Talk:Katyn massacre/Archive 1

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Old talk

That bit at the end doesn't strike me as very NPOV... Tualha 05:34, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)

"Soviet and American attempts to cover the massacre" Do you mean "cover" (to report about) or do you mean "cover up" (to hide)? --anon, 1 Jul 2004

cover up, which has since been corrected Krupo 04:28, Sep 6, 2004 (UTC)

It is not clear as to why Roosevelt would want to cover up the Soviet massacres. At first glance at the heading I thought the Communists and the American President had something in common. It's clear why one murderous leadership would want to put massacres they committed themselves into the shoes of a competing murderous regime. But, Roosevelt??? Whyerd 17:38, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It indeed needs explanation. The problem was that there were approx 7 to 10 millions of ethnic Poles in the US at the time, large majority of them voted for him in the presidential elections. Roosevelt did not want to enrage his electorate. For similar reasons the agreements from Yalta were not publicised until after the war.
Other cause was that he was considering the case of Polish government in exile a problem of United Kingdom. He apparently believed that taking part in the Polish-Soviet dispute would only enrage uncle Jojo, while the US of A would win nothing if FDR decided to back Poland. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 18:36, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)
Doesn't it have more to do with not estranging such a vital ally? I seem to recall various times
when the US hesitated to criticize the USSR...and that always seemed to be the main reason.

The following was posted by User:Rogper in Katyn article. I believe it should be incorporated into this articla rather than geography-related Katyn. How to do this? [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 22:15, Oct 27, 2004 (UTC)

The Soviet regime attempted to cover the event, but some, mostly Polish descentances, started to investigate the thing further. This was the case with Roman Marini from Kraków, together with his two students, who in 1946 personally investigated the graves. Marini was later executed and the two other students disappeared after a positive attempt to flew from prison; their destiny is, however, unknown. In 1971, the danish descent musician Elisabeth Tramsen disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and the case has in fact not yet today found satisfaction or resolution. In the contemporary, her father Helge Tramsen started a movement to raise the opinion in Scandinavia, but his work gained not enough attention. In 1989, Stefan Niedzialak, the founder of Katyn foundation, was beaten to death.

Yes, maybe you have right; it suits perhaps better here. // Rogper 12:04, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

"On Christmas Eve of 1939, all priests of every confession, including Catholics, Orthodox, Jews, Protestants and Greek Catholics were removed from the camps and probably murdered separately."

Probably? This needs substantiation. 119 01:58, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This has now been removed. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:39, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The Jan Masaryk connection

Some of the following could be incorporated in the main article if it can be checked (which came from a book read long ago):

The Germans took a number of experts from the countries they occupied to investigage the Katyn site. The Czech expert was later to do the post mortuum on Jan Masaryk.


What is the purpose of including the link to neo-Nazi writer Irving's book? He was controversial from the start, including his Sikorski-murder thesis. I'd suggest reading Prof. Richard Evans' report, in which some of Irving's early distortions are discussed. This man should not be counted upon the present an objective historical narrative. Also, what is the source of "On Christmas Eve of 1939, all clergy, including Roman and Greek Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish, and Protestant, were removed from the camps and probably murdered separately."? This should be deleted if no source is forthcoming.

Dear anon. Irving is controversial, yes. But I read his book about Sikorski and it contains some interesting facts about Sikorski's death and Katyn, and I used it for source of some information in both articles, thus I believe his books should remain in the references/external link section. If you can prove to me that some parts of the article(s) are wrong/disputed, I will happilly correct them. The fact that the author later became a controversial Neo-Nazi (there are several archive talk pages about that on his page...) does not automatically makes everything he wrote usless. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:12, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I don't know about this sentence, I didn't add it and I have no sources for or against it. However, according to Wiki policy, the sentences should not be deleted unless you have a source that proves it wrong (or it is obviously an error). Could you point out to me the Irving distortions regarding Katyn/Sikorski issue? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:14, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
As I said, Irving was controversial from the beginning. Evans points out the distortions in his Dresden book. Thus it is not the matter of me pointing out the mistakes, but rather people relying on a priori shaky source. It may happen that most of what Irving says in his book about post-Katyn repercussions is true, but until proven innocent, he must be presumed guilty. I will no longer delete the links, but I will contemplate putting some sort of short notice, saying that the writer is controversial.
Now about the priests. In "Katyn. Plenniki neobjavlennoj vojny. Dokumenty i materialy" (ed. Pikhoja, Gejsztor (sp?)), Moscow, 1999, we find several facts contradicting this sentence.
Document no. 179 (pp. 317ff) - the "Numerical data on POWs in Starobielsk camp for February 1, 1940" lists 16 priests.
So it is not true that all clergy was separated in 1939.
On p. 431 there is a note on chaplain Stanislaw Kontek (Kantek (sp?)), who on 24 Feb. 1940 was sent to Moscow from Ostashkov, then, in 1941(!), to Griazovets, where he was with other surviving priests - (sp?) Bednarczik, Dubrowka, Judycki, Kulikowski and Wzdenczny. Then he was in Totsk, Iran and Beirut.
So, again, it cannot be even stated that the priests were "killed separately".
(The Polish source is given: Ks. Kamil Kantak, Od Griazowca do Pahlewi (Fragment z pamietnika//"Marianum w Slurbie", nr. 5-6/71-72, Londyn Wrzesien-Grudzien, 1967, s. 82-84).
(It is thus also not true that only 395 people from Jukhnov survived.)
On p. 521 it is stated that among those sent to execution to Smolensk and Kharkov there were 18 chaplains and other clergymen.
According to the tables in appendices in all three camps there were military clergymen up to the execution.
Data for Kozielsk for 29.11.39/29.12.39/9.1.40/20.1.40/4.2.40/22.2.40/16.3.40/1.4.40: 7 1 1 1 1 1 1 8.
Ostashkov for 29.11.39/31.12.39/9.1.40/20.1.40/4.2.40/22.2.40/16.3.40: 0 11 11 5 5 5 5
Starobielsk for 29.11.39/31.12.39/9.1.40/20.1.40/4.2.40/23.2.40/16.3.40: 12 12 12 12 18 18 9
I will delete the passage. I will also edit the part about officers being put in three camps - it is based on widespread misconception that all the executed POWs were officers. --Polyphem 22:33, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
As an interesting side note, search for Stanislaw Kontek gave a result in the Katyn memorial list ( Unless it is a coincidence (and I've seen such with Katyn lists), the list on that page must be based on reconstructed data rather than on the Soviet lists. The reconstructed lists are known to have such glitches.--Polyphem 01:44, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for the interestign sources, you may want to add them to the refence section. While I would approach any Soviet/Russian sources with extreme caution, I don't have any contrary references for this. I added word 'controversial' to the Sikorski's book elink. As far as I can tell, this book has little or no neo-Nazis sympathies and most if its facts are not that controversial; it was from the next decade that Irving works became controversial. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:46, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
There is no reason to approach internal (formerly secret) Soviet data "with extreme caution". --Polyphem 11:37, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
You simply should keep in mind who, when and why created them and not trust them blindly Lysy 18:38, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Which approach should be taken to _any_ documents. No documents present the absolute truth. Soviet internal documents are not better or worse than Nazi internal documents, British .... etc. etc. --Polyphem 19:46, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Irving's "mistakes"

Meanwhile, here are several indications that Irving is not to be trusted re: Katyn.

"Given that the former Soviet archives reveal that the principal NKVD officers who signed the death warrants and carried out the Katyn massacre were Jewish" - it's a bald-faced lie.

Is it? I don't have sources pro or against. Of course if Irving gives no sources, this is just an accusation and should not be put in our text - but unless you have sources giving another nationality, this cannot be called a lie (it is true that *some* NKVD officers were Jewish, after all, although I wouldn't give much credit to any Irving conspiracy's theoris regarding Jews). One way or another, those sentences are not included in our Wiki article and won't be unless sb can give proof they are correct, so I think this is a rather moot point in this discussion. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:57, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Some people in Katyn affair were Jewish. Only one from NKVD comes to mind now, though, L. Raikhman, who did not have any direct involement, but was preparing the Katyn case for Nuremberg. Most executioners were Slavic, and their names can be found in literature, e.g. in the book I mentioned and in "Katyn 1940-2000. Rasstrel. Sud'by zhivykh. Ekho Katyni.", Moscow, 2001. The troika specified in the shooting order, consisted of Merkulov (Russian), Kobulov (Armenian) and Bashtakov (Russian). (Nationalities are given accoring to "Kto rukovodil NKVD", 11:36, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
"If he had been captured by the Russians, he would have ended up with the 15,000 other Poles in the mass graves at Katyn." - there weren't 15,000 in Katyn.
Well, it depends if we mean Kozielsk (which was 4,500 according to our text) or other camps (over 20k total).
It doesn't depend on that. The language is clear "mass graves at Katyn". (Besides, there were 15,000 from all camps, not over 20k total).
And I am not sure if during the 60s when Irving wrote the book the exact figures where known,
The exact figure of bodies exhumed at Katyn by the Germans was known from 1943.

remember that it was only after 1990 that Russian admitted their crime
Not after, but in 1990.
and allowed investigations of site/archives. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:57, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC) - all wrong, the only one sentences on Katyn charges was Duere/Diere, who in 1950s wrote that he was coerced. He wasn't hanged.

It looks like this is an article written by a Canadian professor, not Irving.
So what? He has it on his site as a source. That he accepts it as a fact is evident from
And as I have no sources for pros or against it, I can hardly say how relevant it is to our discussion. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:57, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Too bad. I think the book "Katyn. Zbrodnia chroniona tajemnica panstwowa" may contain this information. I took my info from Jazhborovskaja, Jablokov, Parsadanova, "Katynskij sindrom v sovetsko-pol'skikh i rossijsko-pol'skikh otnoshenijakh" (J.S. Jażborowskaja, A.Ju. Jabłokow, W.S. Parsadanowa, Syndrom katyński w stosunkach polsko-radzieckich i polsko-rosyjskich). - in the chapter on Katyn Irving distorts the number of victims in the forest. "By April 13 twelve thousand rotting corpses had been exhumed." If he can't get the very basics correct, who knows what errors he made in more advanced stuff? "Apr 16, 1943; the former NKVD officer Petr Soprunenko, who signed the Katyn death warrant, lives in Moscow as an old age pensioner (1994)." - according to the Katyn literature and "Kto rukovodil NKVD", Soprunenko died in 1992. So again the basic, verifiable fact is wrong. And he should have known that Soprunenko didn't sign the order.

--Polyphem 22:54, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I wrote about numbers above,
Me too. And I can add that Goebbels is a relatively recent book.
and as for Soprunenko, well, it is a mistake, but a rather small one. Still, I didn't read this book, I only read Sikorski's one.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:57, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
And a final note: of course Irving cannot be trusted. One can discuss how much truth there is in his books, but it is proved that at least parts of what he wrotes are mistakes/lies. I could myself add more examples of errors in his books. So we agree on this. However, this is OT - we should be concerned with factual info in the Katyn Massacre article here, not Irving mistakes, which are not relevant to this article. I took from his book some dates, Berlin Radio quote, Goebbels quote, Ivan Maisky quote, Churchill quotes, which I used to add info to sections 'Discovery' and 'Attempts to cover up the massacre' (see this for my changes, note that there were some minor changes by other users during this period). If you can show me that any of those statements are false, I'd be the first to delete them ASAP. However, we cannot say that since they are based on Irving book they are automatically false and all what he wrote is total fiction. Innocent until proven guilty is still a rule of thumb here. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 11:08, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hey, how about "I don't trust the Soviet sources" above? :-) Once discredited, the author can't be trusted. I have shown that he makes blatant mistakes in basic facts, sometimes driven by his ideology (as with the "Jewish NKVD" example). Such a source should be verified _before_ using it. --Polyphem 11:36, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I don't trust them, because see Recent Developments section - Russians (at least some of them) are still not willing to admit they did anything wrong. That aside, I don't demand all Soviet sources to be verified. As for Irving, as I wrote, if you think any part of my changes is wrong (or even controversial), please point that out. Otherwise, I see no reason why we should dispute the source. Irving wrote, for example, that the Second World War ended in 1945. Was this a lie as well? :> --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:39, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
"I don't trust them, because see Recent Developments section - Russians (at least some of them) are still not willing to admit they did anything wrong." Blatant non sequitur :-)--Polyphem 00:35, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Death toll

Savenkov's death toll

According to he gave only the death toll for the camps, slightly more high than that in Shelepin's letter. Together with the prisons this gives us about 22,000 victims.

According to link you gave Savenkov's death toll is 1803. And 22 (twenty two) of them are identified. : Nekto 13:31, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Some Soviet documents present a higher estimate for the camps - 15,131. E.g. this number can be found in 5.12.43 report of major Denisov. Although it is explicitly stated that all the people were from the three camps, it is not completely clear. It is possible that some Poles from other camps or prisons were killed together with the Poles from the three camps.--Polyphem 19:58, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

One of the problems is the so-called Ukrainian list, or a list of people who were surely murdered in April and May of 1940, but barely anyone knows (that is except for the Russian historians and Military Prosecutors' Office) where were they buried or killed. The name comes from the fact that the majority of those listed there were last seen in various prisons across the Ukraine. Halibutt 10:54, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

The number of executed

Poor wording

I think the wording of the possible death toll in the first paragraph: "from 1,803 to 14,540 through 21,857 to 28,000." is very unclear and convoluted. It should either be simplified to a lowest-highest reported range, or if the contributor prefers to distinguish between sources, give one range and note *one* source, then another range and note *that* source. But the way it is now, if I understand it correctly, is reporting a "range of ranges" Not clear enough for my standards of usability.Drewson99 03:34, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

In Russian WIki its 11,000??

in German 14.552 Kriegsgefangene ermordet: Die größten Gruppen davon mit 4.421 in Kozielsk, 6.311 in Ostashkov und 3.982 in Starobielsk

Please sign your comments. I had a chance to remark before - Battle of Polonka I think it was - that Polish historians tend to inflate the figures of casualties by doubling or trebling the actual figure. So I wouldn't be surprized if that is the case here. I would also list Yury Mikhin's monograph Anti-Russian Slur among the sources. We should leave Halibutt worship his Polish booklets alone, or perhaps in company with Lysy and Piotrus. Links to prop webistes -, - should be purged. Instead, there is an independant website - - proving that the whole affair was forged by CIA propaganda. I have no time for it now, but will probably return to the topic after reviewing the conduct of our Polish friends on History of Belarus. --Ghirlandajo 16:25, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
To answer your question, it depends on whether we count only the names on the NKVD list (14.552) or the so-called Ukrainian list as well. The latter lists also Polish officers last seen in various NKVD prisons and camps in the Ukraine who were murdered in smaller actions across the USSR. The latter includes some 8000 names, hence the higher figure. And why the Russian wiki mentions only 11,000 escapes me, especially that the NKVD order itself mentioned 26,700 people...
As to what Ghirlandajo writes above - it's a complete nonsense. Especially that the mass murder happened almost a decade before CIA was formed. Halibutt 17:04, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Halibutt, you should not consult Polish sources only. The Black Legend assigning the Nazi atrocities to Soviets was forged by the CIA and their Polish agents. --Ghirlandajo 07:50, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Right... Polish agents were faithfull agents of CIA even in 1941, long before it was created. Do you really believe that? As to consulting non-Polish sources, all say basically the same, be them Polish or non-Polish (even Russian sources usually agree). Check almost any of these links if you need non-Polish sources... Halibutt 10:22, 8 December 2005 (UTC) her the general prokuror of Russia sayd that in prisononed war only 14 500 officer.1 880 are exekuted.I think in to artikel it better postert the official number as sombodyelseUser:Nikkolai

To give the exact quote: "Установлена гибель 1803 человек (из числа содержавшихся в лагерях), личности 22 человек идентифицированы", - сказал Савенков. Про судьбу остальных он не сказал." Balcer 16:46, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
As is clarified a little down the page, the problem is that the term Katyn massacre might mean both the known mass murder sites where at least 14,540 men are buried, and the mass murder of all the Polish prisoners, possibly killed in the same time at other, still unknown places, following the same orders of March 5, 1940. The case is even more complicated, as the death count prepared by the Russian commission is... classified. Halibutt 02:53, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

14,000 vs 22,000

I have to take a break from verification now. Can somebody provide a source for the 22,000 number? All sources I have found so far (note I wasn't looking for those numbers on purpose) give about 14-15,000 (Zawodny, Mosnews). PWN on Katyń gives 'kilkanaście tysięcy' (untranslatable polish measurment for between 11,000 and 19,000). Our article currently uses the 22,000: :about 6000 POWs from the Ostashkov camp, about 4,000 POWs from the Starobielsk camp, about 4500 POWs from the Kozielsk camp, and about 7000 prisoners in Western parts of Belarus and Ukraine." Now Zawodny gives the same numbers for camps (actually, somewhat more specific - see my recent additions), and that totals around 15,000. But what source gives that '7000 prisoners in Western parts of Belarus and Ukraine'?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:55, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Again, it's a problem of whether we include the Ukrainian list still missing or not. The problem is that there were also a lot of Poles imprisoned in minor camps and prisons in "Western Belarus" and "Western Ukraine". A large number of officers were last seen there and are still missing and presumably killed in the same massacre. The "Ukrainian trace" is mentioned also in several Russian documents, though still little is known. For instance there is a Beria's order of March 22 to transfer ca. 3000 Polish prisoners from prisons in Lwów, Równe, Tarnopol, Stanisławów and Drohobycz to prisons in Kiev, Kharkov and Kherson, while additional 3000 were to be transferred from Brześć, Wilejka, Pińsk and Baranowicze to Minsk. It is often assumed that these could have been murdered in Kuropaty near Minsk and Bykovnia near Kiev. There is archaeological evidence that some Poles were indeed murdered there, but after 60 years little is certain. The Russians have provided the list of names of those transfered to Ukrainian prisons to the Polish historians, but all other documents are lacking, including the analogical list of people sent to Minsk. You can read more on that here, in an article by one of IPN historians - sadly in Polish only.
As to the source for both numbers - it is the infamous Politburo P13/144 document ([1] for instance), where the case of "14,700 POWS held in the camps - former Polish Army officers, government officials, landowners, policemen, intelligence agents, military policemen, settlers and jailers" is treated together with the case of "arrested and remaining in prisons in the western districts of Ukraine and Byelorussia people in the number of 11 000 - members of various counter-revolutionary spy and sabotage organizations, former landowners, factory owners, former Polish Army officers, government officials and fugitives". Later the group bound for extermination was limited to 18,632 people, and we do not know for sure how many people were in fact murdered following the order of March 5th. Hence the difference in numbers given. Halibutt 01:41, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Maybe the best solution would be to put these additional numbers in a general article, possibly titled Repression of Poles in the Soviet Union during World War II. I have a feeling that we are trying to cram too much into this article, which should really refer to only those deaths which were verified. After all, the number of Poles who disappeared without a trace in the Soviet Union must run into at least tens of thousands, counting all those who died in the labour camps of the Gulag or from harsh conditions during deportation and exile. Balcer 01:59, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
On the other hand the list of names of those people from Ukraine seems quite related to the massacre and is relevant to this article, so IMO it should be mentioned. However, indeed the problem with the numbers needs to be clarified a tad. Halibutt 02:47, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

I think that the best solution is to have an entire separate para (or section) dealing with numbers, explaining various estimates from all the sources. Could one of you write it?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:47, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I fail to see why David Irving elicits such suspicion in here, if one had dared to suggest the Germans had been wrongfully accused of the Katyn forest massacre pre-1990 they would be labeled a "historical revisionist" in North America, most likely imprisoned in Europe and probably far worse in the Soviet Union. Makes you wonder just how many more dirty little secrets the Nazis took the blame for during the war. Expecially interesting consider Vladimeir Putin's statement about "clearing up certain historical problems" in reference to certain alleged mass graves in eastern Europe that has been one of the corner stones of the holocaust claims against Germany. The whole "100,000 bodies still on fire to this day burried in the pits" story. It almost sounds as silly as "the Germans are making soap and beauty products out of jewish body fat and lampshades from the skin of murdered jews." According to the "Nazi hunter" Simon Weisenthal.

Nazractt 21:47, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Hitler-Stalin Pact

Shouldn't the Hitler-Stalin Pact be mentioned in the Intro? -Ned

Why not: be bold. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:35, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

This incident is in the time of WWII.And anybony can read history of WWII.And why yes?

I think the story shuld beginn whith the okkupation of Czechoslovakia from Germany and Poland.Jaro.p 13:32, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

The Hitler-Stalin Pact is directly related to the article, while the whole WWII was not. Using your common sense, we would not need to include anything because everyone can read 20th century history. Aran|heru|nar 12:25, 16 November 2006 (UTC)


I feel this article needs to balance the POVs of Soviet as well as Nazi guilt. I have seen compelling arguments in favor of Nazi guilt but you'd never know that from this article, which treats the Soviet guilt POV as unchallenged fact. Everyking 21:54, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

What do you mean? I am not sure if I understand you - are you saying that Nazis did the massacre? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:30, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
I said that's a view that this article does not represent (well, there's one dismissive sentence about it). We should at least stamp a POV template at the top. Everyking 03:59, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
Just like the article on Earth does not represent the view that the Earth is flat... Should we add a POV tag there as well? Halibutt 05:55, August 23, 2005 (UTC)
Oh, that's a nice analogy. Everyking 15:17, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. Halibutt 15:44, August 23, 2005 (UTC)
Can you elaborate - whose side is underrepresented, or what anti-something bias can you see? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:43, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

You see there are evidences that it was made by Nazi. Question: Is this massacre not simply standard Stalinist procedure? Stalin committed so many violent purges of his own people that, when Hitler's armies suddenly attacked Stalin in 1941, there were scarcely any Russian generals left to resist him. If the Nazi's had not been as bad as Stalin and would not have murdered "inferior" Slavic peasants and Jewish peoples during their attack, the captive peoples of Russia might have risen up against the Soviets and successfully overthrown Stalin instead. Why are you pro-Soviet apologists quibbling over the number of victims in the Katyn Forest Massacre? Stalin was a murdering, paranoid fanatic and a sociopath. It's a wonder there is anyone left in Russia alive. He didn't just have twenty thousand people from Poland executed. Stalin murdered millions of people! He had over five million people starved to death in the Ukraine alone! When did the Soviet army ever overrun any territory and there was not a massacre of innocent civilians afterward? Did any country or people ever say to the Soviets, "Hey. We don't know how to run our country. Please come in and show us how to do it"? Exactly. The very purpose of Soviet plans for world domination is to liquidate the intelligentsia (those who know how to run things, like the victims murdered and dumped at Katyn) after conquering the territory, in order to eliminate the very idea of any other system other than communism. -Ned. (Sept.) Maybe the Soviets should set up a program about world hunger: "How to have all your crops fail for seventy-five years in a row." My above point is this: the Katyn Forest Massacre didn't happen within a historic vacuum. After the Bolshevik Revolution, which was violent, the Soviets first massacred the people around Moscow who were related in any way to Czarist Russia. Then the Soviets massacred the people in the nearer provinces whom they thought might resist. Then the Soviets eliminated the people in the outer provinces who didn't like what they were doing. It was systematic. It took the Soviets decades to consolidate their power in Russia (while the West stood by). It is standard procedure for Communists to eliminate the enemies of their revolution. Within this context of historical methodology (no matter how violent or murderous it is), the Katyn Massacre should not really surprise anybody. It is what the Communists always do.-Ned. (Sept.)

