Poland remembers Katyń Massacre victims murdered 81 years ago
Poland marked the 81st anniversary of the Katyń Massacre. Ceremonies took place across the country to honour the 22,000 victims, mainly army and police officers, who had been murdered by the NKVD on Stalin's orders in 1940.
April 13 in Poland is the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Katyń Massacre, perpetrated by the Soviet secret police the NKVD during WWII.
The victims, 22,000 Polish prisoners of war, were murdered in a series of executions in April and May of 1940 in several locations across the western Soviet Union.
The massacre was named after the Katyń Forest located in western Russia, where first mass graves had been discovered by Nazi Germany in 1943. The Soviets denied responsibility for the crime and blamed the Germans. It was only in 1990 when Russia officially acknowledged and condemned the mass murder.
"Today we honour the memory of Polish officers, policemen, and members of intelligentsia murdered by the Soviets during WWII" - President Andrzej Duda said on Tuesday during a brief ceremony at the Katyń Massacre monument in Warsaw's Old Town.
"I trust that all Poles, including Polish youth, remember those who never renounced their Polishness, their patriotism and dedication to their homeland" - the president added.
Earlier that day, Andrzej Duda also wrote a special message to commemorate the tragedy. "Inventors, entrepreneurs, officials, artists, sportsmen and journalists lost their lives. Faithful of various branches of Christianity, Judaism and Islam" - he wrote.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP