Skip to comments.Court Rules Against Russia in Katyn Massacre Case
Posted on 04/20/2012 12:56:56 PM PDT by robowombat
Court Rules Against Russia in Katyn Massacre Case WRITTEN BY JAMES HEISER WEDNESDAY, 18 APRIL 2012 16:38
Over 70 years after Soviet forces secretly murdered approximately 22,000 Polish intellectuals and military officers in the Katyn Forest, the European Court of Human Rights has declared that atrocity to have been a war crime. However, unlike other war crimes of the Second World War, the calculated butchering of tens of thousands of Poles will have very little impact on a government that went to great lengths to avoid aiding the investigation: the Russian government will be required to pay 5,000 euros (approximately $6,500) to cover the court costs of the fifteen descendants of Katyn victims who brought the case before the court.
According to a story from Reuters, the case came about because of a complaint by 15 descendants of 12 victims over the adequacy of Russia's enquiry into the massacre. On April 13, 1990, the Soviet government expressed its profound regret but several decades later the Russian government still continued to be uncooperative when attempts are made to investigate the massacre. In fact, as noted in the Reuters article, the Soviet admission in 1990 of responsibility for massacre led to a inquiry which abandoned in 2004. Furthermore, as reported for The New American in December 2010, those who continued pushing for a deeper inquiry into the Katyn massacreincluding the late president of Polandhad a bad habit of dying under mysterious circumstances:
[In 1943,] Polish General Sikorsky, who had asked for an investigation of the Katyn Massacre, died in a mysterious aircraft accident off Gibraltar. Sikorsky was in a position to bring the massacre to the front of Allied political discussions, but his death weakened dramatically the voices that could call attention to Katyn. His adjutant, Joseph Rettinger, did not accompany the General on this deadly flight. Rettinger would later appear, however, as a liaison with the Polish underground and as a intermediary in the founding of what would become the European Union. He was (at least) a Soviet agent and perhaps double or triple agent who also had close ties to the European Union. Six months ago, on April 10, 2010, another equally mysterious airline crash, which resulted in the death of the President of Poland as well as 95 other Polish political leaders, added more questions about Katyn. Krzysztof Nowak of the Katyn Forest Memorial Committee believes that these two air travel disasters involving important Polish leaders who were asking hard questions about what happened in the Katyn Forests in 1940 were more than just coincidence. Put the pieces together, Krzsztof Kris Nowak told me. The higher you rise above this, the more you see the pieces fitting together. The Polish leaders were traveling to Smolensk on the 70th anniversary of the massacre, and the Soviet-built Tupolev 154 aircraft had just been overhauled in December 2009.
In a statement by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the losses suffered by those who brought the case before the court were acknowledged: (The applicants) suffered a double trauma: losing their relatives in the war and not being allowed to learn the truth about their death for more than 50 years. Of course, the court thereby attempted to sidestep the fact that everyone had known for decades that the Soviet NKJD (predecessor to the KGB) had committed the crime: the problem was getting the Soviet Union to admit it. Now, the ECHR has issued a ruling on the massacre; as the ECHR statement declares: "It (the court) found that the mass murder of the Polish prisoners by the Soviet secret police had been a war crime."
As noted in an article for the Los Angeles Times, the ECHR specifically cited the callous disregard which the Russian government had shown for the victims and the relatives by refusing to cooperate with the ECHR and concealing the results of the inquiry which was terminated in 2004. According to the Los Angeles Times:
The court "could not see any legitimate security considerations which could have justified the keeping of that decision secret," the ruling said, noting that the Russian parliament had acknowledged in 2010 that Stalin ordered the summary executions carried out by agents of the dreaded NKVD secret police. Russia's RIA Novosti news agency focused on an accompanying jurisdictional ruling by the court: Because the killings took place before Russia joined the convention on human rights that brought about the Strasbourg court, the jurists had no authority to order further investigation. Polish Justice Minister Jaroslaw Gowin said the ruling underscored Moscow's disregard for international law and disinterest in fully exposing and putting to rest a painful World War II atrocity. "It is not for the first time that Russia has a problem with following the standards of a European state of law," Gowin told Poland's TVN24.
