"To memory of Katyn massacre victims now and then" Top 5 Page for this destination Churches Tip by matcrazy1
Churches, Warsaw: 11 reviews and 19 photos
In every or almost every Warsaw church there is a commemorative plaque, usually decorated with Polish narional flags, to memory of thousands Poles killed in Katyn in 1940. What's Katyn?
It's the name of both a village and a forest near Smolensk, Russia. Katyn forest is the site of the Katyn massacre in the Second World War in which captured Poland officers and other citizens were killed.
WWII broke out when Poland was attacked by the two invaders: Hitler's Nazis (Seprember, 1) from the West and Stalin's Soviet troops (September, 17) from the East. The two friends Stalin and Hitler divided Poland half by half in the secret Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed in Moscow on August 23, 1939. On March 5, 1940, the members of the Soviet Politburo including Stalin signed an order to execute 25,700 Polish "nationalists and counterrevolutionaries" kept at camps and prisons in occupied eastern Poland (western Ukraine and Belarus now). In the period from April 3 to May 19, 1940 about 22,000 prisoners were executed.
In April 1943 the German Wehrmacht discovered the mass grave of more than 4,000 Polish military reserve officers in the forest on Goat Hill near Katyn. The investigation led by the Red Cross disclosed that the crime had to be commited by Soviets before German invasion. The Soviet Union blamed Nazi Germany but in 1990 admitted that Stalin had been responsible.
So, in my censored school books to history the name Katyn was initially skipped then it was put with the comment about terrible Nazis crime and imperialistic, insolent, anti-Soviet liers that the crime had been commited by certainly always friendly to Poland and peaceful Sovied Union. But each Polish kid and youth did know well who comitted that crime of genocide in 1940. This knowledge was transferred from parents to kids and disclosed on these plaques (that time with no word on who did it though) put in churches.
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