The Symbolism of Katyn.  Allen Paul.

 

The massacre of 15,400 Polish officers in Katyn Forest near Smolensk, Russia, and at two other locations in 1940, has come to symbolize one of the greatest yet least known calamities  of the twentieth century - Stalin's attempt to liquidate the Polish intelligentsia. 

Moreover, during the joint Nazi-Soviet occupation between 1939 and mid - 1941, up to two million landowners, shopkeepers, teachers, and others-a large percentage of Polish leadership-were deported to Siberia, where all but a few died due to starvation, forced labor, or neglect. 

Their fate has remained largely invisible in the West, to this day. Allen Paul, author of Katyn, Stalin's Massacre and the Seeds of Polish Resurrection (Naval Institute Press, 1991, 1996), shows how the executions at Katyn came to typify a massive fifty-year effort to Sovietize Poland. 

In chronicling Stalin's brutal and diabolical methods to eliminate Poland's educated class and to destroy the Polish government, he explains the Polish people's ultimate triumph through courage, an abiding belief in themselves, and respect for the worth and dignity of human being.


 
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