Katyn -- 1952 US Congressional findings

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Katyn -- 1952 US Congressional findings

Post by David Thompson » 14 Aug 2004 22:56

In 1952 a Select Committee of the US Congress issued a final report: "The Katyn Forest Massacre," House Report No. 2505, 82nd Congress, 2nd Session (December 22. 1952). Here is the section of that report which deals with the massacre, in the first of 2 parts:

• * * * * * •

The committee's first public hearing was held in Washington on October 11, 1951. It heard the testimony of Lt. Col. Donald B. Stewart, a United States Army officer, who as a German prisoner of' war, was taken by the Germans to view the mass graves at Katyn in May 1943. (See pt. I of the committee's published hearings.)

The next set of hearings was held in Washington on February 4, 5, 6, and 7, 1952. Seven witnesses appeared and rendered an account of their knowledge relating to the Katyn massacre. (See pt. II of the published hearings.)

In Chicago on March 13, 14, 1952, eight other witnesses were heard by this committee. (See pt. III of the published hearings.)

In London on April 16, 17, 18, and 19, 1952, 29 witnesses were heard. (See pt. IV of the published hearings.)

In Frankfurt, Germany, on April 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26, 1952, 27 witnesses were heard. (See pt. V of the published hearings.)

In Berlin, Germany, on April 25, a subcommittee heard testimony from members of the German Commission on Human Rights and received approximately 100 depositions which had been taken by that organization.

In Naples, Italy, on April 27, testimony of Dr. Palmieri was heard.

In Washington on June 3 and 4, 1952, testimony was heard from five witnesses.

In the course of the hearings held by this committee to date, testimony has been taken from a total of 81 witnesses; 183 exhibits have been studied and made part of the record, and more than 100 depositions were taken from witnesses who could not appear at the hearings. In addition, the committee staff has questioned more than 200 other individuals who offered to appear as witnesses but whose information was mostly of a corroborating nature.


The committee unanimously agreed that in order to make this a full, fair, and impartial investigation, it would be willing to hear any individual, organization, or government having possessions of factual evidence or information pertaining to the Katyn massacre.

Letters of invitation were forwarded to the Government of the U.S.S.R., the Polish Government in Warsaw, the Polish Government-in-Exile in London, and the German Federal Republic. The



German Federal Republic and the Polish Government-in-Exile accepted the invitation.

The Soviet Government rejected the invitation of the committee with the statement that a Special Soviet Commission (composed of all Russian citizens) had thoroughly investigated the Katyn massacre in January 1944 and consequently there was no need for re-opening the issue. However, the Soviet Government did attach to their reply the special commission's report and it later was made part of the permanent record of this committee. (See pp. 223 through 247, pt. III of the published hearings.)

The Polish Government in Warsaw transmitted to the American Embassy a note likewise rejecting the committee's invitation, part of which is quoted as follows:

"The attitude of the Polish Government re the activities of this committee was expressed in the declaration of the Polish Government published on March 1, 1952, and the Polish Government does not intend to return to this matter again."

The entire note may be found on page 504 of part IV of the public hearings of this committee.

The attitude of the Polish Government as quoted above was revealed by the vicious propaganda blast issued in the form of a press release and circulated to all newspaper correspondents by the Polish Embassy in Washington. The chairman of the committee published this press release in its entirety in the Congressional Record on March 11, 1952, and called upon the Secretary of State to take prompt action relative to the propaganda activities of the Polish Embassy here in Washington. The Secretary of State on March 20, 1952, delivered a stern reprimand to the Polish Embassy regarding such press releases and greatly restricted its activities in this field.


The first two series of hearings definitely established in the minds of this committee that it would be impossible to conduct a thorough investigation without obtaining the testimony of available witnesses in Europe. Consequently, the committee went before the House of Representatives on March 11, 1952, with House Resolution 539 which amended the original, House Resolution 390, and requested permission to take testimony from individuals and governments abroad. The House approved House Resolution 539 on March 11, 1952.


This committee unanimously agrees that evidence dealing with the first phase of its investigation proves conclusively and irrevocably the Soviet NKVD (Peoples' Commissariat of Internal Affairs) committed the massacre of Polish Army officers in the Katyn Forest near Smolensk, Russia, not later than the spring of 1940.

This committee further concludes that the Soviets had plotted this criminal extermination of Poland's Intellectual leadership as early as the fall of 1939—shortly after Russia's treacherous invasion of the Polish nation's borders. There can be no doubt this massacre was a calculated plot to eliminate all Polish leaders who sub-


sequently would have opposed the Soviet's plans for communizing Poland.

In the course of its investigation, this committee has observed a striking similarity between what happened to the Polish officers in Katyn and the events now taking place in Korea. We unanimously agree that this committee would be remiss in its duty to the American people and the free people of the world if it failed to point out that the identical evasions by the Soviets to the Polish Government while the Poles were searching for their 15,000 missing officers in 1941, appear again in the delaying tactics now being used by the Communists in Korea.

This committee feels that Katyn may well have been a blueprint for Korea. Just as the Soviets failed for almost 2 years to account for the missing Polish officers, so to this day the Communists in Korea have failed to account for many thousands of captured United Nations soldiers. Among these are 8,000 Americans whom General Ridgway described as atrocity victims in his report to the United Nations last July, and the estimated 60,000 South Koreans still unaccounted for.

The Communists' delaying tactics in the Korean peace talks today may be from the same cloth as the nebulous replies received from the Soviets by the Poles in 1941-42 while they searched for their missing officers.


On September 1, 1930, Germany declared war on Poland and consequently World War II began.

On September 13, 1939 the Polish Ambassador in Moscow was handed a note by the Soviet Government which stated that the Soviet Government was no longer in a position to remain neutral and that the Soviet Government had given orders to the supreme commander of the Red army to close the frontier of the Polish Republic. This note was without provocation and terminated the Soviet-Polish Treaty of Nonaggression.

Then on September 17, 1939, the Soviets crossed the Polish border and, under the guise of coming to the Poles' assistance, occupied the eastern part of Poland.

On September 28, 1939, the German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty (commonly known as the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact) was announced to the world. Under this treaty Poland was divided—with Germany taking 72,806 miles, population 22 million; the U.S.S.R. taking 77,020 square miles, population 13 million.

From September 1939 through March 1940 a deliberate well-organized plan was executed by the NKVD to separate Polish Army officers and intellectual leaders from the mass of other Polish prisoners and the placing of those selected in three camps in Soviet Russia, namely, Kozielsk, Starobielsk, and Ostashkov.

On June 22, 1941, the Germans attacked the U.S.S.R. On July 30, 1941, the U.S.S.R. and Poland signed an agreement renewing diplomatic relations. Under this agreement, all Poles interned in Soviet prison camps within the territory of the U.S.S.R. were to be released by the Soviets. The same agreement provided for the forma-


tion of a Polish Army whose commander was to be appointed by the Polish Government-in-Exile in London.

On August 14, 1941, the Polish-U.S.S.R. military pact was signed. On August 16, 1941, General Anders began his fruitless search for the missing Polish officers.

On April 13, 1943, the Germans announced the discovery of the mass graves at Katyn Forest in Russia containing bodies of Polish Army officers, intelligentsia, Government officials, and clergy.

On April 15, 1943, the Polish Government-in-Exile in London appealed to the International Committees of the Red Cross to send a delegation to investigate on the spot the true state of affairs at the Katyn Forest, near Smolensk, Russia.

On April 25, 1943, V. M. Molotov, the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. sent a note to Mr. T. Romer, Polish Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. Ambassador Romer refused to accept the note.

On April 26, 1943, the U.S.S.R. severed diplomatic relations with Poland because Poland had approached the International Committee of the Red Cross to conduct a neutral investigation.

On April 30, 1943, a medical commission of leading representatives of medical jurisprudence and criminology from 12 European universities and neutral countries, selected by the Germans, signed a protocol establishing these Polish officers were massacred in the spring of 1940.

On January 24, 1944, the Soviet Special Commission To Investigate the Katyn Massacre released its own report stating that the Nazi Germans had committed the atrocity after the Poles fell captive to the Nazis in July-August 1941.

On July 1 and 2, 1946, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg heard testimony from both German and Russian witnesses concerning the Katyn massacre. No decision as to guilt was announced by the tribunal.


Thousands of Poles were taken prisoners by the Soviet after its invasion of Poland in September 1939. These prisoners were grouped in some hundred-odd camps in Poland's eastern territories and the western provinces of the Soviet territory. However, three of these camps were especially designated for the confinement of Polish officers, lawyers, doctors, clergy, professionals, government officials, and intellectual leaders—most of whom were reserve officers in the Polish Army.

These camps and the number of Polish prisoners interned in each are as follows: Kobielsk, located east of Smolensk, imprisoned 5,000; Starobielsk, near Kharkov, held 4,000 Polish officers; and Ostashkov, near Kalinin, where 6,400 Poles were interned.

The committee heard testimony from 26 Polish officers who had originally been interned in one of these three camps. Their testimony revealed that

(1) A deliberate effort has been made by the Soviets to segregate the officers into groups. The majority of higher ranking Polish military officers were interned along with hundreds of Polish doctors—all army reservists—in Kozielsk. Noncommissioned officers


and Poland's peacetime political and educational leaders—also reservists—were interned in Starobielsk. And, finally, Poland's frontier guards, home police, and public officials of eastern Poland were interned in Ostashkov. Religious leaders were interned in all three camps.

(2) There is general agreement that these special prisoners in the three camps totaled about 15,400. They comprised the elite of the Polish military and civilian leaders.

(3) This NKVD action was a planned, well-conceived, and highly organized separation of the Polish intelligentsia to pick out potential leaders of Poland after the war.

(4) These were not ordinary prisoner-of-war camps, but installations heavily guarded by the select NKVD, as contrasted to ordinary Soviet prisoner-of-war camps which were guarded by ordinary Russian soldiers.

(5) These prisoners remained at the three camps from September-October 1939, until April-May 1940.


(6) This 6 months' internment was meant as a period of political investigation and observation. Each prisoner was examined exhaustively and in each instance several times—mostly during the night, with some interviews lasting several hours.

(a) The NKVD placed great emphasis on the social origin, political views, party adherences, professional qualifications and in particular—if the prisoner had participated in Poland's successful defeat of the Bolsheviks in 1920.

(b) During the long and exhausting interrogations, discussions were held on the subject of war, its reasons and probable outcome, the attitude of the prisoner toward Russia and particularly his knowledge of the Soviet Union.

(7) It is obvious to the committee from this line of questioning and from the conclusions of the witnesses that the Soviets were trying to determine if any of these prisoners eventually could be converted to communism. Evidence clearly established that from this entire group of Poles interned at the three camps, only six subsequently joined Soviet forces.

(8) About March 1940, the interrogations were completed and it was announced almost simultaneously in Kozielsk, Ostashkov, and Starobielsk the camps would shortly be liquidated. Rumors began to circulate in the camp that the prisoners would be sent home. According to testimony presented to this committee by witnesses both in America and Europe, the camp authorities, when speaking to the prisoners, encouraged these rumors.

During evacuation of the 3 camps, groups of 200 to 300 Poles left each day, sometimes every second day and sometimes every third day.

(9) The evacuation continued in the three camps until the middle of May 1940. From among this entire group of 15,400 Poles interned in the 3 camps only 400 survived. These were taken to another NKVD camp at Pavlishev-Bor where the Soviets continued questioning them in hopes of converting them to communism.


(a) Apart from the small group of 400 Poles who survived (listed in exhibit 2, part IV of the published hearings), the world has never heard from a single other Pole who was interned in these camps between the period September-October 1939, and April-May 1940.

(b) The Polish Government-in-exile and relatives who subsequently fled from Communist Poland have tirelessly searched for these missing men for 12 years. In not a single instance have any of these prisoners been heard from or seen since May 1940, except the 4,143 identified in the mass graves of Katyn.

(c) In October of 1940, when the Soviets began to fear an assault by the Nazis, certain members of this group of 400 survivors were asked to form a staff for a proposed Polish Army in Russia. It was apparent this group did not have enough qualified men for such a staff. One witness testified in London that he asked the Soviet Minister of State Security Mirkulow why the Russians didn't select this staff from among those Poles evacuated from Kozielsk, Starobielsk, and Ostashkov. Mirkulow replied: "We have committed an error. These men are not available. We will give you others." This statement was made by Mirkulow 6 months after the Russians evacuated the three camps. (See p. 553, vol. IV of the published hearings.)


(d) This same witness related similar statements made by Soviet Minister Beria of the NKVD to Lieutenant Colonel Berling, one of the six Poles who turned traitor and joined the Soviet forces in 1941. Berling likewise asked Beria in October of 1940, why the Soviets didn't enlist the officers from these camps in the proposed Polish Army. Beria replied: "We have committed a great blunder. We have made a great mistake." (See p. 554, vol. IV of the published hearings.)

(10) All correspondence from those interned in the three camps ended May 1940.

(a) While interned at Pavlishev-Bor, the 400 survivors continued to correspond with their families in Poland and those testifying before this committee said they received countless inquiries regarding the fate of their compatriots who were previously interned in the three camps.

(b) A Special Family Bureau established by the Poles in Russia following the rapprochement of 1941 received thousands of inquiries regarding the missing officers. In not a single instant was it reported that any news of these officers was received in Poland subsequent to May 1940.

(11) Only those Poles interned at Kozielsk were massacred in the Katyn Forest.

(a) Numerous survivors of the Kozielsk camp testified they saw inscriptions written by those who departed earlier: "We are being unloaded in Gniezdovo." This rail station is 12 miles west of Smolensk and 2 miles from Katyn Forest.

(b) One of the survivors from Kozielsk who was actually taken to Gniezdovo and then spared in the last moment said he saw NKVD guards with fixed bayonets guarding the Poles while they were


being removed from the train into lorries which had backed up to the train.

"The prisoners were asked to go into the autobus, and not stopping on the ground, but just to go from the railroad wagon immediately into the back door of the autobus. The autobus was of quite an ordinary type. The windows were painted, or rather smeared with some white color—I imagine it was just smeared with lime—and the autobus took about 30 people. Then it went away, and returned after more or less half an hour—I cannot tell exactly, because I had no watch with me, but about half an hour—take the next party and this proceeded for some hours. * * * (See p. 606, vol. IV of the published hearings)"

It is significant to note that this witness mentions that the NKVD had guarded the Polish officers being removed from the train and that the NKVD were armed with fixed bayonets. Testimony presented to this committee by doctors who had performed autopsies on the bodies of the massacred Poles found in Katyn, was conclusive that besides the bullet hole shown in the head which was the cause of death of most of these men, there were some who showed signs of bayoneting. Dr. Miloslavich testified in Chicago that the bayonet wounds were of the four-bladed type which are used exclusively by the Soviets.

(c) The last entry in the diary found on the massacred body of Maj. Adam Solski in the Katyn Forest, dated April 8, 1940, stated:

"From 12 noon we are standing at Smolensk on a railway siding.

"April 9, 1940, a few minutes before 5 in the morning reveille in the prison cars and preparation for departure. * * * We are to go somewhere by car, and what then?

"April 9, 1940, 5 a.m.

"April 9, 1940. From the very dawn, the day started somewhat peculiarly. Departure by prison van in little cells (terrible); they brought us somewhere into the woods—some kind of summer resort. Here a detailed search. They took the watch, on which time was 6:30 a.m. (8:30), asked me for my wedding ring, which they took, roubles, my main belt and pocket knife."

The diary ends there. It is included in the transcript of the committee's hearing in London as exhibit 28 (pp. 726 to 731, pt. IV). This diary was brought to the committee's attention by General Bor-Komorowski, who testified in London, and by other witnesses previously heard in Washington and Chicago.

(12) Prisoners evacuated from Starobielsk testified they also saw inscriptions in train prison cars but in this case they stated: "We are being removed or unloaded in Kharkov." (See p. 525, pt. IV.)

(13) The trail of prisoners evacuated from Ostashkov ends at Wiasma.

(a) Zygmunt Luszczynski, of London, testified that after he was evacuated from Ostashkov on April 24, 1940, his train composed of seven cars, stopped at Wiasma. He stated:

"We were taken from Ostashkov to Wiasma, where we remained at the siding for 3 days; then six of the seven cars were disconnected and they went in some other direction, and the car in which I was present was taken to Babynino (enroute to Pavlishev Bor). (See p. 614, part N.)"


(b) Other testimony strongly supports the theory that the Ostashkov prisoners were drowned in the White Sea.

(c) Adam Moszynski, himself a former prisoner at Starobielsk, author of the most authentic list of names of prisoners interned in the three camps (see exhibit 5A in the appendix of part III) testified:

"I am sure there are three Katyns in the world. One Katyn is in the Katyn Forest, near Gniezdovo (Smolensk); the second Katyn, of Starobielsk, could be near Kharkov, and the prisoners of Ostashkov, near the White Sea.' *


"To the best of my knowledge, based on considerable research on the subject, the prisoner's in Ostashkov were placed on two very old barges, and when the barges were towed out to sea they were destroyed by Russian artillery fire."

