Death in the Forest: The Story of the Katyn Forest Massacre

By J. K. Zawodny | Go to book overview

VI
Analysis of the Evidence

THE NUREMBERG TRIAL did not untangle the Katyn affair; the Germans and the Soviets each blamed the other for the atrocity. For reasons of political expediency some of the existing data in the Allied camp were suppressed or conveniently omitted from consideration. It is the purpose of this chapter to assess all of the available evidence.

Let us first summarize the facts. The physical presence of about 15,000 Polish prisoners-of-war, mostly officers, in Soviet Russia has been established beyond doubt. These men were imprisoned in three Soviet camps--Kozelsk, Ostashkov, and Starobelsk--following their capture in the Soviet-Polish campaign of 1939. The approximate distribution of the men in the camps was as follows: Kozelsk, 5,000; Ostashkov, 6,570; and Starobelsk, 4,000. These added up to a total of 15,570.1

All of these men were in the camps around November 1939. By the latter part of December 1939, they were allowed to write once a month to their families in Poland, which at that time was divided between the Soviet and German occupying military forces and administrations. In the early spring of 1940 all correspondence from the men from the three camps abruptly ceased. The Soviet Post Office began returning to the senders mail addressed to the prisoners; the explanation stamped on the envelopes was that the mail could not be delivered. Research has established an explanation for this fact.

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Death in the Forest: The Story of the Katyn Forest Massacre
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • DEATH ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Abbreviations xv
  • I- The Prisoners Who Vanished 3
  • II- The Graves in the Forest 15
  • III- The Inconvenient Allies-- Alive and Dead 29
  • IV- The Soviet Commission Investigation 49
  • V- Nuremberg- Crime and Punishment in International Politics 59
  • VI- Analysis of the Evidence 77
  • VII- Reconstruction- To the Edge of the Graves 101
  • Vlll Reconstruction- Marked to Live and Marked to Die 127
  • IX- Problems Caused by Katyn after the War 169
  • Appendix 199
  • Index 219
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