This special ebook provides a unique collection of government documents and reports about the notorious Katyn Forest Massacre of 1940. It includes the famous Madden Committee report which placed the blame for the atrocity on the Soviet Union.
On April 13, 1943, Americans awoke to a startling announcement from Radio Berlin: the disclosure that thousands of bodies of Polish officers had been found by the Germans in a remote wood near the Dneiper River called Katyn Forest. These men had been captured in the fall of 1939 by the Red Army and executed the following spring by the NKVD which later became the KGB. Until the German discovery all trace of these men had disappeared.
The German discovery put tremendous strain on the western alliance from the moment it was announced. Our mortal enemy had accused the Soviet Union, a great ally who had just defeated the Wehrmacht at Stalingrad, of the unspeakable crime of murdering prisoners of war. For many in the West, it appeared to be a cheap propaganda stunt by Joseph Goebbels. Perhaps the Germans had murdered the Poles and were merely covering their tracks by blaming the crime on the Soviets. But as more and more facts were collected, it became abundantly clear that the Russians, not the Germans, had the blood of the Poles on their hands.
Over the next two years the governments of the United States and Great Britain took great pains to hold together the Alliance with the Soviet Union and downplayed Soviet responsibility for the murders in Katyn Forest and at two other sites that took the lives of more than 14,000 Polish officers. Eyewitness reports that should have been made public were classified top secret and subsequently disappeared. An Ambassador to the Balkans was forbidden to disclose incriminating documents and photographs. Polish broadcasters were censored by the Office of War Information.
Finally, between September, 1951 and December, 1952, a Select Committee of the U.S. Congress stepped in to investigate this horrible crime. This committee held hearings in six cities and four countries, received testimony from 81 witnesses and took depositions from another 100 who could not appear in person. Its published report of 2,162 pages filled seven volumes. In many ways, this investigation was Congress at its best. It meticulously assembled a body of fact that left no doubt about its principal conclusions: first, that the Soviets were guilty; and second, that the State Department and Army Intelligence (G-2) had engaged in a determined effort to shield the American people from the truth.