You probably meant to say: "that's what dictatorships always do". The size of killing in Suviet Union is simply because the country was big and the killing tools were modern and eficient. mikka (t) 20:01, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

-- Quite frankly, I think most central/eastern europeans would closely sympathize with the poles on this loss although it is relatively small, if one may say that! The soviets, especially through Stalin, did murder millions of people indeed, of their own too. They also displaced large populations and re-colonized annexed territories to the point of identity loss for some smaller countries. The tragedy and scale of all that is hard to grasp from the relative comfort of the west. The interesting point though is how, according to the reporting from this year's May 9th celebrations for instance, Stalin is still favorably viewed by many russians and even their official position on the matter seemed somewhat ambiguous. R(sept.05)

I don't believe POV ranting has any place here. If you're not talking about how to improve this article then it doesn't belong. Everyking 02:44, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

This is a discussion page, isn't it? My comments are providing background information on Stalinist methodology: Stalin always did the same thing, for as long as he remained in power. He murdered masses of people everywhere, in everyplace that he was in control, to further Marxist-Leninist goals, and to gain power. Is this not true? Does this not have a historical bearing upon the Katyn Forest Massacre? Is it not relevant to the discussion?-Ned (Sept.)

As far as I know, the view that the Nazis perpetrated the massacre is not espoused by any major historians, governments, or organizations that have investigated the matter. The Russians themselves have admitted guilt, and produced quite detailed documents that would be hard to refute. There may be people who still think the Soviets are innocent in the matter, but I fear they are on not much less shaky ground than the alluded-to flat-earthers, or perhaps, to choose a more relevant analogy, Holocaust deniers. --Delirium 12:03, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

OK, now it has been improved, although I don't expect it to stay that way for long. I think it's a difficult question, and certainly not one I'm qualified to grapple with. But I can come up with a few thoughts about it. Clearly, in the West, Soviet guilt is pretty much unquestioned in mainstream history. When you come at it that way it looks like a question of the notability of the view, not the accuracy of the view—is the view of Nazi guilt notable enough to warrant this balanced treatment, and if so to what degree? But on the other hand, what is the view in, say, Russia? How do the competing views compare in terms of notability there? I'm guessing—I don't know this—that the view of Nazi guilt is probably a good bit common there, perhaps mainstream and in practical competition with the view of Soviet guilt. So I think it's a complex question that requires a lot of consideration. Everyking 09:15, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I, too, have seen some compelling arguments aimed at blaming the Nazis for the Katyn massacre. My history prof introduced the issue neutrally. Simply put, when the site of the massacre was discovered, the Nazis blamed the Soviets and the Soviets blamed the Nazis. People today are too quick to jump to the conclusion that the Soviets are responsible for the killings just because the Nazis discovered the site. The Nazis may be responsible for the massacre: they were certainly masters of propaganda. If they are in fact responsible, the issue parallels the Reichstag fire in 1933. I'm not saying they are responsible, I'm simply pointing out that we can't justify either POV 100%. I believe that the article should be represented more neutrally than has been done. -Maria 04:29, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

When did you take the history class? The kind of ambivalent view that you are proposing might have been justified, if only just barely, before 1989. However, since then the Soviet Union and then Russia have admitted that the Soviets carried out the massacre, have produced the original documents in which the order was given by Stalin's politburo, and exhumed additional mass graves in places which the German army never reached, removing any possibility that the dead in those mass graves were killed by the Germans. In short, after those revelations there is no longer the slightest doubt among serious historians as to who carried out the massacre. Those who wish to question the facts even in the face of this overwhelming evidence verge on engaging in denial. Balcer 07:17, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

This Ned guy is a highly annoying. His hysterical anti-Marxist and anti-progressive rhetoric has got no place in a web site that strives to maintain balance of its subjects. Even the contributers of the immensely anti-communist "Black Book of Communism" work have conceded that the conventional history in regard to Yezhov's purge of military officers have been quite exaggerated. 30,000 out of 178,000 relevant cadres were effected. Has anyone else taken into consideration that Poland unleashed aggression on revolutionary Russia during the Civil War and Intervention years that resulted in considerable cession of territory? Zvesda

Anyone who denounces communist criminal behavior is anti-progressive! I thought I had heard it all until now. I suppose that is the typical Marxist mentality, whose idea of progress is the advance of one world socialist revolution. I'm sure Stalin viewed Katyn as "progress" too. --Nazrac 01:42, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Featured status?

Ladies and gentlemen, this article is now FA on the Hebrew wiki. How about improving it to FA standard here as well? For now I added all the pics the Polish wiki article uses. What is lacking? Halibutt 13:07, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

If you help me with referencing the facts, I am sure we can get this FA soon :) --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:59, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Survivors' Tales

There are also many tales, although the authenticity unknown, of many escaped POWs who claimed it was the Soviets, and the Polish believed them to be crazy. This would be nice to include as well. I'll see what I can come up with.

Never heard of any escapees... There were several hundred (ca. 300, if memory serves me right) prisoners who were on the killing lists, but were instead transferred to a special NKVD villa, where they were kept as a reservoir of Polish officers in case Stalin needed them. One of them was even returned from the railway station, some 500 metres from the mass murder site, and his testimony is quite notable. However, as I said, these people escaped the death, but not from the camps.. Halibutt 02:44, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Would this survivor be professor Stanislaw Swianiewicz/Stanisław Świaniewicz mentioned by Fisher?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:45, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Yup, that's the guy. And he is mentioned in practically every publication, as his case is somehow notable. Halibutt 23:54, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

"Massacre", "Incident", "Execution" ?

I found this on someone's talk page tonight:

On Wikipedia: Soviet troops shooting Polish army officers is a massacre. US troops shooting Korean civilians is an incident.

I suggest we rename this page the "Katyn incident". If American troops can gun down unarmed civilans and it be called an "incident", to pacify American jingoists , I think it is only fair that we rename this massacre, involving military POWs an incident too. Travb 08:05, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Well, firstly, I don't think we should hold this article hostage of any other article. If the No Gun Ri incident is known as such in English - that's fine with me, but it mustn't be the same with this article.
Having said that, I think that this article's title might indeed need some revision. What is the most popular name in English? In Polish it seems to be Zbrodnia katyńska, or the crime of Katyn in English.. Halibutt 08:35, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
I would vote for Katyn executions. Enough massacres. Judging by Halibutt's edits, the Poles were massacred here, there, and everywhere. --Ghirlandajo 09:16, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
I feel like execution somehow assumed some sort of guilt from the executed (maybe imagined by the executioners). I do not think it was the case, unless we will consider credible accusation that some prisoners somehow conspired with the Nazi. So I am personally for massacre. On the other hand the beginning of the third section Up to 99% of the remaining prisoners were subsequently murdered. People from Kozielsk were murdered in the usual mass murder site of Smolensk country, called Katyn forest; people from Starobielsk were murdered in the inner NKVD prison of Kharkov and the bodies were buried near Pyatikhatki; and police officers from Ostashkov were murdered... does not look NPOV. If some murders would be change to massacres, executions or killing it would increase the readability of the section without acquitting the perpetrators of the massacre. abakharev 10:32, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Fully agreed. Halibutt
If we accept this terminology, most of Stalinist repressions, or Purges as they are called in the west, should be renamed to massacres. We'll have to start thousands of massacre articles then. --Ghirlandajo 10:49, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Executions were but a final stage of the whole process, so I doubt it is the best idea to name the article that way. Unless of course we plan to expand the article significantly and divide it onto several sub-articles, much like Malmédy massacre and Malmédy massacre trial or Warsaw Uprising divided onto seven or so articles. And indeed, Poles were massacred in a plenty of places, Katyn is but one of them - though it was quite a notable example. Halibutt 09:24, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
BTW, Ghirlandajo, you still failed to explain your view at Talk:Ostashkov and failed to reply to my explanations and questions at your talk page and my RfA. Do you plan to do it any time? Halibutt 09:30, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
As I've said 20 times before, the camp was situated on Stolbnyi Island and not in the town of Ostashkov itself. The ignorance of Polish writers who call it "a village near Pskov" (although Ostashkov is farther from Pskov than Paris is from London) and ignore the existance of the Nilov Monastery, where the camp was actually housed, is not an excuse sufficient to add the data about this camp in any article pertaining to the monastery in question. --Ghirlandajo 10:19, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
You failed to mention the ignorance of the NKVD who called the camp the Ostashkov Special Camp. Halibutt 11:58, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
And what do you expect? That they would call it "the Nilov holy monastery camp"? Of course they named the camp after the nearest town. --Ghirlandajo 12:11, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
But still you prefer to keep the info on the camp under the name that was not used and erase it in the article on the name that is actually applied to it, both by the NKVD, modern historians and even the press... Anyway, the questions at Talk:Ostashkov are still open. Halibutt 13:37, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

While myself I would prefer the name "crime" as better describing the act of killing POVs, I'm afraid that in English language it's better known as a "massacre". Could anyone confirm this ? --Lysy (talk) 22:45, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't think the original suggestion was in good faith. If User:Travb believes that the name No_Gun_Ri_incident is POV or a whitewash he should argue his case at that article's talk page instead of trying to rename this one. Two wrongs don't make a right.

As far as I know, "Katyn Massacre", or sometimes "Katyn Forest Massacre" is the usual name in English. It's used by Brittanica, The Columbia Encyclopedia [2] and The UK Foreign Office [3], just to name a few. --BadSeed 01:41, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Execution and only Execution!It is mohr neutral.Wiki is not Goverment Propaganda site!!!

And what is writed in Brittanica abaut Irak.US, British and Polish troops are liberator or occupant? NPOV (unsigned by anon)

How about the other word in the name. I mean that thingy above "n". The village is not in Poland and never was. The anon who changed the name had smth on his mind when doing so, but I have no idea. To me having the Polish name here implies that this is purely a Polish related event and I very much don't think so. This speaks about the Stalin regime a lot, thus it is very much SU related. That said, I think that "massacre" in the name is a POV term and should be changed along with the "ń" in Katyn. --Irpen 18:09, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

All right, why do you think that "massacre" is POV ? It was a massacre, wasn't it ? --Lysy (talk) 19:44, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

OK, do I take it that you support riddance of "ń"? Now as to whether it was a massacre, please do not label me a Holocaust denier but it was not. Execution of prionsers is a War Crime but not necessarily of Massacre which bears the flavor of mass killing of the civilian population during the hostilities, and usually includes murder of women and chlildren. This was a war crime no doubt. In RU/UA sources it is usually called a Katyn Tragedy but I am not sure "tragedy" bodes well into a WP article title. Any other suggestions?

Could we discuss one at a time ? I'd leave the "ń" quretion for later discussion if it's all right with you. I would like to understand why do you think that mass killing of POWs is a war crime but not a massacre. It seems to perfectly match the defintion of a massacre. Why are you saying that "a massacre usually includes murder of women and chlildren" ? Also, according to google, the name is "Katyń massacre". I don't see what is wrong with that. Is it offending the memory of the murderers ? --Lysy (talk) 21:20, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
BTW, here's a randomly chosen modern English text on it. I hope you will not find it POV:

OK, I checked the dictionary and the meaning of massacre is more inclusive than the perception I had. I would use "crime" or "incident", but fine, let's keep it if so many editors would like to use this term. I also withdraw my objection to "ń". If consensus has it that it is a purely Polish topic, let it have a Polish name. I just thought differently. --Irpen 02:32, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

When it comes to the "ń" sign, for me it's a minor problem. I would support getting rid of it to make the name follow the rules of transliteration of Russian to English, but would not oppose if others decide it should stay. Halibutt 02:41, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
While I'm quite firm that (for whatever reason) the English name is "massacre" for this, I'm almost indifferent to the "ń". That is, I think it could stay as in fact a Polish name for a historical event rather than a geographic notation. It also could go if someone feels offended by the "ń" or has other good reasons to change it to "n" (other than "this is English wikipedia and everything should be in ASCII then"). In Russian the name also has the soft "n" at the end, anyway. So I'd rather keep the accent as in Rus', it does no harm. --Lysy (talk)

GB - Google Books, GS - Google Scholar:

Therefore it seems that the Katyn Massacre is the best name, with Incident, Attrocity, Crime and possibly Murder being redirects and mentioned in the lead as alternative, if rare, English names. As for 'n' vs. 'ń', Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English) indicates there is no consensus on use of diactrics. As long as we have Katyn Massacre redirect to Katyń Massacre, I think this is really not important - people will find it.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:43, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

BTW, contrary to what has been suggested, in Polish the Katyn is rarely if ever referred to as massacre.
  • Mord katyński + Mord w Katyniu (Katyn murder and Murder in Katyn) 986 + 507
  • Zbrodnia katyńska + Zbrodnia w Katyniu (Katyn crime or Katyn attrocity + Crime in Katyn) 784 + 276
  • Masakra katyńska + Masakra w Katyniu (Katyn massacre + Massacre in Katyn) 19 + 54.
Halibutt 00:16, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Actually, the results Piortus posted are not quite correct, the number of Google Books with "Katyn Massacre" is 127 [4], not 10. On the other hand the number of Google books for "Katyn Incident" is 5, one of which is a quote from Goebbles, ...we have been able to convert the Katyn incident into a highly political question. Halibutt pointed out that "Katin Incident" gets about 200 google hits [5], but just under half of those hits [6] are for the above mentioned Goebbles quote. Note that both these searches included Wikipedia mirrors results.
Given this to claim that The Katyń massacre, [is] also known as the Katyn Incident and Katyn Forest Massacre, is misleading if not downright false. "Katyn Incident" is nowhere near notable enough a usage to be given an "also known as", and in any case it is used about 130 times less than "Katyn Forest Massacre", [7] which it precedes. If editors want to include the Polish or Russian names they should put them in in Polish or Russian, but the English usage is quite clear.
BTW, what exactly does the NPOV tag refer to? --BadSeed 15:22, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I took the liberty to remove "Katyn Incident" from the header. Google gives less than 40 links outside of wikipedia, some of which are wikipedia's mirrors. //Halibutt 08:25, 6 June 2006 (UTC)


I recently NPOVed the header after Ghirlandajo's edits. Firts of all, the name he proposes ("katyn incident") is completely unknown to the world. It gives 203 links in Google, as opposed to 29,600 for "Katyn massacre" and additional 13,800 for "Katyn forest massacre". Which gives some 220:1 odds against the proposed version...

As to the view that the Germans were responsible, I believe we should at least cite some credible source or historian to mention that in the header. Holocaust denial is not mentioned in the header of the articles on Auschwitz concentration camp or The Holocaust, so I doubt we should mention it here. Especially that it is against established facts and mentioning it as an equally-valid view would be promotion of certain rare POV, not maintaining NPOV. But of course Ghirlandajo reverted my edits, so I doubt anything could be done... Halibutt 10:15, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

As a sidenote, now that Ghirlandajo's unsupported claims are promoted, I wonder whether we should add the {{totallydisputed}} tag, or simply the {{NPOV}} and {{dispute}} tags... Halibutt
I mentioned above how we need to determine the notability of the German guilt viewpoint. In the West, it is only marginally notable, but what about in Russia and some other countries? We need to know how much currency the view has there, too, to determine how much coverage it should get in this article. I agree that there should be good sources and citations. Those are good to have in any situation, and particularly when there's controversy. Everyking 10:27, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, as to the "German guilt" version I've seen only a couple of Russian newspaper articles and one webpage claiming that. Though perhaps there are some serious modern sources as well, I don't know that. Perhaps Ghirlandajo could provide such sources... Halibutt 10:37, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
My rapid Yandex search found 28000 entries for "катынь" and "подлость", including You may want to check the online book claiming that the affair was falsified by Polish-US prop: I haven't looked into these entries closely, but there's an interesting picture at, which shows that the Katyn officers were executed the "Nazi way", when the shot is aimed in the skull rather than neck. As is well known, NKVD offciers executed people by shooting at their neck. --Ghirlandajo 10:53, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Don't you find it strange that you constantly accuse people of using Polish sources only, yet all you provide is links in Russian? Anyway, the links you provide indeed support the thesis that there is some belief for "western conspiracy" theory in Russia. However, none of the sites is able to negate the fact that the Russians finally admitted that it was the NKVD to commit the massacre. BTW, I find the book "Anti-Russian Cruelty" you provided especially notable. The blob goes as follows:

[8] In order to unite Europe in the fight against the advancing Red Army, in 1943 Hitler ordered the graves with Polish officers shot by the Germans in 1941 near Smolensk, to be unearthed, and to announce to the world that they were allegedly killed in 1940 by the NKVD USSR by the orders of "Moscow Jews". The Polish exiled authorities, sitting in London and selling its allies, got caught by this hitlerite provocation and as a result during WWII additional millions of soldiers of USSR, UK, USA and Germany were killed. In order to denude the Russian allies and to give a nudge on the countries of the Western Europe and NATO, the scum of Central Committee of KPSU, Procurators' Office of the USSR and Academy of Sciences of the Russian Federation have reanimated the provocation in the 1980's. For students of law faculties and for all who consider Russia their Motherland.

Below goes the list of chapters:
  • Preface;
  • Nurnberg minutes
    • Poland under the szlachta yoke
    • Goebbels' cronies on Poland in the pre-war period and during WWII
    • Poland as a hyena of the battlefield
    • War Polish-style: advocacy of Poland
    • War Polish-style: liberation of Poland
    • Story of inquiry of guilt in agression
  • Falsification of the Katyn case
    • Initial circumstances, motives and description of the Katyn crime
    • Falsification of the Katyn case by the Germans and Poles in 1943
    • Unveiling the Goebbels' falsification of the Katyn case in 1944
    • Falsification of the Katyn case between Goebbels and Gorbachov
    • Goebbels' version of the Katyn case as per 2002
    • Explanation of Goebbels' men from the CPUSSR falsificates
That speaks for itself, doesn't it. Halibutt 11:48, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
While I cannot comment on the book which I haven't (and won't) read, I just want to point out that the version of the events currently expounded in the article is by no means the only one. It is one of several explanations, and that's it. --Ghirlandajo 12:11, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Of course-they are people who wrote books about USA being taken over by space aliens.But such fabrications aren't in the USA article.I have nothing against adding a chapter on attempts to hide or downplay the atrocity by Soviet and Russian propaganda, though. --Molobo 12:42, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Indeed, the article on Earth does not claim that the Flat Earth phenomenon is an equally valid view. On the other hand the belief that the Soviets did not commit that attrocity seems to be well-established in Russia and as such is worth mentioning. Halibutt 13:24, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I believe it should be worded otherwise. We should mention that the version that the Soviets commited that atrocity was first expounded by Goebbels (I would call it Goebbels's version), later propagated by the CIA (a convenient link to their website follows), and finally taken up by the Polish editors of this Wikipedia. Then it will be clear enough. --Ghirlandajo 14:30, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
There is a limit to how far one can go in questioning well established historical facts. The overwhelming historical concensus right now is that the Soviets carried out the killings. Finding some obscure websites and publications which publish a contrary view does not mean that those views must be included in Wikipedia (compare Holocaust Denial). If Ghirlandajo persists in pushing his views, I fear we might have to take the same steps we would take against somebody who persistently edited the Auschwitz article to say that no Jews died there in its gas chambers (just to give an example). Balcer 17:30, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Balcer, your comment is a huge dissapointment for me. I was thinking that there was at least one Pole not brainwashed by Polish prop, but now I see this is not the case. Firstly, noone denies that the execution did happen. Who perpetrated it is a completely different question. As i said above, if this is encyclopedia and it presumes to be objective, then it should mention various points of view and not a single one. Wikipedia is free for everyone to edit, and every reasonable point of view should be mentioned therein. What I see now is that there is a point of view that the crimes was perpetrated by the Nazis and that its adherents have some evidence to back up their claims. When I used yandex search, it became clear to me that this point of view is quite popular (not in Poland, you may be sure). So I can't understand why there are editors who should be strongly opposed to take this point of view seriously and prefer not to mention it in the article which they seem to have privatized for themselves. --Ghirlandajo 20:08, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
It is because this point of view does not have any academic backing outside the Soviet Russia. --Lysy (talk) 20:21, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Ghirlandajo, you have answered your own doubts above. Every reasonable point of view. That is every that is at least supported by some serious publications and is not just a view of some extremists. As I said above, it could be mentioned just like Holocaust denial is in the article on The Holocaust, but making it an equally valid view is in fact its promotion. Yes, POV-pushing and usage of wikipedia to promote some obscure view. Halibutt 22:17, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
On another note, the site mentioning the "Nazi way" of execution uses the guy to publish the "Anti-Russian Cruelty" as the sole source. And, strangely enough, it does not mention for instance the Van Vliet's report, in which it is mentioned that These all had their hands tied behind them with cord. The rest appeared not to have been tied. All bodies had a bullet hole in the back of head, near the neck, with the exit wound of the bullet being in the forehead or front upper part of the skull.... Halibutt 00:52, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Attempts at denial

