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  English-Speaking Witnesses To Katyn - Anglojęzyczni świadkowie Katynia
At the present moment, there is much extant literature on Katyn with books and thesis being produced on an annual basis.  The essential facts, which could have been a source of controversy during the war and the immediate post-war period


 
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ISBN: 9788390493237

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On July 24, 2012 the Muzeum Katyńskie of the Muzeum Wojska Polskiego published English-Speaking Witnesses To Katyn, the result of 2˝ years of in depth and ground breaking research by Krystyna Piórkowska. This research includes the discovery that U.S. Army POWs had been “registered code users” who sent information from the Oflag (POW camps for officers only) to the United States.
Source: Polish Museum Of America

On September 10, 2012 the U.S. National Archives announced the creation of an archival finding aid to the various sources for Katyń materials, and also declassified a number of files. Krystyna Piórkowska was allowed access to various declassified files shortly before that announcement, and it was during her work at the Archives in College Park that she located four different documents confirming her theory, that the U.S. Army prisoners had, in fact, well prior to 1945, advised the U.S. government of the visit to Katyń and their assessment of guilt. Many of the documents that were in U.S. hands were not released, even during the days of the Cold War, when the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were in fierce global competition

The purpose of this book's research and the questions raised (and now answered) in the author's own words.

"At the present moment, there is much extant literature on Katyn with books and thesis being produced on an annual basis.  The essential facts, which could have been a source of controversy during the war and the immediate post-war period: the question of responsibility for the massacre of the Polish officer – does not need to be a subject of research.  That does not, of course, mean that we know everything possible about the Stalinist crime of 1940.  
My interest lies firstly in the restricted area of the circumstances involved with the German announcement of the Soviet crime, and more specifically, the visit of the English-speaking POWs to Katyn.  This issue has been treated as an aside until now, and no complex attempt has been made to answer the following questions:
·         Is it possible to determine what the initial German concept, which lay at the basis of sending the POWs to Katyn, and how did this concept alter as a result of circumstantial occurrences,
·         How was the group formed, who were its members initially, and ultimately who were the members,
·         What occurred during the trip to Katyn and the visit to the burial sites, what conclusions did the POWs reach as to the guilty party (and in the most human of ways how did they respond to what they had seen there),
·         Why did not German propaganda utilize the POW visit to disseminate information about Katyn.
Closely related to this matter is the 1944 visit of English-speaking correspondents to Katyn, which was organized by the Soviets.  Here my research concentrated on the following questions:
·         Who were the journalists who went to Katyn,
·         What was the content of the articles which they sent after their visit’
·          Did these correspondents write or state anything on the subject of the Katyn massacre, in addition to their wartime reports and their testimony to the Madden Committee.
The third matter which requires an in depth description, is involved with the issue of what the governments of the United States and Great Britain knew about their citizens presence in Katyn.  In this case, the questions were as follows:
·         When did the Western Allies discover that their soldiers had witnessed the crime of Katyn,
·         When and under what circumstance did these governments receive the first confirmation (reports) from the witnesses themselves – and more specifically, did these testimonies reach the „powers that be” prior to the end of World War II,
·         Which members of the POW group made reports and how did these reports define the issue of responsibility for the crime.
The fourth set of issues is involved with the post-1945 period.  During the immediate post-war period the Western powers were completely uninterested in delving into the Katyn massacre, and only in the early 1950s, in an altered political situation, did a serious investigation into the matter, which was conducted by a special Congressional Committee, generally known as the Madden Committee[1]. Although the creation of the Committee is well known, the set of circumstances which lead to its creation have been described only minimally. As a result, what needed to be studied was:
·         What were the specific steps undertaken in the United States, which preceded the creation of the Committee which studied the Katyn Massacre, and who undertook them, and how did they influence the procedures leading to the formation of said Committee,
·         How much of the Administration’s and Department of War actions during 1939-45, were disclosed by the Madden Committee,
·         Did the Katyn witnesses participate in the work of the Madden Committee, and if so how,
·         How did the British government approach the work of the Madden Committee.

The final area of my research consisted of a search for any reports, correspondence, or other documentation created by any member of the POW group, inclusive of those which had been made public (i.e. published or recorded) as well as those which remain essentially unknown."

Note [1] One must acknowledge to the everlasting credit of the United States, Polish-Americans and the „rabid American anti-communists” for the fact that in 1951-2 there was serious attempt at investigating the matter which entailed extensive research and exhibits – while Great Britain had never conducted any investigation in the matter.
Ms. Krystyna Piorkowska

Autorka książki, Krystyna Piórkowska, przedstawia niepublikowane nigdy wcześniej materiały dotyczące anglojęzycznych świadków Zbrodni Katyńskiej. Badania nad tematyką Zbrodni Katyńskiej dotychczas omijały sprawę świadków,  których przywieziono do Katynia w czasie ekshumacji przeprowadzanej przez Niemców (1943) jak i w trakcie prac sowieckiej komisji Burdenki (1944).  Najnowsze badania nie tylko ustaliły tożsamość nieznanych dotychczas świadków, ale też odkryły niepublikowany do tej pory raport brytyjskiego oficera.

W książce poznajemy  życiorysy  świadków - jeńców i dowiadujemy się o ich powojennych staraniach o utrwalenie wiedzy o mordzie katyńskim.  W toku prac badawczych ustalono kolejność wydarzeń, które doprowadziły do utworzenia Komitetu Maddena, badającego zbrodnię katyńską (1951-1952). Poznajemy również tryb w jakim Komitet mógł kontaktować się z nie-amerykańskimi świadkami-jeńcami w czasie przesłuchań. Dowiadujemy się też o ograniczeniach związanych z tymi kontaktami.

Prace badawcze są zaprezentowane w dwujęzycznym (angielsko-polskim) wydaniu, na podstawie badań dokonanych w archiwach od Nowej Zelandii po Kalifornię, od Wielkiej Brytanii po Południową Afrykę. Udowadniają one, że istnieje cały zasób jeszcze nie zbadanych materiałów na temat Katynia.
Features
  • Softcover
  • 151 pages in English
  • 150 pages in Polish
  • Black and white photographs and maps
  • 2012


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