5 March 1940 – The beginning of Katyn Massacre

Today we mark the 83rd anniversary of the felonious decision to murder Polish officers in the Katyn forest. On 5 March 1940, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party (WKPb), headed by Joseph Stalin, made a decision on thousand Polish citizens, including 14,700 prisoners-of-war, to be shot without trial.

The tragic consequence of this decision affected above all Polish prisoners-of-war in special camp of the NKVD (Kozelsk, Starobelsk, Ostashkov), and those who were held in NKVD prisons on the territory of the eastern provinces of pre-war Poland, i.e. western Belarus and Ukraine. Its aftermath was the events known as the Katyn Massacre.

Among the victims of the Katyn Massacre were Police officers, also those from Silesian region. It is to them that is dedicated the temporary exhibition "The exterminated formation. Police Force of the Silesian Voivodship 1922-1939", the official opening of which will take place tomorrow, 6 March at 1.00 p.m., in our Opole seat.

The Katyn Massacre, together with the functioning of the Soviet and the German prisoner-of-war systems, is an important part of the Museum's scientific and educational activities, and one of the permanent exhibitions presented at Łambinowice, "Polish Prisoners-of-War in the USSR", is devoted to the Polish soldiers held in the Soviet captivity in 1939-1941.

You are cordially welcome to pay us a visit.


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