Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by David Thompson » 18 Feb 2011 19:55

Oleg -- You wrote:
Have you heard of Guantanamo?
Let's keep current political affairs out of our discussion. We don't have a ruling yet from any domestic or international court on this subject, which may or may not be a war crime. It certainly has nothing to do with whether or not the Katyn executions were "genocide" -- a proposition I strongly doubt.

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 18 Feb 2011 19:57

David Thompson wrote:Oleg -- You wrote:
Have you heard of Guantanamo?
Let's keep current political affairs out of our discussion. We don't have a ruling yet from any domestic or international court on this subject, which may or may not be a war crime.
I'll do my best.

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 18 Feb 2011 21:07

Check this:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=144090

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Ghetto_Police

Was there really such a difference between NKVD collaborator Zygmunt Berling and those Jews?
Berling was put in ghetto where he knew his time would come sooner or later regardless of what he was doing? Jewish Getto Police Chief was released reinstated in all his rights and put in charge of, oh I don't know, the entire Warsaw police?
Yes. The existence of Camp-X-Ray at Guantanamo is contrary to the valid international law.

So is the way in which people detained there were treated and held.

The term "hostile fighters" used by US to describe those detained, is not present in international law.

This American camp at Guantanamo is pretty similar to Polish pre-war Bereza Kartuska.

So you was just trying to justify one violation of law with another violation of law.
No I am trying to say that the law only applies to the parties that signed or ratified it or recognized it validity in some other form I have not thought of. If a state has not done than it is not party to the law - it still may choose to follow the general guidelines or trends without explicitly recognizing it. The point is nobody can force it (well they could if they strong enough I guess) be it Kiyoto treaty, WTO rules, or something else. Some states chose to recognized Polish government in exile as a successor to Polish state, USSR chose not to and that is that.
Montevideo Convention from 1933
Which USSR was not party to.
But - anyway - it was too early, since in fact it still existed.
Not insofar as USSR was concerned.
No. It only refers to some part (majority) of international law (so called "ius dispositivum").

The other part (much smaller) - so called "hard law" ("ius cogens") - is obligatory for all states.

Just for example - prohibition of genocide and war crimes are among "ius cogens".

Another example - the principle of freedom of the high seas is also among "ius cogens".

Prohibition of slavery, trading women and children, etc. - are also among ius cogens.
And presumably all these were recognized in some form by signing parties
Were they informed in advance that they were not going to survive in case of refusing?
No, but neither were Commissars. Your point being though?
Not yet but I'm just going to.
well that is not very nice although explains a lot.

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by David Thompson » 18 Feb 2011 21:12

A post from Domen121, which ignored the political and topical thread warning at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0#p1560380, was removed by this moderator - DT.

Domen121 -- Look before you leap.

Domen121 and Oleg -- These exchanges of repartee posts aren't providing the sourced information our readers come here to see. If there is no more sourced information to add to the genocide aspect of this discussion, let's move on.

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 18 Feb 2011 21:14

And presumably all these were recognized in some form by signing parties
All states recognized that ius cogens in general is obligatory for all states (regardless of recognition or lack of it).

But what is among ius cogens is not being determined by states, but mainly by "consensus of doctrine".

BTW - some states recognized some of these already after they were judged ius cogens.
Not insofar as USSR was concerned.
USSR was not the center of the world.
Which USSR was not party to.
Check again:

"Montevideo Convention from 1933. It says recognition is irreversible and should be unconditional.

Apart from this convention, also international customary law produced such a rule (irreversibility)."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customary_ ... tional_law

BTW:

USSR was also not party to the Geneva Convention about the Treatment of POWs from 27 July 1929.

Does it mean that Germany was justified when murdering Soviet POWs?

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 18 Feb 2011 21:21

A post from Domen121, which ignored the political and topical thread warning at viewtopic.php?p=1560380#p1560380, was removed by this moderator - DT.
OK - it no longer ignores these warnings:
Actually that would be very different situation. If the Jews in your case had an opportunity to prove their loyalties to the Reich, and as a result were left alone, and only Jews that said "nope to I do not care about Reich my loyalties are with..." were executed, it would have become mass murder and not genocide. But they were not given this opportunity and they could not stop being Jews.
Check this:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=144090

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Ghetto_Police

Was there really such a difference between NKVD collaborator Zygmunt Berling and those Jews?

===================

FORUM CENSORSHIP !!!

===================
That being said what international law exactly forbids it?
Montevideo Convention from 1933. It says recognition is irreversible and should be unconditional.

Apart from this convention, also international customary law produced such a rule (irreversibility).
For instance USA systematically calls on Russia to withdraw its recognition of South Osetia and Abhazia.
===============

FORUM CENSORSHIP !!!

===============

USA signed the previously mentioned Montevideo Convention from 1933.

Maybe USA thinks that recognition of Abhazia and South Osetia was too early and groundless.