The actions of some editors attempting to edit the article to imply that the basic facts of the Katyń massacre are in dispute are reprehensible. There is a limit to how far the idea of NPOV can go, and it surely stops once attempts are made to deny basic historical facts accepted by overwhelming concensus. If these actions persist, they will seriously harm the credibility of Wikipedia, and may bring unwelcome attention to Wikipedia's reliability as a historical source from the media (which we have seen too much of recently, see John Seigenthaler Sr. Wikipedia biography controversy and latest Google news stories) Balcer 18:08, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

To quote Wikipedia:Neutral point of view:
We can certainly include long discussions that present our moral repugnance to such things; in doing so, we can maintain a healthy, consistent support for the neutral point of view by attributing the view to prominent representatives or to some group of people. Others will be able to make up their own minds and, being reasonable, surely come around to our view.
the Wikipedia neutrality policy certainly does not state, or imply, that we must "give equal validity" to minority views. It does state that we must not take a stand on them qua encyclopedia writers; but that does not stop us from describing the majority views as such; from fairly explaining the strong arguments against the pseudoscientific theory; from describing the strong moral repugnance that many people feel toward some morally repugnant views; and so forth.
If the problem, on the other hand, is not with describing minority POVs (and determining how widespread a minority POV is can be a whole different can of worms), but rather with some editors trying insert their particular POV into articles, then it can be addressed through negotiations or, if all else fails, Wikipedia:Dispute resolution. Admittedly, it can be a time consuming and frustrating process, which is a well-known criticism of the "Wikipedia way". Ahasuerus 18:25, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
The point is: how small does the minority have to get before we lock its bizarre views out of Wikipedia? I am certain, for example, that you could find small groups in the US which believe that the US government is run by extraterrestials, but those views surely do not belong in a Wikipedia entry on US government. More to the point, most of our current articles related to the Holocaust do not present Holocaust Denial as an equally valid view, in fact they do not even mention it as the minority view (as articles on Belzec, Majdanek, Treblinka etc. do not state in the lead: A minority of people believes this never happened). Balcer 18:37, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
The size of the minority that holds dissenting views is undoubtedly relevant. As Wikipedia:Neutral point of view states:
views held only by a tiny minority of people should not be represented as though they are significant minority views, and perhaps should not be represented at all.
The trick, however, is determining just how tiny the minority is. Have there been any public opinion surveys in Russia?
As far as the comparison with the listed death camps goes, the difference here is that there is only one article that covers the Katyn massacre and there are many that cover the Holocaust. If you compare the amount of space dedicated to Holocaust denial and associated topics by Wikipedia, it accounts for a rather large part of the total Holocaust material here.
Having said that, there are different ways to cover minority opinions. You can have a separate article which lists minority arguments or you can have a section at the end of the main article or any number of other ways. But the important thing is that we are not doing original research and we are not taking sides here, we are simply trying to describe all the non-trivial POVs out there. If there is a significant minority POV that holds a different opinion, be it Katyn or Immanuel Velikovsky or Shaver Mystery, we don't want to take sides, we just describe them as fairly as we can. Ahasuerus 19:11, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I would have no problem with a section at the end dealing with attempts to deny the basic facts of the massacre, and other editors have already suggested this approach. I have a serious problem with some editors trying to question these facts in the lead, presenting the discretited view that the Germans have carried out the massacre as equally viable.
By the way, are you serious about using public opinion polls to determine what the content of Wikipedia should be? Let me quote George Carlin here: Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.Balcer 19:25, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Public opinion surveys are useful when there is no other way to determine how widespread a particular minority opinion is. For example, there are very few elected officials in the US who publicly use anti-semitic rhetoric these days, but carefully worded/parsed/weighed/etc public opinion surveys suggest that 12% to 17% of US citizens subscribe to some form of anti-semitism. Listing these results in Wikipedia (with links to Gallup et al) would be perfectly legitimate. Similarly, I am unaware of any governments or peer reviewed publications that still endorse the view that the Katyn massacre was committed by the Nazis, but if there is a non-trivial amount of public opinion support for the idea, then it should be noted. Ahasuerus 19:41, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm afraid an encyclopedic article is not quite about public opinion surveys but facts. This particular article is about a historical event: historic research counts, original research does not. --Lysy (talk) 20:01, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
The term "original research" as used by WP:NOR refers to original research by editors of Wikipedia, not to opinions held by the public. Since approximately 45% of adult Americans subscribe to the Young Earth hypothesis, we will describe it fairly and sympathetically, even though the scientific consensus is against it. Ahasuerus
Exactly so, but using public opinion to determine the factual accuracy of historic events is an original research performed by editors of Wikipedia, and not by the public. --Lysy (talk) 20:48, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
If we tried to use poll results to determine factual accuracy of historic events, it would certainly yield all kinds of interesting results. I wonder who won the War of the Spanish Succession according to the public? :) However, the proposal currently under discussion is much more modest in scope and has to do with covering minority opinions in the article. As WP:NPOV states, Wikipedia is a general encyclopedia, which means it is a representation of human knowledge at some level of generality ... for the purposes of working on Wikipedia ... "human knowledge" includes all different significant theories on all different topics. Thus a theory doesn't have to be "true", just "significant", to be included. For example, the notion that the German army was "backstabbed" in November 1918 was not well supported by the evidence available in 1925 or shared by any "reputable sources", but it was popular in the 1920s nonetheless and proved important in Hitler's rise to power. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, we now know that if there had been a Wikipedia in 1925, its editors would have been well advised to describe this theory even if they had considered it to be without basis in fact. Of course, there is no way of telling ahead of time which popular theories may become important in the future and which ones may fade away, so we use their current popularity as the main criterion for inclusion/exclusion.
And again, just to make sure that we are all on the same page, I am not suggesting that we should give equal time to all theories, only that we should describe minority theories (no matter how unconvincing or odious you may find them personally) as well. Ahasuerus 21:34, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Certainly yes, then. However it would be best to refer the sources of the alternative theories, and explain their (in)significance in proper context. I'm not a specialist on this particular topic, but I believe that the fact that the alternative Soviet theory was just a product of propaganda has been long established by historians beyond any doubt, based on the dates of the murder. --Lysy (talk) 22:16, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
As to whether Wikipedia articles deal with facts or public opinion, well, Wikipedia editors do not decide what the facts are, they just record what other, pre-existing, sources state. Clearly, a preponderance of sources, including archival sources, official government publications and peer reviewed articles support the notion that the Soviets were the ones that carried out the killings, but there is also a minority opinion that believes otherwise. If there is evidence that it's a non-trivial minority (and the Internet makes it easy for a small but dedicated group to make its views appear more prominent than they would be otherwise), then we should include it in some form. Ahasuerus 20:33, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
It perhaps might be notable that the Russian wiki article on Катынь does not even mention modern "Katyn denial". It does mention the Soviet attempts to cover up the crime and explains in full the recent problem with Russian Military Prosecutors' Office investigation, though it does not mention anything close to what has been suggested here... Halibutt 12:21, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
I would like to see more evidence that the denial of the Soviet role is widespread in Russia. If such evidence is not presented, I think we should remove the sententence about this phenomenon from the lead and place it further down, in the section dealing with the attempts at denying the facts of the massacre. Balcer 19:53, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Besides Muchin's book there are many materials which based on the pre-1986 historiography where nazies are claimed to be actual killers. Some political parties like CPRF or "Rodina" denies NKVD blame ([9]). also disputes polish version. --ru:Участник:Boleslav1
Actually, if you look at the history of the article you'll find that we also had some provocatoures trying to insert such ridicules claims into the article but the community dealed with them. The book isn't really important in Russia, however unfortunatley there are a bunch of nuts who belive this just like say in the US there people who belive aliens crashed in Roswell. It is itself an interesting fenomenon that should maybe be mentioned in an article about the modern Russian society but I agree it's not relevent here.

Katyn and Holocaust

To say the truth, I'm quite shocked at Balcer's comparison of Katyn and Holocaust. It seemed to me fairly certain that any attempt to compare the Holocaust with other killings should be considered offensive per se, as it results in belittling of the Holocaust's unique tragedy. No I see that there are people, at least in Poland, who are eager to compare the execution of several thousand officers with a wide-scale annihilation of the nation, including children, women, civilians. As awful as it is, such executions as the former were a fairly common thing under Stalin's criminal regime. If it was NKVD who perpetrated the crime, I don't see why Katyn should be distiniguished from similar and even more ghastly executions carried on by the same organization. We should keep in mind that the officers executed there were the same that prepared the projected Polish invasion of the Soviet Union in 1939. They were not angels, to say the least. Polish historians forget to mention that thousnads of Soviet POWs died from hunger in Pilsudski's concentration camps after they had been taken captive during the Polish-Soviet War. So I can't compare Katyn with Holocaust, sorry. I hope that Balcer will apologize for his inept and disgusting comment. --Ghirlandajo 20:22, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

The fact that NKVD murdered other people does not justify murdering Polish POVs. I'll not comment on your allegations about Polish plans to invade Soviet Union in 1939, pardon me. --Lysy (talk) 20:54, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
These are not allegations but hard facts. Poland, who had at her disposal one of the largest armies in the world, was defeated by Hitler so rapidly and ignominously partly due to the fact that the whole army was stationed on eastern borders, preparing to invade the Soviet Union, like they had done back in 1919. --Ghirlandajo 21:03, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I've heard it from you before. The more I'm not likely to take seriously your revelations about Katyń. --Lysy (talk) 21:15, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Ghirlandajo, could you please point me to some sources which discuss the supposed readiness of Poland to invade the USSR in 1939? I would also like to know the source of the view in which Poland, with a population of 35 million, managed to have one of the largest armies in the world. Surely the German army and the Red Army were much bigger. Even one book or link would be great. I am truly curious which scholars or groups would hold such bizarre views. Balcer 23:33, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh my God... Ghirlandajo, just a simple question: do you really believe what you just wrote above? Frankly and sincerely? I especially mean your revelations about the Polish invasion of the USSR? It's now clear that you never read a book on the campaign of 1939, but surely you could've at least taken look at any map of the Polish dislocation after the mobilization... Map, description, anything. Even the wiki article could be a good starter... Same goes for the Bolshevik POWs of the war of 1919-1920, you could try reading one of the three books published on the topic. You dislike Polish sources, so you might try the book written by the Russian author, it should be available in where you live...
As to your Holocaust remarks - I'll only note that from the perspective of the victims there is little difference between Soviet and German attrocities. Would you be more happy to die knowing that you're one of "only" 20,000 killed and not several times more? Or perhaps your family would find it somehow comforting? I doubt it. Halibutt 22:34, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Ghirlandajo has developed a nasty habit of ascribing to other editors attitudes which they do not hold and putting words into their mouths. Let me make it clear then: I do not consider the Katyn Massacre, with its murder of tens of thousands, to be a tragedy on the same level as the whole Holocaust, with its murder of six million. Nowhere did I make a claim like that in my comments.
What I did say was that decent people do put certain limits on the range of views which they tolerate in mainstream discourse, and by extension on Wikipedia. Holocaust Denial is an example of a view, held by a small minority, which is not allowed to be presented as a valid alternative to mainstream views. Similarly, I believe the same approach should apply to those who wish to deny well documented historical atrocities committed by the Soviet regime. Balcer 22:53, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Balcer, your faulty logic reminds one of Halibutt who can't see any difference between Belarusians and Poles. I repeat once again and slowly - can you see a difference between the questions of fact and guilt? Fact is an objective category, guilt is a subjective one. Holocaust Denial consists in denial of the *fact*. Nobody denies the fact of the Katyn executions. Who was *guilty* of the crime - this remains to be established. --Ghirlandajo 10:05, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
I find your view somewhat puzzling, Ghirlandajo. Surely the questions: who carried out the massacre, who ordered it, and when it occured are questions of objective fact. Balcer 16:31, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Ghirlandajo, perhaps you have a dual personality? Just a few days ago you yourself wrote that the whole affair was forged by CIA propaganda. Don't you agree with yourself?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:34, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
And again I envy Balcer for having said what I would never be able to - at least not as loudly and clearly. Halibutt 22:58, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

reserve officers...during the ... War of 1939

??why reserve officers during the War ??It is better only officer

The problem of Poland was that practically every educated male was a reserve officer. And among those killed a large portion were reserve officers, that is medics, lawyers, writers, engineers, professors and so on. Hence the statement that a large part of the Polish intelligentsia of the time was murdered. Halibutt 22:20, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes of cours but durring the WWII reserve officers are only officers!!

Looking at it from the other side, during WWII the professors, medicians, lawyers and so on were also reserve officers. Halibutt 07:05, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't know anything about the Polish or Soviet military, but in the U.S., even in wartime, there is a distinction between the regular army (ordinary soldiers, noncommissioned officers, and officers), and the reserves, even if the reserves have been recalled to active duty. For example, members of the National Guard were called to active duty during the Vietnam war and have been in the Iraq wars as well. Could that distinction apply here -- e.g., not only officers in Poland's standing army, but also officers who had been in the reserves? — OtherDave 13:58, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

officers taken prisoner during the course of the Polish Defensive War of 1939

OR ONLY during the WWII. Howe many links give Google for Polish Defensive War and WWII.I think WWII its better why Polish Defensive War is completely unknown to the world.

Saying WWII would be a dangerous generalization, since Soviets basically changed sides - in 1939 they were allied with Nazis against Poland, but from 1941 they fought against the Nazis and were (nominally) Poland's allies. Soviets were not taking Polish POWs during the IIWW proper (Great Patriotic War), only during the Polish Defensive War (perhaps better known as the Polish September Campaign). IIWW began for Poland in 1939, but for Soviets only in 1941. On another note, the term POW is also not fullproof: Fisher wrotes: "Strictly speaking, even the Polish servicemen were not POWs. The USSR had not declared war, and the Polish commander in chief had ordered his troops not to engage Soviet forces.".--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:10, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
That's a rather messy area. "World War II" was a super-conflict that encompassed multiple conflicts over a 6 year period. The "core" conflict was the familiar confrontation between the Axis and the Allies, but many countries changed allegiance as circumstances changed. For example, in May 1940 the French and the British were fighting Germany together, but by July 1940 their were fighting each other at Mers-el-Kebir. Moreover, some countries had multiple competing self-proclaimed governments (France, Poland, the Baltics) throughout the war, which makes things even more complicated. Other countries (e.g. Finland, Japan), spent much of the war fighting some (but not all) Allied countries, and so on and so forth. The Soviet Union was Germany's semi-ally in 1939-1940 in the grand old "divide and conquer" tradition ("we'll cheer you on and send you raw materials while we are digesting chunks of Poland, Romania, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia"), but the relationship quickly soured in the second half of 1940 once there was nothing left to divide in Europe except the Balkans.
The question, however, is whether the "Polish Defensive War of 1939" is the best term to describe the Polish-German war of 1939 and googling on either or suggests otherwise. But that's really a topic for that article's Talk page, one would think. Ahasuerus 18:22, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
The problem with the terms related to the war of 1939 is at least half a century old. Half of the "war with Germany" of 1939 was fought against the Soviets on a second front. Hence the term war is more appropriate than campaign (the war of 1939 consisted of two campaigns, one in the east and one in the west). It is well-explained at Talk:Polish September Campaign - as well as the reasons why the term used in Wikipedia, though more popular, is also technically wrong. Halibutt 15:34, 27 January 2006 (UTC)


External link N1 Original Katyn Ordner

What? You have linked to your own userpage... and you left me strange private messages. Please learn how to sign your posts. Better - see Wikipedia:Tutorial first, then try editing again.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:10, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
As one can read from this original order, it was not only Polish officers that were executed, but also policemen, government workers etc. Hence, using Polish "citizens" in the lead is more correct than Polish "officers", which is too restrictive. Balcer 16:23, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Fact and Reference Check

Many things would become much more clear and less revert-prone if we would properly reference them. Help me verify our current external links and change them into proper references!--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:10, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I am having trouble veryfing certain facts. Please help me find the reference - or I will remove it before the FAC voting:
Contrary to a widespread misconception, only about 8,000 out of about 15,000 POWs in these camps were officers - or anything that gives a clear statement on how many of the massacred Poles were civilians, not military POWs
Altogether, during the massacre the NKVD murdered 14 Polish generals and the following list. The only source I can find in unsourced Polish Wikipedia article.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:13, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
I added the refs to the number of generals. Any "Katyn list" would do as the missing generals were known even before the Soviets admitted their complicity and passed the document. And, in fact, any book on the topic mentions the 13 generals killed (though not all mention that 14th was promoted posthumously). Halibutt 02:11, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Just a note: in Polish military tradition the term "general" is quite broad and might mean anyone of general's grade, including admirals and air generals. Hence Xawery Czernicki is counted in, and not separately. On a second note: is it worth noticing that there was one woman among the murdered? Halibutt 02:14, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
I guess it makes an interestign trivia. Do we know who she was?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 05:10, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Yup, she was Janina Lewandowska, daughter of Gen. Józef Dowbor-Muśnicki. She was a civilian pilot, but joined the army in 1939 for volunteer auxiliary service. Evacuated, she was captured by the NKVD and, for unknown reason, kept with the rest of the men in Kozielsk, and then Ostashkov. Her skull was discovered by the Germans, but it was not until recently that she was identified. BTW, about the time she was killed by the Russians at Katyn, her little sister was also murdered - by the Germans in Palmiry. Anyway, you can read up more on Lewandowska here: [10], [11], [12], [13] or [14]. Halibutt 06:05, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

I am done with reference check. I think that the least section needs still some expantion, more references and perhaps some NPOVing. Anybody would like to take their stab at this?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 06:31, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Near Smolensk, the Poles, with their hands tied behind their backs, were led to the graves and shot in the neck.

Why "near Smolensk" if we know the place perfectly? Xx236 11:58, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I guess it's just a literary construction, feel free to fix it if you think it's confusing.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:06, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Weasel sentence

I am removing this sentence: Some historians believe the massacre was part of wider action coordinated by Nazi Germany and Soviet Union, or that Germans at least knew of the Katyn beforehand. - it is an obvious Weasel word. Some historians'? Please provide names and references. I am going to rewrite this para on the sources provided for it be more NPOV.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:06, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Ballistic Evidence

Is there any ballistic evidence? By this I mean is there any evidence on the type and caliber of the bullets used?

Almost all bullets were of caliber 7,65 mm with a stamp 'Geco 7,65 D' at the bottom. Geco is the abbreviation of 'Gustav Genschow & Co.'. This ammnunition factory was located in Durlach, close to Karlsruhe in Germany. The ammunition used in Katyn was procuced between 1922-1931. Because of restrictions of the Versailles Treaty it was difficult to sell ammunition in Germany. The company Genschow therefore exported ammuntion to countries like Poland, the Baltic states, also to the Sovietunion. (source: 'Amtliches Material zum Massenmord von Katyn', 1943 Berlin)

Tnx. Feel free to incorporate this into the article.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:51, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

I am an newcomer to this article and I don't know where to fit it. If you consider it worth mentioning in the article, feel free to do it. If you need more details about it, let me know please. I am in possession of the report 'Amtliches Material zum Massenmord in Katyn' (translation roughly: 'official material of the massmurder in Katyn')published in 1943.

