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Kosciuszko Chair co-sponsors Katyn Conference

IWP founder and president, Dr. John Lenczowski, delivered the opening remarks at a conference entitled “Katyn: An Unfinished Inquiry” on September 15, 2011. The event was dedicated to examining the Katyn Forest Massacre – a Soviet genocide of 22,000 Polish military officers and other members of the nation’s political elite in April-May 1940 – and took place at the Rayburn Congressional Office Building in Washington. The conference was co-sponsored by IWP and Mrs. Maria Szonert-Binienda, president of the Libra Institute.

Dr. Lenczowski emphasized that in spite of the fact that the Katyn massacre occurred over seven decades ago, the case on this horrifying crime is by no means closed. In accordance with instructions from Moscow, the communists stubbornly denied Soviet complicity for fifty years. Following Gorbachev’s eventual admission of Soviet guilt (accompanied by his secret order to levy counter-accusations of “genocide” against the Poles) the current trend in post-Soviet Russia is to relativize the crime. The West, in turn, generally preferred to remain silent to avoid antagonizing the Soviets. Dr. Lenczowski concluded that Katyn should by no means be treated as an irrelevant event characterizing a bygone era. Similar genocidal massacres continue to remain a real possibility as long as a double standard persists in the West wherein Nazism is justifiably condemned while Communism benefits from a strangely high degree of tolerance, he said. To read Dr. Lenczowski’s remarks in their entirety, please click here.

The conference also featured such speakers as the head of the Polish American Congress, Mr. Frank Spula; the Honorable Aurelia Puciński, daughter of the late Congressman Roman Puciński, chief investigator of the 1952 Madden Commission on Katyn; and Prof. David Crane, a former Prosecutor of the Special Court in Sierra Leone, who indicted the infamous Charles Taylor.

The concluding remarks were delivered by Mr. Wesley Adamczyk, author and son of a Polish officer murdered at Piatikhatki in Eastern Ukraine, one of the NKVD’s killing fields during the Katyn operation. Mr. Adamczyk addressed what he termed the “conspiracy of silence” about Katyn on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Last but not least, he mentioned the 1969 Soviet cover-up of the massacre site, which included treating the land with chemicals, grinding skeletal remains, and the planting of trees and the construction of a state security facility atop the mass graves. Such an initiative aptly encapsulates the communist regime’s callous disregard for human life.