There are historical examples of such premature and groundless recognitions:

For example, the USA recognizing Panama in 1903 just 3 days after the revolt started.
They did not retract it. They said it is no longer exists.
OK, maybe you are right. But - anyway - it was too early, since in fact it still existed.
International law is only relevant insofar as its recognition by a specific state.
No. It only refers to some part (majority) of international law (so called "ius dispositivum").

The other part (much smaller) - so called "hard law" ("ius cogens") - is obligatory for all states.

Just for example - prohibition of genocide and war crimes are among "ius cogens".

Another example - the principle of freedom of the high seas is also among "ius cogens".

Prohibition of slavery, trading women and children, etc. - are also among ius cogens.
There are bunch of laws that for instance is not recognized by USA because it think it will infringe on its sovereignty -it does not care that all others had recognize it.
=========

FORUM CENSORSHIP !!!

=========

But even such a superpower like USA must observe ius cogens. Another question is if in case of the USA breaking ius cogens, the rest of the world would be able to enforce justice and punish the USA.
So the person who agreed to cooperate survived and those who did not agree did not survive. How more transparent does it has to get exactly?
Were they informed in advance that they were not going to survive in case of refusing?

You see, many Jews were also not informed that by entering Jewish Police they could avoid death.
Have you even the reports I posted for you?
AT THIS MOMENT - YES !!!

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by David Thompson » 18 Feb 2011 21:24

(1) An off-topic post from Domen121 was removed by this moderator - DT.

(2) The posters to this thread seem to be getting testy, so it's locked to give them a chance to cool off.

(3) The Convention on genocide wasn't enacted until 1948, so trying to apply it to events which took place in 1940 is anachronistic, inflammatory, and ultimately pointless.

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by henryk » 09 Apr 2011 18:46

As the newest Katyn thread is still locked, I am posting here.
The latest action of Russia on the Smolensk crash shows it is still sensitive to Katyn being called the responsibility of the USSR.
http://www.thenews.pl/international/art ... ote]Plaque controversy mars Smolensk anniversary pilgrimage
09.04.2011 16:42

UPDATED - Families of victims, and First Lady Anna Komorowska, gathered for the one year ceremonies of the Smolensk plane crash were shocked, Saturday, to find that the Russians have made a last minute change to the wording of the commemorative plaque to the 10 April disaster at the site of the tragedy in western Russia. Spokesman for the Governor of Smolensk District, Andrei Yevseienkov confirmed information about the removal of thoriginal plaque recalling the 96 victims of the catastrophe, including President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria, near Severnyi military airport.

The Russian spokesman limited his statement to saying that the Polish language original had been replaced on the eve of the anniversary ceremonies by a plaque in both Polish and Russian. However, the new one is missing reference to the Katyn massacre anniversary, which was the object of the presidential trip last year when the plane crashed. The spokesman revealed the old plaque is to be transferred to the museum at Katyn Forest.

The victims’ families have expressed indignation with the action which, they stress, was not taken in consultation and agreement with them. Poland’s Foreign Ministry has asked the Russian side for an explanation of the decision, but has not received any official response on the matter as yet.

Crash site

One hundred and three family members of victims of the Smolensk air disaster, accompanied by First Lady Komorowska, are on the remembrance pilgrimage to Russia on the eve of the first anniversary of the tragedy. The commemorations started in the morning at the cold and snowy site of the crash of the presidential plane near Severnyi military airport in Smolensk. The place is marked by part of the plane wreck protruding from one of the trees which it hit upon approaching the airfield in conditions of dense fog on 10 April last year.

Earlier, wreaths and flowers were laid from Russian President Dmitri Medvedev as well as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and on behalf of the Russian nation. Names of all the 96 victims on board the tragic flight have been read out at a ceremony held by the stone obelisk next to the site, with each of those killed honoured by a cross formed from commemorative lights. Representatives of the victims’ families have also gathered for prayers at the place where the wreck of the Polish presidential plane is being stored for investigation. For reasons of privacy no media have been allowed to cover this part of the pilgrimage.

Later in the day, the group is to travel to Katyn Forest to the cemetery of Polish soldiers for an ecumenical remembrance ceremony. This is to be a symbolic completion of the mission of their tragically deceased near ones. Last year on 10 April a group of top ranking Polish officials, military and representatives of NGOs were travelling on board the presidential plane for ceremonies at Katyn, to observe the 70th anniversary of the massacre of thousands of Polish officers and intellectuals by the Soviet NKVD in the first months of World War Two.

None of the delegation, including President Lech Kaczynski and First Lady Maria, as well as crew members, survived the crash just short of their landing destination at Smolensk. (ss/pg)

Comments: 1

comment: *signature: *enter the code from the image:*Add
Antisupporter 09/04/2011 14:11:21 The Russians have changed in the night the plaque commemorating disaster

ORIGINAL:
In the Memorial of 96 Poles led by President Lech Kaczynski, who died in a plane crash near Smolensk on the way to the ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of Soviet genocide in the Katyn forest performed on prisoners of war and the officers of the Polish Army in 1940
(Katyn Families Association)

Actual subtstitute.
In the Memorial of 96 Poles led by the President Lech Kaczynski
who died in a plane crash near Smolensk 10 April 2010
[/quote]

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Marcus » 10 Apr 2011 09:33

I've reopened this thread and moved the above post here from a thread were it was off topic but please not that this thread is not for discussions on the crash or present day politics, only the Katyn massacre.

