Katyn Forest Massacre & Coverup by FDR & US Government *incl. video*
As if the war crimes by the Soviets were not sufficient for trial, withholding the truth from the American people by FDR to protect his co-conspirator "Uncle Joe Stalin", an act that is in itself treasonous...
The Katyn Massacre
On April 13, 1943, Nazi Germany announced the discovery of mass graves in the Katyn forest near Smolensk, Russia.
The bodies of around 4,400 men, whose hands had been bound and who had been shot from behind, were found buried there. The deceased were mostly Polish officers. The Nazis realized the Soviet Union was responsible for the massacre and attempted to use this knowledge to their advantage. The Germans hoped the revelation would alienate the USSR from its allies, Great Britain, the United States–and Poland.
“The stench was bad. When we came the Germans were removing a layer of earth about a meter thick. And then there were coats, bodies and coats, lying there in a row. And they were feeling these bodies, checking the pockets, removing flasks, removing watches, and the Germans set up a museum further out. The Germans wanted witnesses. They wanted us to act as witnesses for history.”
- Dmitry Khudykh, Katyn resident
Poland had a complicated history with the Soviet Union, its neighbor to the east. The two countries had clashed in the Polish-Soviet War (1920–1921), and Poland had been halved in 1939 after being crushed from both the west and east by advancing German and Soviet forces. At that time, the USSR and Germany were allied by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, but after Germany betrayed its former partner and invaded the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin had been forced to ally his country with others fighting the Nazis. On July 30, 1941, representatives of Poland and the USSR signed an agreement that would release Poles who had been captured and incarcerated by the Soviet Union. But some prisoners were missing.
When questioned in December 1941 about their whereabouts by the head of the Polish government-in-exile , General Wladyslaw Sikorski , Stalin insisted that they must have escaped. Soviet officials claimed they had no knowledge about the fate of the missing prisoners.
When the news broke about the German discovery, the Polish government-in-exile asked the International Red Cross to conduct an independent investigation. (Red Cross findings later indicated that the Soviets were responsible for the massacre.) The Soviets, who denied culpability and blamed the killings on German forces that had overrun the region in 1941, broke diplomatic relations with the Polish government. The April 19, 1943, edition of Pravda, the official newspaper of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, accused the Polish government of striking a treacherous blow against the USSR. Stalin began to identify Polish communists , to whom he would later award positions of power in a puppet government in Poland. The Soviets also organized their own investigation of the tragedy and determined that the fault lay with Germany. But Katyn residents knew differently.
Workers uncover the mass graves
near the Katyn forest in spring 1943
“Of course we knew that our side killed the Poles. My mother told me to keep my mouth shut and not to talk about it ever in my life.”
- Nina Voevodskaya, Katyn resident
Neither the British nor the American governments wanted to know too much about the graves. If their ally, Joseph Stalin, had ordered the murders, they preferred to keep it quiet.
When a British diplomat in London wrote a report suggesting that the Soviet Union had been responsible for the massacre, Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed the issue in a confidential note, stating: “there is no use prowling morbidly round the three year old graves of Smolensk.”
In late 1943, as the Red Army began to recapture territory in eastern Poland, the Soviet secret police (the NKVD ), cordoned off the Katyn forest near Smolensk to create one of the most elaborate coverups of the war. After exhuming the bodies from the graves that the Germans had previously uncovered, the NKVD had documents forged to suggest that the Germans had committed the crime. They planted the false documents on the newly exhumed bodies and worked to persuade local people who had witnessed the Soviet crimes to change their stories.
[this video & image inserted by Ed.] Arthur Bliss Lane, American Ambassador to Poland is author of "I Saw Poland Betrayed", a tale of United States treachery.
While in Poland, Lane was so disappointed that he resigned his post (on February 24, 1947) and wrote the book which detailed what he considered to be the failure of the United States and Britain to keep their promise that the Poles would have a free election after the war. In that book he described what he considered betrayal of Poland by the Western Allies, hence the title, I Saw Poland Betrayed. The book was translated into Polish and published in this version in the United States, and later by an underground publishing house in Poland in the 1980s.
According to Lane, the U.S. and Britain at the Tehran Conference agreed to dismemberment of the eastern part of Poland. He considered it a breach of the United States Constitution, since Roosevelt never reported his decision to the Senate. The Yalta Conference was the death blow to Poland's hopes for independence and for a democratic form of government, said Lane.
In January 1944, the Soviet authorities went public with their attempt to con the world about the murders. They filmed falsified documents–money, letters, and a postcard written in Polish by a Polish prisoner of war dated June 20, 1941–to show that the Poles had still been alive in 1941. Key witnesses had also been persuaded, upon the threat of death, to withdraw the testimony they had given to the Germans.
The Soviet deception did not fool the American or British governments. However, dependent on the help of the Soviet Union to defeat the Axis countries, Great Britain and the United States accepted the Soviet version of events, even going so far as to ignore and suppress evidence that implicated the USSR. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had instructed his special emissary to the Balkans, George Earle, to look into the massacre. After receiving Earle’s report in 1944, which asserted that the Soviets were responsible, the president did not allow it to be published. Meanwhile, a British Foreign Office official, who examined the Soviet claims, wrote a secret report in which he said that an essential part of the Soviet case was simply incredible. But this would remain confidential. Even before he had read the report, Churchill had written to the Foreign Secretary saying “we should none of us ever speak a word about it.”
Source: WWII Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West . In Depth . Katyn Massacre | PBS Related Posts : Crime, FDR, Scandals