US witness report found on Stalin's Katyn massacre
A researcher says she has uncovered vital testimony from a U.S. officer who in 1943 was forced by the Nazis to watch as they exhumed thousands of Polish officers killed on Soviet leader Josef Stalin's orders. At a news conference in Warsaw, U.S. researcher Krystyna Piorkowska said she found the Paris-dated May 10, 1945, testimony of former American prisoner of war Lt. Col. John H. Van Vliet Jr. in the U.S. National Archives near Washington last November. It was filed among other unrelated WW2 documents from the U.S. Embassy in Paris. The sworn deposition provides evidence of Soviet responsibility for the 1940 massacre of some 22,000 Polish officers in the Katyn forest and other places in what was then the Soviet Union.
Files reveal Roosevelt covered up Katyn massacre to avoid angering Stalin
WWII-era documents released today bolster the long-held contention that the U.S. government covered up Soviet responsibility for the 1940 massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest. The execution of 22,000 Polish officers and other prisoners in Katyn was kept quiet because President Franklin Roosevelt did not want to anger Josef Stalin, whose forces were essential to defeating the Nazis. The documents, 1,000 pages of declassified files put online by the National Archives, included coded messages from American soldiers captured by the Germans. They reported in 1943 seeing rows of partially mummified corpses in Polish officer uniforms in Katyn, proving they couldn't have been killed by the Nazis.
Josef Stalin's grandson calls to clear leader's name over Katyn massacre
Grandson of Josef Stalin filed a suit against the Russian parliament, demanding to admit that his grandfather was not guilty of the Katyn Massacre of 1936-1938. 75-year-old Evgeny Gzhugashvili demands a review of the acknowledgement stating that the "Katyn crime was committed at the direct order of Stalin and other Soviet leaders." For decades, the Soviet regime denied responsibility for killing the Polish officers in Katyn, blaming it on the Nazis. However, in 1990, the Itar-Tass news agency published a release announcing the Katyn case as one of the worst crimes of the Stalin era. Declassified documents revealed that 22,000 Polish prisoners were killed by NKVD on March 5, 1940. In November 2010, the State Duma adopted the statement that it was Stalin who ordered the Katyn shooting.
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Russian parliament admits Katyn massacre ordered by Stalin, while communist MPs try to continue decades-long denial
Russia's lower house of parliament - The Duma - has condemned the mass killing of Polish officers at Katyn, admitting that Joseph Stalin ordered the "Katyn crime" in 1940. In a stormy debate, Communist MPs opposed the declaration. For decades Soviet propaganda claimed the massacre was carried out by the Nazis, who overran Katyn after invading the USSR in 1941 and revealed the massacre to the world.
Russia hands Poland 20 volumes of Katyn massacre documents
Russia has handed to Poland 20 volumes of documents on the World War II Katyn massacre of Polish officers in an official ceremony in Moscow. The files included documents on Polish soldiers sent to prison camps, transcripts of interrogations and death certificates. The Soviet Union's NKVD secret police shot dead 22,000 Polish officers and civilians in 1940 in the Katyn forest, near Smolensk. For decades, Moscow blamed the Katyn massacre on Hitler's Nazi Germany, until Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev admitted in 1990 that the Polish officers had been killed by Stalin's NKVD secret police.
Russia releases secret papers on Katyn massacre signed by Stalin
The Russian State Archive published secret documents detailing the Soviet leadership's decision to murder 22,000 Polish officers at Katyn and the following government cover-up. The files show how Soviet leader Joseph Stalin approved the World War II massacre proposed by Lavrenty Beria, head of the NKVD. A 4-page document sent to Stalin by Beria, sets out his proposal to "quickly examine the use of the highest means of punishment – death by shooting". Stalin's signature and a red "top secret" stamp are visible on the front page. For 50 years the Kremlin claimed that the Katyn massacre was a Nazi atrocity.
Putin became the first Russian or Soviet leader to mark the anniversary of the Katyn kililngs
Vladimir Putin became the first Russian or Soviet leader to join Polish officials in the anniversary of the murder of Polish officers by the Soviet Union at the start of World War Two. Putin depicted the executions as one tragedy out of many caused by the Soviet Union's "totalitarian regime." "We bow our heads to those who bravely met death here," Putin said at a site in the Katyn forest, where the Soviet secret police killed 20,000 Polish officers captured after the Soviet Red Army invaded Poland in 1939. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union had divided Poland between them as part of the Hitler-Stalin nonaggression pact.
Soviet Union admitted to Katyn Massacre on April 13, 1990
On April 13, 1990, the Soviet Union accepted responsibility for the 1940 murders of Polish officers in the Katyn forest, a massacre the Soviets had blamed on the Nazis. Previously Russia had maintained that the Nazi regime was responsible. Almost 22,000 Polish POWs were killed and buried in mass graves. In 1943, Nazi forces discovered one of these graves near Katyn forest. An international commission of forensic experts excavated the site and said it was the work of the Soviets. The Soviet denial and cover-up was aided by UK and US, who kept information of the massacre silent so as not to displease their ally.
