katyn massacre

The Massacre At Katyn Forrests – World History – Free PDF Download

 

BACKGROUND

  • The Katyn Massacre: When The USSR Purged 22,000 Polish Men.
  • In 1939, Poland had been invaded from the west by Nazi forces and from the east by Soviet troops. Sometime in the spring of 1940, thousands of Polish military officers were rounded up by Soviet secret police forces, taken to the Katyn Forest outside of Smolensk, massacred, and buried in a mass grave.


MASSACRE

  • As World War II came to an end, German propaganda lashed out at the Soviets, using the Katyn Massacre as an example of Russian atrocities.
  • Soviet leader Joseph Stalin flatly denied the charges and claimed that the Nazis were responsible for the slaughter.
  • The government of Nazi Germany announced the discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Forest in April 1943.

INVASION

  • On 1 September 1939, the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany began and most countries of the British Empire declared war on Germany, but provided little military support to Poland.
  • The Soviet invasion of Poland began on 17 September in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
  • Polish soldiers and policemen were captured and interned by the Soviet authorities. Some were freed or escaped quickly, but 125,000 were imprisoned in camps.

MASSACRE

  • It is estimated about 8% of the Katyn massacre victims were Polish Jews. 395 prisoners were spared from the slaughter.
  • Executions normally take place hurriedly, but in this case the killers were in no rush.
  • The victims were taken from their prison camp and put on a train for two days without food and water.
  • When they arrived at their final destination, they were bundled onto coaches with windows smeared with cement to obscure their view. After a short drive, the men were directed one by one to the rear door of the vehicle.
  • As each man stepped into the gloomy light of the Russian forest, he would have had no doubt as to his fate.

MASSACRE

  • Those who died at Katyn included soldiers (an admiral, two generals, 24 colonels, 79 lieutenant colonels, 258 majors, 654 captains, 17 naval captains, 85 privates, 3,420 non-commissioned officers, and seven chaplains), 200 pilots, government representatives and royalty (a prince, 43 officials), and civilians (three landowners, 131 refugees, 20 university professors, 300 physicians; several hundred lawyers, engineers, and teachers; and more than 100 writers and journalists)

MASSACRE

  • The location was a forest outside the small village of Katyn just west of the city of Smolensk. And it was here  –  and at two other sites between April and May 1940  –  that Stalin’s killers shot some 22,000 Polish officers, who together constituted the cream of Poland’s military elite.
  • March 5, 1940, Stalin signed an order to execute some 21,857 of these Poles

 

 

 

World History | Free PDF