"Katyn Memorial Cross - Grodzka." Top 5 Page for this destination Walking Tip by breughel

Walking, Krakow: 16 reviews and 29 photos

  Katyn Memorial Cross.
by breughel

In front of the entrance to the Wawel castle at the end of the Grodzka street stands a memorial cross erected in 1990 on the 50th anniversary of the massacre in the Katyn Forest in Russia, the Kalinin and Kharkov prisons and elsewhere of 21.768 Poles, mainly Polish officers in April 1940.

This mass murder was carried out by the Soviet secret police NKVD. It was a decision of Beria, approved and signed by the Soviet Politburo, including Stalin. As Polish university graduates were required to be reserve officers much of the Polish intelligentsia was murdered by the NKVD with a shot in the back of the head.

The mass graves in the Katyn Forest were discovered by the Germans in 1943. The Nazi's used it to discredit the Soviet Union. The Soviets denied but the revelation led to the end of diplomatic relations between Moscow and the London-based Polish government-in-exile.

The Soviet Union continued to deny the massacres until 1990, when it finally acknowledged the perpetration of the massacre by the NKVD.

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  • Updated Feb 1, 2015
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