Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

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Rarog
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Post by Rarog » 13 Aug 2004 16:02

David Thompson wrote:Rarog -- That's fine. Continue to provide such translations whenever you cite to a non-English source.
Ok. I comply :-)

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Post by Topspeed » 13 Aug 2004 16:02

Rarog wrote: As I understand, the author of the post is contemplating about the possibility to explaine presence of two Politburo members camping right among mass burials of Polish officers and withnessing mass executions (and fishing in their free time) by their ethnicity. Kaganaovich and Shvernik were Jewish and came to celebrate the mass murder of well known anti-Semites - the Poles.

It looks like the author mocks this possibility and accuse the opponents in Anti-Semitism, as otherwise it's impossible to explaine how the abovementioned persons were "vacating" there...
Rarog,

I tought you are trying to prove Katyn never happened and most certainly not by NKVD ? Now you are saying two jews were clapping hands at the site. Who said this about those Kaganovich and Shvernik being there, is it in the Russian text ?

JT

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 13 Aug 2004 16:10

Rarog, yes, it was written by me some time ago. I hope to update it soon, taking arguments in AP into consideration.

Strygin is correct that I was wrong to use the document concerning the transfer of some Poles as an argument. My point was to show that certain Poles could have both "sledstvennyje" and "uchyotnyje" files. I concede that this attempt was misguided. But deniers' attacks on the mistakes in Shelepin's letter are much more misguided. To put it simply, they do not constitute an evidence of forgery. Shelepin was not involved in Katyn massacre. As he himself said, he learned about it from the newspapers. Also, he was a newcomer to KGB (as he himself stated to Jablokov), so it is no wonder that he made some errors of fact concerning the Katyn case. If something like that was coming, say, from Beria, then yes, those mistakes would be serious. (If, as Shelepin claims, the letter was drafted by someone else, then we have to lower the plank even further).

In my opinion, Shelepin was not well-versed in NKVD/KGB bureaucratic jargon. His executives said to him that they had so and so files in the archive and he simply repeated it, applying the label "uchyotnyje". Indeed, we have an act of transfer of most of these files, which reads thus:
Na osnovanii rasporyazhenija nach. otdela "A" NKGB SSSR, komissara gosbezopasnosti tov. Gertsovskogo i nachal'nika 1-go spetsotdela NKVD SSSR, podpolkovnika gosbezopasnosti tov. Kuznetsova, my, nizhepodpisavshijesya nach. 5 otd. otdela "A" NKGB SSSR, major gosbezopasnosti - Shevelev i nach. 10 otd. 1-go spetsotdela NKVD SSSR, kapitan gosbezopasnosti - Mikhalyov sostavili nastojashchij akt v tom, chto pervyj prinyal, a vtoroj sdal nizhesledujushcheje:
Pol'skije dela 1940 goda: 21365

Prinyal: Shevelev
Sdal: Mikhalyov
("Katyn. Rasstrel...", p. 488).

You see, they just say "dela" (cases), without specifying what these cases were. Were they uchyotnyje dela and sledstvennyje dela together? I don't know, but if they were, they were all treated as the same.

Strygin's complaint about the dating of Beria's letter shows only his arrogance and ignorance. Mukhin argued that since someone at the KPSS trial said that the letter was dated March 5, and the letter is not dated now, it must have been changed in the meantime. As I pointed out, every single document from the sealed package was published in Poland in 1992 (including the excerpt from the Politburo protocol sent to Shelepin in 1959, which caused confusion during the KPSS trial). By this fact alone Mukhin's crazy conjecture is put into a dustbin. Why, then, someone at the trial claimed that the letter was dated? I explained in my article, that this was likely caused by the date of the Politburo _decision_, which is written on the same letter in the upper-right corner. This hypothesis is corroborated by the same mistake repeated by many legitimate researchers. But Strygin is just too dense to understand it.

