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Katyn and the Soviet Massacre of 1940 : Truth, Justice and Memory - George Sanford

Katyn and the Soviet Massacre of 1940

Truth, Justice and Memory

Hardcover Published: 24th August 2005
ISBN: 9780415338738
Number Of Pages: 250

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In spring 1940 the NKVD, Stalin's security police, massacred nearly 15,000 Polish prisoners of war captured in September 1939 during the Nazi-Soviet war against Poland. Although the victims were taken from three forced labour camps and killed at three separate locations, the German discovery of the mass grave at Katyn in spring 1943 has come to symbolize the slaughter, which claimed around 22,000 lives. Katyn was publicised by the Nazis during their spring 1943 advance into the USSR, while other burial grounds at Kharkov and Mednoe were only uncovered decades later. This study is the first to use Soviet documentation released in the early 1990s to explain how the failure of NKVD interrogation and recruitment attempts along with acute Polish-Bolshevik rivalry led the Stalinist leadership to decide on mass slaughter. In addition to an exploration of the rationale of the Stalinist state, Katyn and the Soviet Massacre of 1940 gives an authoritative case study of the processes used by Stalin through a detailed accounting of the mechanics of the transportation and execution of the victims. The truth about the massacre was suppressed both by the Soviet Union and by their post-war satellite regime in Poland. But the management of the issue by the American and British governments after 1943, examined in the second half of this book, also has major significance. The failure by the Western powers to question the Soviet cover-up stands as an embarrassing part of their wider policy of acceptance of Poland's takeover at the end of WWII. While the lingering effects of war continue to haunt Eastern Europe, this study is a vital contribution on the debate over how the memory of atrocities can be assuaged by justice for victims through truth-telling, apologies and reconciliation. Of interest to historical scholars and students of Eastern European and WWII history, this volume is a fascinating look into a dark and overlooked chapter of mankind's bloodiest century.

Industry Reviews

'This study is the fullest investigation to date of this atrocity...It is based on considerable research in various archives and is written dispassionately and objectively and is thereby all the more moving.' - Contemporary Review

List of tablesp. xii
List of abbreviationsp. xiii
Map of special camps and killing and burial sitesp. xvi
Introductionp. 1
Poland and Russiap. 5
Conflict and dominationp. 5
The Polish-Soviet War of 1920: was Stalin polonophobic?p. 7
Polish and Soviet communismp. 9
Inter-war Polish-Soviet relations: the unresolved dimensionp. 13
The Sovietisation of East Polandp. 20
Invasion and conquestp. 20
The Soviet subjugation of incorporated East Poland, 1939-1941p. 23
Nazi-Stalinist collaboration to destroy occupied Polandp. 29
The Stalinist Terror and prisoner of war systemp. 35
The nature of the Stalinist beastp. 35
Soviet treatment of PoWs captured in Eastern Polandp. 39
Making and administration of Soviet policy towards the Polish PoWsp. 42
The special campsp. 47
PoW numbers and compositionp. 52
Deaths, suicides and escapesp. 55
Correspondencep. 57
The indoctrination, screening/investigation and selection processesp. 64
Political propaganda and indoctrinationp. 65
Investigation, recording and interrogationp. 68
How, why and by whom was the decision to massacre taken?p. 75
Course, mechanisms and technology of the massacrep. 90
Political and logistical preparations for the massacrep. 90
The bureaucracy and book-keeping of deathp. 93
The killings in the Belarusan and Ukrainian prisonsp. 109
Who were the killers? How were they selected and motivated?p. 112
Who survived and why: the survivors' testimony and subsequent fatep. 114
The struggle for historical truthp. 124
Before 'Katyn': the hinge of fate for Polish-Soviet relations, 1941-1943p. 124
The 1943 International Commission, Polish Red Cross and German Reportsp. 130
The Burdenko Commission and the Soviet cover storyp. 136
Soviet failure at Nurembergp. 140
The US Congress hearingsp. 141
Katyn bibliographically - the Crusade for the Truth within and outside the Soviet Blocp. 144
Forgeries, megalomaniacs, dead ends and pseudo-expertsp. 147
The management and control of the truth about the 1940 massacrep. 157
The truth and American-British lies, hypocrisy and self-delusionp. 157
America - the pragmatic and utilitarian handling of the truthp. 159
Britain - defending the indefensiblep. 166
Soviet and Polish communist control of the truth about Katyn: the conflict with national memoryp. 194
Soviet 'management' of the truth about Katynp. 194
The Gorbachev/Yeltsin files and how the truth was revealedp. 196
Katyn in post-communist Russian politics: the Procuracy investigationsp. 201
The London Government-in-Exile and the Home Armyp. 204
Katyn and the PRLp. 205
The Katyn movements: from political dissidence to democratic lobbyp. 212
Conclusion: closure of the 1940 Soviet massacre issuep. 226
Truth - what still remains to be revealed?p. 226
Memory - commemoration and closurep. 227
Justice - forgiveness and reconciliationp. 228
Select bibliographyp. 233
Indexp. 243
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415338738
ISBN-10: 0415338735
Series: BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 250
Published: 24th August 2005
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.47 x 16.15  x 1.98
Weight (kg): 0.54
Edition Number: 1

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