Katyn Forest Knows, O Yes, She Does

 Katyn Forest Knows, O Yes, She Does

 one bullet each

390 one night

did the trees weep

shudder, cringe, flinch

year rings holding knowledge

still men hold close in secret keeps

thereafter

250 single bullets

shot after shot methodically delivered

nothing random night to night

light no chance plays

did the night birds sing

warnings prayers

mourning dawns

250 trigger pulls

no sharing, one per each uniform head

no trip wires

no mines

hand held small gun

execution after identification

leading minds need dying

250 uniformed

Poles of whom thou shall not speak

1940 in Katyn Forest 22,000 lying

know you no you know

NKVD drains brains blood

counting seventy years denying

genocide claims no one owns

but

Katyn Forest knows all

o yes she does

listen close

songs

dying roots embraced

*

Wikipedia page for 2007 film https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katy%C5%84_(film)

Katyn is available with English subtitles via that company with the little red envelopes.

With English subtitles:

In Polish:

*

From Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katyn_massacre

According to a report from 19 November 1939, the NKVD had about 40,000 Polish POWs: about 8,000–8,500 officers and warrant officers, 6,000–6,500 police officers and 25,000 soldiers and NCOs who were still being held as POWs.[1][13][22] In December, a wave of arrests took into custody some Polish officers who were not yet imprisoned, Ivan Serov reported to Lavrentiy Beria on 3 December that “in all, 1,057 former officers of the Polish Army had been arrested”.[10] The 25,000 soldiers and non-commissioned officers were assigned to forced labors (road construction, heavy metallurgy).[10]

Once at the camps, from October 1939 to February 1940, the Poles were subjected to lengthy interrogations and constant political agitation by NKVD officers such as Vasily Zarubin. The prisoners assumed that they would be released soon, but the interviews were in effect a selection process to determine who would live and who would die.[23][24] According to NKVD reports, if the prisoners could not be induced to adopt a pro-Soviet attitude, they were declared “hardened and uncompromising enemies of Soviet authority”.[23]

On 5 March 1940, pursuant to a note to Joseph Stalin from Beria, four members of the Soviet Politburo – Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Kliment Voroshilov, and Anastas Mikoyan – signed an order to execute 25,700 Polish “nationalists and counterrevolutionaries” kept at camps and prisons in occupied western Ukraine and Belarus.[25][c] The reason for the massacre, according to historian Gerhard Weinberg, was that Stalin wanted to deprive a potential future Polish military of a large portion of its talent:

“It has been suggested that the motive for this terrible step [the Katyn massacre] was to reassure the Germans as to the reality of Soviet anti-Polish policy. This explanation is completely unconvincing in view of the care with which the Soviet regime kept the massacre secret from the very German government it was supposed to impress…. A more likely explanation is that… [the massacre] should be seen as looking forward to a future in which there might again be a Poland on the Soviet Union’s western border. Since he intended to keep the eastern portion of the country in any case, Stalin could be certain that any revived Poland would be unfriendly. Under those circumstances, depriving it of a large proportion of its military and technical elite would make it weaker”.[26]

In addition, Soviets realized that the prisoners constituted a large body of trained and motivated Poles who would not accept a Fourth Partition of Poland.[1]

Kaytn En Castellano

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14 Comments

  1. slpmartin said,

    August 5, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I was familiar with the history of this event, but was unaware they had made a movie about it…thanks for the heads up.

    • August 6, 2013 at 4:38 am

      You’re very welcome, charles. The movie makes use of a great deal of historical film footage. It can be somewhat ‘unsettling’ at times.
      It is well worth taking the time to view, if you’re so inclined. Just don’t expect it to end well.
      What’s the latest word from the brown paper bag prophet?

  2. August 5, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you for the explanation and the reference to the movie. Americans generally think only of Germany when they think of the war. Not much is understood about Poland. The story of Irena Sendler’s work in the Warsaw Ghetto was suppressed even in Poland for fifty years. A great deal of emotion informed by few facts surrounds the story of the war even today. A fine post.

    • August 6, 2013 at 4:35 am

      Your kind attention is most appreciated, George Weaver :), new Cheeky Keeper. Many Americans do not even realize that Poland had only been an ‘independent’ country for only 20 years prior to WWII. Before that it endured in the minds of Polish people who refused to give up their language and culture no matter which country claimed their land and imposed their political system upon them.
      Merci.

  3. August 7, 2013 at 8:12 am

    if we study the depth to which human beings can lower themselves our souls will freeze with stark horror!

    • August 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      Sharmishtha— souls frozen with horror–a very fitting image.
      Thank you.

      • August 9, 2013 at 9:09 am

        mine does every time I think of holocaust – I don’t dare to think much about this chapter of human civilization.

  4. August 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    May I reblog this?

  5. August 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    your poem is heartbreaking

  6. August 7, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Reblogged this on bearspawprint and commented:
    —————————————————————————————————-
    Not only does Eva have wrenching poetry, she has researched historical perspective and video background for this blog-post referencing the Katyn Forest massacre. —- Bear


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