Wednesday, November 18, 2015
In 1940, Soviet NKVD (secret police) agents massacred 22,000 Polish citizens, including military officers, scholars, and professionals. In the Katyn forest, 4,400 were massacred. Initially, the USSR blamed this tragedy on Nazi Germany. Special commissions were established to cover up the crime. In the end, those 'investigating' the massacre were the same men who had committed the original crime. These men originally used German pistols in anticipation of having to disguise their guilt. When the NKVD went back to the forest, the bodies were removed from their mass graves and false documents were planted on the victims in preparation for further investigation. It took many years of both the USSR and Germany rejecting all accusations of guilt before the truth was finally revealed during Gorbachev's glasnost. Still, not all of the documents were released and it took many years for the Polish to piece together these tragic events.