I have no idea whether Shvernik and Kaganovich (do you have an evidence that Shvernik was Jewish?) were at Kozji Gory at that time. If you have evidence, put it forth.
Last edited by Sergey Romanov on 13 Aug 2004 16:13, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by David Thompson » 13 Aug 2004 16:10

Rarog -- You said:
It's a good argument against the theory that the executions took place in that time. Or, as the author says with SARCASM, one has to suppose that as Shvernik and Kaganovich were Jewish there were celebrating, and it's antisemitism.

and:
One has eithe to suggest that there were no executions by that time or admit that two Jews were "vacationing" at the moment.

Of course, I don't care for their ethnicity, but it's a powerful argument for Anti-Semites...

Assuming the story about the "vacation" is true, I don't see that it shows anything except the presence of the two men. The remark about the two men being Jewish, without any evidence showing how that might affect their motivation, is both stupid and irrelevant.

You also said:
But, hell, I understand your predicament!!!!!
The only "predicament here is whether to delete the insulting post, or lock the thread in its entirety.

We don't permit insulting generalizations of that sort here. We don't allow posters to make remarks like that directly, nor do we permit them to be made indirectly by quoting someone else. Don't do it again.

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Post by Rarog » 13 Aug 2004 16:11

Rarog,

I tought you are trying to prove Katyn never happened and most certainly not by NKVD ? Now you are saying two jews were clapping hands at the site. Who said this about those Kaganovich and Shvernik being there, is it in the Russian text ?
THE POINT IS THAT PEOPLE WHO INSIST THAT THE KATYN MURDER TOOK PLACE IN 1940 HAVE TO ADMIT THAT TWO POLITBURO MEMBERS WERE VACATIONING AT THE PLACE AT THE MOMENT.

And it may give certain arguments to Anti-semites, as the Politburo members in question were Jewish.

Personally, I can hardly believe that people may be vacationing at the place of mass executions among decompressing bodies.

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Post by Rarog » 13 Aug 2004 16:15

Assuming the story about the "vacation" is true, I don't see that it shows anything except the presence of the two men. The remark about the two men being Jewish, without any evidence showing how that might affect their motivation, is both stupid and irrelevant.
I agree with you, it was just a note by another person which was made, as I believe, in response to accusations of Anti-Semitism.

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 13 Aug 2004 16:26

David wrote:
A confession or admission by an authorized spokesman of a government is conclusive, absent overwhelming evidence to the contrary and a clearly established explanation for why the admission was made.
Not in my book. I don't accept the Holocaust as historical just because Germany officially states that it is.

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Post by David Thompson » 13 Aug 2004 16:28

Rarog -- So the argument by this other person (what is his name?) "in response to accusations of Anti-Semitism" is that the Soviets didn't do it but if they did do it, Soviet Jews were responsible?

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Post by Dmitry » 13 Aug 2004 16:46

xcalibur wrote: Furthermore, one poster here suggested that by some unknown means the Germans were able to "fake" the state of the decomposition of the corpses in order to make their appearance conform to a particular timeline. That may have been the most audaciously ridiculous assertion I've ever read here, and suggests either baboon-like ignorance in the service of pre-conceived politcal motivations and/or a total contempt for any serious discussion of the topic.
You just do not uderstand what I was talking about. You should politely reask if you do not understand something. If you reread my post you maybe will see that I said about thing not bodies. I.e. letters, documents, paper etc that were found on bodies and that had dates before spring of 1940.

The Nazi and Red Cross Commission made their conclusion about bodies timeline from dates of these documents not from their state. Only one skull was examined with some 'new method'.
Sergey Romanov wrote:
Anyway, both Soviet and Russian governments recognized Stalinism's guilt at Katyn, Kharkov and Tver'.
I'd prefer do not use word 'Soviet' or 'Russian' goverment in this case because calling Gorbachev gvt 'Soviet' is somewhat ridiculous although it was Soviet de jure.

Ok. Gorbachev gvt recognized Stalinism's guilt.
But Stalin gvt recognized Nazi's guilt.

