Percorso:ANSA > Nuova Europa > Analysis > Poland: Katyn massacre has become a 'lie' for the Russians

Poland: Katyn massacre has become a 'lie' for the Russians

Removed plaque commemorating Polish officers killed by Stalin

21 May, 12:01
(by Marco Patricelli) (ANSA) - TRIESTE, 21 MAG - A clean slate and a bit of ideology can turn truth into a 'lie'. In Russia, a bureaucratic pretext (a wrong house number) was enough to remove the plaque dedicated to the memory of thousands of Polish officers killed by Stalin's NKVD in the Katyn Massacre. But, what is more serious, the justification is that the massacre is said to be "a lie". It happened in the headquarters of the University of Tver, a building that in 1940 housed the regional directorate and also the prisons of the NKVD. Just thirty kilometers away from this town, near the village of Mednoje, 6,300 Poles from the Ostashkov concentration camp were killed and buried in the woods. Birch trees were planted on the mass graves to hide all hints. It was 1940. Stalin, Hitler's ally through the first and second Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, had annexed half of Poland and had started the beheading of the ruling classes, with executions, internments, and deportations that did not spare women and children. The last step was the mass murder of officers taken prisoner after the short campaign of 1939, without a war declaration between the USSR and Poland.

An international commission established by the Germans, which also included the then famous Italian pathologist Vincenzo Palmieri, concluded that the death of the Polish officers dates back to before 22 June 1941, the day of the aggression of the Wehrmacht to the Soviet Union with the 'Redbeard Operation'.

Stalin had immediately reacted by making the Germans bear all the responsibilities and breaking diplomatic relations with the Polish government in exile in London on April 26. When the Katyn territories were re-occupied by the Red Army, the Kremlin established a new group of experts, the Burdenko Commission, which overturned the previous findings, with intimidation, threats, retractions, and data manipulation, to impute responsibility to the Germans. At the Nuremberg Process, the Soviets not only denied the existence of the secret protocols of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, including the division of Poland but tried to no avail to accuse the Germans of the Katyn massacre. In the meantime, Professor Palmieri was continually threatened and defamed by the Communists in Italy, the Krakow prosecutor Roman Martini who had investigated Soviet responsibilities was shot dead on his doorstep. The whole repertoire of lies was used with punctual disinformation by the Soviet authorities. The USSR would deny responsibility until 1989. Mikhail Gorbachev would be the first to admit the truth, and his successor Boris Eltsin would hand over part of the documentation to Polish historians. But then Vladimir Putin would close the archives and put the state secret on all the papers of the Kremlin. In recent times he has been actively involved in rewriting history starting from the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. Katyn's denial is part of a political plan, which is as false as it is seductive, and seems to work on Russian public opinion and partly also in the West. The outrage to Poland with the removal of the tombstone in Tver is an outrage to history and truth. And truth, in this case, needs neither interpretation nor distinction.(ANSA).

© Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved