Andrzej Jakubicz manages to photograph in the Katyn Forest, it is unknown when, the so-called Memorial, which was arranged in there by the authorities of Smolensk, devoted – as it is written in Polish and Russian – to ‘Victims of fascism – Polish officers executed by the Nazis in 1941’
31 July 1981
A car from the Municipal Cleaning Company brought to the municipal Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw a Katyn monument, made without the consent of the authorities, with the date of the crime 1940, the names of the camps where Polish officers were imprisoned and the only known place of death in the Katyn Forest.
31 July 1981
Until late at night, crowds of Warsaw residents were gathering at the Katyn monument
31 July / 1 August 1981
A group of about twenty men aged 25-40 years with unmarked truck, took the Katyn monument from the cemetery at night and then cleaned up all the traces of the patriotic demonstration in the ‘Katyn Valley’, even the smallest ones.
1 August 1981
After the establishment of the Citizens’ Committee for the Construction of the Monument to the Victims of Katyn headed by Andrzej Szomański a fundraising started
and efforts were made to erect a new monument and place it in the same place as the one stolen by ‘unknown perpetrators’.
17 September 1981
From the main gate to the ‘Katyn Valley’, a march of over a thousand people headed by representatives of the Committee for the Construction of the Monument to the Victims of Katyn went through the alleys of the Powązki Cemetery.
6 December 1981
In the ‘Katyn Valley’ at the Powązki Cemetery, on the site of the monument stolen by ‘unknown perpetrators’ in August 1981, the foundation act was laid and the foundation stone for the new monument to the victims of the Katyn Massacre was blessed
1 August 1982
To over a thousand Warsaw residents gathered in the ‘Katyn Valley’ and nearby, a speech was delivered by Zbigniew Bujak, the chairman of ‘Solidarity’ Region of Mazovia, who was in hiding, from a tape recorder and speakers tied on a branch.
1 August 1982
Police and security officers stopped the American team filming the Warsaw demonstration next to the so-called ‘government monument with information about the Katyn Massacre in 1941 erected in the Katyn Valley’.
1 August 1983
The fence surrounding the construction site of the so-called governmental monument in the ‘Katyn Valley’ was richly decorated by Janina Dawidowska-Borowa, who has been taking care of the place for years and is known under the pseudonym ‘Mrs. Grottgerowska’.
1 August 1984
In the ‘Katyn Valley’ between trees a banner was hung ‘If we forget about them, may God forget about us’, and after the fence was destroyed
Only the excavated soil and the lack of any foundations were revealed.
14 April 1985
On the anniversary of the Katyn Massacre Alina Szymiczek, Andrzej Fenrych and Jan Gomoła lay flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Tarnów, which is considered a disturbance of public order. During one of the series of hearings in front of the council on offences, Jan Gomoła collapses and dies shortly after being transported to the hospital. “Thousands of people came to the funeral,” remembers the widow, Janina Gomoła. “They were afraid of riots, so the police were brought to Tarnów also from other cities. All obituary notices were taken down by ‘unknown perpetrators’…
31 December 1987
In Bykownia near Kiev, after seven days of secret search using military and heavy equipment, the remains of 2518 people were found in 68 pits which were buried in 34 boxes in a five-meter deep ‘Bracka grave’. In 1988 a monument was erected on the grave with information about the burial of ‘the victims of the German occupier murdered in the years 1941-1943’.
20 / 21 January 1988
An unknown perpetrator (perpetrators?) murdered prelate Stefan Niedzielak, one of the originators and co-creators of the ‘POLEGŁYAM NA WSCHODZIE’ (‘TO THE FALLEN IN THE EAST’) sanctuary in the St. Charles Borromeo Church in Warsaw’s Powązki Cemetery. “I think you will pay dearly for what you have done. THEY won’t let you off the hook. I felt that he was aware of the danger,” writes Piotr Niedzielak in a book devoted to his brother, published in 1990 titled ‘Ostatnia ofiara Katynia’ (‘The Last Victim of Katyn’).
14 July 1988
For the first time in the history of foreign visits – at a meeting with representatives of the Polish intelligentsia at Warsaw Castle – Mikhail Gorbachev mentioned that “many people in Poland are convinced that Katyn was the work of Stalin and Beria” and also that “meticulous study of the history of this tragedy” is currently being conducted
14 August 1988
Not wishing to give the Polish church the initiative of placing a religious symbol in Katyn – a wooden cross – Wojciech Jaruzelski turned to the secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union with a proposal to send to Katyn on 1 September the official delegation of the People’s Republic of Poland to place a wreath and a memorial plaque in the place of burial of Polish officers.
23 August 1988
Resolution of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on organizing and conducting by the Smolensk Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Soviet Union together with the Ministry of Culture of the USSR, the Ministry of Culture of the RFSRR and the Union of Soviet Societies of Friendship and Cultural Relation with Foreign Countries on 1 September 1988 the ceremonial funeral celebrations with the participation of the official Polish delegation[…]
31 August 1988.
In order to get ahead of the soon to be announced church ceremonies in the Katyn Forest, Polish authorities decided to place a plaque in front of the decorative grille of the wall, announcing the construction of a ‘complex of monuments in memory of Polish officers who died in Katyn’
1 September 1988
Decision of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to announce, together with the Polish side, a competition for a monument to Polish officers killed in Katyn.
2 September 1988
In Katyn, a four-and-a-half-meter cross was erected on an iron base, called the primatial cross. The inscription on the cross informed about the planned ‘erection of the cross in this place commemorating the death of Polish officers’. The inscriptions on the plaques in front of the cross still lied – in Polish and Russian – attributing the death of Polish officers to German fascists
31 October 1988
Tadeusz Pieńkowski photographs the cemetery in Katyn, modernised by the Soviet authorities, where four similar graves and plaques with bilingual inscription ‘To the victims of fascism – Polish officers executed by shooting by the Nazis in 1941’ are located. The sideboard placed near the road Smolensk – Vitebsk informs about the possibility of visiting the ‘Memorial – victims of fascism, Polish officers executed by shooting by the Nazis in 1941’
31 October 1988
In Toronto ‘Wydawnictwo 966’ publishes a brochure signed by Stanisław Karpiński (probably a pseudonym) titled ‘Zbrodnia katyńska w świetle dowodów niemieckich’ (‘Katyn Massacre in light of German evidence) which on 100 pages critically assesses the evidence that may bear witness to the Soviet responsibility for the massacre of prisoners in 1940. The author estimates that ‘the German provocation in Katyn mocked the Polish nation’ and explains that ‘in the general frontal chaos the POWs from the Ostashkov and Starobelsk camps went home’
5 / 6 July 1989
The Chairman of the Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom Sites, General Roman Paszkowski, after identifying the ‘unknown perpetrators’, managed to convince them to return the Katyn monument stolen from the ‘Katyn Valley’ in August 1981 – and the monument – slightly damaged – was taken to the bushes near the Powązki Cemetery.
11 August 1989
The Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom Sites called on the Public Prosecutor General of the People’s Republic of Poland to ask the authorities of the USSR to start an investigation into the Katyn Massacre
17 September 1989
The first meeting of the Katyn Families took place in the St. Stanisław Kostka Church in Warsaw, at which the Federation of Katyn Families was established, headed by Dr. Bożena Łojek, the President of the Federation
12 October 1989
Public Prosecutor General of the People’s Republic of Poland Józef Żyto addressed a request to the Prosecutor General of the USSR – Aleksander Suchariev to start an investigation into the Katyn Massacre in 1940.