To whom should I believe?

If Russian procurature is right then Burdenko is liar. Stalin is falsificator. Yes? Why not otherwise? Why Gorby and procurature are not falsificators? Why?

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Post by David Thompson » 13 Aug 2004 16:55

There's no evidence forthcoming here on the claimed Soviet "innocence" of these crimes. If any of the proponents for this position have any evidence, this is the time and this is the place to post it. If they don't, there's no point in continuing to discuss this fantasy.

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Post by Rarog » 13 Aug 2004 17:02

David Thompson wrote:Rarog -- So the argument by this other person (what is his name?) "in response to accusations of Anti-Semitism" is that the Soviets didn't do it but if they did do it, Soviet Jews were responsible?
Exactly.

This person used this reasoning to mock/discredit the opponents, because the opponents mention the supposed antisemitism of Muhin and other "Katyn revisionists" with the purpose to mock/discredit their evidence and argumentation.

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Post by Rarog » 13 Aug 2004 17:11

David Thompson wrote:There's no evidence forthcoming here on the claimed Soviet "innocence" of these crimes. If any of the proponents for this position have any evidence, this is the time and this is the place to post it. If they don't, there's no point in continuing to discuss this fantasy.
I'm just an interested reader and I'm not pro and contra (I'd like to make up my mind about it).

I believe a lot of points shall be clarified with the issue.

However, I can not accept your position, as the Soviet guilt is not established LEGALLY, thus those people who believe it were the Soviets HAVE to submit their evidence as well as those who believe it were Nazi.

It looks like you believe that a TASS telegramm is legal act... well, it is NOT a legal act.

It means that the Soviet government didn't take responsibility LEGALLY.

That's why the Polish relatives of Katyn victims CAN NOT SUE the Russian government. That's why they insist on making a trial.

The guilt can be either admitted by the government (it has to issue a certain act) or established by a court (in a decision).

Until then - nobody is guilty until proven otherwise...

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 13 Aug 2004 17:14

Dmitry wrote:
I'd prefer do not use word 'Soviet' or 'Russian' goverment in this case because calling Gorbachev gvt 'Soviet' is somewhat ridiculous although it was Soviet de jure.
Then it is not ridiculous. But it is wrong to make an argument that just because Gorbachev conceded it, it must be true.
Ok. Gorbachev gvt recognized Stalinism's guilt.
But Stalin gvt recognized Nazi's guilt.
But Stalin was not a chief Nazi :wink:
To whom should I believe?
To the evidence.
If Russian procurature is right then Burdenko is liar. Stalin is falsificator. Yes? Why not otherwise? Why Gorby and procurature are not falsificators? Why?
By this "argument" _any_ historical evidence can be swept away. If we believe that Stalin was a liar, why shouldn't we believe that historians of the Napoleon era are not liars? Or: if Nazis faked some evidence (like the Gleiwitz incident), why should we trust any of the Allied evidence? This is plainly ridiculous, IMHO.

First of all, Soviets failed to substantiate their case concerning Katyn. They produced a report, yes, but even Mukhin concedes that at least one testimony there is false (that of Vetoshnikov). This alone disqualifies the Soviet report.

Then, they write in the report:
Based on the findings of the examination, the Forensic Medical Expert Commission has established that:

1) the killings of the officer and noncommissioned officer prisoners of war took place by shooting;

2) that the shootings took place during a period approximately 2 years ago, that is, in the months of September-December 1941;
How did they establish that the shootings took place until December? Their own "witnesses" state:
The witness DANILENKOW N.W., a farmer from the "Krasnaja Zarja" collective farm and a member of the village council of Katyn, stated:

"In the months of August September 1941, when the Germans came, I met Poles working on the highway in groups of 1520 men each."
The witness FATJKOW T.E., a farmer at the collective farm, stated:

"Raids in search of Polish prisoners of war were carried out several times. This was in the months of August September 1941. After the month of September 1941, the raids stopped, and no one saw any more Polish prisoners of war."
Alekeeva A.M. stated:

"We were warned several times by the interpreter Johann, on behalf of ARNES, that we were to keep quiet and not blabber about anything we saw or heard in the country house. Otherwise, we noticed several things that made us understand that the Germans were carrying on dark doings in this country house.

