Katyn Forest Massacre

Katyn

Katyn (kətĬn´), village, W central European Russia, 12 mi (19 km) W of Smolensk. During World War II, when it was part of the USSR, it was occupied by the Germans in Aug., 1941. In 1943 the German government announced that the mass grave of some 4,250 Polish officers had been found in a forest near Katyn and accused the Soviets of having massacred them. The officers had been captured during the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939. The Soviet government denied the German charges and asserted that the Poles, war prisoners, had been captured and executed by invading German units in 1941. The Soviets refused to permit an investigation by the International Red Cross. In 1944, a Soviet investigating commission alleged that the Germans killed the officers. In 1951–52, a U.S. Congressional investigation charged that the Soviets had executed the Poles. In 1989 Soviet scholars revealed that Stalin had indeed ordered the massacre and the following year Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev apologized to the Polish people for the killings. In 1992 Russian officials released secret documents that proved Stalin's direct involvement in the Katyn massacre. A Russian criminal investigation into killings, begun in 1990, was halted by the chief military prosecutor in 2004.

See V. Abarinov, The Murderers of Katyn (1992); W. Materski, ed., Katyn: Documents of Genocide (tr. 1993); A. Paul Katyn (upd. ed. 2010).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2017, The Columbia University Press.

Katyn Forest Massacre: Selected full-text books and articles

Death in the Forest: The Story of the Katyn Forest Massacre By J. K. Zawodny University of Notre Dame Press, 1962
Katyn: The Long Cover-Up By Tolczyk, Dariusz New Criterion, Vol. 28, No. 9, May 2010
The Ultimate Crime: Katyn & the Invention of Genocide By Connelly, John Commonweal, Vol. 137, No. 14, August 13, 2010
The Rise and Fall of the Brezhnev Doctrine in Soviet Foreign Policy By Matthew J. Ouimet University of North Carolina Press, 2003
Librarian's tip: "Katyn" begins on p. 122
The Lesser Terror: Soviet State Security, 1939-1953 By Michael Parrish Praeger, 1996
Librarian's tip: Chap. 2 "Mass Killings of Polish Pow Officers"
The Nuremberg Trial: A History of Nazi Germany as Revealed through the Testimony at Nuremberg By Joe J. Heydecker; Johannes Leeb; R. A. Downie; R. A. Downie World Publishing, 1962
Librarian's tip: "The Mass Murder at Katyn" begins on p. 293
The Holocaust in the Soviet Union: Studies and Sources on the Destruction of the Jews in the Nazi-Occupied Territories of the USSR, 1941-1945 By Lucjan Dobroszycki; Jeffrey S. Gurock M.E. Sharpe, 1993
Librarian's tip: "Polish Jewish Officers Who Were Killed in Katyn: An Ongoing Investigation in Light Of Documents Recently Released by the USSR" begins on p. 237
The Legacy of Katyn Forest. Polish Regime Shows New Assertiveness with Soviets by Admission on Katyn Massacre By William Echikson, writer of The Christian Science Monitor The Christian Science Monitor, April 11, 1989
Katyn Forest Massacre: Of Genocide, State Lies, and Secrecy By Sterio, Milena Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Vol. 44, No. 3, Winter 2012
Was Katyn a Genocide? By Szonert-Binienda, Maria Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Vol. 44, No. 3, Winter 2012
Katyn: Justice Delayed or Justice Denied? Report of the Cleveland Experts' Meeting By Scharf, Michael P.; Szonert-Binienda, Maria Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Vol. 44, No. 3, Winter 2012
The Crime of Genocide Committed against the Poles by the USSR before and during World War II: An International Legal Study By Karski, Karol Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Vol. 45, No. 3, Spring 2013
The Birth and Persistence of the Katyn Lie By Wasilewski, Witold Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Vol. 45, No. 3, Spring 2013
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