According to The Moscow Times, the ECHR ruling is being viewed in a very different light in the circles of the Russian government:
In Moscow, Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the committee in charge of relations with the former Soviet nations in the lower house of parliament, said the European Court of Human Rights had tried to walk a middle line in its ruling. "The judges apparently sought to partly satisfy the Polish party without hurting Russia too much," Slutsky said, according to the RIA Novosti news agency. He said the issue requires deeper consideration, adding that he wasn't sure that the judges had studied all materials available. Slutsky said the court ruling is unlikely to have any impact on Russian-Polish ties, saying that while the issue remains an irritant, relations between Moscow and Warsaw are gradually becoming more constructive thanks to economic cooperation.
The ruling constitutes a moral victory for the Polish people once again, the horrific fact of the crime perpetrated by the USSR has been established before the whole world. But with Russian politicians prepared to simply dismiss the calculated murder of over 22,000 people as an irritant, one is reminded of how little has changed in the mentality of post-Soviet Russia. Lacking the equivalent of a denazification program in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet regime, few individuals were ever held responsible for their crimes committed during the long decades of Soviet tyranny, and a former KGB officer can be elected to a third term as Russian president. The symbolic award of court costs without any further punitive action against the Russian government for its alleged attempt to obstruct justice is simply one more arrogant act by a regime which views dealing with the ramifications of past crimes to be an irritant.
Russian Admission of Katyn Leaves Unanswered Questions | Print | E-mail
WRITTEN BY BRUCE WALKER
THURSDAY, 02 DECEMBER 2010 09:46
Seventy years after the dastardly deed, Russian officials officially acknowledged that Stalin, brutal dictator of the Soviet Union, personally ordered the massacre of 20,000 Polish officers and other notables at the Katyn forests.
Soviet responsibility for this crime has long been understood by all objective observers. Nazis called international attention to the bodies at Katyn in the last years of the Second World War. The Soviets denied all responsibility and instead blamed the massacre on the Nazis.
The Soviet Union was a close ally of the Nazis during the first years of the Second World War. When Hitler attacked Poland from the west, Stalin attacked Poland, shortly after the German strike, from the east. The two thuggish regimes supported each others claim to their respective halves of Poland. Bolsheviks did not merely justify their deeds in Poland, they defended what the Nazis were doing in Poland as well. Izvestia on October 9, 1939, stated, “The government of the Soviet Union and the government of Germany undertook the task of establishing peace and order on the territory of the former Poland and to give to the peoples inhabiting that territory a peaceful existence which would correspond to their national characteristics.
When Stalin, a few months later, launched an aggressive war against little Finland, the Nazis supported the Soviet position with threats against neighbors of Finland. This was noted at the time by a number of commentators. One observed: In January 1940 there was a most aggressive press campaign against the Scandinavian countries which left them in no doubt about what would happen if they intervened in favour of Finland. Neville Chamberlain told the British House of Commons on March 19, 1940: It was only German threats which terrified Scandinavian countries into withholding the help which might have saved Finland. Elliston observed the same thing: It would seem that the Germans absolutely scared the Swedes out of forthright support of Finland when the Finnish-Soviet crisis came.
The murder of 20,000 Polish officers at Katyn was a drop in the bucket of Polish blood that the Soviets spilt. Moreover, this was widely reported while the Soviets were our ally in the Second World War and criticism of Stalins horrific empire was considered unpatriotic. Max Eastman, a former communist, disillusioned, wrote a long article in the July 1943 edition of Readers Digest entitled We must face the facts about Russia. In that article, he noted that Stalin shipped east to concentration camps in Siberia between 1.5 million and 2 million innocent Poles. He estimated that about 400,000 of those Poles must already be dead.
