (don’t ask me, I didn’t translate the name)

Katyn Museum web page

State Museum of Political History of Russia web page

If you want more, there are even more links here (haven’t had the time to thoroughly go through that site but it looks quite interesting itself, if slightly underfunded in the graphics design department).

 

Categories: Polish history Tags: ,
  1. Jezetha
    26 November 2008 at 23:34

    Why won’t they [the Soviet/Russian state] at last wash their hands of Uncle Joe? Disgraceful.

  2. interpres
    9 March 2009 at 21:30

    Hi Jezetha

    Maybe because there is no evidence of the guilt of
    Uncle Joe ?

    PS: Remember : You’re Innocent Until Proven Guilty –

    The faked “documents” – the socalled “secret map no 1. – that Jeltsin gave to the præsident of Poland in 1992 didn´t satisfy the Poles. They are still 17 years later demanding “the original document” hande over.
    They will probably never see any ” soviet original documents” , because they dont exist.
    All the evidence, dokuments,bullets,robe, etc points in one direction : The nazi-german Wehrmacht.

    Good Night and Good Luck

    Pavka

  3. maciek
    13 March 2009 at 1:02

    Hi Pavka. I’ll take your comment in good faith and assume that what you write springs from ignorance of historical fact, not from malicious intent. Let me get those facts straight then.

    So first off, a minor quibble: the problem is not that the Russian authorities aren’t owning up to the fact that the perpetrators of the Katyn genocide were Russian. It’s been a really long while since any Russian authorities denied that (even Putin admits it). It is, rather, a problem of what they are doing about it. One of the main issues is holding a proper trial against the perpetrators of this atrocity and officially condemning their act. Condmening those who did it would also mean rehabilitating those who were the victims. As matters stand at the moment, that is not possible, because Russians have failed to qualify the Katyn massacre as a war crime or genocide. Unless they do that, opening a “real” (in a legal sense) investigation and/or trial is impossible because it’s now almost 68 years since the incident. If it was to be treated as an “ordinary” crime, then nothing can be done about it – because too much time has passed and the statute of limitations has already expired (that was the declared reason why the Russian investigation was closed in 2005).

    The people who were involved in the Katyn massacre are obviously either already dead or will be dead in a matter of years. So the whole point is moral and symbolic rather than “judicial/legal”. It is, to put it simply, a matter of letting the truth speak for itself, instead of constantly obliterating it (please follow the first link given in the post above, the one leading to the Jurist blog, to find more details). Unofficially, Russian authorities have acknowledged the Katyn crimes and expressed regret for them several times. The reason why they are so reluctant to do it officially might have something to do with fears of possible reparations claims.

    Now let’s move on to matters of history and logic. You seem very concerned about documents. Let me point out, however, that until relatively recently there were practically no documents available at all, neither in photocopies nor any other form. And yet, long before the documents were finally revealed, it was universally accepted by historians that the genocide was conducted by Soviet forces (NKVD) on Stalin’s orders (for the sake of disinterestedness we could disregard Russian, German and Polish historians but there’s really no need for that). And frankly, how could anyone think otherwise? Consider the following: between April 1940 and the discovery of the graves in 1942 the families of the victims of the Katyn massacre had absolutely no news from their close ones. Prior to April 1940 they received letters from them etc. After that, there were no signs of life from them. Absolutely none! We’re talking about 20 000 people here. It’s difficult to believe that there wouldn’t be at least someone who had seen one of them in a prison, at a POW camp, somewhere. But no. In fact, in most cases the families had already been suspecting the truth for a long time when the graves were finally found.

    Also, I’d be very interested to learn what “secret map” you’re talking about. I happen to own a fascimile edition of all the documents passed by Jelcyn to Walesa in 1992 and there’s nothing like that in there. Incidentally, you can find photographs of several of those documents here in the Wikipedia Katyn article. Over here in the same article you will find a decent account of all the ado concerning the documentary evidence pertaining to Katyn. You might be interested to learn that there are actually some interesting arguments for German (Gestapo) involvement in the Katyn massacre. Though perhaps it doesn’t look exactly the way you would want it. Are you perhaps one of those people who have forgotten that Russia and Germany started the war together, as allies? This new theory (it certainly does not have unanimous support from professional historians!) claims that the Germans and Russians collaborated in the Katyn massacre (the Wikipedia article doesn’t say this but Kisielewski’s theory states that the Russians actually filmed some of the executions and used that as a sort of teaching material!).

  4. maciek
    13 March 2009 at 1:08

    Of course, “Condemning” and “facsimile”. Sorry for the typos.🙄

  1. 1 September 2009 at 0:04
  2. 15 January 2011 at 16:00

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