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Poland marks 75th anniversary of Soviet invasion

During an official ceremony Wednesday to mark the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Poland by the Soviet Red Army at the start of World War II Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski unveiled, in the Warsaw Citadel, the future site of Katyn Museum, a memorial plaque commemorating victims of Stalin's secret police (NKVD).

On Sept. 17, 1939, despite a Polish-Soviet non-aggression pact of 1932, the Red Army marched into then-eastern Poland, now in Ukraine. The Soviet Union acted on a secret pact reached with Nazi Germany in late August 1939 which agreed that the whole of Poland would be divided and annexed by the two countries.

One of the most painful episodes connected with the Soviet invasion was, in the spring of 1940, the killing, by NKVD, of some 22,000 Polish military officers and intellectuals in Katyn, western Russia, in an attempt to eliminate a swath of the country's elite.Victims were shot in the head from behind, and shoved into mass graves.


Soviet Russia only admitted to the atrocity in April 1990 after blaming the Nazi Germany for five decades.

Unearthing the truth about the 1940 Katyn Massacre was a major fundament of free Poland, President Komorowski said during the ceremony. It constituted "an essential experience of importance both for building a new Polish identity based on knowledge and tradition, and for the triumph of Poland's freedom expressed in the disclosure of the truth about the Katyn killings and a whole array of matters connected with September 17, 1939", Komorowski said.

Zbigniew Wawer, head of the Polish Military Museum whose branch the future Katyn Museum will be, called the Katyn executions "a Polish national hecatomb" and stressed that the killings would never have taken place without the Soviets' invasion of Poland.

Also on Wednesday in Strasbourg MEPs from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania signed a declaration commemorating the Soviet Union's aggression against the countries of Central Europe. The MEPs appealed for a halt to "the relativization of the Soviet Union's evil" and reminded that the Soviets' pact with Nazi Germany made them co-responsible for the outbreak of WWII.

source: warsawvoice.pl

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