(14) Col. George Grobicki, who had been interned in Kozielsk, testified that:

"Everybody was dressed when leaving the camp just as he was when taken prisoner. Most of the people were in overcoats when they left the camps."

This testimony corroborates to a great extent the testimony of numerous witnesses who had actually been taken to the scene of the graves and who had observed that most of the bodies of the massacred Polish officers were buried either wearing overcoats or winter underwear.

Grobicki's testimony becomes very pertinent when we recall that in the Soviet countercharge accusing the Nazis for this crime, Russian witnesses claim these prisoners were executed by the Germans as early as August of 1941. This committee considers it doubtful the victims would be wearing winter garb in August.

(15) Even more startling was Grobicki's testimony that when he read the list of Poles being removed from the graves in Katyn published by the Germans shortly after the discovery of the graves in 1943, he noted that these bodies were being exhumed in the same group formations as they were when evacuated from Kozielsk. It is difficult to accept the theory that these men who allegedly left Kozielsk in April of 1940, to be assigned to special work units west of Smolensk by the Russians, should remain in the identical groupings until 1941 when they were allegedly murdered by the Germans.

(16) This committee has tried to establish how the 400 who survived from the three camps were selected. General Wolkowicki, testifying in London, said he believed he was spared because prior to Poland's rebirth, following World War I, he was a Russian Naval officer who won distinction in the Russo-Japanese War.

"I was the only officer who opposed the surrender of (this Russian) ship, and that is why their attitude toward me was one of considerable interest. (See p. 645, pt. IV.)"

(A) General Wolkowicki showed this committee an immunization card given to him by the Russians while be was interned at Kozielsk. He testified hundreds of similar cards subsequently were found on the bodies of Poles exhumed in Katyn. (See exhibit 17, pt. IV.)

This committee considers itself fortunate in getting the testimony of the above-mentioned witnesses who constitute only a small group of the 400 survivors taken to Griazovec by the Soviets in June 1940, and who remained there until they were released on July 30, 1941, to join the Polish Army. Their testimony has been instrumental toward helping this committee arrive at a conclusion.


Having established that approximately 15,400 Polish officers and leaders had been imprisoned in these three major camps and that after June 1940 only 400 were known to be alive, the next major


trend of the committee's evidence deals with the efforts of the Polish Government in Exile in London to find traces of the missing Polish officers from August 1941, through the entire year of 1942. This official Polish search resulted from one of the quirks of history:

Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia had been allies from August 1939, and particularly during the fourth dismemberment of Poland. In mid-June 1941, this unholy totalitarian alliance fell apart when Hilter's legions swept across the Russian boundaries to overwhelm the Russian armies. Within 2 months the Nazis had driven into the Ukraine past the area of Smolensk.

Following the German's attack and their overwhelming military victories, which were driving the Russians into dangerous retreats, the Soviet leaders were temporarily desirous of securing military aid from anywhere and anybody. As part of the Kremlin's negotiating with the British Government, the Soviets recognized the Polish Government in Exile in London.

The Soviets and the Polish Government entered into an agreement in July 1941, whereby all the Polish prisoners in Russia, except acknowledged criminals, were to be granted an amnesty by the Soviets and be transferred to specially designated camps where they would be organized into Polish army divisions under Polish officers. It was expected that this reborn Polish Army would join Russian armies in their fight against the Nazis. As part of this official arrangement, General Wladislaw Anders, who was at that time a prisoner in the Lubianka prison in Moscow, was accepted by the Russians as commanding general of the proposed Polish armed forces.


When he was released, General Anders immediately sought to collect as his staff officers those men whom he personally knew had been captured by the Soviets. Shortly after the arrangement between the Soviets and the Poles and the appointment of General Anders as Polish commander in chief, small groups of Polish soldiers from Griazovec and other prison camps joined the Anders command. Only 400 of the officers reporting had been numbered among the 15,400 men who had been at Kozielsk, and Ostashkov prior to May 1940. Very few of these men were the staff officers whom Anders knew personally and whom he needed. Where were the other 15,000 Polish leaders? From then until the summer of 1942 when General Anders commenced to move his Polish troops out of Russia into the Middle East he continued his search for these officers. Repeated requests, personal and official, were made to the Russian general staff, to the Russian foreign office, and even to the NKVD, for information about these missing officers.

General Anders in addition to making official representations to the Russian Government authorized one of his officers, Maj. Josef Czapski, to make a search for these officers throughout Soviet prisons. General Anders also secured an interview with Premier Stalin in December 1941.
At this meeting, General Anders accompanied the head of the Polish Government in Exile, General Sikorski, and the Polish Am-


bassador in Moscow, Mr. Kot. Stalin personally was asked about these missing Polish officers. The Soviet Premier insisted he was not detaining them nor did he have them.

General Anders testified in London before this committee:
"We inquired, `Well, where could they have gone?' To this Stalin replied, 'They escaped,' We asked,
`Where could they have escaped?' And Stalin replied, 'To Manchuria.' I said that this was impossible."

Anders had a second meeting with Stalin at the Kremlin in Moscow of the 18th of March 1942. At this meeting with Stalin, Anders presented him with a list of missing Polish officers and told Stalin that none of the officers had as yet reported to the Polish Army.

Stalin replied: "Well, what good would they be to us? Why would we want to be keeping them or retaining them?" At this same meeting Stalin hinted that maybe the Polish officers had fled and become separated when the Germans invaded Russia.

It is noteworthy, however, when a committee member explicitly asked whether any Russian official at any time said that the Polish officers might have become German prisoners, General Anders replied: "Never." Anders testified: "This to us was one of the most disturbing factors because we knew that the Bolsheviks had made very long and lengthy and complete lists of all their prisoners."

General Anders' testimony about his discussions with the highest Soviet officials regarding the missing Polish officers was independently verified by the testimony of Ambassador Stanislaus Kot, the first Polish Ambassador to Moscow under the new arrangement of July 1941.


Testifying in London, Kot said from the 20th of September 1941, until his departure from Moscow in the fall of 1942, he (Kot) made repeated inquires to all levels of Soviet officialdom, to the NKVD, to Vishinsky, to Molotov, and even to Stalin himself, for information regarding these missing Polish officers. The incident of the conference between Kot and Deputy Foreign Minister Vishinsky on October 6, 1940, was characteristic of these meetings.

Kot complained to Vishinsky that only 2,000 Polish officers of an estimated 9,500 whose names were known to the Poles had reappeared among the Polish forces. Kot asked Vishinsky what had happened to the other officers saying:

"We have been making constant effort to find these people. We have searched for these men in the German prison camps in occupied Poland. Every place where they could conceivably have been found."
Kot said that he did not see how thousands of men could disappear. Vishinsky never answered the question but parried it with a confused: "Well, what do you think happened to these men?"
Subsequently, Vishinsky stated: "They must be among the 300,000 Po h nationalists who have already been freed."

When Kot discussed the same questions with Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov, on October 22, 1941, Molotov put him off with the statement: "We will try to do everything possible."


Similarly, during the meeting with Stalin on November 14, 1941, when Kot emphasized the anxiety of the Poles regarding the missing officers, Stalin at first asked: "Are there still some Poles not released?" And stated: "Amnesty knows no exceptions. We released all, even those people who were sent to * * * destroy bridges and kill Soviet people, even those people were released by us."

It is worth noting that Stalin's categorical assertion was made several months after the Germans had overrun the Smolensk area; and still the Soviet leaders gave no indication that they even thought the Polish officers might have been captured by the Germans.

The diplomatic memoranda of the conversations between General Anders and Ambassador Kot with Molotov, Vishinsky, and Stalin are part of the committee's record. They reveal any number of fictitious Soviet reasons why the Polish officers had not been located. Never once did these high Soviet officials, nor did any other Communist official of a high or low echelon, indicate to any of the Poles that those Polish prisoners of war might have been captured by the Germans.

It has been established by the record that the Polish Government in London employed its underground in Poland to check German prisoner-of-war camps to discover if any of these Russian-captured Poles might have been recaptured by the Germans. These efforts, like the negotiations in Russia, ended in negative results.

It was not until the Germans announced the discovery of the Katyn graves on April 13, 1943, that the Soviets first claimed these Polish prisoners had been moved into the Smolensk area in the spring of 1940. This evidence proves that the Soviet Government either was lying to the Poles during 1941 and 1942, when the Kremlin leaders said that they did not know where the prisoners of war might be, or else the Soviets were lying in their 1943 and 1944 reports, when they claimed the Poles had been moved to the Smolensk area in the spring of 1940 and subsequently captured by the Germans in 1941.