Can you look at the page 330 of the book and say what date does the document bear, please? --Nekto 18:54, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
See also my above comment from the Goebbels diary (entry for May 8, 1943) Raul654 18:56, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry I didn't quite understand how the book links to Goebbels diary. Can you explain your remark, please? --Nekto 06:43, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
In the 'Goebbles quote' section on this talk page, I transcribed several entries Goebbels made in his diary relating to Katyn. In the May 8, 1943 entry, he talks about how German munitions were found in the pit. Here's the entry: Unfortunately, German munitions were found in the graves of Katyn. The question of how they got there needs clarfication. It is either a case of munitions sold by us during the period of our friendly arrangement with the Soviet Russians, or of the Soviets themselves throwing these munitions into the graves. In any case it is essential that this incident be kept top secret. If it were to come to the knowledge of the enemy the whole Katyn affair would have to be dropped. Raul654 22:05, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Since July, 1941 Goebbels diary was not his private (intimate) thing - he dictated it to stenographer, Richard Otte. His diary by no means could be considered as his sincere deliberations :)--Nekto 23:24, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

page 330: it is a copy of a document, in Polish: poświadczenie obywatelstwa. The date on the copy is not recognizable. The German explanation says (translated): Captain Kozlinski, Stefan Alfred from Warsaw M XII, wife Franziska Rozalji, Warsaw, October 20, 1941. Leg. (=legitimation?) of the mayor of Warsaw. --RM241 22:32, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

A typo perhaps? What is this document, BTW? Was it found in the graves? And was it a simple document of identity with the date of expiry rather than date of issue printed? Halibutt 22:52, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Taking into consideration that in Dresden in 1945 Germans for some reason burned all documents and materials found in Katyn this "typo" (maybe a carelessness of Goebbels' partners) looks suspicious. What typo it could be? 1940 instead of 1941? Then what about oktober? Oktober 1940 also "imposible" according to todays official version. --Nekto 06:39, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it looks indeed somewhat strange. As I said already, the date 1941 is not recognizable on the document, but on the German explanation below. Either it is a simple printing mistake, or it refers to the duration of the certification of the cizienship of the captain Kozlinski (?)(in Polish: poświadczenie obywatelstwa). The document looks like it has been folded many times. It does not specifically say that it was found in the mass graves in Katyn, but one should assume so. Neither is the name of the captain mentioned on the list of those found and to a great deal identified (all in all 4143 bodies), which is also incorporated in the book (I checked twice, still might have missed to see the name). However it looks like you have a vivid interest in the document. So, I offer to send anybody who is interested a scan of the page. May be you regognize some more details. My Polish is limited. Drop me a message under and you will have the scan. I never heard that all documents refering to Katyn were burned in Dresden. Why Dresden? Dresden never played an important role in hiding documents. This book was published in 1943 and distributed apparently throughout Germany. Otherwise we won't have any copies anymore. --RM241 21:57, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Thank you! Actually I've got a scan of the page, but I was afraid that it could be Photoshop-made - ru:Изображение:Amtliches Material p330.jpg Small correction - in 1945 Germans burned 14 boxes (containers) with Katyn documents on a railway station near Dresden - they evacuated them to the West and were afraid that Soviets captured them. (Source - "Katyn's syndrome in Soviet-Polish relations" by Jažborovskaja and others <In Russian>). Of course they published in 1943 some selected document in the book for propaganda purpose. Another interesting question is why his name is absent in the list. I read that list of names has strange lacunas - like after #17 goes #23 and so on. Apparently he was removed from the list like many others. Germans did their job very inaccurate - they removed name, but forgot to remove document and even more so - they probably retouched photo removing the date - but forgot to remove date from the explanation line. --Nekto 22:48, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
If the document we're talking about is this one, then the riddle is solved. Although little can be seen on the scan, it must've been issued before the war and not during it. First of all, it's a certificate of Polish citizenship. I can hardly imagine the Nazi authorities who conquered Poland and tried to erase her name from all maps issued anything but a Certificate of General Government's citizenship. Secondly, it's written in Polish and not in German, unlike all war-time documents of both civil and military administration of the General Government. Third thing is the address that could be identified as Miodowa street. During the German occupation the street was renamed after some Nazi bonzo, I don't remember which one but could check it. Then, the date of issue (and the number of the document) is hardly visible in the top left, but with 90% certainity it's 1/7/1938- which would suggest July 1, 1938. On the other hand I can't see anything resembling the date given in the caption... Finally, the bottom line says This form was issued to be presented at the Warsaw University. The Warsaw University was closed by the Germans as soon as they got into Warsaw in 1939 and was not reopened until 1945.
So, all in all the date (which can't be seen at all at the scan, BTW), must've been the date of expiry rather than date of issue. As simple as that. Also, perhaps Stefan Alfred Koźliński, to whom the document was issued, was not among the identified, though he certainly is on the Katyn List (check here for Kozlinski Stefan Alfred. Halibutt 10:22, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Good research job! --RM241 11:24, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for the usefull info. What do you think about the line "Leg. des Oberburgermeisters von Warschau"? --Nekto 12:41, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Apparently the picture of the document was published in some German-language publication, though I can't say neither when, by whom or under what title as I know only what I see in the scan. Anyway, the German language caption seems like an incorrect translation of parts of the content of the original document. Apparently it was made by someone who did not speak Polish at all. As far as my German goes, it says: "Picture 57: Hauptmann Kozlinski, Stefan Alfred, from Warsaw, 12th M. (police precint? that's how Warsaw was divided administratively prior to 1945), wife Franziska Rozalji (an apparent error as the document says the guy was a son of Franciszek and Rozalia), Warsaw, October 20, 1941. Leg. (?) of the Oberburgmeister of Warsaw (the document is signed by the Municipal Starost - Starosta grodzki, an office roughly equivalent to the German Oberburgmeister, that is the head of the city's administration)". So, all in all the final part of the caption seems to be the German translation of the issing body. Halibutt 22:23, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Do you happen to know Was there an official post - “Oberburgermeisters von Warschau” during German occupation (at least in October 1941)? --Nekto 18:24, 11 February 2006 (UTC)


Why do you write Katyń (massacre) in the headline instead of Katyn? Katyn is a place in Russia. The original spelling is катынь. The English transcription would be Katyn. There is no ń in the English alphabet. I realize this is a minor thing but one should be as accurate as possible.

Katyń is a Polish spelling, as the massacre is much more known in Poland then in Russia (or in English speaking countries).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:51, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

I was aware of the fact that it is the Polish spelling. I am also aware that practically every school child in Poland knows about Katyn. But this is not the issue. The issue is strictly a linguistic one. The Polish transpription of Kатынь into Katyń is absolutely perfect, because it expresses the soft sign 'ь' at the end of the Russian word. The Polish transcription is more appropriate than the English one. However, this article is an English one. The English language/alphabet simply does not provide any soft sign. Therefore it has to be omitted in the English transcription. It is only confusing for an English reader to be confronted with an 'ń'. You would not accept any English transcriptions in an Polish Wikipedia article either. For example 'Москва' to 'Moscow', instead of 'Moskwa', or 'Сибирь' to 'Siberia' instead of 'Syberia'. So why do you impose the Polish transcription on an English article? Once again it is a minor point, but the Wikipedians strive to be as accurate as possible in their articles, and this transcription is simply not correct. So, do or don't do what you please, but be aware it is a mistake. By the way my mother tongue is not English (nor Russian, nor Polish). So, you cannot claim that my point of view is a nationalistic one.

If the Russian spelling for the place name, as given above, is correct, then the above comment is very much à propos and the name should be spelled either "Katyn," as it is in English, or "Katyn'," as it would commonly be transliterated from Russian into English. logologist|Talk 06:52, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

8,000 were civilians? source please

As I still cannot find any source to verify this fact, I am moving the relevant quote here, so the article (now a FAC) can have no 'sourced needed' templates and such. Note that the fact that there were civilians at Katyn is not doubted (reference), but the 8,000 number needs a specific source.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:17, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Contrary to a widespread misconception, only about 8,000 out of about 15,000 POWs in these camps were officers as the prisoners included a number of Polish intelligentsia in addition to policemen, reservists, and active military officers

As far as I remember the break down onto categories is available in W cieniu Katynia by Swianiewicz. Halibutt 11:59, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Anybody has access to that reference to verify this? Such a breakdown would be quite a nice addition (especially as no online sources seem to have it).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 15:12, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Category:Katyń victims

What do you think of creating such a category, pararell (in spirit, if not size) to Category:Holocaust victims? 15,000+ victims should be enough for a notable category.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:31, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Good idea. But while we're at it, how about getting Poles out of "Category:Holocaust victims"? To the broad public, the term "Holocaust," with its Biblical referents (in Polish, it's "całopalenie"), attaches exclusively to the Nazis' Jewish victims. logologist|Talk 07:10, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
And consistently delete all mentions of Poles and Poland from the article on Holocaust? Seems rather a bad idea to me. Halibutt 11:39, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Were all the Nazis' Polish victims Jewish? There should be a separate category for the Germans' non-Jewish victims. I repeat: whatever the merits of the question, to much of the world, the Holocaust was a purely Jewish concern. logologist|Talk 15:26, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Indeed the gentile victims of the Holocaust were forgotten in the West for quite some time. Which does not mean that we should repeat the same mistake here. Halibutt 15:57, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
I would agree with Halibutt. And besides, what about Polish Jews?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 15:17, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

So, any comments on the category? I think it should be a subcategory of Category:Victims of Soviet repressions. Considering that the article was moved, do you think Category:Katyn massacre victims or Category:Katyn victims would be better? I'd prefere the Kmv myself now.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:46, 2 May 2006 (UTC)


To do.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 00:59, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

See the article. I am not a Katyń specialist, but this is the kind of thing you need in a historical article for it to be featured.Fifelfoo 23:08, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Since as Raul noted this section is incomplete, let's work on it here until it is good enough to be copied back.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 15:11, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

As a politically charged incident, many of the works published on the Katyń massacre have been partisan or polemical works, more concerned with winning an ongoing political struggle over the existance and social meaning of the Katyń massacre than exploring the historical issues.[citation needed] Similarly, the importance of the Katyń massacre to the Soviet, Russian and Polish states has led to a series of official histories, broadly supporting the ideological position of the sponsoring government.[citation needed]

Independent historical works on the Katyń massacre were predominantly Western until the 1980s, due to the strictures of official Soviet historiography.[citation needed] The key texts of the Western historiography have been…, which have been… despite their… .[citation needed] Since the late 1980s independent Polish and Russian historiographies have developed. The key feature of recent Polish histories of Katyń have been….[citation needed] The seminal Polish work is… which claims… .[citation needed] The main feature of recent Russian histories has been….[citation needed] The seminal post-Soviet text has been…, who has….[citation needed] Current historical work on Katyń focuses on….[citation needed]


As Irving is not considered too credible, I think we should try to verify the information tagged as coming from his work:--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 00:35, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

  1. Stalin assured him and Sikorski during a personal meeting that all the Poles had been freed, though some of them may have escaped (for example, to Manchuria).
    Alternate sources: [15], [16]
  2. Dr Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, saw this discovery as an excellent tool to drive a wedge between Poland, Western Allies, and the Soviet Union. On April 13 Berlin Radio announced this find to the world: "A great pit was found, 28 metres long and 16 metres wide, filled with twelve layers of bodies of Polish officers, numbering about 3,000. They were clad in full military uniform, and while many of them had their hands tied, all of them had wounds in the back of their necks caused by pistol shots. The identification of the bodies will not cause great difficulties because of the mummifying property of the soil and because the Bolsheviks had left on the bodies the identity documents of the victims. A great pit was found, 28 metres long and 16 metres wide, filled with twelve layers of bodies of Polish officers, numbering about 3,000."
    Not available on [German Propaganda Archive]
    Hmm, a note: this may not be Goebbels text, just that of some other German propaganda writer (on Goebbels payroll, of course).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 15:04, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. The Allies were aware that the Nazis had found a mass grave as the discovery transpired, via radio transmissions intercepted and decrypted by Bletchley Park. Both German and an ensuing International Red Cross investigations of the Katyń corpses soon produced physical evidence that the massacre took place in early 1940, at a time when the area was still under Soviet control.
    Need a non-Irving source for the evidence and conclusions.
I think there is a mistake here. The International Red Cross refused to investigate Katyn, because to do that it needed the permission of both Germany and USSR, and the USSR of course refused. Given this, the Germans put together a committee of experts, almost all of them from territories occupied by them, to conduct the investigation. The Polish Red Cross participated in this investigation at some point. But the International Red Cross? No.Balcer 09:48, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
  1. Sikorski, whose uncompromising stance on that issue was beginning to create a rift between Western Allies and Soviets, died suddenly two months later. The cause of his death is still disputed.
    Non-Irving sources that the cause of Władysław Sikorski is uncertain: [17], [18],
  2. Dr. Goebbels wrote in his diary: "Foreign commentators marvel at the extraordinary cleverness with which we have been able to convert the Katyn incident into a highly political question." The Germans had succeeded in discrediting the Soviet Government in the eyes of the world and briefly raised the spectre of a communist monster rampaging across the territories of Western civilisation; moreover they had forged the unwilling General Sikorski into a tool which could threaten to unravel the alliance between the Western Allies and Soviet Union.
    Are Goebels diaries online so this quote can be verified?
    See German propaganda archive, cited above
  3. Ivan Maisky, who told Churchill that Poland's fate was sealed as "a country of 20 millions next door to a country of 200 millions."
    Need a non-Irving source for this quote.
I looked and looked, and was not able to find anything. This might be a genuine Irving fabrication, or at least a case of sloppy research. I will simply remove this quote. Balcer 22:40, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
  1. In private, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill agreed that the atrocity was likely carried out by the Soviets. According to the note taken by Count Raczyński, Churchill admitted on April 15 during a conversation with General Sikorski: "Alas, the German revelations are probably true. The Bolsheviks can be very cruel." However at the same time, on April 24, Churchill assured the Soviets: "We shall certainly oppose vigorously any 'investigation' by the International Red Cross or any other body in any territory under German authority. Such investigation would be a fraud and its conclusions reached by terrorism." Churchill's own post-war account of the Katyn affair is laconic. In his memoirs, he quotes the 1944 Soviet inquiry into the massacre, which predictably proved that the Germans had committed the crime, and adds, "belief seems an act of faith."
    Need a non-Irving source for those quotes.
Irving is the exact opposite of "credible", I am afraid. See Richard Evans' expert review of Irving's "works" that helped convict him in 2000 at . Clearly, a lot of people have done a lot of work on this article, but it definitely needs to be de-Irvingified before it can be considered "done". Ahasuerus 00:53, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
As a general English language secondary source of recent scholarship and impeccable credibility see [ George Sanford, "The Katyn Massacre and Polish-Soviet relations 1941-1943," Journal of Contemporary History 41(1):95--111. This may provide some better citations. Fifelfoo 01:20, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
A short summary from my memory:
  1. No.1 is widely known, I'm sure I read it in several books. Among them Bez ostatniego rozdziału by Anders and W cieniu Katynia by Swianiewicz
  2. Historia pewnej mistyfikacji by Basak has it. Halibutt 04:35, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
  1. Which point do you mean here? 1-Manchuria or 2-Berlin Radio?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 15:08, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Manchuria, of course. The No1 of your points. Halibutt

Allied soldiers

We should mention that Poland was part of the Allies since 1939 and thus Soviets comitted one of the largest known massacres of Allied POWs by that murder. --Molobo 13:31, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Go away, troll. What is really glaringly absent from the article is the incident's use by Russophobic forces to escalate anti-Russian hysterics in Poland. It is in relation to this that Katyn is best known in the former SU. --Ghirla | talk 14:33, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Eloquent as always, Ghirla? I guess Molobo is right here. I wonder if Germans have actually commited any larger massacre of Allied POWs? Although it should be noted that until Barbarossa (more then a year after Katyn) Soviets were not 'allies of Allies'.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 14:59, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Piotrus, you may feed your pet trolls as long as you like and convert the article into a battleground for revert wars, if that is your intention. I have more useful things to do. Wish you good luck in editing with Molobo. Ghirla | talk 15:02, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

I added the sentence. --Molobo 16:35, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Quote from Davies (Europe:The history): "On May 1940 Stalin signed an order authorizing the NKVD to shoot over 26,000 Allied prisoners-of-war."--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:45, 2 February 2006 (UTC)


Please explain why the Poles always polonize the names of Eastern European locations. Why should the name of a Russian village be spelled in a Polish way? Please move the article to the valid title: Katyn Incident (without weird marks above n). --Ghirla | talk 15:10, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Please don't start new sections on something discussed above. Katyn vs Katyń, as discussed above merits further discussion, Incident vs Massacre don't.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 15:15, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
I think Katyn massacre is the appropriate location. Katyn is by far the most common english spelling. Raul654 15:22, 31 January 2006 (UTC)


Question-is there any larger massacre of Allied soldiers in WW2 ? --Molobo 16:35, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

The question is ill-defined. List of massacres lists a few that were larger. What exactly constitutes a soldier? Military_description_of_the_Warsaw_Uprising#Wola_Massacre would seem to be bigger, for example. Raul654 16:40, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Wola Massacre was made against unarmed civilians who weren't part of military. --Molobo 16:43, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Goebbles quote

Regarding the following quote Unfortunately we have had to give up Katyn. The Bolsheviks undoubtedly will soon 'find' that we shot 12,000 Polish officers, Anti-Flag wrote that "There needs to be a reference to that statement in a reliable record of his diary. At the moment, this is a quotation of a quotation of that particular statment". The quote was referenced and only a few mousclicks are needed to verify it comes from Zawodny ( p.49), and he gives a reference to Goebbels Diaries, p. 487. I cannot personally verify the Goebbels Diaries atm (if sb has access to them, please do so), so I posted the best reference I had, which is Zawodny.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:33, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

The article uses an statement allegedly written by Goebbels ("Unfortunately we have had to give up Katyn. The Bolsheviks undoubtedly will soon 'find' that we shot 12,000 Polish officers") and refers to (Zawodney, 1962). It's not just an unimportant quotation because it indicates that he takes the blame for that massacre which might contradict the entire article. Therefore, I'd like to see a reference to that statement in a reliable record of his diary to ensure its validty. --Anti-Flag 18:53, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

As I wrote, if somebody can get to the Goebbels Diaries, p. 487 and verify this, that's great. Otherwise we are stuck with Zawodny, which I think is reputable enough. And note that Goebbels does not take blame for the massacre - with quotes around "find" irony is pretty self-evident, I think.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 01:23, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
By coincidence, I happen to have a copy of the 1948 edition sitting on my shelf as I write this. Raul654 01:55, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Third paragraph from the bottom of the page: "Unfortunately we have had to give up Katyn. The Bolsheviks undoubtedly will soon 'find' that we shot 12,000 Polish officers. That episode is one that is going to cause us quite a little trouble in the future. The Soviets are undoubtedly going to make it their buisness to discover as many mass graves as possible and then blame it on us." Raul654 01:58, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

All fixed Raul654 16:46, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Tnx! By any chance, could you verify this quote: "Foreign commentators marvel at the extraordinary cleverness with which we have been able to convert the Katyn incident into a highly political question"? Unforunately ATM the Irving book the quote was taken from is offline (footnote 71, if anyone can check what was his source - hopefuly another page in Goebbels memoires).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:52, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Using the book's index, I checked every reference to Katyn and did not find that quote. Here are some others you might find helpful though (unsurprisingly, the typos are all mine):

pg 328, April 14, 1943 - "We are now using the discovery of 12,000 Polish officers, murdered by the GPU, for anti-Bolshevik propaganda on a grand style. We sent neutral journalists and Polish intellectuals to the spot where they were found. Their reports now reaching us from ahead are gruesome. They Fuehrer has also given permission for us to hand out a drastic news item to the german press. I gave instructions to make the widest possible use of the propaganda material. We shall be able to live on it for a couple weeks"

pg 332, April 17, 1943 - "The Katyn incident is developing into a gigantic political affair which may have wide represcussions. We are exploiting it in every manner possible. So long as ten to twelve thousand polish victims have sacrificed their lives anyway - probably not entirely without their fault, for they were the real instigators of this war - they might as well now serve to open the eyes of the peoples of Europe about Bolshevism.

In the evening, a Globe Reuter reporter reached us containing a declartion by the Polish Government-in-exile. This declaration changes the whole Katyn affair fundementally in that the Polish Government-in-exile now demands that the International Red Cross take part in the investigation. That suits us perfectly. I immediately contacted the Fuehrer, who gave me permission to send a telegram to the International Red Cross, requesting it to collaborate to the greatest extenet possible in identifying corpses. This telegram is signed by the Duke of Colburg and Gotha, whose name is well known in England and who has many family connections there. In that way, in my opinion, something has been started the reprecussions of which we simply can't imagine yet."

pg 384, April 30, 1943 - Our propaganda is suspected everywhere of having blown up the Katyn incident to enable us to make a seperate peace either with the English or the Soviets. That, of course, is not our intention, although such a possiblity would naturally be very pleasing.

pg 354, May 8, 1943 - Unfortunately, German munitions were found in the graves of Katyn. The question of how they got there needs clarfication. It is either a case of munitions sold by us during hte period of our friendly arrangement with the Soviet Russians, or of the Soviets themselves throwing these munitions into the graves. In any case it is essential that this incident be kept top secret. If it were to come to the knowledge of the enemy the whole Katyn affair would have to be dropped.

page 366, May 10, 1943 - The fuehrer is very much impressed with the Katyn incident. It showed him what tremendous possiblities are still inherent in anti-Bolshevik propaganda.... The wermacht has no buisness to interfere in this matter. It should concern itself with military questions only. Questions of psychology are exclusively the conern of the Propaganda Ministry

Great. Since we have agreed do de-Irvine the article anyway, I'd suggest we exchange the current quote (which is the only part of the article relying only on Irving) with one of the others, provided to us by Raul. The rest can be moved to Wikiquote, so his effort is not in vain.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:47, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

I've done the switch. Someone still needs to remove the Irving citations (nudgenudge) Raul654 20:49, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Irving is gone now.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:38, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

controversial statements

"Stalin used the Katyn Massacre "unsupported allegations" as the pretext to withdraw recognition of Sikorski's government in Britainon April 26, accuse it of collaborating with Nazi Germany[19][18]and start a campaign to get the Western Allies to recognize the Soviet puppet Polish government[20] led by Wanda Wasilewska."

In this sentence are a lot of statements which might be considered biased and they are insufficiently based on citations.

  • Reference 19 ("The Polish Government official statement") is a primary source and therefore cannot be used.
  • Reference 18 ("Europe: A History", 1392 pages) unfortunately is not accessible to me and needs backup. I have the suspicion that this used to pretend the validity of that statement by using remote sources. (moved away..) [19]
  • Reference 20 ("Collaboration in the Holocaust") again seems to be the attempt to use books that the contributors are unlikely to own in order to pretend validity.

Therefore, I'd like this paragraph to be removed, as it is interpreting the intentions of Stalin and in fact has nothing to do with the topic, or be backed up with sources which are easily accessible. An alternative would be if someone who owns these books could scan the page(s) on which the statements are based or quote them. --Anti-Flag 16:38, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

All sources in this paragraph are online. I am not sure if I like your suggestion that we (I?) are using some 'clandestine' sources to push a particular POV. Few people don't have a Google account now, so using sources witha link to Google Print page is one of the best ways to quickly verify a reference. If you don't have a Google account, send me an email and I'll send you an invitation. And I am still waiting for you to point me to a policy that states that primary sources should not be used (not to mention that I provided secondary sources backing up those claims as well).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:43, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

You don't need to have a google mail to view google books-personalised google account is enough.For instance I don't have Google Mail so I made my personal page on google search engigne. --Molobo 20:49, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Also, in case of reporting some official statement, the statement itself is quite a good source to use. The same situation applies to international treaties and so on. If we are claiming that X said Y, we don't have to find it repeated in a book written by Z, the statement by X should be enough, especially as a reference for such a widely-known fact. Halibutt 21:03, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Concerning the official statement (reference 19), the statement in the article ("Stalin used the Katyn Massacre "unsupported allegations" as the pretext to...") is an interpretation of the official statement. The reference does not serve to verify the statement. Instead it is a mere reference to that official statement and therefore is insufficient for verification.

