Who Was Killed at Katyn?

Posted: February 18, 2011 in Victims of the Katyn Massacre

Those targeted at the Katyn massacre were groups of people that would offer resistance against Stalin and the Soviet Union. Men that held the highest positions in the military, professors and intellectuals, as well as civil servants and police were executed at Katyn. Joseph Stalin wanted to rid hes country of the incredibly educated. Among those killed were 11 generals, an admiral, 77 colonels, 197 lieutenant colonels, 541 majored, 1,441 captains, 6,061 lieutenants and other ranks, 18 chaplains, and the Polish army’s chief rabbi. They wanted to eliminate religious leaders because in a Communist regime religion was frowned upon and was considered the opiate of society.

The families of those killed at Katyn were targeted by the NKVD, and many were deported into different countries or into rugged Siberia. Half a million people are still unaccounted for. The NKVD traced letters sent from their prisoners at the camps to find the families. The NKVD continued to follow witnesses and relatives that knew of the massacre, and traced  then destroyed any evidence of Katyn.

600 men were saved from this terrible fate, due to their invaluable military experience that would be useful to the Soviet Union in future wars. There were some survivors from the massacre, however. Father Zdzisław Peszkowski was also a POW at the camp Kozielsk, were he escaped the execution. He later served as a priest for the families of the Katyn victims.

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