"At the end of August and during more than half of September 1941, several trucks arrived almost daily at the Kosji Gori summer house.
Michailowa OA stated:

"In September 1941, very frequent shots could be heard in the Kosji Gori forest. At the beginning, I took no particular notice of the trucks arriving at the country house; they were covered on all four sides, painted green, and accompanied by noncommissioned officers. Later I noticed that these trucks were never parked in our garages, and were not unloaded either. These trucks arrived very often, especially in September 1941.
Why, then, did the Commission said "December"? Because it needed to explain why the Poles wore winter uniform.

So, the report - Soviet only evidence on the issue - is untrustworthy.

While I agree that the Germans were hardly an unbiased source, and the report was signed by the experts from 11 occupied and 1 neutral country, their post-wars testimonies on this issue are valuable. Markov and Hajek were in Soviet hands, so they testified that they were coerced by Nazis. All others, however, were not living in a totalitarian society, so their word should be taken over those of Markov and Hajek. Let me quote from 1952 report of the Congress commission on the Katyn Massacre
The Germans formed an International Medical Commission, com-
posed of the leading scientists, pathologists, and professors of crimi-
nology from 12 different countries of Europe. The committee heard
testimony from 5 of these doctors who participated in the exhuma-
tion of the bodies. They were provided with the necessary instru-
ments to perform their own individual autopsies. The five doctors
are:
Dr. Edward Lucas Miloslavich (Croatia). (Part III of the pub
lished hearings.)
Dr. Helge Tramsen (Denmark). (Part V of the published
hearings.)
Dr. Ferenc Orsos (Hungary). (Part V of the published hear-
ings.)
Dr. Francois Naville (Switzerland). (Part V of the published
hearings.)
Dr. Vincenzo Mario Palmieri (Italy). (Part V of the published
hearings.)
All of the above-named doctors categorically and unequivocally
stated to the committee that they had complete freedom of action
in performing whatever scientific investigation they desired. Also,
that they had complete freedom to interrogate any individual they
considered appropriate.
Their unanimous conclusion was that the Poles were murdered
at least 3 years ago—thus placing the time of death as the spring
of 1940 when the Katyn area was under Soviet control.
Dr. Tramsen presented as an exhibit for the committee the origi-
nal protocol signed by the 12 doctors in their own handwriting. He
also presented a photograph of the 12 doctors signing the protocol
to prove that there was no duress.
Dr. Orsos, Dr. Naville, and Dr. Tramsen definitely identified this
protocol and stated that they had signed it and that they were of
the same opinion today as they were when they signed this proto-
col on April 30, 1943.
Dr. Miloslavich gave the following testimony to the committee
relative to the condition of the bodies as they were found in the
mass graves:
“One body was placed on top of the other one, with their faces
down. They were close together, nothing between them. All the
bodies were dressed in Polish officers’ uniforms. the clothing being
winter clothing, underwear, and the uniforms; and coats on some.
The heads were downward. One body like this, the next one like
this, and the next one like this [indicating]. This was the width of
the grave. Then 12 layers down, and then multiply by the length. I
don’t remember how many we found in the length. Anyway, at
that time when I was examining and making my own estimations I
didn’t follow anybody, and no one tried to give me any advice be-
cause I knew what to do. I estimated approximately 2,870, some-
thing like that, a little less than 3,000 officers. They were packed
completely together by decaying fluids of the human body, the de-
composing fluids, with started to penetrate, to imbibe, to infiltrate
every dead body in there. That was a solid mass in which you just
saw skulls you could recognize and that they were human beings.
“Then I went into the graves and studied which ones of them
would give me the best information, what the dead body could tell
us. With the help of two Russian peasants I picked a body, and
slowly and gradually—it took them close to an hour—they removed
the body and brought it out. I examined it very carefully to find
out two main points. First, what was the cause of death. Second,
how long a time was this individual buried. Third, who he was?
