“For two to three days goebbelsian slanderers have been spreading vile ideas about the mass execution of Polish officers by the Soviet authorities in the Smolensk region, which allegedly took place in the spring of 1940. German fascist thugs do not retreat in this new monstrous nonsense from the most rascal and despicable lie with which they try to hide the incredible crimes committed, as you can now see clearly, by themselves.

Fascist German announcements in this matter leave no doubt about the tragic fate of the former Polish prisoners of war, who in 1941 were doing construction works in the regions located west of Smolensk and together with many Soviet people, residents of the Smolensk oblast, fell into the hands of German fascist executioners in the summer of 1941, after the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the Smolensk region.

In 1944, a plaque at the entrance to the Katyn Forest informed about the „Nazi beasts, which in autumn 1941 shot [here] prisoners of war, soldiers and officers „.

There is no doubt that the goebbelsian slanderers are now trying to cover up the bloody crimes of the Nazis with lies and slanders. In their miserably made-up nonsense about the numerous graves discovered allegedly by the Germans near Smolensk, goebbelsian liars recall the ancient Gnezdovo, but in a rascally way are silent about the fact that it is near the village of Gnezdovo that archaeological excavations of the historical ‘Gnezdovo tomb’ are located”. Hitler’s dark affairs specialists engage in the most offensive counterfeiting and making up facts, spreading slanderous ideas about some Soviet atrocities in the spring of 1940 in order to evade responsibility for the atrocities committed by the Nazis […]


Fragment of the announcement of Radio Moscow, broadcast on 15 April 1943, and published in the Soviet press on April 16, 2004. Quote from ‘KATYŃ. Dokumenty zbrodni.’ (KATYN. The documents of the crime’) t. 4, Wyd. Naczelna Dyrekcja Archiwów Państwowych, Warsaw 2006.

It is not necessary to imagine what the visit of a group of western journalists invited to the exhumation site in January 1944 looked like. Correspondents were filmed as they pass between hundreds of rows of corpses and as they later stand next to a pile of human skulls, God knows why they were torn from the exhumed corpses and placed like a mountain of cabbages. There are several women among the journalists, including Miss Kathlen Harriman, daughter of the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union.

Western journalists during the exhumation, organized by the Soviet authorities in January 1944.


“Several thousand Poles were murdered,’ said Editor Jerome Davies from the Canadian ‘Toronto Star’, after his stay in Katyn, “the Germans falsely claimed that only Polish officers were killed. In fact, the majority of those killed were privates. I saw over seven hundred corpses exhumed by the Russians. I saw seven huge pits, similar to those in Babim Yar in Kiev. In one grave the corpses were arranged like sardines in equal rows in six layers…”

“The German military unit, intended for the murder of Poles, had a mysterious and indefinite name of the labour battalion No. 537 – revealed Edmund Stevens in a report published in the Boston ‘Christian Science Monitor’ – this unit was accommodated in a large holiday home, formerly occupied by the Establishment of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs; the house stood on a hill, from which there was a view of the Dnieper River, about 100 yards away from a tragic place […] Veil of secrecy was lifted by the testimony of two girls who worked for the Germans as servants in a holiday home. One of them, Anna Aleksiejewna, testifies in our presence that she constantly heard trucks driving into the forest from a nearby road, and then the sound of shots was always heard. Once, when she was coming home from work, she saw trucks with Polish prisoners of war on the road. She stopped and soon afterwards she heard the sounds of shots she knew.[…]

“It is highly unlikely that these bodies, so relatively well preserved, were buried in the Katyn forest four years ago-

After visiting the exhumation site for several hours, Aleksander Werth, a BBC collaborator, explained to the readers the Sunday Times and the Daily Sketch. – After four years there would be nothing left but bones. Professor [Prozorowski] claims that these people were murdered two years ago, maybe a little earlier, or maybe a little later. The Germans also examined the corpses of the killed Poles, but not for medical expertise. All of the greatcoats had ripped out pockets. All of the documents were removed. Only those papers that had dates from the year 1940 at the latest were left on them. But this procedure was not done exactly to the end. Some papers have the date of 1941…”

And without giving the name of the woman – witness Werth added that in the „mysterious villa near the Katyn Forest there were 30 German murderers” who „first went out into the forest in the wake of cars entering there, then the sounds of gunshots were always heard, after such a shooting soldiers and officers came back very excited, talked loudly and took a hot bath…”


Based on the brochure ‘Prawda o Katyniu’ (‘The truth about Katyn’), Wyd. Moskwa 1944.


