Central and Eastern Europe, International Journalism and PR

Anniversary of the first transport of prisoners directed for execution in Katyn

Katyn Massacre

On April 3, 1940, from the camp in Kozielsk, which was one of three large camps for Poles, the first transport of prisoners directed for execution set off to Katyn.

In the spring of 1940, fulfilling the VKP(b) CC Politburo resolution from 5 March 1940, the Soviet political police – the NKVD of the USSR – has killed nearly 22,000 citizens of the Republic of Poland. Among them there were 14 500 prisoners of war – officers and policemen – from the camps in Kozelsk, Starobelsk and Ostashkov and 7,300 prisoners arrested in the eastern part of the Poland, occupied by the USSR.

The officers from Kozielsk camp were shot in Katyn, those from Starobielsk – in Kharkiv, while the police officers from Ostashkov camp were shot in Kalinin. Execution of prisoners was carried out in prisons in Minsk, Kiev, Kharkov and Kherson.

The USSR authorities decided to kill thousands of defenseless prisoners because they did not succumb to the propaganda carried out against them and have remained the ardent patriots, ready to fight for a free Poland against the Soviet occupant.

Photo: One of mass graves at Katyn, 1943.

Source: “Zbrodnia katyńska w świetle dokumentów / z przedm. Władysława Andersa” , author unknown, public domain: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Katyn_massacre_1.jpg