Russian Duma Acknowledges That Stalin Personally Ordered Katyn Massacre

While democracy appears on the skids in Russia as Putin expands his power, there is one sliver of good news coming out of Moscow. The Duma has finally acknowledged that it was Josef Stalin himself who ordered the murder of roughly 20,000 Polish officers, intellectuals, and leaders in the forests of Katyn.

The Russians long denied the allegation and insisted that it was the Nazis who massacred the Poles. The Duma, however, agreed to release documents showing the massacre occurred on the direct order of Stalin and was carried out by the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, or NKVD.

In addition to the soldiers, lawyers were the largest group designated for execution — bringing new meaning to the statement from Henry VI that “the first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Hundreds of lawyers were shot. The Russians also killed 20 university professors and 300 physicians as well as poets, teachers, and other intellectuals. They were all executed as “nationalists and counterrevolutionaries.”

Hopefully, this latest atrocity to come to light will dampen efforts by some in Russia to rehabilitate this ruthless dictator. This includes a recent preposterous defamation lawsuit, here. Not only can you not defame the dead in the United States, but we recognize a narrow category of “libel-proof” individuals whose reputations are so bad that they cannot be harmed by defamation. A mass murdering psychopath like Stalin would appear a natural fit.

Source: Moscow Times

Jonathan Turley

22 thoughts on “Russian Duma Acknowledges That Stalin Personally Ordered Katyn Massacre”

  1. J. Brian Harris,

    Bravo. Bravo.

    We have met the enemy, and they are -us-.

    How many of us did *not* want revenge when the twin towers fell? Remember? How can one ever forget?? Now we got it, along with everything else in that particular Pandora’s Box.

    Of course we point everywhere but our own self.

    I’d long been hoping to see this acknowledgement come to light.

    Not particularly relevant to the thread… but I’d long been hoping to see this acknowledgement come to light.

  2. Isabel,

    As you say, “If only it were so.”

    In one of your earlier comments you said, “I don’t think Stalin or communists cornered the market on atrocities. I think there were people called Nazis who were equally vicious.”

    And the “equally vicious” walk among us today… (There’s so much good in this world, but we need to be vigilant.)

    (A sad ending for the sculptor… Having said this, he left something very powerful behind.)

  3. Anon Nurse-Yes, thank you. That’s the monument. Very affecting with the man’s hands tied behind his back and his distinctive Polish cap. I am not a Catholic, but it made my heart break to see the Virgin bending over the man. If only it were so.

    I don’t know if there are any monumnents in the Katyn Forest. I noted that the sculptor died in the plane crash last April. Very sad.

  4. AY…
    If you are referring to Lyndon Johnson, please remember protesters convinced him it was time to go. At least he was able to get some useful things done while in office. Unlike bush, who enough Americans voted to keep for another four years.

    I don’t think Stalin would leave because of civil unrest. He’d just shoot the protesters and their families, along with anyone else who happened by.

  5. And we should believe the Russians now because…? Russia’s pro-Stalinist Communist Party declares there were German bullets found in the bodies. And also they’re concerned about “crippling compensation claims”.

    ‘This is undoubtedly a Kremlin propaganda project to deal with image problems in the West,” Nikolai Petrov, Carnegie Centre analyst, told Vedomosti.’

    And Mr. Putin’s answer? – Nyet!

    “Our country has given an unambiguous political, legal, and moral assessment of the atrocities perpetrated by the totalitarian regime, and this assessment is not subject to revision,” he said.

    I hope that cross isn’t on public property – it seems to be outside of the cemetary.

  6. Ahhhhh. Pardon me then, AY. Not enough caffeine and/or sleep on my part.

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

  7. AY,

    The dead people people had relatives is my point. They’d have had to commit Polish genocide to get to every relation and that discounts relations living in a foreign jurisdiction at the time of the massacre.

  8. Buddha….Thats the problem….No one was left standing….they all fell down….

  9. As Stalin was a monster, I’m less surprised by his personal involvement than I am in the Duma admitting it. Although a dwindling pool, I’m sure there are some people in Poland left with civil standing for damages from the massacre.

  10. Then there was someone I met some years ago whose fairly recent ancestors survived the Trail of Tears on their way to Oklahoma.


    Not only some Russians, some Germans, some Cambodians…

    Who can truthfully claim absolute immunity to the possibility of committing one or more atrocities?

    Ever read UW-Madison professor, William Appleman Williams, “The Tragedy of American Diplomacy”?

    With apologies to the late Walt Kelly, “We have met the enemy and they are our misunderstandings”?

  11. Nazi, Stalin, Bush, Johnson….People are dead because of the power that they think that they possess….

  12. I don’t think Stalin murdered because he was a communist. He could have been just as tyrannical and bloodthirsty had he been a Nazi or a religious fanatic. Stalin murdered because he was Stalin, and utterly paranoid.

  13. Was this not something suspected all along?? It comes to light now and is a sad commentary on life as we know it. it does not make it any better that we know, in fact it’s somewhat depressing to read, but an necessary evil to understand in this life. Will it happen again, seems so, recall Rwanada and a few other places in contemporary life and the beat goes on. Sad but true,


    (Isabel — It’s not quite the same as having the photo itself in the stream of comments, but… The inscription is there, as well.)

    “The monument contains a cross and an angel made in the shape of Poland’s national emblem, a white eagle. Those executed included Polish officers, intellectuals and priests.”

    And if anyone thinks that it couldn’t happen here, think again — we’re currently marching in the same direction…

  15. When you think its butter, its not….its chiffon……

    I suppose the appropriate statement is “Surprise?”

  16. There is a very moving monument to the Katyn Forest Massacre in Chicago erected by the Polish community. I wish I knew a way to post it here.

    I don’t think Stalin or communists cornered the market on atrocities. I think there were people called Nazis who were equally vicious. It just happened that the Katyn Forest massacre was one atrocity the Nazis didn’t commit. And let’s not forget the Serbs, hardly communists.

    Christopher Hitchens’ “Koba the Dred” is the best discussion of this horrible man. Alan Bullock’s “Hitler and Stalin” is another, but it’s almost 1,000 pages long and extremely depressing to read.

  17. Just another example of the horrors of socialism/communism.

    It just never seems to end. What a vile and evil system that was created by Marx and others. It has no redeeming value and people who follow it’s philosophy are either evil or misguided.

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