WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) today praised the U.S. National Archives' release of approximately 1,000 pages of newly declassified records related to the 1940 Katyñ Massacre. The documents shed light on the horrific crime committed by the Soviet regime against the Polish nation during WWII.
"I applaud the U.S. National Archives' recent declassification of documents related to the Katyñ Massacre, and commend Rep. Marcy Kaptur's tireless work to have the documents released," said Rep. Pascrell. "These documents will be invaluable to the many academics, scholars, journalists and family members of the victims who spent decades in search for answers as to what happened in the Katyñ Forrest. While these documents will certainly open wounds that began to slowly heal over time, I'm glad the full story can now be told which I hope brings closure to not only members of the Polish-American community affected by this brutal crime, but to the victims' family members and friends across the world."
The massacre, ordered in 1940 by Joseph Stalin in Katyñ in western Russia, claimed nearly 22,000 Polish lives, including those of many military officers. Documents released this week provide further evidence that the U.S. government turned a blind eye toward the vicious massacre in the Katyñ Forest because it was allied with Stalin’s Soviet Union, which historians have long known.
Among the records are newly declassified U.S. Army documents proving that two American POW's wrote encoded messages to Army intelligence citing their discovery of the mass graves soon after their 1943 visit to Katyñ.