Even youth were sent to the Gulag. This is confirmed in the testimonies of Poles from the eastern (Soviet occupied) part of Poland. One girl, Irena, notes in the corrective labor settlement for children: Our lecturers seemed to think different things at different times. Sometimes the Germans were a great nation, bound to the Soviet Union by sincere friendship, and sometimes they were Fascists who invaded other peoples countries. After the German invasion of Russia, when Soviet girls accused these Polish girls of being collaborators with the Nazi, Irena notes: Had we not up until now been accused of disloyalty to the Soviet Government whenever we spoke of the crimes against their German allies?
Eastman also noted in July 1943 that the number of souls imprisoned in the Gulag was estimated to be 10 million to 15 million, this while Stalin was fighting a war against German Fascism, and needed every soldier he could put in a uniform. The duplicity, the malice, the sadism of Soviet rule was very well publicized in periodicals such as Readers Digest. Why, then, is anyone surprised to receive confirmation that the Soviets committed their crime at Katyn?
At the same time that Eastman was writing about the duplicity of the Soviets, Polish General Sikorsky, who had asked for an investigation of the Katyn Massacre, died in a mysterious aircraft accident off Gibraltar. Sikorsky was in a position to bring the massacre to the front of Allied political discussions, but his death weakened dramatically the voices that could call attention to Katyn. His adjutant, Joseph Rettinger, did not accompany the General on this deadly flight. Rettinger would later appear, however, as a liaison with the Polish underground and as a intermediary in the founding of what would become the European Union. He was (at least) a Soviet agent and perhaps double or triple agent who also had close ties to the European Union.
Six months ago, on April 10, 2010, another equally mysterious airline crash, which resulted in the death of the President of Poland as well as 95 other Polish political leaders, added more questions about Katyn. Krzysztof Nowak of the Katyn Forest Memorial Committee believes that these two air travel disasters involving important Polish leaders who were asking hard questions about what happened in the Katyn Forests in 1940 were more than just coincidence. Put the pieces together, Krzsztof Kris Nowak told me. The higher you rise above this, the more you see the pieces fitting together. The Polish leaders were traveling to Smolensk on the 70th anniversary of the massacre, and the Soviet-built Tupolev 154 aircraft had just been overhauled in December 2009.
Russian members of the Duma, the national legislature, had debated whether to do more and offer an apology and compensation to the Polish people but such a move was not adopted. Russian President Medvedev is planning a trip to Poland in a few weeks, and the Russian government’s acknowledgement of Stalin’s role in the massacre is widely seen as a way of reducing the tension between the two nations.
Victims of communism were no less victims of a holocaust than victims of Nazism. Poles, however, remain like Lithuanians, Czechs, Ukrainians, and many other peoples of Eastern Europe victims of a holocaust that is never really mentioned or discussed much. But the vast democide by Marxist totalitarians remains a vital fact of history that is admitted only in tiny concessions like the shocking! news that Stalin ordered the murder of 20,000 Polish officers and notables 70 years ago. The real truth of Soviet evil remains 99 percent hidden or ignored.
The truth about Katyn also, people like Krzstof Nowak believe, has not been fully brought to light. When key Polish leaders die in sudden air disasters, when horrific actions by leaders of democracies, such as Operation Keelhaul, which not only sent many thousands of Russians, Ukrainians, and other refugees in Allied-occupied Europe back to the Hell of Stalins Paradise, and which included Polish soldiers who had never been subjects of the Soviet slave empire and had fought, courageously, against the Nazis facts that never seem to find their way into textbooks then the whole story has not yet been told. Seventy years ago, 20,000 brave Polish officers and notables were brutally massacred for the crime of being free men and patriots. History has not yet heard all the evidence of this crime.
I remember back in the early 1970s or maybe late 60s, William F. Buckley pointed out that “Radio Free Europe” was pushing the Soviet version of the Katyn massacre. Hard to believe but it happened.