Bratko Józef, Dlaczego zginąłeś, prokuratorze (Why did you die, prosecutor), Kraków 1997.

Mackiewicz Józef, Katyń. Zbrodnia bez sądu i kary (Katyn. The crime without trial and punishment), Warsaw 1997.

Madajczyk Czesław, Dramat katyński (Katyn tragedy), Warsaw 1989.

Montfort Henri, Masakra w Katyniu (Massacre in Katyn), Warsaw 1999.

Lebiediewa Natalia, KATYŃ, Zbrodnia przeciwko ludzkości (KATYN, Crime against humanity), Warsaw 1998.

Trznadel Jacek, Powrót rozstrzelanej armii (The return of executed army), Warsaw 1994.

“And also this visit by Bohlen, which Ambassador Ciechanowski mentioned to me the day before, mysteriously adding that ‘someone” wants to talk to me’, recalls Professor Karski in Washington in November 1986*, “but it turns out that in April 1945 a representative of the State Department did not come to the Polish embassy to ‘only’ talk to me, an emissary of the Polish government, about the Katyn Massacre.

“The Polish government,” Bohlen tells me as if I did not know about it “has withdrawn the complaint from the International Red Cross. The whole matter is not clarified. As far as we know officially, the crime in Katyn was committed by the Germans, not by the Russians. After all, he adds, you have no proof that the Russians did it. There is war, Mr. Karski, and one of the allies cannot be burdened like this. Can you refrain from talking about Katyn during your readings?”

My answer is that I will not mention Katyn, because as an allied soldier I have always been faithful to the fundamental strategy.

“That’s perfect,” says Bohlen.

“I will obey” I repeat “but I have a contract with an agent who organizes my readings. And in this contract with Clark Goetz there is a point which orders me to answer questions. What should I do if someone asks about Katyn?”

After a while, Bohlen explains that I should try to get out of similar questions somehow, but I should not raise the issue of Katyn on my own initiative at all.

After he leaves, Ambassador Ciechanowski tells me how he would have seen the case resolved, without conflicting with the State Department or exposing himself to Goetz.

“Most of the centres where you have your readings” the ambassador reminds me “are inhabited by Poles. They will come to you before the readings. What a difficulty it is to tell one of them to ask about Katyn. And suggest that he should  demand a clear answer: Germans or Russians? You, Johnny, after such a question will answer what you think. Nobody will blame you…

“And so it is during almost every reading. A question from the room is being asked, I am answering…”

A great joy, because we managed to ridicule the State Department, and they cannot blame me for the performance of the duty of a speaker. The invitation to Goetz spoils the good mood. The head of the reading agency has – as never before – very little time for me.

“He is no longer interested in your readings” he says “and besides, my agency does not want to have problems with foreigners who talk too much..”

Jan Karski


* Fragment of the account from the book ‘Powrót do Katynia’ (‘Return to Katyn’) by Stanisław M. Jankowski and Edward Miszczak, Rzeszów 1990.

He was found on 30 March 1946 with his head massacred by beats, with a heavy object, with stab wounds of the neck and chest in the apartment he rented in the building at 10 Krupnicza Street in Krakow. The investigation revealed that the heavy object was the scaffolding wrench and that stab wounds were caused by a dagger. With these instruments of murder to the prosecutor’s office came in the evening the 16-year-old Jolanta Słapianka, who had been having an affair with him for several weeks and her fiancé Stanisław Lubicz Wróblewski.

Leaving after commiting the crime, they took a pair of shoes, a bracelet and a watch with them – and then sold them. They also took out two articles of clothing of the victim, which police officers will find in Stanisław Wróblewski’s apartment in the first days of the investigation.

“The main motive for this act was my love for Jolanta Słapianka and revenge for seducing her,” said the accused Wróblewski during the trial in June 1947. He will be executed on 31 July 1947.