It is true that the official statement (ref 19) does not make such an accusation, but the second ref for this (Davies, 18) is enough: "The exiled Polish government appealed to International Red Cross for an enquiry. For this, they were denouced as 'Fashist collaborators' by the Kremlin, which promptly withdrew diplomatic recognition."--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:38, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Concerning the reference 20 ([20]), I cannot see in which way the book is the source of that statement, because I cannot have a look at the book's contents (although I have a google account). I'm only provided with information on the book and not from the book. --Anti-Flag 23:52, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

It is random page lock for random accounts - you may want to use 2+ accounts for such cases. Anyway, the reference about Wasilewska reads: "By the end of 1943 the Soviet partisan commanders insisted that the Poles subordinate themselves to the 'legal' pro-Soviet government in Moscow under Wanda Wasilewska. In suprise attacks the leaders of the Polish partisants were arrested by Soviets; some were taken to Moscow and others were killed."--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:34, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
I think there's a noteworthy difference between pro-Soviet government and Soviet puppet Polish government. Even if the latter was replaced with the first, still there's no source saying that Stalin used "the Katyn Massacre (...) as the pretext to (...) recognize" that goverment in Poland however you call it. --Anti-Flag 12:05, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, he used the Katyn case as a pretext to break relations with the legitimate Polish government, re-established in 1941 under pressure from the Brits. This gave him a freedom of manouevre in Polish question and allowed him to create his own Polish government. Halibutt 14:45, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Allied war crimes

I cannot follow why this link gets deleted. The Soviets acknowledge it was a war crime, hence a link to allied war crimes. What is the problem? Get-back-world-respect 18:20, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

(1) Calling it an allied war crime is (1) disputable, as they didn't become part of the Allied powers until over a year after the massacre (the discussion is elsewhere on this talk page) and (2) the way you are trying to put it into the article (in a see also section - one which I pointedly removed when we started putting this article on the road to FA status) is unacceptable. Raul654 19:20, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I already saw that they were at the time not yet allies, so I removed it from the article. I however do not see what the problem is with see also, most articles have that section. Get-back-world-respect 19:30, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
It's lazy, degenerate writing. If something is important enough to merit a mention in an article, it should be mentioned in an actual sentence which puts it in context. Otherwise, it's probably not be important enough to mention. Raul654 19:34, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. For example, Nuremberg Trials has International Military Tribunal for the Far East under see also. Definitely related and interesting for the reader, however not related closely enough to be mentioned in the article itself. Get-back-world-respect 20:00, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia:Section#.22See_also.22_for_the_whole_article, the 'See also' seems to be justified. However, the insistence of the ones involved might imply that there's a specific reason behind adding/removing it. If people believe that it's biased to insert that link, the easiest solution would be to avoid that link/section as the see also section never should be entirely necessary (or else the link should be included in the text). --Anti-Flag 20:32, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
? We already agreed that the link does not fit here. Get-back-world-respect 21:20, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Germans condemned to death

It's an incorrect information. They were executed for their crimes in Leningrad area. You can see scans of newspapers of the time here: [21]
And at last - my opinion: the very topic is controversal and thus a priori is not stable, so it's waste of time to make it "featured article". Best regards. --Nekto 19:06, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

(As the person who wrote the stability requirement for featured articles) A priori claims of instability are inherently invalid, as they relate to the subject matter and not the actual article. Raul654 06:45, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I mean that the topic as controversal as maybe JFK assassination - tons of speculation, versions. The article is onesided, not comprehensive and factually inaccurate. --Nekto 06:55, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Specific examples, diffs and links would make your stance much clearer to understand. Halibutt 11:30, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Please don't pretend that you were not given "specific examples, diffs and links" ad nauseum. The article should be rewritten. --Ghirla | talk 13:17, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Hello, Ghirla! I will try to present them examples of the most "inacurate" things (lets call it politely) in the article within a week, though my writing English is not good. By the way the Russian article about Katyn is now in processing and you can see temp-version here ru:Катынский расстрел/Temp It already has a lot of references and covers the issue rather well (though the work is not finnished, yet)--Nekto 13:34, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

The article should be rewritten. Ghirla why not give us those revelations that Katyn was a CIA plot ? --Molobo 13:38, 8 February 2006 (UTC)


Would not it be better if somebody would put a coherent Alternative versions of the Katyn massacre, there he/she would point out all the grievances with the mainstream version of the events and their opponents could demonstrate the weak points with their explanations. Obviously, it should be published somewhere because of WP:NOR.

Then in the main article we could just insert a phrase like Some historians are still supporting the Alternative versions of the Katyn massacre. This way we could avoid the revert war that may prevent the article to get the FA status.

Putting alternative versions into a separate article is not something new in wikipedia, see e.g. 9/11 conspiracy theories or Alternative theories regarding Hurricane Katrina or Examination of Holocaust denial. abakharev 22:36, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I'd rather keep all in one article, though in fact such a solution could help with many problems of, so to say, inter-personal nature. On the other hand I'd rather first see it at Talk:Katyn massacre/Alternative versions of the Katyn massacre before it appears in the main wiki namespace. Halibutt 10:30, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Erm, no. Wikipedia is not a platform for conspiracy tbeories or other "alternative" sources of information. If something is verifiable, with good sources, it belongs here. Raul654 13:05, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Raul has a point here. And quite a strong one, I must say. Halibutt 14:42, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I am not sure about the strength of the point:
  1. There are quite a number of articles devoted to the "alternative theories" and "controversies" on Wikipedia already, separation of a contraversial subject into a separate article is a standard practice. Believe me, some people have views on 9/11 or the Holocaust as strong as Poles on Katyn.
  2. All these denials and conspirology is a notable cultural events, deserving an article even if the theories itself are not that credible
  3. As it said on WP:V, Wikipedia is not about the truth, but about verifiability. Some authors of the are academics, who, I assume, have publications in peer-reviewed publications, it would be quite difficult to formally argue insertion of these works into the main article if somebody would be determined enough to dig the paper publication. The article then would deteriorate into a point-to-point scoring instead of a coherent explanation of the mainstream narrative.
  4. You could not make the article into the FA if it is have an NPOV tag on it or a revert war over it and there would be people who would feel oblige to insert the tag/add allegedly to the every second sentence.
I don't feel the expertise needed to write the article on the subject myself, but I would suggest to do it abakharev 08:51, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Actually, as you are so enthusiastic about Dr Goebbels' pet piece of prop and spruce up the article with citations from Irving and other Neo-Nazis, it's the current version that should be moved to Alternative versions of Katyn incident. I'm not going to pursue the subject any further, as I have a golden rule: don't feed trolls and Russophobes. Anyway, I would advise Nekto to determine first what the persons he is addressing think about Holocaust, whether they share the basic tenets of Russophobia, and whether they advocate the dismemberment of Russia before entering into prolonged discussions with them. --Ghirla | talk 07:43, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Does it really meet featured article criteria?

To tell the truth I disagree with almost every other phrase of the article :) (because of their’s POV, inaccuracy and direct misleadings) and the whole article’s concept. But nevertheless lets concentrate on some noticeable inaccurcies putting aside the question about who in reality killed the Polish officeres. --Nekto 17:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)


The fate of the missing prisoners remained unknown until April 1943 when the German Wehrmacht discovered the mass grave of more than 4,000 Polish military reserve officers in the forest on Goat Hill near Katyn.

That’s factually inaccurate.

In March, 1942 Poles working in German auxiliary unit had discovred the graves and reported about it to Germans. Here emerges the question as to why Germans didn’t start their propaganda campaign in 1942 (hint: maybe because bodies <if officeres were killed in the fall of 1941> were not decomposed enough).

That’s important information (about discovery in 1942) and without it the article cannot be called comprehensive. --Nekto 17:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, indeed. The article is written from the perspective of the world, not the Wehrmacht. Also, I never heard that the people to discover the mass graves were Poles working for the German auxiliary unit. In fact I heard of Poles serving in the Wehrmacht, though not in auxiliary units - and definitely not in the Katyn context. In fact I heard that in 1942 there were but rumours reaching the Germans from the local civilians, though I can't find the relevant part in Swianiewicz's W cieniu Katynia nor Dembiński's Najnowsze dokumenty.... Piotrus? Nekto? any documents to confirm this? Halibutt 22:35, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I can just say to Nekto: Cite your sources.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:29, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Ive found those sources:
  1. The Russian-Polish academic book. The authors are Lebedeva, Woshinsky (sp?) and others. Катынь. Март 1940 — сентябрь 2000. Расстрел. Судьбы живых. Эхо Катыни. (Документы). М., «Весь мир», 2001, с. 524-526 ISBN 5-7777-0160-4
  2. And also Mukhin quotes Cheslav Madaychik's (sp?) 'The Katyn's drama'.
According to them it was construction platoon #2005 were Poles were used as workers. They found the graves in March, 1942 and let Germans know about it. Also in another Russian-Polish book (Katyn's syndrome by Jažborovskaja and others ISBN 5-8243-0197-2) they mentioned that those Poles were from the Todt organisation. --Nekto 12:34, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, it makes some sense. Organisation Todt was was made up of a small number of technical advisors and engineers and an enormous number of foreign abductees, so it is pretty certain there were many Polish workers in it. And it is also pretty logical that Wehrmacht soldiers would not be digging in the forests themselves if they could force their slave workers to do this. As Todt was attached to the military the current version of our article, stating that 'Wehrmacht discovered the bodies' is a simplification of the possible fact that 'workers from Ogranization Todt, attached to Wehrmacht, discovered the bodies'. So I would advise you to correct this in the article, but please use the proper reference format (for examples, ISBN/ISSN are needed in your above references).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 04:55, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Btw, Conot mentions that it was a "German signal corps unit" that discovered the bodies.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:30, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

The International Red Cross

The Allies were aware that the Nazis had found a mass grave as the discovery transpired, via radio transmissions intercepted and decrypted by Bletchley Park. German and the International Red Cross, which was invited by Germany, investigated the Katyn corpses and soon produced physical evidence that the massacre took place in early 1940, at a time when the area was still under Soviet control.[18][17]

That’s factually inaccurate.

The International Red Cross didn’t participate in this investigation. When in April 17, 1943 Germany and the Polish government in exile, simultaneously asked International Red Cross to investigate the case the IRC replied that it couldn’t do it without the Soviet request. So, the IRC didn’t investigate anything in Katyn.

What you are reffering to is the Techical Comission of the Polish Red Cross that was formed from Poles who were on the territory occupied by Germans. The Techical Comission of the Polish Red Cross didn’t investigate anything either. They collected documents from the bodies under control of German secret Police.

However there were also so-called Internetional Forensic Commision represented by doctors from Axis and occupied countries and one Swiss. They were not able to draw a conclusion from the bodies’ condition and dated the time of murder by documents dated earlier than April 1940 which were found on bodies. --Nekto 17:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Indeed, the IRC should be replaced with the explanation on the international commission. Though your assumptions that they couldn't draw a conclusion is not exactly right. According to, for instance, van Vliet's report states clearly that they cautioned the entire group to do no talking, to give no indications of opinion, and not to cooperate in any way with the Germans. All agreed. It was evident to all of us that we were involved in an international mess with terrific political implications. Then he passes on to say that he believed that the Russians did it. The rest of the group that visited the site stated to me that they believed that the Russians did it (...). Halibutt 22:42, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
van Vliet had nothing to do with the Internetional Forensic Commision which worked in April 28-30, 1943 while van Vliet visited to Katyn in May 13, 1943. He just expressed his opinion and unsupported allegation since he was not an expert. --Nekto 12:40, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
It is almost certain that this IRC reference is a mistake. I'd gladly see it replaced with the above info, if you could just provide source for this (Technical Commission, Forensic Commission, etc.).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:31, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
The report of Technical Commission of the Polish Red Cross by Skarzhinky (sp?) can be found in "Katyn. Relacje, wspomnienia, publicystyka" Warszawa 1989 (I've a Russian copy of the book). Also if you read Russian you can find the report of the Internetional Forensic Commision [22] and the prof. Butz report [23] and report of the German police [24] on the site (wich supports the official version). --Nekto 13:07, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Kazimierz Skarzyński - he was the Secretary General of the Polish Red Cross. Related links: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office: Solidarity, Glasnost and the Soviet Admission, 1980-92, REPRINTING OF HOUSE REPORT NO. 2505 CONGRESS CONCERNING THE KATYN MASSACRE COMMITTEE (excerpt below, note that has a 'nicer' html version of the relevant exceprt, which also mentions van Vliet).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 05:10, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
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

The Polish government in exile

In April 1943, when the Polish government in exile insisted on bringing this matter to the negotiation table with Soviets and on an investigation by the International Red Cross[19][18] Stalin accused the Polish government in exile of collaborating with Nazi Germany and broke diplomatic relations with it.[20]

That’s factually inaccurate.

Stalin broke diplomatic relations with the Polish government in exile BECAUSE it didn’t bring this matter to the negotiation table with Soviets first. Instead of that they in one day with Germans made request to the International Red Cross not even asked Soviets for any explanations and more so – started anti-Soviet campaign in Polish-controlled press. It’s an absolutelly clear matter and you can read details in the published Correspondence between Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt during WWII. --Nekto 17:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Wrong again. Stalin was repeatedly asked about the matter and he refused to cooperate (hence the Manchuria talk and all that gibberish) between the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement and 1943. He was asked both through diplomatical notes, at the negotiation table (even during the first meeting with Anders, as per his Bez ostatniego rozdziału, page 160). Allen Paul in his Katyń: Stalin's massacre... even mentions (page 115) that even Zygmunt Berling asked Beria of the fate of the missing officers as early as 1940 (and the latter was to reply that they made a gross mistake with them, BTW).
After the German revelations, the Polish government issued a statement on April 17, 1943. It's available in full here. Among other things, it says, among other things, that The Polish Government have instructed their representative in Switzerland to request the International Red Cross in Geneva to send a delegation to investigate the true state of affairs on the spot (...) At the same time, however, the Polish Government, on behalf of the Polish Nation, deny to the Germans any right to base on a crime they ascribe to others, arguments in their own defence. The profoundly hypocritical indignation of German propaganda will not succeed in concealing from the World the many cruel and reiterated crimes still being perpetrated against the Polish people.
Now, according to Swianiewicz (page 316 in the Czytelnik edition of 1990), the reason for breaking the diplomatic relations was the fact that the Poles referred to the International Red Cross. Anders at page 160 quotes the Russian comunicate of April 15 and then on the following page he states that The Soviet government assumed that the Polish plea to the International Red Cross was enough to break diplomatical relations with Poland (my translation). He then continues that in the note of April 25, the Soviet government accused Polish government of collaboration with Hitler in that propaganda campaign related to the finding of graves of the Polish officers near Smolensk. The note said that "All these circumstances force the Soviet government to announce that the current government of Poland, by entering a path of collaboration with Hitler's government, ceased to continue allied relations with the Soviet Union and became its enemy. (...) Because of that, the Soviet government decided to break relations with the Polish government". Do we have the original, full text of the note that would say more on the matter than the fragment republished by Anders? Halibutt 23:13, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I probably was not clear enough. I know about Polish requests to Stalin in the winter of 1941. I mean that AFTER the German revelation in April 13, 1943 Polish government in exile didn't try to consult about this new situation with Soviet government (which would be natural for allies) and instead of that in April 17 it made it's request to the International Red Cross without any consultations wiyh Soviets. And that's was enough to break diplomatical relations with Polish government in exile. The correspondence between Stalin and Churchill is available in internet [25] See doc. 150-159 <in Russian>
Anders explains that the true reason for asking the Red Cross was the Soviet press release claiming that the Polish POWs were woriking on a construction site near Smolensk and were captured by the Germans in 1941. Anders concluded that everybody felt that there must be something fishy there as the Soviets could give such explanation any time between 1941 and 1943 - yet they did not. And the excerpt of the Soviet note of April 25 does not mention the IRC as the reason. Do you have any sources to back such version up? Halibutt 16:47, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Source - Soviet Note of April 25, 1943, severing unilaterally Soviet-Polish diplomatic relations [26]. I've found the link in... this article. --Nekto 17:35, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. It seems that we were both right. The note mentions three reasons why the relations were broken:
  • Hostile to the Soviet Union, calumnious campaign (...) was taken up instantly by the Polish Government and is being fanned by every possible means by the Polish official press
  • Drawing into the "investigation" the International Red Cross, compelled to participate in this farce of investigation in which Hitler appears to be the stage manager
  • alleged collaboration between Poland and Germany. Halibutt 00:42, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Removing evidence

Having retaken the Katyn area almost immediately after the Red Army had recaptured Smolensk, Soviet Union begun the cover-up, with NKVD destroying a cemetery the Germans had permitted the Polish Red Cross to build and removing other evidence.[1]

Not neutral

What exactly evidence they removed? And besides How could Soviets investigate the case (i.e. exhumation works) and didn’t “destroy” cemetery. --Nekto 17:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

When you change a light bulb you dont have to cut the lamp in pieces, do you. The fact is that there was a cemetery there before the Soviets came (with several mass graves and most of the people identified buried separately), and there was none after they finished their job (it was not rebuilt until recently). As to removing evidence - I admit having no idea on the matter. Halibutt 23:15, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Most of the Polish officeres were buried by Germans in 6 mass graves and two identified generals were buried separately. Source - the report of Technical Commission of the Polish Red Cross by Skarzhinky.
The first memorial was built in 1978.
Well... we lost millions in that war and many hundred thousand still are lying unburied where they were killed. Sadly very often even our military cemeteries are in a bad shape. Too many graves. --Nekto 14:44, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Fisher mentions just 'evidence'. Expantion would be nice, but so far we work with what references we have.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:33, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Maybe Soviets removed a German sign with wrong date - "1940". :) --Nekto 14:44, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Well yes, they removed the signs, the tombstones, levelled the graves with the ground and planted more trees there. Not that funny, you know.. Halibutt 16:43, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
It would be good to know what exactly evidence they removed. --Nekto 17:37, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. Anyone? Halibutt 00:43, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

The Burdenko Commission

The Burdenko Commission, headed by Nikolai Burdenko, the President of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR, exhumed the bodies again and reached the conclusion that the shooting was done in 1941, when the Katyn area was under German occupation. No foreign personnel, including the Polish communists, were allowed to join the Burdenko Commission.[1] [3] This forms a sharp contrast with the German investigation, which allowed wider access to both international press and organizations (like the Red Cross) and even used Polish workers, like Józef Mackiewicz[24].

That’s factually inaccurate and not neutral.

Soviets did allow access to international press and others (one of them – daughter of American ambassador). Also Polish Corps buried remains after exhumation works were finished.

The comparison between the German and the Soviet investigations is not neutral. On the other hand it could be said that Germans made public propaganda campaign out of the investigation while the Soviet commission concentrated on the practice work having to investigate much more pits and graves with killed Soviet citizens all over Soviet Union. For example in Smolensk area they also found 87 mass graves with 135,000 killed Soviet citizens and POWs. And unlike forensic experts in the pro-German commission who cannot date the murder from bodies’ state and had to rely on the found documents with dates, Soviet specialists were much more experienced. --Nekto 17:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

As far as I remember the German report (don't have any sources on it at hand), it simply stated that the muddy and wet soil of the area made the corpses too waxy for exact date to be given. They could only tell that there must've passed at least several years since the burials. On the other hand, the Soviets indeed miraculously found the evidence that the Poles were buried in the summer of 1941. So, all in all, two years after the massacre (as per the version accepted by almost everyone) it was impossible to tell the exact time of the mass murder, while 4 years after the shootings it was somehow easier... Halibutt 23:21, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
In the report of the Internetional Forensic Commision [27] I didn't find anything about "several years" when it comes to the corpses' conditions. In the report of German prof. Butz such phrase does exist but Butz was not a member of the Internetional Forensic Commision because he was a German (i.e. from interested party). --Nekto 14:59, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

First, note that the para states that Soviets denied international community membership in the Burdenko Commission, not that they forbade them from attending the press conference where Burdenko's 'findings' were presented. I am afraid that for your other opinions you'd neet citations to prove Fisher was incorrect.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 02:10, 12 February 2006 (UTC)


Two US POWS were brought by Germans to Katyn in 1943 for an international news conference. The ranking officer was Col. John H. Van Vliet who in 1945 wrote a report concluding that the Soviets, not the Germans, were responsible.