The committee has testimony from a Special Family Bureau which had been established by the Polish Government in Gangi Gul, Russia, to try to trace the missing Polish officers.

Major General Kaczkowski and Capt. Eugene Lubomirski, Directors of this Family Bureau, testified in London that they personally had examined hundreds, virtually thousands of letters from relatives in Poland, inquiring about these missing officers. In every instance, they testified, each of the letters and postal cards had stated that the last time the families heard from the Polish officers was in April and May of 1940.

These witnesses further testified that they had personally examined hundreds of letters addressed by the families to the prisoners interned in these three camps subsequent to May 1940, all of those letters were returned by the Russian authorities with the inscription that the whereabouts of these Polish officers were unknown.

It is inconceivable that the highly developed bureaucracy of the Soviets would have permitted the NKVD to lose complete trace of


so potent a force as these 15,000 Polish officers after they had left the three camps in the Spring of 1940. (See testimony starting on p. 628, pt. IV.)

All of the foregoing testimony which the committee has heard from Anders, Kot, and Czapski was reported to the American colonel, Henry I. Szymanski, when he was assistant United States military attache at Cairo, Egypt. Szymanski testified that he was assigned in March of 1942 to be United States liaison officer with the Poles in Russia, but that he was never granted a visa to enter Russia.

Szymanski's specific assignment was to ascertain what had happened to the Polish officers in Russia, because the United States considered these Polish officers essential to the Allied war effort. Consequently, Szymanski met with all the high-ranking Polish officer survivors as they came out of Russia during the latter part of 1942 and 1943, and he reported all of the foregoing testimony to the Assistant Chief of Staff for G-2.

During the 22-month effort by the Poles to locate their missing officers, General Anders with his staff had carefully commenced preparing a list of names of those who were interned in the three camps. This list was prepared on the basis of information supplied General Anders by the 400 survivors who were grouped at Griazovec.

During his conference with Stalin in December, General Sikorski personally handed the Russian premier a list bearing more than 3,000 names and again Sikorski was assured that it was Stalin's understanding all of these men had been released.

Testimony heard by this committee proves conclusively that not once during all of these top-level conversations had the Russians either stated or hinted that these missing men might have fallen into German hands.

The committee believes if the Soviets were innocent, there was no reason why they should not have admitted to the Poles that their officers had fallen into German hands. But if they were guilty, they had a cogent reason for not telling such a story. So long as the Soviets insisted they didn't know the whereabouts of the Polish officers, nobody could prove they were dead.


The Polish Government's search for the missing officers came to an abrupt end on April 13, 1943, when the following Berlin broadcast by the Germans shocked the world:

"From Smolensk comes news that the native population has revealed to German authorities the spot where in secret mass executions the Bolsheviks murdered 10,000 Polish officers. German authorities made a horrible discovery. They found a pit 28 meters long and 16 meters wide in which, 12 deep, lay, the bodies of 3,000 Polish officers. In full uniform, in some cases shackled, all had wounds from pistol bullets in the back of the neck. Search and discovery of other pits continue."

This German announcement was followed by an intense campaign of Nazi propaganda aimed at the political exploitation of the discovery.


German Foreign Office documents which were captured by the Allies and turned over to the United States and Britain for joint custody were traced by the committee in England. These documents which are included in part V of the public hearings clearly show that Goebbels and other top Nazi officials had given instructions to exploit the propaganda value of this discovery to its fullest.

These documents also show the desperate efforts made by the Nazis to persuade the International Committee of the Red Cross to make an impartial investigation of the shocking discovery.
Hitler himself is quoted as having instructed his Foreign Office to use every means to get an investigation by the International Red Cross. One of the documents states:

"In following up the invitation issued by the German Red Cross to Geneva, that the International Red Cross should take part in the identification of the Russian atrocities against Polish officers, the Führer tonight ordered an actual invitation to be dispatched to Geneva by the German Red Cross. This extra invitation is to be signed by the Duke of Coburg so that the weight of his international name should be used."

The German claim was: The presence of these graves was called to the attention of the Nazis by Russian natives of the area; there was no question that these were Polish officers and that they were executed in the spring of 1940 by the Soviets. The Germans drew this immediate conclusion from an investigation of letters, diaries, and newspapers found on the bodies of the victims and from statements made by Russian natives in the area.


The Polish Government's immediate reaction was one of shock. In view of its long search for the missing officers, the Polish Government likewise issued an invitation to the International Committee of the Red Cross. After a meeting of the Council of Ministers the Polish Minister of National Defense issued a statement in which he said (see exhibit 30A, p. 748, pt. IV):

"We have become accustomed to the lies of German propaganda and we understand the purpose behind its latest revelations. In view however, of abundant and detailed German information concerning the discovery of the bodies of many thousands of Polish officers near Smolensk and the categorical statement that they were murdered by the Soviet authorities in the spring of 1940, the necessity has arisen that the mass graves discovered should be investigated and the facts alleged verified by a competent international body such as the International Red Cross. The Polish Government has therefore approached this institution with a view of their sending a delegation to the place where the massacre of the Polish prisoners of war is said to have taken place."

The Soviet's immediate reaction was voiced by Molotov when he termed this a discovery of archeological remains. On April 19, 1943, the Soviet newspaper, Pravda, carried a front-page editorial which attacked the Polish Government's request for assistance of the International Red Cross in "investigating something that never happened." A day later, Izvestia carried a reprint of the editorial and said it fully reflects the position of leading Soviet circles. Thus,


even at this late date the Soviets attempted to conceal their hideous crime.

Molotov's first reaction can be understood in the light of the testimony presented before this committee by General Rudolph von Gersdorff, German Intelligence Officer, who was among the first to arrive in the Smolensk area following the German invasion. Discussing the discovery of the graves Von Gersdorff said:

"In the vicinity of Gniezdowo, there were prehistoric Russian cairns, old prehistoric tombs in caves. They were overgrown with shrubs and heavily so. They were actually in that area, so that was the reason why, when the graves of the Polish officers were discovered, we did not call it the murders of Gniezdowo, but to distinguish it from these old prehistoric tombs of Gniezdowo, we called it the murders of Katyn, so as not to get these two things mixed up."

This committee has heard considerable evidence from other sources that the whole area of Katyn had been used by the Bolsheviks as early as 1929 for mass executions.

Only after the Germans had definitely established that the discovery was indeed valid did the Russians present a countercharge which they maintain to this day: the Poles interned in the three camps had been transferred by the Russians to other camps in the vicinity of Smolensk during March and April of 1940 and were taken prisoner by the Germans during the Russian retreat. The Russians flatly accused the Germans of executing "11,000" Polish officers in 1941.

The Polish Red Cross was informed by the International Committee of the Red Cross that a neutral investigation of the Katyn discovery could be made only if all three nations involved participated, namely, Poland, Germany, and Russia.

Russia's formal reaction to the Polish Government's request for a neutral investigation of Katyn by the International Red Cross was the abrupt break of diplomatic relations with the Poles. The Soviets bitterly denounced the Poles for "collaborating with the Nazis."

All subsequent efforts by the British Foreign Office and the American State Department to heal the Russo-Polish breach were met with invectives hurled by the Soviets.

This loud reaction of Soviet injured innocence is construed by this committee as being the resource of a cornered culprit begging the question. There is no question that Russia's retaliatory move severing diplomatic relations with the Poles was motivated primarily to divert attention from the Poles' request for an International Red Cross investigation.


Even before the Germans made their announcement, a leading Swedish correspondent, Christer Jaederlunt, correspondent of the Stockholm Tidningen, was invited by the German Ministry of Propaganda to visit Katyn. When he learned the purpose of the visit, the Swedish journalist admitted that

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he felt he was being used by German propagandists to spread their anti-Soviet themes. Yet this newspaperman, after viewing the Katyn graves and making such investigation as he himself wanted, refused to even consider that


this could have been only a propaganda show staged by the Germans.

The committee explicitly asked Jaederlunt, when he testified in Frankfurt, if he, as a neutral newspaperman, could have conceived this Katyn affair as a German "propaganda show." Jaederlunt's answer was very significant, and it characterized the attitude of all the committee's witnesses who had visited the Katyn graves. Jaederlunt said:

"We actually went there with this suspicion [that Katyn was a German 'propaganda show']. We did not trust Goebbels and thought that it would be possible he would be capable of doing such a thing. * * * But when I stood in front of the mass graves and when I realized what an atrocious crime had been perpetrated there, all my suspicions vanished and my own newspaper, at first, was not prepared to publish this report, but I insisted upon the reports being published because I said: 'The world at large must know about this matter." (See pt. V of the published hearings.)