“I was the one who messed up,” said Jolanta Słapianka on 29 March 2004 during a conversation with Józef Bratko, the author of a book being prepared for publication* about the tragedy of Prosecutor Martini. Bratko will remind her that the woman was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment due to her young age, but she was released from prison earlier, after making contact there (cooperation?) with the Security Office.

“To this day, many people claim that Roman died because during his trip to Minsk or Smolensk he found documents that were accusing Russians. I have never heard of my husband’s journey to the Soviet Union. He did not leave after the wedding, and earlier we had known each other for some time and we never talked about his foreign travels. He would probably mention it, he would talk to me or his friends at some point” in October 1989 would mention Stanisława Martini, found in Jarosław by the authors of the book ‘Powrót do Katynia’ (Return to Katyn)*

For almost half a century, not only in Poland, but also in other countries, even in the other hemisphere, the name of the prosecutor Roman Martini was present in the press, radio broadcasts and books. Most often, in the context of death at the hands of NKVD agents, who ‘by the way’

took documents from his apartment, which had been found earlier by the victim in the basements in Smolensk. Those interested in such a version of the crime at 10 Krupnicza Street did not accept the argument that the Soviet authorities controlling every step of Polish prosecutors would not agree in 1945 or 1946 to Martini’s departure to Smolensk and searching the cellars in the building of the local NKVD. The rumor connected a couple of assassins with two mysterious men who accompanied them, the real authors of the crime. In another version, Jolanta and her fiancé were described as ‘a couple of juvenile Polish Workers’ Party members’, who were ordered by Moscow to kill a prosecutor who ‘learned too much’ during the investigation and could reveal the truth about the Soviet responsibility for the Katyn Massacre…

In several countries, e.g. in Sweden, then in the United States and Argentina, the prosecutor – the victim of his knowledge was ‘advertised’ by his friend Mieczysław Gorączko, who escaped from the People’s Republic of Poland. He presented himself as a man who knows where in Krakow documents concerning the Katyn crime were hidden. In order to authenticate his information, Gorączko

decided to reveal the names of the NKVD officers responsible for the Katyn Massacre, as he claimed obtained from Martini. The writer Józef Mackiewicz, who has a great knowledge about the crime, will easily establish that these names were invented by someone for the purposes of anti-Bolshevik propaganda and mentioned by the Germans in a brochure published in Warsaw in 1943…

Following in the footsteps of Mieczysław Gorączko, a.k.a. attorney Korab, who pretended to be a Home Army general, distributed decorations or promoted the naive, it is possible to establish that during the occupation he found himself in Krakow on the list of Gestapo agents prepared by the Home Army. And knowing about it – for fear of embarrassment – the proposal of cooperation made by M. Gorączko in the sixties was not used by I Department (intelligence) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. People’s Republic Of Poland.

The discovery of an investigation conducted in Krakow after the death of Roman Martini made it possible to explain the tragedy of a man whose name has been included in the history of events known as the ‘Katyn lie’ without any basis. While revealing that as a prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office of the Criminal Court he zealously carried out the tasks assigned to him by his superiors from Warsaw, one should not forget that in 1939 he was awarded the Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari for his participation in the fight for Modlin.

So far, there has been no complete information on all the trials during which persons accused of revealing the truth about the Katyn Massacre were tried in the People’s Republic of Poland. One of such indictments was made in Rzeszów in November 1950, when the Voivodeship Public Security Office referred the case of Mikołaj Marczyk from Stalowa Wola to the local court. Marczyk, after returning from the trip to Katyn organized by the German authorities, did not hide from his friends what he saw. And he had no doubts when the crime was committed and who the perpetrators were…

“As soon as the Nazi hordes occupied almost the whole of Europe,” wrote Lieutenant Ludwik Woźnica from the Rzeszów WUBP in his justification for the indictment, “as the cremation furnaces smoked, in which the best sons, devoted to the people’s cause were killed, the Nazi army attacked the Soviet Union, as the only country of socialism. They tried to turn it into a cemetery and started to build death camps there, just like in other countries occupied by German imperialism. Among other things, they established a camp of soldiers and officers of the Polish Army in Katyn near Smolensk, where they barbarically murdered more than 12,000 (thousand) Polish patriots. At that time, a progressive part of the society of the whole world aimed at overthrowing the angry Nazi imperialism, which wanted to control the world.

