Moscow’s continuing lies about Katyn ‘analogous to Holocaust denials,’ Romanov says

Page 1 of the March 5, 1940 memo from Beria to Stalin, proposing the execution of Polish officers (from Russian State Archives Ф. 17 оп. 166 дело 621 лист 130). Translation:

TOP SECRET
From the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to comrade STALIN

In the NKVD POW camps and in the prisons of the western oblasts of Ukraine and Belorussia there is currently a large number of former officers of the Polish army, former Polish police officers and employees of intelligence agencies, members of Polish nationalist c-r (counterrevolutionary) parties, participants in underground c-r rebel organizations, defectors and so on. All of them are implacable enemies of Soviet power and full of hatred for the Soviet system.

POW officers and policemen located in the camps are attempting to continue c-r work and are leading anti-Soviet agitation. Each of them is simply waiting to be freed so they can have the opportunity to actively join the fight against Soviet power.

NKVD agents in the western oblasts of Ukraine and Belorussia have uncovered a number of c-r rebel organizations. In each of these c-r organizations the former officers of the former Polish army and former Polish police officers played an active leadership role.

Among the detained defectors and violators of the state- [end of page]

(Signatures: In favor - Stalin, Voroshilov, Molotov, Mikoyan)
(In margin: Comrade Kalinin - In favor. Comrade Kaganovich - In favor.) 

Opinion, Russia

Edited by: A. N.

In December last year, an all-Russian television channel owned by Gazprom Media showed a four-part series on the Katyn tragedy in which Soviet siloviki murdered more than 14,000 Polish soldiers in 1940 and then blamed it on the Germans. The latest programs continue to insist on that version of events, a lie that is “analogous to Holocaust denials,” Sergey Romanov says.

The show – and that is what it was, the chief editor of the Katyn Materials project says – featured many Russians with advanced degrees. But most of them showed their ignorance of the past, their willingness to follow the Kremlin line, and their readiness to serve as “apologists for the Stalin regime.

In so doing, these supposed “experts” showed themselves in one camp with Holocaust deniers and like the latter demonstrated “a nihilistic approach to historical evidence with the single goal of justifying a tyrant.” What they were doing “does not have any relationship to the search for truth,” the investigator says.

In an extensive article for Novaya gazeta, Romanov demolishes their arguments by citing the findings of historians, including some Russian ones, that prove beyond doubt that it was Stalin’s NKVD and not Hitler’s Gestapo that was responsible for this genocidal crime, one intended to deprive Poland of the people who could defend it against totalitarian aggression.

Even in 1940, after occupying much of Poland as a result of his criminal deal with Hitler, the researcher continues, Stalin was thinking about the future and wanted to leave the Soviet Union’s Western neighbor without the possibility of resisting occupation by Moscow after Hitler was defeated.

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Edited by: A. N.
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