The testimony of the Swedish journalist Jaederlunt clearly established that he would have preferred to have considered the Katyn massacre as a German atrocity. Mr. Jaederlunt concluded his testimony as follows:

"Then and now I was and I am absolutely convinced that the Russians committed it. I do not wish to say the Russians. I would rather amend it to the NKVD." (See pt. V of the published hearings.)

During the Chicago hearings, Casmir Skarzynski reported on his official visit to the Katyn graves. This witness was the deputy chairman of the Polish Red cross in German-occupied Poland. The Polish Red Cross, when the Germans first informed them about the Katyn graves, refused to accept the German statement on the basis that "this is a pure propaganda move, and the Red Cross must keep away from any propaganda."

Skarzynski was directed by Polish Red Cross officials to go to supervise the exhumation and proper reburial of these Polish officers. While at Katyn, the Polish Red Cross official was moved by the facts he personally witnessed to admit that the German Army in this instance was innocent. (See pt. III of the published hearings.)


The most significant testimony of the independent witnesses who visited Katyn shortly after the German announcement of the graves' discovery was provided by two American army officers, Lt. Col. Donald B. Stewart and Col. John H. Van Vliet, Jr.

These officers had been captured by the Germans in north Africa and were taken to Germany as prisoners of war. These two Americans with two British officers had been compelled by German authorities to visit Katyn in May 1943. Stewart's suspicions of the German purpose was indicated by his testimony to the effect "that I was there [Katyn] under orders; that I felt the matter was a propaganda effort, and, in any event, it was a political effort. * * * I had no desire to have anything to do with a propaganda effort or a political matter." (See pt. I of the published hearings.)

Similarly, Van Vliet in his written report stated:


"I hated the Germans. I didn't want to believe them. * * * When I became involved in the visit to Katyn I realized that the Germans would do their best to convince me that Russia was guilty. I made up my mind not to be convinced by what must be a propaganda effort

Likewise, in his oral testimony to the committee, Van Vliet stated:

"As a prisoner of war, I had a personal grudge against them [the Germans] and as an American army officer I had a professional grudge against them. * * * So the German story was one that I did not want to believe. * * *" (See pt. II of the published hearings.)

It is particularly noteworthy that both officers independently emphasized the same convincing factor, which they both stated had not been brought to their attention by the Germans but which was an independent deduction from their own observations. This was the evident fact that the clearly undisturbed corpses were clothed in winter attire which was in an excellent state of repair, showing practically no wear. The two officers also independently made these same observations about the condition of the boots of the Polish officers. In both instances the officers stated from their own personal experience as prisoners of war in a German camp that clothing could not have remained in that condition if it had been worn for a year in a prison camp.

Hence, Colonel Stewart stated:

"The decision I reached, I can never forget. My decision was that those [Polish] men were killed by the Russians while they were prisoners of the Russians * * *." (See pt. I of the published hearings.)

In similar fashion Colonel Van Vliet in his oral testimony stated:

"If those Polish officers had been alive and in prison camp until the Germans overran the Polish prison camps, and if the Germans had in fact killed these Polish officers, then by the very virtue of the fact that their clothes had been worn and their shoes had been walked in, they would show much more wear. * * *
Likewise in his written report, Van Vliet explicitly recorded his sincere conviction:

"The sum of circumstantial evidence, impressions formed at the time of looking at the graves, what I saw in peoples' faces—all force the conclusion that Russia did it." (See pt. II of the published hearings.)


Zbigniew Rowinski, who testified in London, said he had been taken to Katyn by the Germans in April of 1943. Rowinski at the time was a German prisoner of war interned at Woldenberg. He said not all the victims were shot in the head:

"I suppose only those people who tried to defend themselves were bound, because I saw some bodies with the sawdust in their mouth and some of them had even their heads covered with their overcoats, then a string round the neck connected with string at the hands. So when they started to struggle to free the hands, they must have choked themselves." (See p. 692 pt. IV, of the published hearings.)


In London the committee heard the testimony of Ferdinand Goetel, an official of the Polish Red Cross who visited the graves at Katyn. The following is an exact quotation of the conversation the Polish Red Cross group had with Lieutenant Slovencik who was in charge of receiving of members of all delegations of all nationalities who went to Katyn at the time of the exhumations:

"Another even more interesting detail of our conversation with Slovencik was that although he was inclined to describe the whole case as a most dramatic incident from the Polish point of view—he had no idea where could have come from all these bodies of Polish officers. All he knew was what the local inhabitants had told him that they had been brought in transports arriving from the direction of Smolensk. As he already had in hand photographs and, I think, even originals of some of the letters and postcards found on the bodies he asked us whether we could explain why the address of Kozielsk repeated itself so often on many of the cards. I told him in short what I knew about the camps of Kozielsk, Ostashkov, and Staroblelsk and I closely watched his reaction to this piece of news. It was most lively and convinced me beyond all doubt that Slovencik had learned about Kozlelsk only from us.

It was the only detail of our conversation of which he made a note. A moment later, after we had finished our talk, I heard him repeating the news about Kozielsk to Olenbusch and to the other Germans. * * * (See p. 845, pt. IV of the published hearings.)"

Thus, from the above-quoted testimony, it is evident that the Germans were unaware of the camp in Russia where these Polish officers had been imprisoned during the period, September 1939 through May 1940.


This committee heard several witnesses whose testimony will be grouped under a special heading.

Among these was a Pole who testified as an eyewitness to the massacre. His identity had to be concealed with a mask to prevent reprisals against his relatives still living in Poland. However, all the committee members are familiar with his identity.

Testifying as "John Doe" at the committee's second hearing in Washington, this witness maintained that he and two of his compatriots personally viewed the execution of 200 Poles by Russian soldiers in what he believed to be the Katyn Forest. These observations were made by the witness and his friends at the beginning of November after the trio escaped from a Russian prisoner-of-war camp at Pavilschchev Bor. (See p. 143 of pt. II.)

After relating how the trio observed the Poles being led into the forest, the witness continued:

"Two of them [Russian soldiers] seized their hands and held them in back and one of the Russian soldiers lifted his chin up [the victim's] took him by the head, opened his mouth and shoved a handful of sawdust into his mouth."

"John Doe" said most of the victims were executed with a shot through the back of their heads. Some, however, according to his testimony, were thrown into the graves alive and left to suffocate.


"John Doe" further stated he saw the Poles' hands being bound in the back with wire prior to the execution.

This witness introduced new factors hitherto unknown to the committee: he said the executions he witnessed were in the early part of November; he said the victims' hands were bound with wire; he said their mouths were stuffed with sawdust; and he said some of the victims were left to suffocate rather than shot in the head.

These observations, up to the time that John Doe testified, had never been published in any of the material prepared by the Polish Government during its lengthy research on the Katyn massacre. Subsequently, however, they were substantiated by witnesses appearing before this committee.

Colonel Grobicki, testifying in Washington, said groups of Polish officers were evacuated from Kozielsk as early as November. In London, Mr. Rowinski, an observer at the graves taken there as a German prisoner of war in 1943, testified he observed several victims with their mouths stuffed with sawdust. In Frankfurt, Dr. Tramsen, a member of the German International Medical Commission, testified several victims had their hands bound with wire. During the same hearing, Dr. Naville, of Switzerland, and also on the same Commission, said he believed some of the victims died of suffocation instead of gunshot wounds. Several German witnesses likewise observed the victims' mouths stuffed with sawdust and hands tied with wire.

This committee heard testimony of many witnesses whose revelations were of a circumstantial nature.

But in order to get the atmosphere surrounding all the facts of the Katyn massacre, their testimony was accepted and placed in the record.

Among these was Jerzy Lewszecki who testified in London. He said he was a German prisoner of war interned at the prison camp near Lubeck. In 1943 he had occasion to discuss the Katyn massacre with Stalin's oldest son by a prior marriage who likewise was a German prisoner of war interned in the same camp.

Lewszecki said he discussed the disappearance of the Polish officers with Stalin's son, who frankly admitted that the Poles were executed by the Soviets. "Why those were the intelligentsia, the most dangerous elements to us, and they had to be eliminated," Lewszecki quoted Stalin's son as saying. (See p. 777, pt. IV.)