However, the remaining part of the so-called minions of the Nazi regime, helped these criminals and pretended to slander for the crimes committed by the Nazis against soldiers and officers of the Polish Army in Katyn to be thrown on the Soviet Union.[…] *

Mikołaj Marczyk, mentions Public Security Office functionary, who accuses the worker, according to the guidelines of the Nazi principals, prepared a paper and organized meetings, tried to stop and inhibit the enthusiasm of the members of the Polish Resistance Movement for military action and liberation from the yoke of German imperialism and to arouse hatred for the Soviet Union, the home of world peace, liberating oppressed nations and thousands of innocent victims of the Nazi regime who call for vengeance and die in death camps…”

Mikołaj Marczyk learns from the justification of the sentence that “burdening the USSR with the Katyn Massacre he was helping the authorities of the German state, because he aroused hatred and disgust among the listeners towards the USSR, and on the other hand sympathy for the German occupier, he weakened the faith of the Polish nation in the rightness of the fight against the occupier and in the sincerity of alliance and friendship with the USSR people, doing so he was aware of the crime of his actions…” *

Discussing the documents full of nonsense and falsification from Mikołaj Marczyk’s investigation and trial, it is worth mentioning that as a ‘German ally’ and “enemy of the USSR” a worker who before the war was active in the Warsaw communist movement was tried and sentenced to two years in prison. During the occupation he helped Soviet prisoners of war who escaped from captivity, but after 1945 he belonged to the Polish Workers’ Party and the Polish United Workers’ Party…


Fragments of documents cited on the basis of the files „ Sprawa karna Mikołaja Marczyka”, sygn. SWR -4 (in) IPN archives in Warsaw.

Franciszek Urban Prochownik was arrested and accused of collaborating with the Germans after the war for the article ‘Wrażenia krakowskiego robotnika w lesie pod Katyniem’ (‘Impressions of a Krakow worker in a forest near Katyn’)

On January 31, 1951, a student, Zofia Dwornik, was brought before a court in Łódź. As we read in the justification of the judgment, she was accused of ‘frequently expressing herself critically in the discussion about the Soviet Union and taking a rather negative stance on the current reality […] In her interview with the witness Berestowski Wadim she claimed that the murder of Polish officers in Katyn was the work of the Soviet Union, that in 1939 the Soviet Union attacked Poland and thus contributed to the September defeat […]

The accused wanted to present the Soviet Union in a bad light, to convince her colleagues that the Soviet Union was hostile towards Poles, although she was no stranger (as a politically conscious person) to the facts of regaining independence by Poland thanks to the Soviet Union, the facts of continuous assistance of the Soviet Union in the implementation of our economic plans. The defendant did also not doubt that Katyn was the work of the Germans.

The accused is one of those people who do not like the peaceful and friendly coexistence of Poland and the Soviet Union, whose aim is to disrupt this friendship. There is no doubt that announcing the negative attitude of our Government towards the working class undermines the authority of our Government and aims at undermining the trust of the broad masses in the Government of People’s Poland. There is also no doubt that the calumnies thrown at the Soviet Union are one of the forms of venomous propaganda aimed at making Poles’ hostile towards the USSR […]

In the course of the sentence, the Court took into account: the defendant’s failure to plead guilty, her impeccable life, the great tension of bad will, the harmfulness of the type of crime committed by the defendant and imposed a one-year prison sentence on her.

The justification for the sentence issued by the Court of Appeal in Łódź, however, lacks information that Zofia Dwornik’s father was a prisoner of Starobelsk, from where he was taken to Kharkiv were he died. At the same time, in April 1940, the uncle of the accused student was executed in Katyn…


Fragments cited on the basis of Jacek Trznadel’s article ‘Orwelowskie MINISTERSTWO PRAWDY’ (‘Orwellian MINISTRY OF THE TRUTH’) (in) ‘Biuletyn Katyński’ No. 39, Wyd. Instytut Katyński w Polsce, Kraków 1994.

[…] The Polish nation – could be read in the ‘Statement of the Government of the Republic of Poland’ – who, on its own experience, learned about the Nazi methods of murder used in Auschwitz, Majdanek and many other death camps on Polish soil, from the very beginning had no doubts that the terrible Katyn Massacre was the work of the Nazi thugs. The lies of the Nazi propaganda were finally nailed down by the evidence gathered and irrefutably established in the presence of Polish representatives by the Soviet „Special Commission to establish and investigate the circumstances of the execution of prisoners of war, Polish officers by German fascist invaders.”

The whole world accused the Nazi murderers of Katyn, as well as all their atrocious crimes in concentration camps, thousands of cities and villages in occupied Europe […].

Every Pole refers with indignation and repulsion to these slanders and provocations, to cynical attempts to feed on the tragic death of Polish citizens at the hands of Nazi murderers. The Polish Government and people condemn in the strongest possible ways the provocative action of the United States against peace-loving countries, against those nations that have suffered the most from the invasion and Nazi crimes.

Statement by the Government of the People’s Republic of Poland

( Excerpt )

Statement of the Government of the Republic of Poland in ‘Trybuna Ludu’, 1 March 1952

”[…] American journalists also came to the Katyn Massacre scene. Miss Harriman, daughter of the then American ambassador to the Soviet Union, also came with them. They fully confirmed the results of the Soviet press investigations […] That was the stand of the American press nine years ago and that was the stand of the American authorities. No one in America, except the supporters of Hitlerism, had the slightest doubt that the Katyn Massacre was the work of the Nazis, that it was a link in a monstrous chain of crimes named Majdanek, Auschwitz, Dachau, Mauthausen, gas and crematory.

In the almost nine years that have passed since then, there has not been a single objection on the part of the US side against the results of the investigations of the Soviet Special Committee. And suddenly, after almost nine years, the Congress of the United States set up a special committee ‘to examine the Katyn case’.

From the very beginning, the activities of this committee have been characterized by an offensive provocation. It was as offensive as Goebbels’ original provocation. But the American directors of this provocation decided to outshine Goebbels. With their love for effects with a taste of sensational trashy film, they introduced on stage the figure of a mysterious witness in a white hood. ‘The Voice of America’ called him the crown witness of the accusation. The chairman of the committee presented this mysterious individual as an ‘eyewitness to the Katyn events’. Meanwhile, the comic figure in the white hood on his head got entangled in his own lies to such an extent that he mixed all the dates and made the organizers of the farce uncomfortable. The fiasco was so severe that the committee’s deliberations were suspended ‘until further notice’[…]

Stefan Arski


Stefan Arski Propaganda ludobójców (Genocidal propaganda), ‘Trybuna Ludu’, 1952, no. 61.

Most likely, we would not have learned so easily the recommendations of the Polish People’s Republic authorities concerning the interpretation of the Katyn Massacre if Tomasz Strzyżewski, who had been employed for two years by the Krakow Delegacy of the Main Office of Control of Press, Publications and Shows had not defect from the country in March 1977. And if ‘Mr. Tomek’ – as he was commonly called in the Palace of the Press at Wielopole 1 Steet in Krakow – apart from the official crossing out in the articles the journalists from Krakow in the daily and weekly press, did not prepare for a long time to take away from the People’s Republic of Poland the most interesting documents, which were unavailable to other people and which he used during each shift at his censor’s workplace.

“Being aware of the enormity of the destructive possibilities and the extent of the destructive influence of censorship on the national culture and social awareness of Poles,” he will write one day while already in Lund, Sweden, “I decided to get out and disclose the world’s opinion in the most extensive and representative way possible part of the secret documentation of GUKPPiW (Main Office of Control of Press, Publications and Shows).”

From several thousand ‘directives’ – as this is how decisions to interfere in articles, books and … obituary notices were called in the communist jargon – it is worth remembering how in 1975 the criteria were imagined ‘when assessing materials on the death of Polish officers in Katyn…’

1) Any attempt to blame the Soviet Union for the death of Polish officers in the Katyn forest should not pass the censor.

2) Formulations such as ‘shot by the Nazis at Katyn’, ‘died at Katyn’ or ‘perished at Katyn’, can appear in scholarly works, memoirs and biographies. In the case of the use of a term such as ‘died in Katyń’, the date of the death is given, it is permissible to define it only after July 1, 1941.

