Russia has published online Katyn massacre of 1940

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Russia has published online once-secret files on the 1940 Katyn massacre, in which some 22,000 members of the Polish elite were killed by Soviet forces.

The state archive said the "Packet No. 1" original files had until now only been available to researchers.
The Soviet Union denied its role in the massacre for decades.
But relations between Russia and Poland have warmed since the Polish president and others were killed in a plane crash on their way to a Katyn commemoration.
The six documents that were published on the state archive website were declassified in 1992 on the order of the then-Russian president, Boris Yeltsin.
Current President Dmitry Medvedev had now ordered their publication online, the state archive said.

'Symbolic gesture'
One of the documents is a 5 March, 1940 letter from the then-head of the Soviet secret police or NKVD, Lavrenty Beria, to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, recommending the execution of Polish prisoners of war.

Beria refers to them as "steadfast, incorrigible enemies of Soviet power".
"Each of them is just waiting for liberation so as to actively join the struggle against Soviet power," it says.
The letter bears Stalin's signature in blue pencil, with the comment "In favour".

0 Feedback:

Site Meter