Poland’s History and the Power of “Coincidence”
WRITTEN BY R. J. STOVE
TUESDAY, 13 APRIL 2010 16:40
The mind almost blows a fuse when contemplating the nightmare of Poland’s latest national tragedy: the deaths of Lech Kaczynski, President since 2005, and no fewer than 96 others in a plane crash on April 10.
President Kaczynski and his fellow victims (who included National Bank of Poland director Slawomir Skrzypek, as well as parliamentarians from all parties in the national legislature) had visited southwest Russia in order to commemorate the 70th anniversary of an even worse disaster. That disaster was the mass execution, in 1940, of more than 20,000 Polish military officers, public servants, Catholic priests, physicians, and intellectuals at various venues, under orders from Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Politburo.
The most infamous site of this grisly slaughter was the Katyn Forest near Smolensk, Russia, where the bodies of more than 4,000 Polish officers were found in mass graves in 1943. Their hands were tied behind their backs and they had been executed by a shot to the back of the head or neck. Thousands more of Polish prisoners were similarly executed by the Communist NKVD in prison camps in Belarus and Ukraine. In all, they slaughtered nearly half the Polish officer corps. The Soviets blamed the Nazis (guilty, heaven knows, of their own monstrous crimes against humanity) for the atrocity. Yet, even though the mass graves were found and the truth came out, no communist ever served five minutes in jail for the Katyn massacre.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has announced his willingness to establish a special commission into the crash’s cause. Putin remains unrepentant about his own KGB background. The KGB, of course, was the most well known acronym given to the dreaded Soviet secret police during its many reformulations over the decades. Currently, in its post-Soviet reincarnation, the KGB has been renamed and reconfigured as the FSB (for domestic intelligence) and SVR (for foreign intelligence). Like Putin, the FSB and SVR leadership are KGB veterans, and, except for very limited disclosures, the KGB records from the Soviet era are sealed.
Amid so much current grief, we can but hope that some proper research, encompassing the relevant Soviet archives, will be carried out into yet another Polish tragedy. This was the death in a July 1943 air crash of Poland’s exiled Prime Minister Wladyslaw Sikorski, whose plane landed in the sea near Gibraltar within minutes of takeoff.
Sikorski, in the months before his demise, had publicly called upon the International Red Cross to investigate the Katyn butcheries. Even then he knew, though the average Western politician did not, who bore the blame for that particular achievement of Murder Incorporated.
The demand Sikorski made for Red Cross action caused the Soviet regime to break off all diplomatic relations with his London-based expatriate cabinet. Predictable agitprop emerged from Moscow and was faithfully parroted by the Western media’s useful idiots about Sikorski’s “Nazi” sympathies.
Even after Stalin’s own unlamented death, every attempt to get the matter publicly discussed in Britain was stonewalled. British Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, in 1969, assured the House of Commons on the basis of documentation never published that the original British investigation into Sikorski’s death had been satisfactory: “there is no evidence at all [he further said] that there is any need or reason to re-open the inquiry.” Wilson, even during his own lifetime he died, a senile wreck, in 1995 never successfully rebutted allegations of being a Soviet agent. Was his involvement in the 1969 findings pure coincidence?
And was it yet another pure coincidence that Churchill, still in the throes of what can only be described as his adolescent crush concerning “Uncle Joe” (his own phrase), proclaimed: “There is no use prowling round the three-year-old graves of Smolensk”?
Was it pure coincidence that at the time of the Gibraltar crash, the Iberian Peninsula chief of British political intelligence MI6 (SIS, to give its 1943 name) was that celebrated “patriot,” Kim Philby? (Harold “Kim” Philby, for those unfamiliar with the name, was one of the most notorious traitors in modern espionage. A member of the “Cambridge Five” Communist spy ring, Philby became a deep mole in British intelligence and caused tremendous damage to Western security before fleeing to the Soviet Union in 1963).
