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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

US senators commemorate 1940 massacre of Poles by Soviets

17.04.2020 13:30
Three American senators have announced a resolution commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre of Polish officers and civilians in Soviet Russia during World War II.
A Polish memorial site in the Katyn Forest, near the city of Smolensk in western Russia.
A Polish memorial site in the Katyn Forest, near the city of Smolensk in western Russia.Photo: PAP/Wojciech Pacewicz

The resolution, spearheaded by Republican Senator Jim Risch and Democrats Bob Menendez and Dick Durbin, honours the lives and legacy of the victims of the murder.

It also recognises those who fought to tell the truth of the massacre despite a Soviet cover-up campaign, and condemns efforts by the present-day Russian government to spread disinformation about the history of World War II.

The bipartisan resolution will be formally introduced when the US Senate reconvenes.

Jim Ritch serves as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and co-chair of the US Senate Poland Caucus.

He said that the "Russian Federation’s attempts to cover up the truth about this crime and spread disinformation about the massacre and the history of World War II are unacceptable, and I stand with the Polish people in encouraging continued education of the facts of this tragic event.”

Some 22,000 Polish prisoners of war and intellectuals were killed in the spring of 1940 on orders from top Soviet authorities in what is known as the Katyn Massacre.

Following the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, thousands of Polish officers were deported to camps in the Soviet Union.

POWs from camps in Kozelsk, Starobelsk and Ostashkov as well as Poles held in prisons run by the Soviet Union's NKVD secret police were among those murdered in April 1940.

(mk/gs)

Source: US Embassy Warsaw