During our latest hearing here in Washington, this committee heard testimony from Boris Olshansky of New York, a former Soviet army officer who escaped to this country in 1946. Olshansky related conversations he had in Moscow with N. N. Burdenko, director of the Special Soviet Commission which made an investigation for the Russians in January 1944. Burdenko supervised the exhumation of 925 bodies for the Soviet investigation and in the official report stated all of the Poles were executed in the autumn of 1941.

Olshansky testified Burdenko told him the Soviet report was false. He quoted Burdenko as saying:

"I was appointed by Stalin personally to go to the Katyn place. All the corpses were 4 years old. For me, as a medical man, this problem was quite clear. Our NKVD friends made a mistake."


Olshansky further stated he was told by Burdenko that there are more Katyns in Russia.

"Katyns existed and are existing and will be existing," Olshansky quoted Burdenko as stating in Moscow in April of 1946. "Anyone who will go and dig up things in our country, Russia, would find a lot of things that we had to straighten out the protocol given by the Germans on the Katyn massacre," the aging Burdenko further told Olshansky.


The Germans formed an International Medical Commission, composed of the leading scientists, pathologists, and professors of criminology from 12 different countries of Europe. The committee heard testimony from 5 of these doctors who participated in the exhumation of the bodies. They were provided with the necessary instruments to perform their own individual autopsies. The five doctors are:

Dr. Edward Lucas Miloslavich (Croatia). (Part III of the published hearings.)

Dr. Helge Tramsen (Denmark). (Part V of the published hearings.)

Dr. Ferenc Orsos (Hungary). (Part V of the published hearings.)

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 original 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 protocol 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 because I knew what to do. I estimated approximately 2,870, something like that, a little less than 3,000 officers.

They were packed completely together by decaying fluids of the human body, the decomposing 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 boundary 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 downward. 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 observed the presence of growths (corns)—in the inside of the cranium, 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 contained in the skull."

Dr. Palmieri stated when interrogated by the committee as follows:

"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?


"Question. Do you agree?

"Dr. PALMIERI. 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 outside the presence or possible influence of German authorities who were supervising the exhumations.


Before the committee held its hearings in Europe, word was received 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 International 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.


While the testimony heard by this committee is conclusive in itself to establish that the Polish officers were massacred by the Soviets, nothing appears as incriminating against the Russians as their own report published in 1944 following an investigation of Katyn by an all-Soviet commission.

The committee has made a careful analysis of the Soviet report (which is exhibit 4 in part III of the published hearings). This analysis was important because when the Soviets declined this committee's invitation to participate in the investigation, they maintained that their own report conclusively established the Germans were responsible for the Katyn massacre.

It is interesting to see how the Soviet's official findings stand up under the light of facts uncovered by this committee.

At the very outset, the Soviet claim is incongruous with the facts. The Soviets quote Russian natives who allegedly saw Polish officers working on road gangs and construction projects in the Smolensk area prior to the German invasion. These witnesses are quoted to substantiate the Soviet allegation that all the officers were transferred from Kozieisk, Starobieisk, and Ostnshkov by the Russians in March and April 1940 to three camps in the Smolensk area designated only as ON1, ON2, and ON3. If the Polish officers worked on road gangs—as the Russians maintain—it is logical to ask of their boots and uniforms would have shown as little wear as Colonel Van Vliet observed when he examined their bodies in Katyn.

While conducting hearings in London, this committee was fortunate in obtaining the testimony of Mr. Joseph Mackiewicz who visited the Katyn Forest on instructions of the Polish underground in May 1943 and observed the German exhumations. Mr. Mackiewicz is an authority on the Katyn massacre having tirelessly studied all related facts for the past 9 years. Some of his observations (starting on p 867 of part IV) follow:

"The Russian communiqué claims that there were found at Katyn 11,000 bodies, but actually there were found only slightly more than 4,000. The Bolsheviks, therefore, used the figure 11,000, because even if assuming that those 4,000 that were found in Katyn had been murdered by the Germans, the question arises: What happened to the rest? Furthermore, the question of the corre-


spondence becomes associated here. The Russians claimed that they had found correspondence on these bodies which indicated that these men had corresponded with their families in Poland up to 1941. If there were 11,111 bodies in Katyn, each one of them then most probably had some family in Poland ranging anywhere from 1 to 6 people.

"The number of potential witnesses in Poland who could have been summoned to testify that they had corresponded with any members of their family in these camps up to and including 1941 would have reached the figure, roughly, of 20,000 to 30,000. The Germans, who had, of course, capitalized on a tremendous propaganda to their own advantage, would have taken into consideration the fact that, in a country where the people were generally adversely disposed toward the Germans, the news that the Germans had lied would have certainly spread very quickly through Poland, and the Germans would have never permitted themselves to be compromised to that extent."

Mackiewicz adds further:

"The Russian Commission claims that these Poles had been brought to the rail station at Gniezdowo in the year 1940, that they were not murdered but instead placed into three camps, No. 1 ON, No. 2 ON and No. 3 ON at a distance of from 25 to 45 kilometers to the west of Smolensk, and that during the time of the German offensive they fell captive into the hands of the Germans. This, of course, is a lie, because there were no such camps in that locality. The Russian communiqué does not specify exactly where were those three camps. Naturally, if those three camps had actually existed, they could have notified Ambassador Kot, General Sikorski, General Anders, and Mr. Czapski, who had conducted a long search for these men."

The allegation made in the Russian report that the commanding officer of the three camps was unable to get transportation to evacuate the Poles from the camps while the Germans were advancing, conflicts with known facts. This committee had testimony presented in London which clearly spelled out that Russian commanders were ordered to save prisoners-of-war at all costs.

Statements taken by the committee here in Washington, from a former high Soviet official assigned to the Russian foreign office during World War II, also established that Russian prisoners of war were not to fall into enemy hands under any circumstances.

Macklewicz's comment on this point was:

"Furthermore, the Russian communiqué or report claims that the commanding officer of the Russian camp No. 1 ON was a major of the NKGB, Wietosznikow, and that when the Germans were approaching that area the commanding officer had communicated with the commanding officer of the transport forces in Smolensk, Iwannov, with a request for rail cars in order to evacuate these Polish prisoners. Since he was unsuccessful in obtaining these railroad cars, consequently these Polish prisoners fell into the hands of the Germans, but Wietoszikow himself remained with the Russian forces and did not fall into captivity of the Germans. Therefore, if Wietosznikow, who was the commanding officer of the security forces, knew about the whereabouts of these soldiers, why did not Stalin and Molotov and Vischinsky know about their presence vir-


tually within the shadow of Moscow? And as a consequence, for 2 years they ostensibly searched to find an answer as to the whereabouts of these soldiers. Wietosznikow certainly must have reported to his superiors as to what happened to these prisoners, and when Czapski made his frequent inquiries to the NKVD, they would have immediately told him that these men fell captive to the Germans.

"Assuming that Wietosznikow could not get the rail cars from Iwannov as he had requested, he could have evacuated the soldiers from these prison camps by foot, especially when you consider that the claim is that Wietosznikow appealed to Iwannov for these cars on the 12th of July; but the official Soviet communiqué of the 23d of July 1941, claimed that the Russians were still in control and possession of Smolensk."

The Russians further claim their Polish camps were near the Gussino line and that trains could not be sent because that line already was under fire. If, in fact, these three camps were along the Gussino line, which is west of Smolensk and which leads right into Gussino, it is reasonable to ask why were these Polish prisoners removed at Guiezdovo, 45 miles away, after being evacuated from their original camps, and transported by truck the rest of the way when there are sufficient railway stops from Gniezdovo all the way to Gussino itself.

Mackiewicz testified:

"There actually were no camps in the location that the Russians claim that they had taken these men to, and I had substantiated that to any satisfaction on the basis of my conversations with inhabitants of the general area and my conversations with Kriwozercow. All of them told me that there had never been any such camps in that area. Furthermore, I would like to call your attention to one more little detail.

"The attitude in Poland and in Russia was so bitterly anti-German in 1943 that when they released the news of Katyn, that is, the Germans, in the spring of 1943, the announcement gave birth to a mess of various versions of what happened, which could have refuted the German version.

"At that time, because communications, especially radio communications, had been severely curtailed, many people had not heard the German version. As a consequence, the Russian agents, who were very actively operating in all these parts started rumors of their own version, merely to destroy and discredit the German version.

"As an example, when I was in Katyn, there were with me two Portuguese correspondents. One of these men told me that he had been taken to look at a little village, to which the Germans had taken him, and then he asked me repeatedly whether I felt certain that this was the work of the Russians. I asked him, 'Why do you ask?' He said that he had talked to a young girl in this village, who told him that those murdered men 'are really Jews who have been dressed in Polish uniforms.'

