1) Frankly, I don't see why both sides make such a big deal out of Gorbachev's admission. We're dealing with history here and admission is not a historical argument. It doesn't prove that the Poles were murdered by NKVD. So reading time after time "even Gorbachev admitted this", as if this supposed to end the debate, is tiring.
Anyway, both Soviet and Russian governments recognized Stalinism's guilt at Katyn, Kharkov and Tver'.
2) Since the Politburo documents came from the "Osobaja papka" (the "special file") part of the archive, their forgery is out of question. In "osobaja papka" there could be no forgeries, by definition. The "independent examination" should have been undertaken only if the documents were held by some third party all this time (say, at some party official's home).
It's up to the deniers to prove that there was a conspiracy to forge the documents. Until proven false, the documents should be considered authentic, just as _any other_ documents with a known provenance.
3) Mukhin's parrots often talk about a need for a "trial", repeating their guru's silly claim. But what "trial" they are talking about? _Who_ is to be tried? Besides, all this talk about trial is no more than a silly red herring. While trial may (or may not) be relevant to the question of the reparations, it is wholly irrelevant to the historiography. Historically, the guilt of NKVD and Politburo is established with 100% certainty.
4) The question of the bullets is irrelevant for the following reasons:
a) The Germans themselves first described these bullets. They could have simply omitted this fact and if the subsequent findings contradicted them, they could've just dismissed them as forgeries.
b) These same bullets were found in the graves at Mednoe. Germans never were in Mednoe.
5) Katyn deniers have no straws to grasp at, so they grasp at leaves. Mukhin's argument is based on this excerpt from Jaworowski:
That the crimes was committed in spring-time is clear from the birch leaves in the graves, which [the leaves] were fresh at that time.
Mukhin doesn't give context and his argument is based on "common sense" (as he sees it): that the leaves would decay up to that time if the murder was committed in the spring of 1940, but there could be some dry leaves if it was committed in the autumn of 1941. Basically, one would need to conduct some studies to see what would decay when (e.g. it seems to me that in the wax-fat leaves might not decay for a long time), and what exactly was the state of the leaves the Polish commission has found.
6) Antisemite Mills wrote:
It is interesting that Stalin was not the main person pushing for the execution of the imprisoned Polish army officers and policemen, but took advice from his subordinates.
It is also interesting that a number of those subordinates, such as Voroshilov, the People's Commissar for War, were in favour of releasing the prisoners.
It is also interesting that Lev Mekhlis, head of the Political Commissars in the Red Army, was the one who insisted on the executions of the prisoners on the grounds that there were "enemies" among them
Could it be that Mekhlis had some specific ethnic and/or ideological grudge against the Polish officers? Did his own ethnic origin and cultural background play a role in his assessment of the prisoners as "enemies"?
In that regard, we should note that Mekhlis was not a Russian. He was not a Ukrainian. Nor a Belorussian. Nor a Georgian or Armenian, or from the Caucausus. Not a Tartar either, or a member of the Baltic peoples, or of any of the peoples of Soviet Asia.
Of course this vomit-inducing post is based on two wrong premises, one false, another quite shaky: that the Jew Mekhlis had anything to do with the Katyn massacre and that "Stalin was not the main person pushing for the execution". It was Georgian Beria who drafted the Politburo order, and Georgian Stalin was likely the person who decided that such order would be drafted at all. There was only one Jewish "yes" on the shooting order - that of Kaganovich (and it was written in by the secretary). Three were Russian (Molotov, Kalinin, Voroshilov), 1 Armenian (Mikojan), 1 - and deciding - was Georgian (Stalin; Beria did not sign the order for whatever reason).
One wonders whether the misinformation on Mills' part was deliberate...
7) Rarog wrote:
There is at least one forged "document" in the Katyn archive.
Ex-KGB head Shelepin refuses to acknowledge he wrote/signed the documents which are now the Katyn archive.
By this he repeats the false claims made by Jurij Mukhin made in his 760+ page book "Antirossijskaja podlost'". Mukhin claims that late Shelepin refused to acknowledge the 1959 letter, basing his claim on the book "Katynskij sindrom", written by the Katyn historians Inessa Jazhborovkaja and Valentina Parsadanova and former prosecutor Anatolij Jablokov, who investigated the Katyn crime.
Mukhin's claims are fully refuted by the text of the book! On p. 395 Jablokov writes that Shelepin told him (in Semichastnyj's presence) that some executive complained to him in 1959 that the whole room was taken by some secret documents which were not needed for work anyway, that after some time this same executive brought him the excerpt from the Politburo protocol with the shooting order and the draft of the letter which Shelepin signed. I.e. Shelepin acknowledged the authenticity of the letter and the fact of signing it. The letter was not written by Shelepin's hand, this fact is clear. This corresponds to Shelepin's story and was confirmed to Jablokov by several archivists and officials. It is more probable that Shelepin did not tell the truth that he just signed this document almost without looking (he was just for three month at KGB at that time, he said, so he trusted the professionals there). Anyway, Mukhin lied and his parrots are advised to verify his claims before spouting them.