Not neutral and irrelevant information

Those two POWs were not forensic medics and their’s personal believes and POV are irrelevant. --Nekto 17:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, van Vliet seems to be quite a notable personality in this case as he was among the few people to write on the matter as early as 1945... This mention also proves that there is no conflict between what is written in the article (and what you found disturbing above). The Soviets did not allow anyone to take part in Burdenko's works, while they admitted several people from the outside to visit the site. Halibutt 23:23, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
van Vliet also didn't took part in works and in this case he was just a tourist. As well as Harriman daughter who visited site during Burdenko works and wrote a report about German responsibility. Although I read somewhere that she took back her words in 1952 but found no mention about it in the final report of Select Committee of the US Congress. --Nekto 14:09, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Oh please. This objection is laughable. Raul654 17:59, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Ok. Lets fill the article with opinions from pro-Soviet side for the sake of neutrality and balance. Do you think there weren't any? --Nekto 18:05, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
The americans were brought in by the germans as neutral witnesses (if anything, they'd be biased *against* the germans seeing as how the americans were at war with the germans at the time). And, in point of fact, they concluded the Soviets were the ones who commiteed the massacre. Your comment is absurd (and amounts to white-washing). Raul654 18:08, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Please don't scare newbies from editing. If someone is whitewashing Hitler's and Goebbels's crimes, it is not Nekto. After your edits, I have to ask you - what is your opinion on Goebbels? what do you think about anti-Semitism? do you believe that Holocaust never happened? --Ghirla | talk 18:23, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
They were not specialists in forensic, So, their conclusion was baseless. As simple as that. By what criteria they made the conclusion? If you read the van Vliet's report you can see that it's about pure "belief". --Nekto 18:16, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
You're dismissing their conclusions because they don't meet the impossible standards you are holding them to (how many forensic medics did the germans hold as POWs during the war?). Raul654 18:18, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm dismissing their conclusions because it costs nothing. It costs nothing because they are not specialists in this area. Isn't it logical? Where am I wrong?
Neither was Burdenko. He was a neurosurgeon... Halibutt 20:26, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
  1. He got exelent medical education.
  2. He was founder of Soviet neurosurgery.
  3. And what is before everything he was head of commission and in the commission there were forensic medics. Report of the commission was not Burdenko personal opinion. --Nekto 18:36, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

To confirm Raul statement "if anything, they'd be biased *against* the germans", here is a part of the report (Source) below.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 05:25, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

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."
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
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.
I have no doubts that Van Vliet was a plain and honest guy. He honestly admitted: “After all, I’m no expert in body-decomposition.” and “I have thought about this a lot in the past seven years, and freely admit that there never was presented to me any single piece of evidence that could be taken as an absolute proof.” So the rest is just his personal pure speculations over the case (i.e. POV). It’s an interesting reading but it proves nothing. Although… this last passage can be taken in favour of the Soviet version:
“The uniforms on the bodies were obviously of the best material and tailor-made. The footwear appeared to be of the best and included many pairs that were obviously made to order. The uniforms and footwear all were obviously well-fitted. This convinced me that the bodies were truly those of Polish officers. The degree of wear on the clothing and particularly the wear on the shoes led me to believe that these officers had been dead a long time, otherwise the shoes and clothing would show much more wear. This was the point that was not called to our attention by the Germans. It is one of the strongest arguments by which to fix the date of the killing.” [28]
It may be interpreted that condition of the uniforms on the bodies was so well that it couldn’t be in the graves for such a long timespan as 3 years. --Nekto 18:36, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
My point in case with this paragraph about mr.Van Vliet is that if we are to present someone’s POV then we should either give the floor to both sides to keep the article neutral or remove it as a POV (which mr.Van Vliet’s report is).--Nekto 19:42, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
But we have already 'given to floor' to the other side - I assume you mean the Burdenko commission?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 02:06, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
Nekto, note that the guy mentions degree of wear, not degree of decomposition. It is still not a definite proof, as the Soviets could have given the Poles brand new tailor-made Polish uniforms and boots every year or so, but it seems rather unlikely to me. Halibutt 00:51, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Seven officers of the German Wehrmacht

In November 1945, seven officers of the German Wehrmacht, K.H. Strueffling, H. Remlinger, E. Böhom, E. Sommerfeld, H. Jannike, E. Skotki and E. Geherer were tried by a court of the victorious allies: the Americans, the English, the French and the Soviets. They were condemned to death for their role in the Katyn massacre and were subsequently hanged. Three more were tried on the same charges; E.P. Vogel, F. Wiese, A. Diere. They received sentences of 20 years of hard labor, were turned over to the Soviets and never heard from again.[29]

That’s factually inaccurate.

They were condemned to death for their role in the crimes in Leningrad area and during the process one of the accused just mentioned Katyn case. --Nekto 17:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Are your sources refering to the same 7 officers?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:36, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
In the New York Times, 6 Jan 1946 they mentioned 8 officeres and one of them was H. Remlinger [29] So, yes I'm sure , though there is certanly a mistake with number. In any case in the link to an article in Montréal Gazette Professor H. Famira didn't give any source for his knowledge - "Doing my reading... I came across a most interesting passage". It's not enough.--Nekto 13:26, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

The Nuremberg Trials

In 1946, the chief Soviet prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials tried to indict Germany for the Katyn killings, stating that "one of the most important criminal acts for which the major war criminals are responsible was the mass execution of Polish prisoners of war shot in the Katyn forest near Smolensk by the German fascist invaders",[30] but dropped the matter after the United States and the United Kingdom refused to support it and German lawyers mounted an embarrassing defense.[1]

That’s factually inaccurate.

The Tribunal demand of hearing witnesses was against Article 21 of the Constitution of the IMT [30] --Nekto 17:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

"The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof. It shall also take judicial notice of official governmental documents and reports of the United Nations, including the acts and documents of the committees set up in the various allied countries for the investigation of war crimes, and of records and findings of military or other Tribunals of any of the United Nations."

Nevertheless Soviet side agreed to this claim and tribunal gave witnesses hearing. But then tribunal didn't deliver any judgement on that matter although Soviets clearly expessed their willing to carry on the investigation. Someone’s embarrassing defense was not the case at all. [31] --Nekto 17:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

The "Soviet embarassing defence" is taken directly from Fisher. Besides, I fail to see your logic: you are arguing about witnesses, when in fact our Nuremberg paragraph sais nothing about witnesses. And I found another source that argues against your statement that "Soviets clearly expessed their willing to carry on the investigation": Robert E. Conot, Nuremberg, 1984, ISBN 0881840327: Google Print - p.454:
Aside from the fact that Soviets were clearly apprehensive about any examination of the affair (...) the prepondence of the circumstantial evidence weighted heavily against them.
Accidentaly, the pages 454 and 455 have a nice listing of this 'circumstantial evidence' against the Soviets.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:25, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
You gave the links to opinion of those men while I gave the link to primary source - Nuremberg Trial records: [32]

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Mr. President, I have no further questions to put to this witness; but with the permission of the Tribunal, I would like to make a brief statement.

We were allowed to choose from among the 120 witnesses whom we interrogated in the case of Katyn, only three. If the Tribunal is interested in hearing any other witnesses named in the reports of the Extraordinary State Commission, we have, in the majority of cases, adequate affidavits which we can submit at the Tribunal's request. Moreover, any one of these persons can be called to this Court if the Tribunal so desires.

That is all I have to say upon this matter.


DR. STAHMER: I have no objection to the further presentation of evidence as long as it is on an equal basis; that is, if I, too, have the opportunity to offer further evidence. I am also in a position to call further witnesses and experts for the Court.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has already made its order; it does not propose to hear further evidence.

DR. STAHMER: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.
As you see for yourself Soviets were willing to carry on the investigation but Tribunal refused. --Nekto 18:50, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong in giving opinions, as long as they are properly referenced. As for Tribunal ending it's proceedings - well, they had to at some point, didn't they?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 02:04, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
But do we have any sources to mention the German lawyers mounting an embarrassing defense? If not, the part should be removed. Halibutt 00:53, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Fisher, footnote 12.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:34, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

What did Soviet scholars reveal in 1989

In 1989 Soviet scholars revealed that Joseph Stalin had indeed ordered the massacre, and in 1990 Mikhail Gorbachev admitted that the NKVD had executed the Poles[32], and confirmed two other burial sites similar to the site at Katyn: Mednoje and Pyatikhatki.

That’s factually inaccurate.

In 1989 Soviet scholar didn’t reveal anything of that kind. What they had found at the time were as follows:

  1. They found documents evidenced that Polish officeres were sent to OSO of the NKVD (osoboe soveshanie – special council ). <OSO of the NKVD was a special non-judicial body with judicial powers>.
  2. They found transport lists of Polish officeres.

From that info they drawed a conclusion that Polish officeres might be executed after formal trials in OSO.
[33] – Doc from presidential archive about finds. <in Russian>--Nekto 17:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

I do agree that we are missing a citation for the following: In 1989 Soviet scholars revealed that Joseph Stalin had indeed ordered the massacre. What scholars? If this is not verified it should be removed, or preferably updated to what you found above (is there an English version of this source?). The second part (in 1990 Mikhail Gorbachev admitted that the NKVD had executed the Poles[32], and confirmed two other burial sites similar to the site at Katyn: Mednoje and Pyatikhatki) is however confirmed by our reference [34] (although it does not mention Mednoje and Pyatikhatki).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:06, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
It's an official document #03900 Letter to Gorbachev from V.M. Falin "Additional information on Katyn tragedy" February 22, 1990 [35] Have no idea if it was translated to English. In the letter Falin wrote that Soviet scholars (Zorya, Parsadanova and Liebedeva) who were allowed to search the Soviet archives found some indirect evidences that pointed at the NKVD guilt. He mentioned that they found that Polish officeres were to set to OSO of the NKVD and their cases should be investigated by this extrajudicial body. And at the end he called Gorbachev to arrive at a political decision and admitt that Poles were killed by NKVD though direct shooting orders were not found. <Background: It worth to mention that at the perestroyka time in 1987 Soviet media opened great "anti-stalinism" campaign and many people including politicians were under it influence> --Nekto 19:26, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Not comprehensive

There should be mention that Mikhail Gorbachev admittion (April 13, 1990) was made during a hot “anti-stalinism” campaign in Soviet media and when there were no any direct evidences (!) that murder was commited by Soviets and that the Soviet military prosecutor's office started to investigate the case AFTER (!) this admittion (September 27, 1990). And thus it was influenced by such admittion and the case became politically motivated. In USSR it was as a direct order in what direction should the case be investigated.

But they had a trouble very soon – they found that OSO couldn’t send Poles to death because it had no such rights. The most hard punishment OSO could gave was 8 years of corrective labor with prohibition of correspondence. So, in 1992 the version changed a bit – they “discovered” sealed package no.1 and among them the Politburo shooting order were Politburo set up special troika that sentenced Poles to death. --Nekto 17:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

While I'm not sure what exactly documents are being mentioned in the first part, I'd like to note that the second part is a pure speculation. Are you suggesting that Gorbachov was conspiring with Wałęsa and the CIA or what? Also, take note of the books by Lebiedieva, who was among the Russian historians allowed to search the archives. Halibutt 23:33, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
You can read about the Soviet scholars finds and about reasons for the admittion in 1990 in the Falin's secret letter to Gorbachev that I gave above - it's from Presidential archive [36] <in Russian>. By the way he mentioned Lebedeva among others. --Nekto 18:56, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

The sealed package no. 1

After further evidence was discovered by Poles and Americans in 1991 and 1992, the Russian President Boris Yeltsin released and transferred to the new Polish president, former Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa top-secret documents from the sealed package no. 1[38] [1].

That’s factually inaccurate due to acausal connection.

What evidence was discovered by Poles and (!?->)Americans? Discovery of the Sealed package no.1 had the pure domestic reason. At that time in 1992 in the Consitution Court of Russia there was the trial over the banned Communist Party of the SU. And during this process the President side out of sudden showed the copies of the documents from the package no.1 that was just found. When defendants demanded a criminal expertise of the originals the President side refused to give them and in the final Court decision the Katyn case was not mentioned.

And what is suspicious here is that they didn’t allow seeing originals for more than 10 years (while the criminal case #159 was in process). Considering that the most effective technical expertise on falsification could be done for document during the first 5 year it invites some questions. --Nekto 17:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

"What evidence was discovered by Poles and (!?->)Americans?"
From linked reference (Fisher), below.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:58, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
The next major discovery turned up in an unexpected place--the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. While conducting research on Katyn at the Archives in spring 1990, a Polish-American art and antiques expert named Waclaw Godziemba-Maliszewski was given a copy of an article entitled "The Katyn Enigma: New Evidence in a 40-Year Riddle" that had appeared in the Spring 1981 issue of Studies in Intelligence. It was written by CIA officer and NPIC analyst Robert G. Poirier, who used imagery from Luftwaffe aerial photoreconnaissance during World War II to uncover evidence of the original crime and a Soviet coverup during 1943-1944. 16 The imagery, selected from 17 sorties flown between 1941 and 1944 and spanning a period before, during, and after the German occupation of the Smolensk area, was important evidence. Among other things, it showed that the area where the mass graves were located had not been altered during the German occupation and that the same area displayed physical changes that predated the Germans' arrival. It also captured the NKVD on film bulldozing some of the Polish graves and removing bodies. Poirier speculated that the corpses had been removed and reburied at another site.
At the National Archives, Godziemba-Maliszewski located the same imagery that Poirier had used. He also found additional shots of Katyn and the other two execution sites at Mednoye and near Kharkov. He discovered much additional imagery, new collateral evidence, and eyewitness testimony, resulting in important new conclusions about what actually happened at Katyn.
After completing further research, in January 1991 Godziemba-Maliszewski turned over copies of the imagery and Poirier's article to scientists at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. They in turn passed the information to the Polish Ministry of Justice. The Ministry had to be convinced that the article and photographic evidence were bona fide and that Godziemba-Maliszewski was not, as some suspected, a CIA agent! Stefan Sniezko, Poland's deputy general prosecutor, then gave an interview to the German newspaper Tagesspiegel [Daily Mirror], published on 12 May 1991. This was the first public disclosure of the Luftwaffe imagery and its utility for identifying burial sites in the USSR.
Perhaps this section needs to be expanded, as currently it is somewhat to ambigius.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:58, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Ah… I see. I read it as if Boris Yeltsin released those documents because Poles and Americans discovered something. So it’s not factually inaccurate.
But, however I think the circumstances of discovering of the sealed package no. 1 are very important for comprehensiveness and it may explain to readers why “there are some who deny Soviet guilt, call the released documents fakes and try to prove that Poles were shot by Germans in 1941” --Nekto 18:39, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Before World War II

The massacre took place before the USSR was invaded and entered World War II. The wording of the text should reflect this point. It also means that this incident can not be included in the "Category:World War II crimes" if Wikipedia is to be accurate in such matters --Philip Baird Shearer 16:13, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

It depends on the POV. According to Soviet historians the USSR did not take part in WWII at all. Instead they fought the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945). However, the Katyn massacre happened precisely during WWII and because the USSR entered the war on September 17, 1939. Otherwise there would be no Allied POWs in Soviet captivity and there would be noone to murder (well, except for the Soviet citizens, but this is another story). That's why I'm putting the category back. Halibutt 16:35, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
user:Halibutt wrote: "According to Soviet historians the USSR did not take part in WWII at all."

Halibutt, where do you get your info from I wonder? Please no jokes under the pretence of serious arguments. I have no problem with people making a joke at the talk once in a while. But please don't talk nonsence. --Irpen 16:52, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

It's rather a common knowledge. While the Russian wiki article describes the Soviet actions of 1939 and 1940 as part of the WWII, in Soviet times I doubt there were any museums of World War II in the USSR. Instead, you have the museums of the Great Patriotic War in every corner of the USSR, from Minsk and Kiev to Vladivostok. My comment was not a joke, it was a mental shortcut but not a joke and I was hoping it was clear to everyone around. Anyway, it does not change a thing as my arguments are still valid. The massacre happened during and because of WWII. Whether USSR was belligerent or not precisely at that time has no meaning here. Halibutt 18:56, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Halibutt, I agree that this is related to the WW2. I simply objected to your making such absurd arguments that in the Soviet historiography it was somehow considered that "the USSR did not take part in WWII at all." --Irpen 19:47, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

"Katyn massacre happened precisely during WWII and because the USSR entered the war on September 17, 1939. Otherwise there would be no Allied POWs in Soviet captivity and there would be noone to murder (well, except for the Soviet citizens, but this is another story)."

Your statement contradicts to the article's very first line which reads

"Katyn (...) was a mass execution of Polish citizens by the Soviet Union (USSR) in the year before the USSR entered World War II. [1]".

Was the Soviet Union at war or not?? Resolving the reference [1] (which leads us to that CIA article), it reads:

"Strictly speaking, even the Polish servicemen were not POWs. The USSR had not declared war, and the Polish commander in chief had ordered his troops not to engage Soviet forces."

That again contradicts to the numerous claims in the article that prisoners of war were killed. --Anti-Flag 19:41, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

I'd say that SU had not entered the war in 1939, although it all depends on whether you agree that their 17th September invasion of Poland without declaration of war was an invasion or not. Nonetheless as it is obvious that Poland was a participant of the war and an Ally in 1939, it is also obvious that Katyn massacre was carried on Allied personel during the time Allies were involved in the IIWW. I honestly don't see a problem here: 'rules laywers' may try to argue that SU was not a part of the war till 1941, but there is no denying Poland was. What's more is there to say?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 04:48, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

It doesn't really depend on what I agree with. No matter if I agree or not, the article contradicts itself. To avoid controversy, the term 'prisoner of war' should be generalized to 'prisoner'. --Anti-Flag 12:40, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, the article contradicts itself in whether the USSR was engaged in WWII at that point or not. However, the Poles in Soviet captivity were called prisoners of war by the Soviets themselves - most of the NKVD documents (including Beria's order of March 5) mention the term voyennoplennyie (prisoners of war), and not arestovanyie (arrested), zaklyuchenyie (incarcerated), plennyie (prisoners) or uzniki (inmates). Halibutt 01:09, 13 February 2006 (UTC)


While so many questions are looming about the neutrality and factual accuracy, I don't think that keeping the FA tag is appropriate. The tag with the wording that this is "one of the best articles produced by the WP community" applied to the article with several clear questions about both neutrality and factual accuracy is harmful for the reputation of the FA tag as well as for WIkipedia as a whole. Once the issues are addressed, we can put it up for another FA vote if authors want that. It seems to me that the problems are so clear that no de-FA formal vote is necessary, especially since it is likely to rise same kinds of barbs and emotions that were present in the FAing vote. Thoughts? Objections? --Irpen 16:48, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't recall who decided to add the tag to this pot of fantasies, but if it was Raul, let it be a lesson for him. This page is a clear evidence that he needs to raise the standard of his work. --Ghirla | talk 18:20, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
It was not any person in particular but rather the wiki community. As the tag specifically states that If you see a way this page can be updated or improved without compromising previous work, please feel free to contribute. then I see no problem here. Gentlemen, just try to be as constructive as Nekto is. We're working on improving the article even more, which does not mean that it's perfect or ever will be. No article is ever perfect in wikipedia. Halibutt 18:50, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Halibutt, the "community" was not unanimous and Raul made his own decision on whether the opposition is insignificant enough to declare consensus. I think that the talk above shows that the article clearly has problems with accuracy and neutrality. At least there are valid questions to both. This shows that the FA label was applied prematurely. I am not accusing Raul in taking sides here. I just suggest that FAing should be more a conservative process. Right now, several Poland related article that feature a FA tag raise some valid questions. This is not supposed to happen to FA's as this undermines the reputation of Wikipedia if even featured articles are validly disputed. --Irpen

What can be seen above is a sensible and source-supported discussion on how to improve the article. The article is good even without it, which has been proved by the wiki community. Altogether there were 23 votes in favour and one against it. Indeed, the community was not unanimous, though 96% is quite a decent consensus, isn't it. You say it was premature? I don't think so. Of course we could wait another week or two, but would it change anything? I doubt it. Anyway, I believe the best thing we can do is to start being constructive and discuss how to improve the article or settle the questions raised, and not to de-FA it or anything. Irpen, feel free to join with your sources and arguments. Halibutt 21:31, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

revert war due to external link

What are those reverts[37] about? Is the link concerned[38] not on the topic? Why is it removed labelling the editor's contribution "vandalism" and arguing "Stalin Society is not a reliable source"? --Anti-Flag 19:53, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

See Stalin Society - this should answer your question.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 04:42, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Just because there's an article about it does not mean it doesn't deserve to be mentioned. There's also no reason to declare it an unreliable source or to call that contribution vandalism. Even if it really was an unreliable source with certainty there's no law in wikipedia that forbids it from adding in the 'External links' section. --Anti-Flag 12:40, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Balcer that this link is marginal and biased - it's on the same level as Holocaust Denial or pro-nazi sites.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:42, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
It's just your opinion that it's biased or marginal or on the same level as 'Holocast Denial'. There is simply no justification to use words like 'vandalism' for it. It obviously presents another point of view on the subject. The intentional exclusion of another point of view violates wikipedia's NPOV policy. --Anti-Flag 17:17, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
I think you should reread the Wikipedia:NPOV policy, paying special attention to the point about Giving "equal validity": Please be clear on one thing: the Wikipedia neutrality policy certainly does not state, or imply, that we must "give equal validity" to minority views.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 01:50, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
My point is certainly not that it should be given equal validity or validity at all, which a simple external link would not cause one way or the other. I was thinking that Wikipedia:NPOV#The neutral point of view applies to that case. I think it would be fair to represent the view at all.--Anti-Flag 13:36, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
Please ask on Talk:Holocaust if we should include list to Holocaust Denial sites in the article. If they agree, I'll withdraw my objections to including Stalin Society Katyn Denial link in this article.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:04, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
That's getting pathetic in a way. We are talking about another view of what happened and not of the denial that it happened, so please don't attempt equation. One single link to the other view does not mean it's a list by the way. Wikipedia:External links#What should be linked to clearly states: "On articles with multiple Points of View, a link to sites dedicated to each, with a detailed explanation of each link. The number of links dedicated to one POV should not overwhelm the number dedicated to any other. One should attempt to add comments to these links informing the reader of their point of view." --Anti-Flag 16:22, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
I would rather not have references by the Stalin Society and Irving in an unrelated article. OTOH if you feel that Irving is a reliable source for the mainstream version of the events, then what is wrong with using Stalin society to illustrate a marginal version abakharev 01:42, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Irving is gone now.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:38, 13 February 2006 (UTC)


In regards to the technicality that this most heinous and horrific crime should not be included in World War II Crimes, I completely understand the "technicality". The fact of the matter is however, that when the Soviet Union inavaded Poland on September 17, 1939, in order to "protect its minorities", it entered the Second World War, and all of the intellectual onanism that it did not, is just that. Katyn has always been referrenced to the Second World War because it is a part of it. Of course there are still those who deny that it happened, and who did it. Fortunately for these people the Stalin Society holds meetings for them to comfort and support each other. Dr. Dan 16:54, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

For russian people it cannot be a part of Second World War cause it started in 1941, so Katyn took place a year earlier.--Futrzakus 22:01, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

A couple of questions for the ephemeral and anonymous Futrzakus. Wasn't it the Soviet people, until relatively recently? But if you prefer russian people (sic), O.K., what were the Russian people doing in Poland on September 17, 1945? What were they doing in Finland later that year? What were they doing in the Baltic States in June 1940? But most importantly, in the context of this article (whether you want to call it part of WWII, or not), what were russian people (sic) doing in Katyn, in April and May of 1940? Dr. Dan 21:11, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Khatyn new article

There is a new article on Khatyn (Belarussian spelling). Notmine, but the two need to be resolved. Is the new article repesting the cover-up version or is it referring to a different massacre (of villagers). Jameswilson 02:57, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

I am pretty sure it's a different massacre with a similar name. Could use more sources, though.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:20, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
It is a completely different massacre in a completely different place. There were rumors that the Communist ideologists deliberately choose to emphasize the plight of these particular village (among thousands destroyed by Nazi) since its name sounds very similar to Katyn and so can create confusion between the two massacres. AFAIK it was not confirmed by any archive documents so it is just a rumor (thow a believable one). abakharev 22:06, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
That's interesting. Sources for those rumours and lack of confirmation would be quite useful - any chance you could find them?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:02, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Here is the source: Then, in 1969, Moscow did something strange that many believe was further calculated to confuse the issue further: it chose a small village named Khatyn as the cite for Belorussia's national war memorial. There was no apparent reason for the selection. Khatyn was one of 9,200 Belorussian villages the Germans had destroyed and one of more than a hundred where they had killed civilians in retaliation for partisan attacks. In Latin transliteration, however, Katyn and Khatyn look and sound alike, though they are spelled and pronounced quite differently in Russian and Belorussian. When President Nixon visited the USSR in July 1974, he toured the Khatyn memorial at his hosts' insistence. Sensing that the Soviets were exploiting the visit for propaganda purposes, The New York Times headlined its coverage of the tour: "Nixon Sees Khatyn, a Soviet Memorial, Not Katyn Forest." (The Times probably got it right. During the Vietnam war, the Soviets frequently took visiting US peace activists to Khatyn.) --Molobo 23:15, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Quote from Polish Government

Please don't revert to the version that claims that the 'Departamental Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation' believes that all of those arrested were spies and saboteurs. That is misleading. The full sentence makes it clear that many were 'intelligence agents and gendarmes, spies and saboteurs, former landowners, factory owners and officials'. See ref 6. 'Spies and saboteurs' makes it sound like someone is trying to justify the massacre. Thank you. MilesVorkosigan 23:17, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Of course, I agree with you. I - and I assume Balcer - are trying to make sure this is not confusing, and if you think it can be reworded better, by all means, please help us with that. I think that the current variant: many civilians who had been arrested for being "intelligence agents and gendarmes, spies and saboteurs, former landowners, factory owners and officials" is clear enough. Regarding recent changes, I am more worried about this new Russian downsizing to '1803 killed'. Is this news article notable enough to be placed in lead along the older, more credible academic references?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 00:20, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

The Nuremberg Trials (2)

I don't intend to do an in-depth review of this apparently highly controversial article. I'll just concentrate on the first paragraph of that section:

In November 1945, seven officers of the German Wehrmacht, [...] were tried by a court of the victorious allies: the Americans, the British, the French and the Soviets. They were falsely charged and condemned to death for their role in the Katyn massacre and were subsequently hanged. Three more were tried on the same charges; E.P. Vogel, F. Wiese, A. Diere. They received sentences of 20 years of hard labor, were turned over to the Soviets and never heard from again.