/Marcus

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by michael mills » 14 Apr 2011 05:47

Although the execution of some 20,000 Polish POWs by the NKVD was certainly a war crime, it was with equal certainty not "genocide" in any sense, since the executed POWs were selected for execution not solely on the basis of their membership of a class of persons, namely members of the Polish officer corps, but because they were assessed as irredeemably hostile to the Soviet Union and unwilling to collaborate with it.

Not all the Polish POWs held by the Soviet Union were executed. Those who were willing to collaborate with the Soviet Union, and join "Red Battalions" to fight alongside the Red Army in a future war against Germany, were not executed. For example, General Anders was a POW in Soviet hands, but he was not executed. Neither were all the thousands of Polish POWs who were released after the German invasion and recruited into the Anders Army, which later left the Soviet Union to fight alongside the British, nor those who joined the Berling Army.

IN July 1940, the Polish Government-in-Exile was aware of the recruitment of Polish POWs into "Red Battalions", and suggested to the British Government that that action by the Soviet Government should be supported, as providing a Polish armed force for eventual use against Germany.

Since the execution of the Polish POWs was not a "genocide", the original plaque posted at the recent crash site contained a questionable and inflammatory historical claim, and accordingly its removal and replacement by a non-inflammatory plaque was justified.

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Sid Guttridge » 14 Apr 2011 11:11

Does there actually remain any "con" regarding Soviet responsibility for the massacre?

It is often overlooked that much of the Lithuanian officer corps (and perhaps those of Latvia and Estonia?) was also taken to the USSR in 1940 and later executed. Katyn was the biggest part of a pattern that embraced more than Poles.

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 15 Apr 2011 22:58

Prof. Janusz Symonides:

"The Katyn Crime bears the marks of a genocide but it cannot be recognized as a genocide sensu stricte."

Prof. Symonides Katyn says Katyn is rather a war crime or a crime against humanity than a genocide.

According to prof. J. Symonides it is in the best interest of Poland to qualify the Katyn Crime as either a war crime or a crime against humanity. Qualifying the Katyn Crime as a genocide will paradoxically diminish the capabilities of pursuing liability for this crime against Russian authorities - that's because according to Russian law genocide shall be barred, while the other two types of crime (crimes against humanity and war crimes) are not barred.

Prof. Symonides reminds, that for the first time the Katyn Crime was referred to as a "genocide" by the Russian public prosecutor Rudenko, who during the Nuremberg Trial in 1949 attempted to put the blame for the "Katyn Genocide" on the Germans. However, the Nuremberg judges did not charge the German leaders with this plea.
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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 15 Apr 2011 23:08

Domen121 wrote:Prof. Janusz Symonides:

"The Katyn Crime bears the marks of a genocide but it cannot be recognized as a genocide sensu stricte."

Prof. Symonides Katyn says Katyn is rather a war crime or a crime against humanity than a genocide.

According to prof. J. Symonides it is in the best interest of Poland to qualify the Katyn Crime as either a war crime or a crime against humanity. Qualifying the Katyn Crime as a genocide will paradoxically diminish the capabilities of pursuing liability for this crime against Russian authorities - that's because according to Russian law genocide shall be barred, while the other two types of crime (crimes against humanity and war crimes) are not barred.
while the other two types of crime (crimes against humanity and war crimes) are not barred.
Beg your pardon?

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 15 Apr 2011 23:15

while the other two types of crime (crimes against humanity and war crimes) are not barred.
Beg your pardon?
Not sure about the translation. Do not prescribe, do not lapse, do not expire - in other words.

(to be barred by limitation, to prescribe)

There are many words for "przedawnienie" in English. Prescription of, limitation of criminal liability, etc.
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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 15 Apr 2011 23:23

Domen121 wrote:
while the other two types of crime (crimes against humanity and war crimes) are not barred.
Beg your pardon?
Not sure about the translation. Do not prescribe, do not lapse, do not expire - in other words.

There are too many words for "przedawnienie" in English. Prescription of, limitation of, etc.
I am still at a loss here. War crimes are quite clearly described in the article 356 of Criminal Code of RF. http://www.ugolkod.ru/statya-356 - in Russian

Cruel behavior towards POWs and civilians, deportation of civilians, looting of national property on the occupied territory, usage, in the armed conflict, of methods and means, prohibited in accordance with international treaties, signed by Russian Federation, are punishable by incarceration for therm of up to 20 years. - my rough translation

genocide is covered by article 357,
crimes against peace are covered by articles 353 and 354.
Last edited by Oleg Grigoryev on 15 Apr 2011 23:31, edited 1 time in total.

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