"Even such fantastic stories were circulated when if, in effect, and in actuality, there were those three camps in this area, they would have said that the Poles were in these camps and the Germans came by and captured these Poles and that they murdered


them. Nobody at all has ever heard of any such camps in that area."

In the Russian report, witness T.E. Fatkov testifies that round-ups of the Polish war prisoners took place up until September 1941. And, he goes on to say in the Russian version that, "After September 1941, the round-ups were discontinued and no one saw Polish war prisoners any more."

Thus, Fatkov fixes the last possible date of the executions at September 1941. If this is true, and it must be true, since it is in the Russian's own report, why then were all of these Polish war prisoners found in winter garb in the Katyn Forest? Weather reports show that the temperatures during August and September of 1941 in the Smolensk area ranged between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is inconceivable that the Polish prisoners of war would have had scarfs tied around their necks and would be wearing overcoats if they actually were massacred in August and September of 1941.

Russian witnesses further testified that they knew that the men they say were Polish war prisoners because they wore the same Polish uniforms and their characteristic four-cornered hats. This committee has photographs of Poles who reported to General Anders from other camps in 1941 when he was forming his Polish army. None of these men reported in their original Polish uniforms since they were worn out during their 2-year captivity.

The Russians claim that Witness Kisselev, who had testified before the German Commission, had been brutally beaten to say that he actually had seen and witnessed the executions. The Germans never claimed to have an "eyewitness." Any allegations which the Russians attribute to Kisselev, therefore, are false.

The Soviet report is inconsistent with the facts in its claim there were 11,000 Poles massacred at Katyn. The Polish Red Cross has definitely and conclusively established in the minds of this committee that there were no more than 4,143 bodies exhumed at Katyn, and another 110 found but not exhumed.

The Polish Red Cross had made a thorough search of the area in order to find more graves and no additional graves or bodies could be found.

Out of some 11,000 bodies which the Russians claim that they had found in Katyn, they were able to find only nine documents which showed a date later than May of 1940.


Furthermore, the Russian report quotes a citizen, Moskovoskaya, who claims she talked to a man named Yegorov in March of 1943. He reportedly said that in April of 1943 he had been sent into the Katyn Forest by the Germans to remove all documents which were dated subsequent to May of 1940 from the bodies of the dead soldiers. It is interesting to note that her conversation was in March of 1943 and Yegorov was describing activities in which he allegedly had participated a month later, in April of 1943.

Yegorov allegedly stated that there was some 500 Russian natives from the area in all who were ordered by the Germans to remove these records. After the task was completed, according to


Yegorov, the 500 Russians were executed by the Germans. Nowhere in its report does the Soviet Commission claim that the graves of these 500 Russians ever were found.

Evidence before this committee already has substantially established that only 4,253 bodies were buried in Katyn. If the Russian claim that there were 11,000 Poles buried in that forest is to be accepted, why then didn't the Russians recover the additional 7,000 bodies?

It is also significant to note that while not a single Russian witness mentions a date later than September 1941 as the time of the alleged massacre by the Germans, in their final report the Soviets claim "September to December" as the period of the executions.

Henry Cassidy told this committee that the correspondents taken to Katyn by the Russians pointed out this inconsistency, and he said further:

"Thereupon, the text of the Soviet Atrocities Commission report, which was to be released simultaneously with our dispatches, was held up for a couple of days, I suppose to be rewritten, and our dispatches were released when that report was finally read, and it was then that we got our copy into the telegraph office. (See p. 214, part II, of the published hearings.)

In all the allegations in the Soviet Commission's report, not once do they make mention of the type of ammunition used. The type of ammunition, was manufactured in Germany by Genschow & Co. But testimony heard before this committee clearly proved that the German-made ammunition had been sent to Russia and the Baltic states for many years before World War II. Mr. Genschow, president of the Gustav Genschow & Co., as a witness before the committee in Frankfurt, testified as follows:

"Mr. Genschow.' * * 'The cartridges of the shells of this pistol ammunition carried, since the year 1933-34, the word "Geco" on the bottom of the shell, and underneath the "Geco" was '7.65.'

"Question. Can 7.65 ammunition of the type manufactured by this firm be used in various kinds and makes of pistols?

"Mr. Genschow. 'Yes, it could; because it was a standard type cartridge which could be used in very many different makes of pistols.'

"Question. Was it used internationally by various nations, police, or armed forces, in pistols?

"Mr. Genschow. 'Yes certainly.'

"Question. Did this firm ever export pistol ammunition of the caliber 7.65 to Eastern Europe?

"Mr. Genschow. 'Yes; that is the case."

(See part V of the published hearings.) From the foregoing testimony it is evident that both Russia and Germany had access to this type of ammunition.

Finally, this committee cannot accept the Russian claim that these Polish officers fell into German hands during the Soviet retreat because there isn't an iota of proof in the Soviet report that any Russian soldiers or officers guarding these alleged camps had fallen captive to the Germans. It is inconceivable that these 15,000 Polish officers would have waited around these three camps to be taken prisoners by the Germans while their Russian guards themselves fled the impending German onslaught. There should be no


doubt that the moment the Russian soldiers abandoned the camps the 15,000 Poles likewise would have fled for freedom.


This committee reports that during the International Military Trials held in Nuremberg after World War II, evidence was heard relative to the Katyn massacre.

The committee has heard testimony from two of the attorneys who participated in the Nuremberg trials. (See pt. V of the published hearings.) In accordance with the London agreement of 1945, the Soviets were in charge of war crimes which were allegedly committed in the eastern areas, such as: U.S.S.R., Poland, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Czechoslovakia. Hence the Katyn massacre, since it occurred in Soviet territory, was the direct responsibility of the Government of the U.S.S.R. to prosecute the individuals responsible for this crime.

The Katyn massacre appears in the Nuremberg trials as a charge against Herman Goering since he was the highest ranking German officer. The Soviet prosecutor produced three witnesses to establish the Germany guilt for the Katyn massacre. The German defense counsel produced three witnesses for the defense. These are all the witnesses the tribunal would hear. Witnesses for both the Germans and the Soviets were duly examined and cross-examined.

This committee in the course of the hearings at Frankfurt heard testimony from the three German witnesses who appeared at Nuremberg, that is, Colonel Ahrens, General Oberhaeuser, and Lieutenant Von Eichborn. (See pt. V of the published hearings.)

These three witnesses testified that they were with German Signal Regiment 537, not the Five hundred and thirty-seventh Engineer Battalion as alleged in the Russian report. (See p. 247, pt. II of the published hearings.)


All of them arrived in the Smolensk area after September 1, 1941. In the case of Colonel Ahrens, he testified that he did not arrive in the Katyn Forest until early November 1941. He was specifically named in the Russian report as the individual who directed the mass shootings of the Polish prisoners. (See p. 247, pt. III of the published hearings.) Colonel Ahrens was again accused before the International Military Tribunal by the Soviet prosecutor and it is significant to note that he was never indicted by the tribunal nor was his indictment requested by the Soviet prosecutor. (See pt. V of the published hearings.)

This committee heard testimony from Col. Albert Bedenk who was the predecessor to Colonel Ahrens as commanding officer of Signal Regiment 537. He testified that he arrived in the Smolensk area on July 28, 1941, several days after the fighting front had moved many miles east of Smolensk on the way to Moscow. Colonel Bedenk set up the headquarters of Signal Regiment 537 in the Dneiper Castle about the middle of August 1941. He testified: "the total strength of the regiment at that time was 17 of which 5 or 6 were officers, 4 were noncommissioned, and the rest were enlisted men." (See pt. V of the published hearings.)


The Russian report states, "The Polish prisoners of war who were in the three camps west of Smolensk employed on road building up to outbreak of war, remained there after the German invaders reached Smolensk, until September 1941." (See p. 247, pt. III of the published hearings.) Colonel Bedenk categorically denied ever seeing a Pole in the area, as did General Oberhaeuser and Colonel Ahrens. Colonel Bedenk also testified that Colonel Ahrens relieved him as commanding officer of Signal Regiment 537 on November 20, 1941, as did General Oberhaeuser. (See pt. V of the published hearings.) Thus the testimony taken before this committee under oath speaks for itself.

The Soviet prosecutor in his summation of the charges against Goering never mentioned the Katyn massacre. Testimony before this committees reveals that the Soviet prosecutor failed to prove his case against the Germans, therefore the matter was dropped by the tribunal.


