Archive for the ‘Massacre at the Katyn Forest’ Category

In April to May 1940 Polish Prisoners were taken from their prison camps and few expected the fate that was awaiting them. The prisoners were executed and buried in mass graves at the Katyn Forest, located near Smolensk, Russia. The mass graves were discovered by German occupation forces in April 1943.

Some of the killings were more humane then others. Some prisoners were taken into to a neighboring sound proof chamber and shot in the back of the neck. Other prisoners suffered: “They stood in groups by open pits, many of them had their hands bound with barbed wire and had nooses around their necks.” In most cases personal items were taken from the prisoners. One diary ends, ” They have taken away my rubles, my belt, my penknife.” One victim at the Katyn Forest had carved in a piece of wood a diary of his last days.

From a few diary entries and items found on the site, the German occupation forces were able to piece together what had taken place, and all evidence pointed to the Soviet Secret Police (NKVD) under order of Joseph Stalin. They knew that the Soviet Union was at fault when the Swiss Red Cross did the autopsies on the exhumed bodies, and discovered that the guns used to massacre the people was the same gun that was distributive to the Soviet army. Sources:

The Katyn Masssacre, pgs. 374-385, Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him, Donald Rayfield.