The reference given for this is [39]. First, Irving is not a credible reference, and the second link looks scarcely better. Secondly, tells a different story: they seem to have the names correct, and they state it were not allied trials but Soviet ones. I don't know which version is true, but in its current form, this paragraph is inacceptable. In either case, it wasn't one of the Nuremberg Trials, neither the main trial nor one of the subsequent 12 U.S. trials. Lupo 11:11, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

BTW, Axis History also states that the Katyn trial was a Soviet trial. Lupo 11:13, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Further research: A Helmut Famira is indeed professor at Concordia University. Here it is claimed that upon request he gave his two sources. Both are extreme right-wing, nationalist Austrian magazines, see e.g. on "Kommentare zum Zeitgeschehen" and on "Aula" (both in German). Lupo 11:55, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
And the very worst is that this text is in the article since September 2, 2005, and that it's a verbatim copy from the source. Blergh. Not exactly Wikipedia's best show. Lupo 12:15, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
I recall this issue was discussed earlier and we reached no conclusion - but your critique of the sources is quite interesting. How would you propose to rewrite the para to avoid the bias?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 14:43, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
For the time being, I would suggest simply removing the whole paragraph as a copyvio. Then, someone interested in mentioning these people and the trial shall do some research to figure out what the correct spelling of the names of the accused is, where the trial was (only one or several?), who the judges were or at least what their nationality was, for what reasons the accused were sentenced to death, whether there were 7 or 8 death sentences (see #Seven_officers_of_the_German_Wehrmacht above), and so on. Then we can think about how and where to re-add a corrected paragraph. At the present state I wouldn't even think of proposing any rewrite of this paragraph; I don't know which version is correct. (Although my gut feeling is that has it right.) Lupo 15:28, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Here's a translation into English of the relevant passage from the article:
... a series of processes followed, in which German officers were found guilty for having committed the Katyn murders. The first trial was held already in 1943 in Mariupol' [am Azovschen Meer]; four German officers were sentenced to death and executed immediately. There were two further trials at Smolensk with a total of 85 death sentences, including 18 generals.
Another spectacular process was in Leningrad, where the accused German Arno Dührer pleaded guilty and claimed to have participated at the Katyn massacre, where 15 - 20'000 people were killed, amongst them Russians and Jews. He was sentenced "only" to labor camp, which he survived and returned to Germany. [sic; the grammar is already wrong in the German version. Lupo] Other accused - Karl Strüffling, Heinrich Remmlinger, Ernst Böhm, Eduard Sonnenfeld, Hebard Janike, Erwin Skotki und Ernst Geherer - were sentenced to death and executed on January 5, 1946. Three more accused were sentenced to hard labor.
I don't claim that version from had no errors. But it looks far more credible and appears to be much better sourced than the claim on the Irving web site that is purported to have come from a letter by this Mr. Falmira. It matches the Axis History summary. Can we find other credible sources that would back up this version? Lupo 15:28, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

The heading might be somewhat misleading, although it does'nt say that the "trial" was part of the Nuremberg Trials. It rather ambiguously adds that the Soviets wanted to add this crime to the proceedings of the Nuremberg Trials, but were opposed by the others. What I'd really like to know, is if the other allies did in fact participate in the proceedings in Leningrad, i.e., the mini-trial of these Germans in question. Anyone know? Dr. Dan 14:52, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, the problems are the disreputed sourcing and the claims (1) that there were U.S., British, and/or French judges; (2) that the three not executed "were handed over to the Soviets" (if it was a Soviet military tribunal, they already were in Soviet captivity), and (3) "never heard of again" ( says Dührer returned later to Germany). Lupo 15:35, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
de:Massaker von Katyn says "Anfang 1946 berichtete die Zeitung „Nordwest-Nachrichten” (Hg. war die britische Militärbehörde), dass zehn deutsche Kriegsgefangene von der sowjetischen Justiz für die Massaker bei Katyn verurteilt wurden. Sieben wurden mit dem Tode bestraft und drei zu 20 Jahren Zwangsarbeit verurteilt." ("At the beginning of 1946 the newspaper "Nordwest-Nachrichten" (published by the British military authorities) reported that ten German POWs stood trial before a Soviet tribunal. Seven were sentenced to death, three to 20 years labor camp.") Unfortunately, the German Wikipedia article doesn't give a source. Lupo 16:09, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
ro:Masacrul de la Katyn uses an exact translation of our text, including the Irving-site link as the source. Lupo 16:09, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
This thread at the Axis History forum has some contemporary newspaper excerpts relating to the Leningrad trial. (The thread is actually about other things. After the newspaper scans, that Leningrad trial is discussed again here.) Lupo 16:09, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Also see here and a somewhat longer discussion of Famira's letter here. Lupo 16:15, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I remember reading somewhere the hanged German officers were generals, and were left hanged in public for a time being (don't rememeber - days or week). --HanzoHattori 21:16, 6 March 2007 (UTC)


If anyone knows how to pronounce Katyn, please add it. Emphasis on first syllable or second?

I know only the Polish spelling and it's ['katɨɲ], but I guess in Russian it would be ['katɨnʲ]. //Halibutt 06:57, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Definitely looks like a mistake

Under the head "Cover-up," sub-heading "Actions taken by the Soviet Union," the second paragraph starts with this sentence:

Indeed, having retaken the Katyn area almost immediately after the Red Army had recaptured Smolensk, Soviet Union, led by the MKVD

This was supposed to say NKVD I'm sure?

Paragraph 6 under the heading "Revelations" incorrectly cites (as #44) an articles from as claiming Nazi responsibility for the Katsyn massacre. I read this article - it is doing the very opposite, and reaffirming Soviet responsibility. FrontPageMag is very conservative, so this is more in line with what you would expect.

I don't know how to do references (I'm very new at editing wiki), but citation 44 should be removed, and the rest of them bumped down one number.

The magazine does not blame the Germans, but it mentions that Stalin and others did (Stalin, naturally, blamed the massacre on the Nazis, and for fifty years the Soviets would steadfastly maintain their innocence.). That's why the reference fits there perfectly IMO. //Halibutt 06:53, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Massacre on the Black Sea

My grandfather spent many years trying to prove the massacre of thousands of Polish soldiers in the USSR during WWII, who were supposedly crammed onto an old passenger ship and then sunk in the Black Sea. Are you, or any of your sources, aware of this? Unforfunately my grandfather's papers were destroyed when he died. thanks/--Vumba 18:11, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Black Sea? I'm aware about White Sea: "Testimony was presented by several witnesses that the Ostashkov prisoners were placed on barges and drowned in the White Sea." US Congress final report. Who destroyed the papers of your grandfather?--Nekto 19:22, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Seems like a notable topic. Could you guys write a (referenced) stub on this? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:47, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Piotrus, I think this is a comingling of the story about a Jewish refugee ship that sank in the Black Sea. I forget its name. Dr. Dan 02:22, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it came to me, the Struma. A different case, never heard of the White Sea case, have you? Dr. Dan 02:31, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

There is a US Congressional committee report from 1952 about the Katyn massacre that mentions the White Sea drownings. 18:57, 12 June 2007 (UTC)


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It's important that current version stays, this vandal Mieciu the idiot keeps on reverting facts, which are all prooven. (by User:

First, we don't add unverifiable information to articles. Second, we don't call other editors names. Third, many of us watch over articles, and I promise that if you continue along the path you've set out for yourself in this article, you run the risk of having your IP address blocked from editing Wikipedia. Rklawton 21:20, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Number of officers killed

According to Beria's note, there were 8,424 polish warrant officers, offisers and general officers in the soviet POW camps and prisons. About 300 of them were spared the execution. Which brings the total number of the officers executed to approximately 8000. Hence the correction Fat yankey 17:34, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

While I appreciate the attempt to clarify the numbers, I think that the current version may be misleading, as it suggests majority of the Polish army was composed of belarussians and ukrainians, which I don't think was the case. Soviets released Polish soldiers below the rank of NCOs, but they kept officers (the ~8,000) and NCOs (which I think compromise the ~25,000), and that the 25,000 represents all non-officer soldiers of Polish nationality.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  18:11, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, that's what russian documents say. By October 23, 1939 there were 85,074 polish POWs still in camps and at transfer points. 41,819 of them were from Western Poland, and had to be delivered to Germans. The 8,470 of the rest were officers and warrant officers (chorąży) to be delivered to Starobelsk and Kozelsk special camps, 4700 were police officers, etc., to be sent to Ostashkov camp, 18,000 NCO and privates were to be employed on roadworks (Rovno camp), and 10,000 NCO and privates were requested to work near Krivoj Rog (Катынь. Пленники необъявленной войны. сб.док. М., МФ "Демократия": 1999, сс.163-164). Out of the ~250,000 captured, about half were released by the army almost on the spot, and only 125,000 were delivered to NKVD. NKVD released 42,400 of them, 43,000 gave to Germans, and had the balance of 39,600 POWs by November 19, 1939. Of those, 8,500 were military officers and warrant officers, 6,500 were police officers, and 24,600 were NCOs and privates. (ibid., cc.208-210).Fat yankey 19:25, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
All right. I would just like to avoid the misinterpretation that half of those 250,000 who were released were of Belarusian or Ukrainian origin (unless this is what the source states?).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  21:03, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Source states that, but in non-documentary part, which makes it a conclusion, not a fact. And there is no documental proof, that most of the released were indeed of ukrainian or belorussian origin. But there is documental proof, that such were intentions of the Soviet government. And then again, if about a quarter of the population of Rzeczpospolita were belorussians and ukrainians, it's just naturally to guess, that about a quarter of the army were of that origin too. Given, that the men strength of Wojsko Polskie was about 1 million people, the estimation of 150-200 thousand of belorussian and ukrainian soldiers in the Eastern Poland looks sound enough.Fat yankey 21:44, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Good point, however the total numbers of Polish POWs was about 700,000 (see Invasion of Poland (1939) for details), out of which Soviet held ~250,000. Although assuming minorities had no reservations about joining Polish army (conscripts, seems logical) almost 1/3 of them would be non-Poles (as about 1/3 of SPR population were minorities), however Ukrainians and Belarusians would compromise only 17% of the total population (see Second_Polish_Republic#Minorities for details). This 17% of gives us closer to ~42,500. Thus if NKVD released ~125,000 out of their ~250,000, plus about 42,500 soon afterwards, thus assume in the ~167,500 released that way we have ~125,000 non-B. and non-U., thus not only did the NKVD release some Poles but I'd say that it's unlikely half of them were B. and U. (unless my math is wrong...?), and thus saying that majority of the released were B. and U. seems doubtful. I have adjusted the article's text to reflect this, feel free to correct me if I am wrong.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  23:44, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, you assume uniform B&U distribution among the units of the polish army, while I assume the concentration of B&U in the units formed in the eastern Poland, which is more natural, and has some factual proof. But I never thought that there were such many jews in Poland. I knew, that ethnical minorities were about 30% of Rzeczpospolita's population, and assumed, that most of them were B&U... Well, now I think it's better to change "belorussian and ukrainian" to "non-polish". And I agree, that non-officers of polish origin were also released, but the policy was to release ukrainian and belorusiian. Here we have the usual discrepancy between intentions and reality.Fat yankey 14:04, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
While I think that because of conscription and general mobilization eastern units would have higher proportion of B. and U., I think that the troops were rushed up to the western front, then mixed up, and thus whatever surrendered to the Soviets was probably more mixed and 'averaged' then you assume. Anyway, some more references would be nice, and if your source clearly states that the policy was to release b. and u., we should state it clearly in the article (actually, try to inline reference every one of your numbers - so in the future we can be certain that this number or fact comes from this reference).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  18:32, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Russian attitudes towards Katyn

I stumbled upon a nice academic refs on that subject: [40],[41] and the rest of the book.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  03:17, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Piotrus, it would be good if you took a little effort to read the sources before recommending them to others. This "nice academic ref" on the very page you link us to has this extraordinary claim: "At the Treaty of Riga... [Bolsheviks]... had to... accept a frontier close to the so-called Curzon Line." So, be careful with other claims you find in this "nice academic ref". --Irpen 04:45, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Umm, aren't you grasping straws? Close is very ambigous, and Lenin was certainly unhappy with the border; certainly at some point he wanted the border to be much further west - i.e. direct border with Germany. Besides, the book was published by Routledge, are you disputing credibility of this publisher? Or of it's author?-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  20:26, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
However ambiguos is "close", the "close to the CL border" is something Stalin got in 1939 and in 1945. One can reasonably call the 1945 border "close" to 1939 but no reasonable person would call a 1920 border "close" to the 1939≈1945≈Curzon line. Just check any of the Halibutt's maps around or go to any other source with maps. I am saying nothing about the general credentials of the author or the publisher. Maybe the author's specialization lie in different field. All I am saying that the very page you refer us to contains a major blunder which undermines the credibility of the source, at least in these matters. --Irpen 02:36, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
While I agree it's a rather strange statement, I wouldn't go as far and call it an error (per my reasins above), and saying it's 'a major blunder which undermines the credibility of the source' is rather too far. Still, I agree we should not use this as a source for Curzon line or Polish border - it is somewhat confusing for that. But as for Katyn massacre and Russian prisoners from PSW that's completly irrelevant.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  02:55, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Curzon linia.jpg

So, the statement that the interwar SP border went close to the CL is not even an error according to you? I refer you to the map. The difference is in the grey color. Close? Not an error? Historically, it is a plain blunder. --Irpen 07:06, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

I think Piotrus was trying to explain above that Curzon line was not relevant to the Katyn massacre. --Lysytalk 09:47, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
I was trying to say that the source that would claim that the interwar Polish western border went along Oder-Neisse line would raise suspicions about it realiability. Saying that the east border went along the Curzon line is no less a blunder. --Irpen 23:08, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Close is not 'on the line. As I told you, it was closer to that line that the border of the PLC, and from the other direction, like closer than before the fall of the Empire (but after the partitions). So while it is somewhat confusing, from certain perspectives it is quite correct.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  06:13, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
? --Irpen 06:37, 31 October 2006 (UTC)


Genocide is an exptremly loaded word. The cat implies the applicability of it being universal or near-universal. There is no such thing here. The cat addition was not discussed either. I accept the need for the sourced discussion of the term's applicability with the reader left to decide but not the pre-judgement of such discussion by the дщфвув cat stamped over an entire article. This is a very serious matter and imporper cat of such strength as cat:Genocide warrants a global "POV" tag over the whole article.

Finally, this remark by Piotrus is heavily misplaced. I did not mark my change minor and supplied a totally clear edit summary. --Irpen 00:56, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

You didn't. Ghirla did, and I object to masking important edits as minor. Now that you have presented your POV I don't intend to reintroduce this cat to article without first discussing it here, but please, teach Ghirla the difference between minor and major edits.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  01:26, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Apparently Soviet Union itself agreed this was a genocide; especially in light of the Nuremberg Trials - see here: The view whereby the extermination of Polish citizens is an act of genocide was also expressed in the USSR's stance during the trial of Nazi war criminals before the Nuremberg Tribunal after the end of World War II. .-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  03:07, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Piotrus, I thought you could do better than to bring frivolous arguments that refer to the Soviet propaganda attempt to reassign the responsibility for this event. I view such act as bad faith. I don't want to revert war with you but adding cat:Genocide is extremely serious and just cannot be done based on Soviet propaganda statements. Since you persist with such strong stuff as cat genocide without the proper justification, I am POV-tagging the article. Feel free to remove the tag along with the cat if you change your mind. --Irpen 03:49, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
This category is not added 'based on Soviet propaganda', it is based on decisions of Nuremberg Trial, United Nations and Polish government. Unless you can provide some sources which trump that, the category stays - and the POV tag does not. PS. I find your view of Soviet propaganda interesting: it is ok when it suits your views (for example, claims Polish attrocities during PSW) but not ok when it condemns Soviet Union itself :( Soviet Union and Allies agreed that Katyn was a genocide during Nurember Trials. That Soviet Union - and Russia - later renouced that declaration when it became apparent that it, not Germany, committed the massacre does not change the fact that Nuremberg and most of the world consider it a genocide.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  03:52, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Piotrus, Nuremberg judges specifically declined the Soviet request to opine on Katyn because they saw that the Soviet request was fishy from the onset. Soviets were eager to move the responsibility for Katyn to the Nazis and used the strongest possible language to convince the tribunal. Your accusations of myself relying on Soviet propaganda in other articles pointedly lack diffs and do not warrant a response. --Irpen 04:01, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

After considering applicable guidelines (see no.8) I can agree to a removal of cat:genocide pending further discussion. As for your usage of Soviet propaganda, cursory glance at who uses Isaac Babel and Red Cavalry stories (sic!) as reference for the controversies of the Polish-Soviet War is enough, I believe, to show that you have not shied away from using such dubious sources in the past.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  04:16, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Piotrus, please do not lie, especially when it is so easy to check. In the article in question, the Babel's work that is used as a source is not his Red Cavalry, a fiction book, but the 1920 Diary, ISBN 0300093136, a recently translated in English documentary witness account published in 2002 by Yale University Press with highly acclaiming reviews. Please try to come up with something else. --Irpen 04:26, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Acusing one of lies is not a productive strategy, Irpen. Although you might have not used Red Stories directly, you had used Isaac Babel works, and there is little difference between propagand in stories and the diary they are based on. From [42]: The exhaustion and revulsion expressed in the diary contrast with the propaganda he simultaneously penned.[...] These contradictions survive in the Red Cavalry stories.. That is not to say that Babel works are not valuable: far from it, they are a valuable source and a literary masterpiece - but one we should treat with caution, as their bias is self-evident. Or will you try to argue that the '1920 diaries' and Isaac Babel other works were not pro-Soviet?-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  05:15, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Piotrus, you said that I used Red Cavalry. This was a false statement and I called it as such. Now you try a second round. What do you mean I "might have not used Red Stories directly". Whether I might have not or I did not is seen in the references list. Look, read... o-o-ops, I did not indeed. So, your statement was false. Even the source you claim states that the diary "contrasts" the propaganda. 1920 work is pro-neither. It is a documentary account of events. I am not using "other works". He wrote his diary for himself and did not intend it to be published. You can read selected pages of the Diary in google books and good luck finding any propaganda there. Maybe start from pp. 4, 7, 10, 26, 33, 57, 84. I already told you, try something else. --Irpen, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

As a newcomer, I don't see how the POV tag nor the genocide category applies to this article. Tempshill 17:01, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

The Jan Masaryk connection

A book I read "long ago" said that one of the medical experts from occupied territories brought in by the Germans to investigate the remains was later involved in the post mortem of Jan Masaryk. Jackiespeel 14:48, 16 November 2006 (UTC)


Isn't this article a bit... detailed? Sure its accurate and everything, but I discovered large articles tend to discourage reading. It is a featured article after all, though. Has anyone thought/discussed this? Colonel Marksman 04:07, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

The absolute worst habit of Wikipedia is that it for some reason wishes to trim articles that are "too large". Nevermind the fact that large articles are simply very complete and thorough; it seems that they're just not wanted for some reason. I disagree, and think that large articles are fine. Most articles are actually much too short, and this article's size is simply what I expect of a good encyclopedia. —msikma <user_talk:msikma> 09:31, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
PS: an encyclopedia is there to be useful, it's not a magazine or anything like that. Its purpose is not to be "fun to read" per se. —msikma <user_talk:msikma> 09:33, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
I don't think this article is too long, but I can't resist saying I disagree with your general statement. Suppose that everything about World War II were stuffed into that article. Articles are meant to be concise in an encyclopedia because they are summaries and overviews; and so that they will be read. Tempshill 17:03, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I read the entire article. Its a good article just leave it the way it is. --Aegisxgundam 05:45, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

For those who fear long articles we always have the lead. Just read the lead and ignore the rest ;) //Halibutt 09:38, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Halibutt here as far as the general approach is conserned. Moving stuff to subarticle may be warranted when the stuff is redundant but not to simply shorten the article that seems "too long". Perhaps the subject is worthy. For instance, Piotrus lately moved stuff out of the Polish-Soviet War despite my fierce protests and now the material is staying on the backburner with no one caring. Another problem with such material removal is that the duplication creates separate articles evolving on their own creating extra work for editors and possibility of intra-wikipedia contradictions. Example of an acceptable spin-off is when the article contains a redundant section arbitrary pasted into it while its content should be integrated by being rearranged among the properly structured sections. But I don't see a case for that here now. The flow is chronological: prelude, events, post-events development (also in chronological order). No need to create subarticles as of now. --Irpen 09:46, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Agreeing about the general approach, I think that the Controversies of the Polish-Soviet War which I split formed just such a subsection which is better of in it's separate article. And yes, it is a truth that much fewer people care to browse subarticles - but we cannot pack 'everything' into this one.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  17:28, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

subject of vandalism

There is some vandalism in the 'Preperations' section as of 8:42 est 11/16/06

Be bold and fix it, then, please. Tempshill 16:56, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

4:35 on 16 November... the page comes up as 5 or 6 different pictures of Bernie Mac doing a "Black Face"... and when I go to the 'edit this page' tab it shows the normal text that should be displayed... but in the history it shows its different... help? Matt107bghs 21:36, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Don't worry, that is probably some tiny delay or cache issue. Front page articles are subject to a torrent of vandalism, but it rarely lasts longer then several seconds.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  22:55, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

confusion about the name Sikorski.