Was it pure coincidence that the brutal murders of 42 unarmed Jews in the Polish city of Kielce on July 4, 1946 were blamed in the Soviet-controlled press on “fascists,” by which word was meant simply anti-Communists? In fact as even left-wing historian J. T. Gross admitted in his book Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz such archival sources as survived Stalinist purging indicate that the murders were committed by local Communist agents provocateurs. (Anti-Communist leader B. A. Santamaria, though dependent wholly on what information he could obtain from the other side of the world Melbourne, Australia stated this simple fact in his magazine News Weekly within a month of the slayings.)
Was it pure coincidence that President Kaczynski, along with his twin brother (and former Prime Minister) Jaroslaw Kaczynski, had worked more dutifully than any other post-Cold-War Polish political leader to permit research into Polish collaboration with the Soviets during the 1946-1989 period?
Was it pure coincidence that both President and Prime Minister did everything in their power to oppose the flooding of their country with the porn-abortion-sodomy culture which now invariably accompanies Western European liberalism? This flooding has occurred even in countries such as Spain, Greece and Portugal, which until the mid-1970s had recognizably Christian governments holding the line against what James Joyce pungently called “syphilization.”
All pure coincidence, you understand. If you believe that any conspiracy has ever existed anywhere in the world since the dawn of time least of all that any conspirators should have sought to reinvent their nihilistic, sexually degenerate canting as modern “conservatism” you are a Bad Person and should probably have been left kicking and gagging on the end of a Nuremberg rope.
In 1952, the Henry Regnery Company published May God Forgive Us by Robert Welch, the founder of The John Birch Society. The book was republished in 1960 by American Opinion, predecessor to The New American. It is a testimony to evil’s persistence (as well as to Robert Welch’s clear vision) that most of these words could be written in 2010:
The real trouble [Welch observed] is a callousness throughout the whole mood and the collective conscience of the American people. How can we expect either a Roosevelt or Truman to have been disturbed by the barbarous Katyn Massacre, or to have reduced for that reason their pampering appeasement and generosity to its perpetrators? The news of a similar mass murder, of eight thousand of our own sons and brothers, as prisoners of war behind the Korean lines, caused only a temporary ripple of indignation across the national consciousness; and we go serenely on negotiating with, and making new concessions to, the cold-blooded murderers.
What’s the matter with us, anyway? Neither facts nor pictures seem to sink into our centers of feeling any more .... The physical suffering, the mental anguish, the never-ceasing terror of our fellow human beings, represented by these words and pictures, no longer reach through the glaze to activate our imaginations or to excite our sympathies....
For the pusillanimous part that we played in all this spreading horror; for our indifference to the grief of others; for our apathy to the crimes we saw and our blindness to those we should have seen; for our gullibility in the acceptance of veneered treason and our easy forgetfulness even when the veneer rubbed off; for all our witting and unwitting help to the vicious savages of the Kremlin and to their fellow ordinate savages everywhere, may God and our fellow men some day forgive us!
This is a comment on the ;ast article posted in this string:
It should be noted that among the victims of the airplane crash was also a former President of the Republic of Poland in Exile, RYSZARD KACZOROWSKI. Also it should be noted that among the victims were: JANUSZ KURTYKA, President of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance and Jan Kochanowski also from the Institute that were conducting investigations into the circumstances of the Katyn Massacre. Concidently it should be noted that two other planes with official delegation of Polish dignitaries, among them Prime Minister Donald Tusk, flew in another air plane, but of course it was not meant for them to crash?
As a coincidence it should be noted that Stalin, Beria, Kaganov and other chief officials of NKVD signed the order to exterminate twenty-two thousand Polish officers, professors, priests, etc. all members of the Polish elite during that time. Also three million Poles were victims of the communist terror that were killed in Siberia during World War II and during the period of communist ruled Poland from 1945 to 1989.
The airplane crash, where also members of the Polish elite were killed was during the time when Vladimir Putin, former KGB top official is in office. Both events happened as a result of “same circumstances” when KGB communists were in authority.
Also it should noted that during the 1930’s when Stalin was in power and of course the same NKVD (different name but same thing) orders were given to exterminate over thirty million of Russian people, among them at time also Ukrainians, Bielorussians, Estonians, Lithuanians, Latvians, and many others. Again, same people were in power. Is that again by “coincidence”.
