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Remarks from Katyn: Unfinished Inquiry

The following is a summary of the remarks delivered by IWP president John Lenczowski at the September 15, 2011 conference on Katyn: Unfinished Inquiry, sponsored by the Kosciuszko Chair at The Institute of World Politics and by the Libra Institute, and held at the U.S. House of Representatives.  

The Katyn Forest Massacre, perpetrated by the Soviet NKVD in 1940, entailed the murders of 22,000 Polish officers and reserve officers, most of whom were leaders in various professions – doctors, lawyers, professors, etc.  They were murdered precisely because they had the capacity for leadership in the preservation of Polish culture and resistance to Sovietization.  

The massacre had been preceded by the systematic murders of some 200,000 Poles living in Soviet territory that occurred in the immediate years preceding the near-simultaneous Nazi and Soviet invasions of Poland.  

The massacre was then accompanied by the arrest of several hundred thousand more Polish civilians – also members of the educated class who were deported to the Gulag – the Soviet system of slave labor and death camps.  Many of those hundreds of thousands perished from exposure, malnutrition, disease, or execution, but many also survived, and were “saved” by Hitler’s betrayal of his Soviet allies when he invaded the USSR in 1941.   

There has never been accountability or justice for the victims of this crime.  The U.S. Government engaged in a systematic official cover-up, suppressing and destroying firsthand reports, and censoring the Voice of America and American radio stations.  The official acknowledgement of Soviet guilt was not made until 1990.  

But even to this day, multiple Kremlin-allied politicians and media outlets in Russia continue to deny Soviet guilt.  In addition, Moscow muddies the waters by alleging Polish murders of Soviet POWs during the Soviet invasion of Poland of 1920. (Those prisoners died of communicable diseases.)

To this day, most of the U.S. Government documents about this case have never been released, and the dead cry out for justice.  

If the Katyn massacre had not been covered up, the Anglo-American alliance would have been more realistic about who their Soviet allies were, and such realism could have prevented the results of the Yalta Conference, which consigned half of Europe to communist slavery for half a century.

True reconciliation of the kind that exists between Germans and Poles will most likely not happen between Russians and Poles until the truth is out and those who perpetrated the crimes are held accountable for their actions.  The crimes of communism have never been punished, and these crimes include the deaths of up to 170 million people, according to some credible experts.  These crimes have not even been anathematized.  

And so those who march to the beat of Marx, Lenin, and Mao, in contrast to those who march to the beat of Nazi ideology, continue to enjoy a free pass, as new generations forget, and then never learn the monstrous consequences of this ideology of mass murder.