3) Polish soldiers and officers interned by the Red Army in September 1939 should be described as ‘internees’ and not ‘prisoners of war’. Kozelsk, Starobelsk and Ostaszkov can be named as the internment camps of the Polish officers who were later shot by the Nazis in the Katyn forest.

4) Obituaries, announcements of memorial services to be held for the victims of the Katyn Massacre and information about other means of honouring their memory, are only to be printed after approval by the Main Office for the Control of Press, Publications and Shows.

Whenever in doubt or in the case of matters not covered by this directive, consult the Main Office for the Control of Press, Publications and Shows.

This directive is intended solely for the information of the censors. It may not be invoked or disclosed in the event of a misdemeanour.*


* „Black Book of Censorship of the People’s Republic of Poland”, fragments revealed in a brochure under the same title, made available to readers in the so-called second circulation by Niezależna Oficyna Wydawniczą ‘Nowa’ , Warsaw 1977.

Katyn monument in Stockholm with traces of burning with nitric acid with a date of crime;

The perpetrators of the destruction made in March 1977 were never identified.

This monument was to be erected at the Warsaw Powązki Cemetery, in a place called for years the ‘Katyn Valley’, near the sections of the ‘Chrobry II’ grouping and ‘the Home Army battalions ‘Parasol’ and ‘Pięść’. Many times Warsaw residents lit candles and put flowers between the trees here, and the Security Service took candles, threw flowers into garbage cans.

“ The decision to build the monument was made in 1979,” recalls Stefan Melak. A well-known Warsaw sculptor made a project of a 4.5-metre cross with the date ‘1940’ on the shoulder and three plaques with the names ‘Kozelsk’, ‘Ostashkov’ and ‘Starobelsk’ for free. The stonecutters prepared elements of the granite monument, not even knowing what was going on, and my brother Arkadiusz took everything to his garage and started to install it there. It took Jarek most of the time to combine metal bolts and welding letters and numbers made of bronze.

“I am ready,” he proudly announces at the end of July 1981. We can go to Powązki…

We determine what kind of cars are needed, from where and who should move to the garage to get the elements prepared by Jarek. We have to behave like conspirators, preparing the combat action, and yet we want ‘only’ to erect a monument dedicated to our murdered fathers and brothers. We do not intend to call for hatred and retaliation – but we must remind them of respect for our Polish history…

On July 31 in the morning, cars go to Arkadiusz, and at the same time a dozen or so people from different parts of Warsaw go down there. We put the elements of the monument on the stretcher and load them onto the car. Since another car has no chance to enter the cemetery – we ordered a garbage truck from the Municipal Cleaning Company and only in this way the Katyn Monument must enter the cemetery….

Two ‘avias’ will be used as supporting cars. We load the already mixeded sand and cement onto them – and each car goes to the cemetery on a different road.

“We are from the MPO,” I announce to the guard at the gate. In the vicinity of the ‘valley’ a dozen or so friends, who had been waiting in different parts of the cemetery before, join us.

The second hour of work passes and then the employees of the known department appear. They look terrified, but do not disturb. Is it because there are too many of us and only a few of them? Or maybe – I think – they don’t have an order about how to behave, because it’s one thing to crush candles with your shoe, and different to destroy a monument in front of dozens of people.

We remove the planks supporting the monument, we sing ‘Boże, coś Polskę’ and we have to go home to prepare for the evening meeting at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, on the eve of the anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising.

In the evening, in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, I talk about erecting the Katyn Monument and invite everyone to the Powązki Cemetery. I am convinced that the monument will gain the right of citizenship and will be preserved – according to our plan – in the memory of thousands of people.

How wrong I was, how I underestimated them.

On 1 August I come to the cemetery and from a distance of a few dozen meters from the ‘Katyn Valley’ I can see a crowd. People gesture excitedly.

– They overturned the monument – I think – because it would be sticking out over people’s heads.

It turns out that there is no monument and you can’t even see a trace of our work. Some people do not believe that yesterday the monument, weighing over 10 tons, stood in the ‘Katyn Valley’, where there is only grass and a few lit candles.

It turns out that ‘unknown perpetrators’ arrived at night in a lorry and there were also civilian cars. The guards had to open the gate, because after seeing the ID card they did not have the courage to protest. They were ordered to sit quietly, never to mention the ‘visit’ and not to mention it to anyone […].

Stefan Melak