Russia court to hear Poland's Katyn massacre case
The families of some of the thousands of Polish army officers executed by the Soviet Union in a WWII massacre won the right to have their case heard in a Russian court. Relatives want the Russian courts to acknowledge that the victims were killed unlawfully - hoping will open the way for the perpetrators to be identified. A Moscow district court had refused to consider the relatives' case but the Moscow City Court overruled that decision. Russia's reluctance to declassify all documents on the Katyn massacre has angered Poland. In 1990 Mikhail Gorbachev revealed that Stalin's NKVD had been responsible for the killings.
Poland's Painful Past - Director Andrzej Wajda talks about the Katyn massacre
Katyn is the most personal film Andrzej Wajda has made: he lost his father in the Katyn massacre. In 1940 22,000 Polish citizens were murdered under the orders of Josef Stalin in the Soviet Union. The tragedy was not revealed until the 1943 when the Third Reich invaded the Soviet Union and discovered the mass graves. Any Soviet citizens who spoke out to reveal the truth were punished. In Poland under the country's post-war communist regime, talk of the massacre was taboo. Throughout the Cold War the secret was kept, until finally in 1990 the Kremlin cadmitted that Stalin's secret police had been responsible.
Filmmaker Andrzej Wajda tells story of 1940 Katyn massacre in film (Article no longer available from the original source)
In "Katyn," filmmaker Andrzej Wajda is tackling a painful story he could not tell under communist rule: the murder of thousands of Polish officers by the Soviet secret police during World War II. Wajda's father, Lt. Jakub Wajda, was among the Polish officers taken prisoner by the Soviet army after it invaded Poland in 1939 - and then killed by a shot to the back of the head in the Katyn forest in April 1940. Almost 22,000 died. The Nazis discovered the mass graves during their march on Moscow in the fall of 1941, but Soviet propaganda blamed the deaths on Adolf Hitler. Moscow admitted in 1990 that dictator Josef Stalin's secret police were responsible.
U.S. cover-up of Katyn Forest - "We will not embarrass an ally" (Article no longer available from the original source)
It took the US and Russia 50 years to admit to the truth about the Katyn Wood massacre. In 1943, German soldiers found a grave of some 4,500 Polish army officers in the Katyn forest. The Nazi Regime publicized the case and accused the Soviets. Despite evidence U.S. chose to look the other way. Roosevelt opposed a call for an probe. At the Nuremberg the issue was included on the list of nazi crimes. But it was later dropped, out of concern that any revelations would "embarrass" the Soviets. It wasn't until 1990 that Gorbachev admitted Soviet involvement, and 1992 Russia handed over secret documents showing that Joseph Stalin had directly ordered the killing.
Poles take Russia to court over 1940 Katyn massacre by NKVD
Relatives of Polish soldiers, executed by Joseph Stalin's secret police in one of the WW2's most infamous massacres, are to take Russia to the European Court to make it disclose the full truth about the killings. In the Katyn atrocities, personally ordered by Stalin in 1940, the NKVD killed 21,587 Polish Army reservists on the grounds that they were "hardened and uncompromising enemies of Soviet authority". Russia has refused to prosecute surviving suspects or reveal their names. It is keeping 2/3 of the files classified, and has classed them as an ordinary crime whose statute of limitations has expired.
Polish director Wajda makes film on Katyn atrocity
Polish director Andrzej Wajda said he aims to finish a film close to his heart this year about the 1940 Soviet massacre of 15,000 Polish soldiers, including his own father, in the Katyn forest. Wajda said most Poles always knew it was a Soviet atrocity even though propaganda during WW2 and afterwards wrongly tried to pin the blame on Germany.
The Soviet massacre of Polish prisoners of war at Katyn
The Soviet massacre of Polish prisoners of war at Katyn and other camps in 1940 was one of the most notorious incidents of the Second World War. The truth about the massacres was long suppressed by the Soviet Union, the United States and Britain. In a new book, Dr George Sanford of the Department of Politics examines this often overlooked event and how the truth about the killings gradually came to light.
The Katyn Controversy - Stalin's Killing Field
One of the earliest - and certainly the most infamous - mass shootings of prisoners of war during World War II did not occur in the heat of battle but was a cold-blooded act of political murder. The victims were Polish officers, soldiers, and civilians captured by the Red Army after it invaded eastern Poland in September 1939. Strictly speaking, even the Polish servicemen were not POWs. The USSR had not declared war, and the Polish commander in chief had ordered his troops not to engage Soviet forces. But there was little the Poles could do. On 28 Sept, the USSR and Nazi Germany, allied since August, partitioned and then dissolved the Polish state.