This committee unanimously finds, beyond any question of reasonable doubt, that the Soviet NKVD (Peoples' Commissariat of Internal Affairs) committed the mass murders of the Polish officers and intellectual leaders in the Katyn Forest near Smolensk, Russia.

The evidence, testimony, records, and exhibits recorded by this committee through its investigations and hearings during the last 9 months, overwhelmingly will show the people of the world that Russia is directly responsible for the Katyn massacre. Throughout our entire proceedings, there has not been a scintilla of proof or even any remote circumstantial evidence presented that could indict any other nation in this international crime.

It is an established fact that approximately 15,000 Polish prisoners were interned in three Soviet camps: Kozielsk, Starobielsk, and Ostashkov in the winter of 1939-40. With the exception of 400 prisoners, these men have not been heard from, seen, or found since the spring of 1940. Following the discovery of the graves in 1943, when the Germans occupied this territory, they claimed there were 11,000 Poles buried in Katyn. The Russians recovered the territory from the Germans in September 1943 and likewise they stated that 11,000 Poles were buried in those mass graves.

Evidence heard by this committee repeatedly points to the certainty that only those prisoners interned at Kozielsk were massacred in the Katyn Forest. Testimony of the Polish Red Cross officials definitely established that 4,143 bodies were actually exhumed from the seven mass graves. On the basis of further evidence, we are equally certain that the rest of the 15,000 Polish officers—those interned at Starobielsk and Ostashkov—were executed in a similar brutal manner. Those from Starobielsk were disposed of near Kharkov, and those from Ostashkov met a similar fate. Testimony was presented by several witnesses that the Ostashkov prisoners were placed on barges and drowned in the White Sea. Thus the committee believes that there are at least two other "Katyns" in Russia.

No one could entertain any doubt of Russia guilt for the Katyn massacre when the following evidence considered:


1. The Russians refused to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to make a neutral investigation of the German charges in 1943.

2. The Russians failed to invite any neutral observers to participate in their own investigation in 1944, except a group of newspaper correspondents taken to Katyn who agreed "the whole show was staged" by the Soviets.

3. The Russians failed to produce sufficient evidence a Nuremberg—even guilt for Katyn by the International Military Tribunal.

4. This committee issued formal and public invitations to the Government of the U.S.S.R. to present any evidence pertaining to the Katyn massacre. The Soviets refused to participate in any phase of this committee's investigation.

5. The overwhelming testimony of prisoners formerly interned at the three camps, of medical experts who performed autopsies of the massacred bodies, and of observers taken to the scene of the crime conclusively confirms this committee's findings.

6. Polish Government leaders and military men who conferred with Stalin Molotov, and NKVD chief Beria for a year and a half attempted without success to locate the Polish prisoners before the Germans discovered Katyn. This renders further proof that the Soviets purposely misled the Poles in denying any knowledge of the whereabouts of their officers when, in fact, the Poles already were buried in the mass graves at Katyn.

7. The Soviets have demonstrated through their highly organized propaganda machinery that they fear to have the people behind the iron curtain know the truth about Katyn. This is proven by their reaction to our committee's efforts and the amount of newspaper space and radio time devoted to denouncing the work of our committee. They also republished in all newspapers behind the iron curtain the allegedly "neutral" Russian report of 1944. The world-wide campaign of slander by the Soviets against our committee is also construed as another effort to block this investigation.

8. This committee believes that one of the reasons for the staging of the recent Soviet "germ warfare" propaganda campaign was to divert attention of the people behind the iron curtain from the hearings of the committee.

9. Our committee has been petitioned to investigate mass executions and crimes against humanity committed in other countries behind the iron curtain. The committee has heard testimony which indicates there are other "Katyns." We wish to impress with all the means at our command that the investigation of the Katyn massacre barely scratches the surface of numerous crimes against humanity perpetrated by totalitarian powers. This committee believes that an international tribunal should be established to investigate willful and mass executions wherever they have been committed. The United Nations will fail in their obligation until they expose to the world that "Katynism" is a definite and diabolical totalitarian plan for world conquest.

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Post by Fredd » 15 Aug 2004 06:13

Thank you David!

This committee unanimously agrees that evidence dealing with the first phase of its investigation proves conclusively and irrevocably the Soviet NKVD (Peoples' Commissariat of Internal Affairs) committed the massacre of Polish Army officers in the Katyn Forest near Smolensk, Russia, not later than the spring of 1940.
Some said there was no trial hence nobody's guilt been proven, seems to me they were wrong.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 15 Aug 2004 16:57

Some said there was no trial hence nobody's guilt been proven, seems to me they were wrong.
Why, was there a trial?

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Post by Fredd » 15 Aug 2004 17:37

First in Nuremburg when Soviets failed to prove the German's guilt.

And you can regard a congressional investigation as almost trial since for example witnesses are under oath.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 15 Aug 2004 18:16

While I surely find Commission's findings valuable, it was not a trial. And Nuremberg Trial just did not reach any conclusion.

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Post by Fredd » 15 Aug 2004 18:52

Sergey Romanov wrote:And Nuremberg Trial just did not reach any conclusion.
Couldn't have reached, but Soviets made it plain that wer incapable of proving German guilt. So, if Germans didn't do it who else could?

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 15 Aug 2004 19:04

Couldn't have reached, but Soviets made it plain that wer incapable of proving German guilt. So, if Germans didn't do it who else could?
Logical mistake. "Soviets did not prove German guilt" does not equal "Germans did not do it".

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Post by Vikki » 16 Aug 2004 00:21

Quote (from the report above):
Out of some 11,000 bodies which the Russians claim that they had found in Katyn, they were able to find only nine documents which showed a date later than May of 1940.
I assume these are the documents referred to by Victor Il'ich Prosorovski, appointed by Burdenko as the chairman of the Russian “Medico-Judicial Commission of experts” on Katyn, in this thread:

It's strange that the report would state a conclusion this way, and that the Committee would allow such a slip of logic in its final report. The latest dated documents or artifacts at an excavated (single-stratum) site such as this are considered a terminus post quem, i.e., the remains there could not have been deposited before the date of that artifact. And it doesn't matter whether there were nine or ninety such artifacts or documents. If they are truly an original part of the deposit, they are taken as the earliest date that the site could have been created--in this case, according to Prosorovski's testimony, 1941.

The exception is that such later evidence is disregarded if the site can be shown to have been "contaminated" in some way by later intrusions.

Or are Prosorovski's testimony and the findings of the Russian Medico-Judicial Commission considered the "contamination" in this case? Were the documents they claim to have found ever produced?

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Post by David Thompson » 16 Aug 2004 02:18

Fraulein -- It would be helpful to have a translation of the Soviet report to post, but so far, so bad. I can't tell from reading Prosorovski's IMT testimony basic things like, how many different graves did the Soviet commission excavate. This is all from one passage at p. 362:
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Please tell me, how far from the town of Smolensk were the burial grounds where the corpses were discovered?

PROSOROVSKI: A commission of medico-legal experts, together with members of the special commission, Academician Burdenko, Academician Potemkin, Academician Tolstoy, and other members of this commission, betook themselves on 14 January 1944 to the burial grounds of the Polish officers in the so-called Katyn wood. This spot is located about 15 kilometers from the town of Smolensk. These burial grounds were situated on a slope at a distance of about 200 meters from the Vitebsk high road. One of these graves was about 60 meters long and 60 meters wide; the other one, situated a small distance from this first grave, was about 7 meters long and 6 meters wide.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: How many corpses were exhumed by the commission you headed?

PROSOROVSKI: In the Katyn wood the commission of medical experts exhumed and examined, from various graves and from various depths, altogether 925 corpses.
If someone can find and scan an English translation of the report of the 1944 Soviet Commission, it should have its own thread.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 16 Aug 2004 04:28

Were the documents they claim to have found ever produced?
No, they were never produced. Report's point is that only 4,000+ bodies were found by the Germans at Katyn. Where did the Soviets get 11,000 number? Did they find 7,000 more bodies? Why, then, there are only 9 documents?
Last edited by Sergey Romanov on 16 Aug 2004 04:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 16 Aug 2004 04:30

David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 16 Aug 2004 05:49

Thanks, Sergey.

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Post by Dmitry » 16 Aug 2004 06:02

Where should those document be produced?
IMT refused to carry on the investigation.

They should be stored in former Soviet archives.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 16 Aug 2004 06:12

Where should those document be produced?
Together with the report.
They should be stored in former Soviet archives.
I bet that they are among Katyn Commission's materials in the still open criminal case no. 159.

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