(Last note: Polish leader of WWII, Walter Sikorski-general, prime minister, etc.) was also killed as a result of an airplane crash over Giblartar.
A couple of WW2 vets got very angry when I have pointed out that there was no difference between the eliminationist agendas of the Third Reich and Stalin's regime and that our ally at the moment Dachau was liberated was operating far larger (Magadan, Vorkuta) and equally deadly labor and elimination camp complexes. The comment that we destroyed one eliminationist tyranny to assist another gain control of half of Europe is very disturbing to many Americans that have grown up on the ‘good war and the only good war’ theology.
I watched the DVD on Netflix.
Yes the Soviet Union was about as bad as it gets.
“The comment that we destroyed one eliminationist tyranny to assist another gain control of half of Europe is very disturbing to many Americans that have grown up on the good war and the only good war theology.”
Your absolutely right; Americans would rather live with the myth rather than the truth. Coming from an area with many Eastern Europeans (mostly Poles), the myth died a long time ago. The people that France & Britain went to war for (though only declaring war on Germany while the USSR invaded eastern Poland) ended up enslaved by Bolshevism instead of National Socialism; different groups simgled out for murder, but the same result just the same (on a much larger scale). When you tell Americans that the wars in Korea & Vietnam followed directly as a result of saving Joseph Stalin and the Bolsheviks, you get some strange looks; it is the truth.
Poland should get the bomb; it worked for France. They haven’t been invaded since the American invasion of 1944.
I'd say those were the result of abandoning Chiang Kai-Shek. No Communist China - no Korean or Vietnam War.
I remember Robert L. Scott in his book “Flying Tiger”, mentions that he was told he could not bomb some bridges which the Japanese were using because Mao wanted them intact.
Bringing the Communists to account for crimes in Poland (and elsewhere like the Ukraine Terror Famine) would have little support. Too many Leftists would be upset. Another uncomfortable complication about making note of the Communist extermination camps is that some number of the Communists that set up and administered the camps may have been Jewish.
“I’d say those were the result of abandoning Chiang Kai-Shek. No Communist China - no Korean or Vietnam War.”
The treaty ending WWII separated Korea into a Soviet and US spheres; China had nothing to do with that. If anything, we bought Chiang 8 more years from 1937 on. While the fall of China did make it easier for the war in Vietnam to happen, the Soviets provided much of the arms (as well as pilots) to Ho Chi Minh.
Churchill knew that for Britain the war had been for nothing; in its wake the empire was slowly dismantled and Communism spreadwas.
Without Communist China, North Korea would have been threatened in its rear all along its 400 mile border with China. Hence, no Korean War. The Vietnamese Communist movement got the vast majority of its supplies - food, etc - as a grant from China (vs loans from the Soviets). Hence the Chinese feeling of betrayal when the Vietnamese turned against them at the end of the Vietnam War. Without a Communist China, North Vietnam would not have come into being. The French might still have decolonized, but there would have been no strong Communist faction in Vietnam. The one thing Communist movements in Southeast Asia (incl Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand) had in common is that the successful ones (i.e. the ones that defeated the non-Communist governments) had a common border with Communist China or with North Vietnam. Mao fed those movements with billions in supplies* even as the Chinese people were starving to death in the tens of millions (which he viewed as a cleansing of the weak and the unfit). The problem is that apart from the Indochinese trio of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia (border with North Vietnam), it was hard for the Chinese to get supplies to the region.
* In the 2000 time-frame, a UK-educated Chinese princeling who revealed this fact (i.e. the billions in aid) in a book about China's financial support of revolutionary movements abroad was promptly arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison for revealing state secrets.
15 years ago, if my memory serves me right, there were defenders on this forum of the US policies during WWII.
But then, I recall distinctly that Jimmah Carter was considered a “decent man” by many here.
Today in the WSJ there is a review of another book about Alger Hiss who was present at Yalta.
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