One of the generals that was killed was Franciszek Sikorski. The head of the Polish government-in-exile was Władysław Sikorski.

Who is the general Sikorski that is discussed throughout? At times it seems he was one of the perpetrators, as he is described as being used by the Germans as keeping the rift alive. At other times he seems not.

Is Władysław Sikorski a general? It's not stated. If so, he could be the General Silorski.

Djfeldman 14:52, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

In almost all cases Sikorski would refer to Władysław Sikorski; he was much, much more famous than Franciszek Sikorski.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  20:41, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

German-found evidence

Germans and the international commission, which was invited by Germany, investigated the Katyn corpses and soon produced physical evidence that the massacre took place in early 1940, at a time when the area was still under Soviet control.

Can someone add what exactly this evidence was? Seems that it might play an important or pivotal role in the whole story and the vague description doesn't inform the reader much. The cited reference is a book I don't own, so I can't look it up easily. Tempshill 16:58, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Yeltsin Picture

Borys J 20:39, 16 November 2006 (UTC)Borys_J

I corrected a title of the photos with Yeltsin celebrating the monument of Katyn's victims - it was not at Katyn Cemetery but in Warsaw cemetery, during a visit of Yeltsin in Poland. The monument exist at Warsaw's ancien Military Cemetery Powazki

Powązki Cemetery, if you want to link it.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  20:43, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

First Paragraph

...landowners, factory owners, being really gay(like Joey Moreno) and officials."[6]

The article cited as source six makes no reference to anyone named Joey Moreno, extremely homosexual or otherwise. This name is not mentioned in the article otherwise.

Vandalism? 22:32, 17 November 2006 (UTC)TimS


While it is unquestionable that a few hundred polish nationals (up to 400) were executed for crimes against the Soviet state in Kharkov and Kalinin, other executions are a bit eerie. While the president of the Russian Federation admitted that the massacre was done by the NKVD, he is not a COURT to decide, and, to my knowledge, it was not yet solved in COURT. Thus, despite the evidence implicating that the massacre is a work of NKVD, it has not yet been made final. Also, there are interesting problems. For example, the article states that the poles were shot in the back of the head. My sources indicate same thing - 98.5% of the dead were shot in the back of the head, the rest - in the back of the neck. However, the poles executed in Kharkov and Kalinin show a different pattern - 60% are shot in the neck, with the rest getting shot in the back of the head. What is the difference between the two ways of execution? When shot in the head, it doesn't nessesarily mean instant death, but is simpler to do, while shooting in the back of the neck requires twisting the hand with the gun in such a way so that the bullet severs the nerves, causing instant death. Oh, and did I mention that the poles in Kharkov and Kalinin are shot with russian weapons, while it's widely known that the "NKVD" somehow used german weapons in Katyn. Also, supposedly exhumations turned up newspapers. I suggest all of you who believe that it is possible, to go get some newspaper, wrap them in cloth and bury them for a year. It is not gonna be readable. Another thing - the documents this page gives as proof seem fake. I can't quite put my finger on it yet, but something is out of place in them. However, it is too early to say they are fake. So supposedly the documents show Soviet motivation (although it goes much against Soviet legal practice, and is much more befitting the Germans); so, could Germany have a motivation to blame Katyn on USSR? Certainly. Could the Polish government have a motive to blame Soviets over Germans? Certainly - after all, this government in exile was at war with the USSR, and it had to be justified to the Western Allies. Did the late government of the USSR have a motive to lie? Certainly - they were traitors/fools after all. To summarize - this is still quite a controversial topic. With respect, Ko Soi IX 22:25, 27 November 2006 (UTC)


It's unbelievable someone still tries to deny that USSR is responsible for the massacre. first of all, Ko Soi IX these few hundreds executed in Kharkov and Kalinin haven't committed any crime: they were fighting against soviet invasion. NKVD has used German guns because soviet ones were getting overheated after some time. Do not forget, on corpses in Katyn have been found injuries made with soviet bayonets. I am not going to comment your theory concerning faking documents, I don't have any knowledge about how paper behaves in soil. When the graves were discovered Polish government was not in state of war wits USSR: see Sikorski-Mayski Agreement. Only when Poles had asked the Red Cross to investigate the case, Soviets accused Poles of supporting Nazis and created "Polish communistic government". It was very beneficial for Soviets: they had a pretext to occupy Poland and incorporate it's eastern part into USSR.

Finally, it has been solved in court: 1946

: Soviets accused some Germans of Katyn, but the Germans were found innocent. So, if no Germans then who?

I hope I've clarified the whole thing. Anyway, it was a strange experience: like explaining someone that the Nazi concentration camps were created by Nazis, not by Soviets.

Verification of Bodies

Have the bodies of the purportedly executed Polish officers actually been found? If not, then these claims are just as meaningless as the propaganda put out against the mass graves in Kosovo that were never found.

Read the article first. --Beaumont (@) 08:08, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

22 bodies have been identified. So then how do you get around to 21k+ executed? How do you verify this?

Read the article carefully (sigh). For verification, we have burden of sources (just have a look at WP:VER). EOT --Beaumont (@) 09:02, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Oh, and the bodies of Kosovo were found alright. Even in Serbia. --HanzoHattori 00:48, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Info about estimates is completely wrong

"Estimates of the number of Polish citizens executed at three mass-murder sites in the spring of 1940 range from 1,803[2] and 14,540[3][4] to 21,857[1] and over 28,000 on the high end.["

1803 is not an estimate but a sum of all bodies exhumed by Soviet and Russian authorities, which is a minimum number of the Poles "established" to have been killed (basically, a technicality).

28,000 is not an estimate AT ALL.

21,857 does not pertain to THREE places of execution.

What dumb ignoramus wrote this?

--Sergey Romanov 06:44, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Each of the numbers has got a footnote. Just follow the footnote, check the author of the publication and - voila! //Halibutt 01:15, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Recent developments

Moscow's court refuses to investigate Katyn: Polish article.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  04:35, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Katyn death toll

Piotrus, you removed my death toll saying that it is based on "Russian newspaper". It is not. It is based on original Russian documents published in Russia. If you wish I will scan one of them with the number 15,131 for three camps (which, summed with 7,305, gives that larger number). If you live in Poland, then all these documents will also be available to you in the joint Polish-Russian edition of Katyn documents. Don't be lazy, check it out ;-)

I am going to put the number back. --Sergey Romanov 11:30, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

There were several problems with your reference (Data combined from Shelepin's letter to Khrushchev and Soviet data from 03.12.1941 UPVI note in Katyn. 1940-2000, Moscow, "Ves' mir", 2001, pp. 384, 385). It's not online, this not easily verifiable. The language is not specified, nor is the ISBN. Those are minor issues, but reliable surces like IPN give slightly different number, so this is the reason for a change. But feel free to add your number back, with updated reference - but don't remove the other well referenced number (just give a range).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  13:50, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Frankly, I don't think that the book not being online is a "problem". ;-) ISBN is 5-7777-0160-4
Just because the book might not be easily verifiable to someone is not a problem either. In fact, I was complaining about verifiability of some obscure German sources in the "Red Army atrocities" article, and got an answer that it's perfectly OK for a source not to be easily available.
But, as I said, I can scan facsimile of one of the original documents from this book, if anyone wishes. Also, anyone living in Poland, or someone in the US with an access to a good uni. library can check the Polish edition of the 4-vol. Russian-Polish publication of Katyn docs. (3 vols. have been published to date).
As an alternative, one may consult Sanford's book at Google Books [43]. Type 131 in the search window and the first link will be the relevant page. (Although Sanford prefers Shelepin's figure, he doesn't deal with the fact that Shelepin only had the personal files of murdered Poles at his disposal, and it is the number of these files that was the basis of Shelepin's figures. But a certain amount of files might have vanished for whatever reasons. And Soprunenko's recurring 15131 figure suggests that this is the case.)
Finally, one may Google [44]--Sergey Romanov 16:58, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
JFYI, here's info about those Polish volumes.[45]--Sergey Romanov 17:02, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Piotrus has vandalized a version of this article which includes an estimate of 1,803 killed cited by a Russian government official. It is going to be included.


Who found the remains of the massacre at the first place? Just and coincidentally Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff discovered the mass graves for the first time!

See Talk:Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  20:59, 30 March 2007 (UTC)


-Were these Polish civilians or military figures (soldiers, officers, etc)? -Did the Soviet Union confirm these reports? -If so, who exactly in the SU confirmed it?


Please read the article, all of that is answered there.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  20:59, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Falsification of sources by User:Piotrus

User Piotrus has inserted the following text "NKVD secret police had in fact committed the massacres of over 22,000 Polish soldiers and intelligentsia and the subsequent cover-up".edit. He referenced this text to the following link I publish here the text of BBC article.

Russia to release massacre files

Victims' families want the killings to be recognised as genocide The Russian government has agreed to allow the Polish authorities to examine Soviet archives on what Poles call the Katyn Forest massacre of 1940. More than 20,000 Polish soldiers were killed by the Soviet secret police at the start of World War II.

It is clear that user Piotrus falsified and added original research to the article, since he claims that 22,000 were killed. And he added to the soldiers, "intelligentsia and the subsequent cover-up". These texts by Piotrus are original research and should be removed as Lies and Propaganda.

Next case is:

It is applied now also to the execution of prisoners of war held at Starobelsk and Ostashkov camps,[1] and political prisoners in West Belarus and West Ukraine,[2] shot on Stalin's orders at Katyn Forest, at the NKVD (Narodny Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del) Smolensk headquarters and at a slaughterhouse in the same city,[3], as well as at prisons in Kalinin (Tver), Kharkiv, Moscow, and other Soviet cities.[4]

Only one link is actually relevant to the statement - it is the book (ksiazka) of Zawodny. Other links do not support such statements. It follows that somebody has forged and made original research on the subject.Vlad fedorov 16:14, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

BBC source was a little confusing, I removed some unecessary details. The sources support the statements. Your accusations of propaganda in this FA-class article are amusing, but don't disrupt the article with your unreferenced claims and opinions.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  16:29, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Could you support your insertion of 22000 killed by any sentence in this source? If no, then please stop publishing your falsifications. I have caught your falsification once here and I have caught your falsification in article Persecution of political bloggers where you have restored the same kind of false text. So please do not use Wikipedia as a Soapbox. You anti-russian bias is clearly seen from your edits. Rating of this article matters nothing actually, because I guess its rating was the same kind of fest we have seen at Internet Troll Squads AfD and subsequent Deletion Review. Vlad fedorov 03:29, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
The 21,768 can be clearly supported by multitude of sources; there are higher estimates too. News sites change and when it was added in April 2004 it quite possibly had the 22,000 figure (closer to the common estimates than 20,000) and was changed afterwards. Your accusations of falsification, anti-russian bias, vandalism and others are in violation of the WP:NPA policy. If you continue, be warned that it may lead to suspension of your editing priviliges (just like WP:3RR violations).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  05:59, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

False accusation by Vlad

Just a note that regardless of the merit of this content dispute, most of Piotrus' speculations of what does and what does not violate WP:NPA are his own and not Wikipedia's. Invoking NPA at convenience and using it as a weapon in content disputes has become an all to familiar theme. --Irpen 06:07, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Fortunatly, Wikipedia has not yet degenerated to a level where Usenet flaming goes unpunished, and despite your valiant efforts on this field, WP:CIV is still enforced - albeit I'll grant you that it's not easy, and badmouthing of one's opponents is becoming more and more common.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  16:45, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Piotrus, please no empty statements like your endless accusations of those who just disagree with you in PA. Please quote the NPA policy in connection with any of the entry above. If you can't, please desist and discuss content and not contributors. --Irpen 16:55, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Insulting or disparaging an editor is a personal attack. If you don't think the above post was insulting, please give me permission to call you a lier with anti-Polish bias out to get a revenge (which for the record I don't think you are but I wonder if you'd feel insulted if called that?).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  17:21, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Piotrus, in this thread Vlad Fedorov comments on your actions which he is entitled to do It is very tempting to pretend being insulted and as such brush off the criticism of your actions but I advise you against this as such grand standing looks very unconvincing. As for your asking me for a permission to call me things, you have already done it. I've already heard all sorts of such accusations, including from you and your friends and being accused in incompatible national biases from different sides assures me that I am doing the right thing overall. So, to answer you, when (not if) you and your friends called me things, I did not feel "insulted" as these accusations are too lunatic to touch a raw nerve. And no, I did not threaten to seek any sanctions or rsort to posts to various boards and admin talk pages. --Irpen 17:40, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

So when you and your friends call people names it's 'commenting on others actions' - which, mind you, is specifically forbidden by WP:NPA (Comment on content, not on the contributor). But when those you 'commented' on feel insulted (gosh, wonder why they don't like to be called vandals and liers...), it's personal attacks. Irpen, I see no further point in discussing this with people who call white black and black white. Feel free to insult me again, I am not going to reply - but yes, I may report this to appropriate place, as much as I know it pains you that this is possible.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  18:14, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Piotrus, show me an incident when I called you names? Yes, I commented on your edits and said that they are biased. This is not the same as calling you a Russophobe or even a Polish nationalist (which is less offensive), while you indeed called me names. The possibility that you will go another reporting round does not bother me, contrary to your assertion, because I never gave you an excuse for a meritorious complaint and your frivolous complaints have been repeatedly rebuffed by the users who watched the boards were you placed them. The best thing you could do in response to the criticism of the content of your edits is address the criticism of content. You usually more conveniently choose to deflect the argument by baselessly invoking all sorts of policies. Just stick to the issues please. --Irpen 19:48, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Piotrus, it is NOT a personal attack. For instance, one can call Charles Manson a murderer, and it is not a personal attack; or call Hitler a Nazi and it's not a personal attack. Or call Bonnie and Clyde thieves, that is still not a personal attack, although certainly not necessarily nice or wanted. He is calling your edits into question, perhaps you should defend your questioned actions instead of accusing him of attacking you. this is criticism, not personal attacks.
--Jadger 18:17, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

And how is all this related to the article that is supposed to be discussed here ? --Lysytalk 18:23, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

this was a part of the discussion that you just separated it from. Piotrus wrote things and cited them to articles that did not actually contain such information, and in some cases made it up. Piotrus called foul when his edits were called into question.
--Jadger 18:25, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Piotrus did not write those things. That is, Piotrus wrote most of the article, yes, but the disputed 22,000 number was added to the incorrect reference by anon Claiming that I added it to the article is a lie; the diff cited by Vlad has nothing to do with that number or me adding it. The only relevant diff in addition to anon's vandalism is the fact that I reverted it when it was brought up. Some people should apologize for their extreme bad faith and straw man logic shown above. EOT.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  20:02, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
You have reverted my corrections (including those of numbers) labelling them as "unreferenced bad translations" edit. By reverting the numbers you have shared opinion of that anonymous user. You have also "threatened" me that you could produce links to more higher numbers (which you still haven't produced). I leave aside the fact that in revenge you have reported my 3RR violation. Vlad fedorov 07:15, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
First, please use better edit summaries. Your edit had four elements: 1) unreferenced assertion that "Currently Polish authors are applying this [the term Katyn massacre] to every execution of Polish individuals" 2) change of number 22,000 to 20,000 3) grammaticaly incorrect assertiont that the poster is "on Ukrainian language" and 4) grammaticaly incorrect statement "Russian authorities insist that killing of militarians can not be classified as 'genocide' by international definitions" that is only repeating what is stated two paragraphs above. The first and last part of your edit are lessening the quality of th earticle; the second is rather hard to find in text and I simply missed, and third is confusing because of grammar errors - so I revert you noting problems with language. While Wikipedia welcomes users with less-than-perfect English language proficiency (like myself) if you contribute to Featured class articles, be prepared that confusing/poorly worded/unreferenced edits will be reverted much more often in those articles; as they adhere to above-average standards of quality. Your reaction to being reverted - accusation of falsification and revenge - are certainly out of place, and violate WP:NPA. I'd strongly advice you to avoid such behaviour in the future - despite some 'pats on the back' by users who encourage this behaviour, take my word that this is not a good way to behave. Anyway, if you have content related concerns, we can discuss those here; if you have concerns about my behaviour, take it to WP:DR. I am not going to reply to more personal attacks here. PS. And if you break 3RR again don't expect more tolerance. PS.2 As for higher estimates, I don't need any threats - the article states already that Soviet leaders signed an order to exectute 25,700 Poles.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  20:33, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Signed an order doesn't necessarily means they have killed them. You still have to provide references for such assertions. Furthemore the whole number relates not to Katyn massacre, but to all of the instances of killing Polish POW's by Russian army. So how could this article be rated if it messes all things in one article. It is evident that the whole article is aimed to exaggerate and confuse the reader. Although it is titled Katyn massacre it features others instances and doesn't even mentions massacres by Poles of Belarusian population and murders of Russian POW's.Vlad fedorov 08:12, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
I think we should congratulate Piotrus with his A-article having such ambiguous sentence about the number of Poles killed in Katyn: "At least 21,768[2] Polish POWs and prisoners were murdered in Katyn forest, Kalinin (Tver) and Kharkov prisons and elsewhere.". This is A grade in misattribution. I hope the word 'elsewhere" doesn't mean killing a Pole by Russian in a Northen Pole? Vlad fedorov 08:15, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

As Irpen stated, you set up a straw man yourself by using a misrepresentation of the NPA rule. But then again, that is tu quoque, better known as "look who's talking".

--Jadger 06:09, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

No, this is nown as ad hominem. But I don't intend to continue this mud fight anymore. EOT.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  00:40, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Grammar so poor there is no adjective for it

"More specifically, presented by the Soviet charge the Burdenko report, in spite of the reserves[5]of the Anglo-Saxons, was accepted on grounds of the article 21[6] and coded as URSS-54. The German White Book of 1943 was accepted on grounds of the article 19[7]with, as had underlined it the president of the court,[8] a potential convincing value; the course of the debates would make this adjective pointless. The intransigence of the Soviets to reveal Katyn in the bill of indictment was driven by the final objective: to quote it in the verdict. To this end, summoning of some witnesses was refused.[9]"

I omitted the above section of the "Soviet-run Trials" section because only two of the references it cites actually point to researchable texts and the grammar and writing style is horrendous to a point that I can do nothing about it; I simply do not know what the author of the paragraph is trying to say. Someone please help me with this, preferably the original poster of this information. Leopold III 00:29, 13 April 2007 (UTC)Leopold III

  1. ^ Zawodny, Janusz K., Death in the Forest: The Story of the Katyn Forest Massacre, University of Notre Dame Press, 1962, ISBN 0-268-00849-3 partial html online
  2. ^ Excerpt from the minutes No. 13 of the Politburo of the Central Committee meeting, shooting order of March 5, 1940 online, last accessed on 19 December 2005, original in Russian with English translation
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference Fischer was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference ipn_eng_news_high_katyn_decision was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ According to the formula of Annette Wieviorka, these reserves can be interpreted like a tacit consent of the Soviet culpability, "Le procès de Nuremberg", Editions Ouest-France, 1995, p. 92
  6. ^ Article 21: The Court will not require that the proof of a publicly known fact be provided, but will hold them for asset. It will also consider as authentic proofs the documents and official reports of the United Nations governments, including those drawn up by the commissions established in the various Allied countries, for the investigations into the war crimes as well as the official reports of the hearings and the decisions of the military courts or other courts of any of the United Nations.
  7. ^ Article 19: The Court will not be bound by the technical rules related to the management of the evidence. It will adopt and apply as much as possible an expeditious and nonformal procedure, and will admit any means which it estimates of a convincing value.
  8. ^ Procès des grands criminels de guerre devant le Tribunal Militaire International de Nuremberg, Tristan Mage, 1993-98, XVII, p.277-380 for the two sessions consecrated to the Katyn masacre
  9. ^ Three German officers present in 1943 were accepted by the court (on six asked by defense), while prof. Neville, teaching the forensic medicine in Geneva and member of the International Commission of 1943 have been refused. The charge correlatively obtained the presentation of three witnesses, inclyding prof. Markov, Bulgarian and member of this same commission, "pesuaded" by the Soviets with the known means of pressure, as well as the president of the Soviet Commission, Burdenko, which was also the president of the medical Academy of Science of the USSR.