“In examining the body I found a gunshot wound at the bounda-
ry between the back of the neck and the head. The Germans gave
the expression ‘nacken schuss.’ That is the precise description of
the shot which was fired. The majority of them had just one shot,
because it entered in here [pointing with finger] and came out here
at the root of the nose, which means the head was bent down-
ward. It was administered with such precision that the medulla
was completely destroyed. (See pt. III of the published hearings.)”
Both Tramsen and Naville presented to the committee numerous
papers, military buttons, officers’ insignia, and, in the case of Dr.
Naville, a cigarette holder, which they had taken from the Polish
bodies in Katyn at the time of their own individual autopsies. Both
of these doctors had preserved this material since the day they left
Katyn and voluntarily offered these items to the committee. (All of
this material has been made part of the permanent record and may
be found as exhibits in part V of the published hearings.)
Dr. Palmieri testified as follows:
“In the bodies, at least in many of the bodies, Professor Orsos ob-
served the presence of growths (corns)—in the inside of the cran-
iuin, pseudo growths in the internal part of the skull, which are
due to manifestations of reduction of the mineralization of the
brain—of the cerebral tissues and of the other substances con-
tained in the skull.”
Dr. Palmieri stated when interrogated by the committee as fol-
lows:
“Question. What conclusion did you arrive at?
“Dr. PALMIERI. I came to the conclusion especially similar to
Orsos’ theory on the formation of cerebral growth.
“Question. Was Dr. Orsos’ conclusion that the deaths occurred
not later than April or May 1940?
“Dr. PALIVIIERI. Yes.
“Question. Do you agree?
“Dr. PAMIJERI. Yes, based on the researches that Dr. Orsos had
made (see part V of the published hearings).”
The five doctors heard by this committee stated emphatically
that many of their observations were made independently and out-
side the presence or possible influence of German authorities who
were supervising the exhumations.
Before the committee held its hearings in Europe, word was re-
ceived that Drs. Markov and Hajek, who are today in countries
behind the iron curtain, were giving radio talks implying that they
were not in full agreement with the German International Medical
Commission’s protocol which they had signed on April 30, 1943.
In the published hearings of this committee—particularly parts
III and V—there is contained the testimony of five international
doctors. Categorical statements are made by all five doctors who
testified before this committee that all members of the Internation-
al Medical Commission signed the protocol of their own free will
and without duress. The five doctors specifically stated that both
Drs. Markov and Hajek had made no objections and were in full
agreement with the protocol when they signed it.
And, of course, there was a Polish Red Cross report, which was not published until 1980s (probably in order not to embrass USSR), which confirms that the exhumation was done in an orderly manner.

These facts are alone decisive on whom one is better to trust. And, of course, there are the primary documents published in 1992. No matter how loudly some persons scream about them being forgeries, they can't prove it. Nor can they explain why someone would go to great lengths to forge these relatively insignificant documents, while they had an opportunity to forge the documents, "proving" that Stalin shot tens of millions in GULAG and elsewhere. That one would miss such an opportunity and go for a relatively mild (in comparison) 20,000 victims is beyond me.

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Post by Rarog » 13 Aug 2004 17:18

David,

Antisemitism of Muhin (coupled with "generalizations") was many times mentioned here (with no reaction from administration) that's why I decided it's worth to re-post the argument in question here.

Sorry for any inconvenience thou.

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Post by Rarog » 13 Aug 2004 17:20

First of all, Soviets failed to substantiate their case concerning Katyn. They produced a report, yes, but even Mukhin concedes that at least one testimony there is false (that of Vetoshnikov). This alone disqualifies the Soviet report.
I have to point out that Muhin is using the same logic when it comes to "Politburo documents".

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