Anyway, it is obvious to me that modern Russia is a continuation of Soviet Union. Why? They nourish Soviet's murders and thugs, refused to consider Katyn massacre as genocide.
I'm not sure whether Russian govt. considers this genocide or not, or whether this question has been ever raised with them (I don't trust journalists' rendition of the fact, they often omit nuances). But in the expert opinion for the Russian prosecution Katyn massacre is considered an act of genocide according to the IMT charter (!). (See "Katynskij sindrom", p. 484).
Argument that since Geobbels announced that Russian did what they did it must have been a lie is preposterous.
Readers might be interested in reading the excerpts from Goebbels' diaries (courtesy of Scott Smith):
http://p067.ezboard.com/frodohforumfrm1 ... D=27.topic
10) Dmitry wrote:
Yes that's a good question. I don't know what exactly could happen at the time... In the USSR there was kind of punishment - prisoners could be deforsed of carry on a correspondence.
As we know Polish officers (in Gryazovets camp) that weren't on the ocuppied by Germans Soviet territory survived. What did they tell - why they stop to wrote?
That claim is familiar to those who have read Mukhin. OK, let's suppose they were sentenced to 5 years without the right to write ( ;] ). Where were they? According to Burdenko report, they were concentrated in the three camps near Smolensk called 1-ON, 2-ON, 3-ON. There are grave problems with this claim:
a) There is not a trace of these camps in the extensive NKVD documentation. These Poles do figure in some documents about the camps for POWS as "transferred to UNKVD". There are no "ON" camps in the lists of NKVD camps - and they would be there is they existed. Deniers might argue that they were under GULAG jurisdiction - but GULAG documentation is just as extensive, and no trace of these Poles or camps there, sorry.
b) Soviet report states:
The former head of camp no. 1ON, Major of Security WETOSCHINIKOW W.M., interrogated by the Special Commission, stated:
"I awaited the order relating to the dissolution of the camp. But <phone> connections with the city of Smolensk were interrupted. Therefore I drove together with a few fellow employees to Smolensk to clarify the situation. I found the situation in Smolensk tense. I turned to the head of railway traffic for the Smolensk stretch of the western railway, Comrade IWANOW, with a request to provide the camp with <train> carriages to evacuate the Polish prisoners of war. Comrade IWANOW answered, however, that I could not count on that. I made attempts to get in connection with Moscow to obtain permission to cover the distance by foot, but I was not successful.
"At this time, Smolensk was already cut off from the camp by the Germans, and I don't know what happened to the Polish prisoners of war and the guard personnel who remained behind in the camp."
Even Mukhin concedes that Vetoshnikov was a mythical figure dreamed up by Soviets to cover the fact that they sentenced(!) POWs to hard labor.
c) There were more than 4000 bodies in 7 graves, 1 grave remained largely unopened, but it contained only several hundreds of corpses. Where are 11,000 more bodies?!
d) The answer to the previous question: at Tver and Kharkov, as was decisively established by Russian and Polish investigation teams.
So there is really no question about who killed these Poles.
11) Dmitry wrote:
I've read Red Cross commission report. They were working under close attention of Nazis who came there before them and could prepare things in their favour, nonetheless Red Cross commission wrote that Polish officers were killed by German weapons.
Let's not forget that they also testified about it AFTER the war. Of course two of them, who were in the Soviet hands, testified differently.
12) Rarog wrote:
Yeah, and one of the "documents" mentiones not VKP(b) but ZK KPSS!!!
It's another of Mukhin's ignorant claims. In fact, KPSS was often mentioned instead of VKP(b) in the official documents. And the fact that it mentioned "TsK" instead of "Politburo TsK" hardly matters, since often there was a confusion of these terms (e.g. on June 3, 1946, in Politburo order it was written that "TsK VKP(b) orders...", in February 3, 1941 Politburo order for the division of NKVD into two narcomates it was again written "TsK VKP(b) orders").
Of course in Russia there always were and are those who'll support in fact anti-russian claims. A sort of 'vlasovists' like one Russian here with tzar's surname.
An all too familiar "Nestbeschmutzer" argument we all know and love :] I'm anti-Vlasov, BTW. And while some ignorant persons on the both sides of the "controversy" may consider this argument "anti-Russian", it's strictly anti-Stalinist. Nobody can blame Russians for the murder of Poles at Katyn.