Ihar Kuzniatsou: «The Belarusian Katyn list does exist»

The Belarusian Katyn list is a document containing appr. 3870 names of Poles murdered by the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), the Soviet secret police, in April and May 1940. Poland has been pressing for Russia’s handing over the list but in vain.

At the press conference on December, 23, 2011 Alexander Lukashenka declared: «We have studied all archival records in the country including those of the KGB archive. Not a single Pole was executed in Belarus. There were only reconsignment points in the territory of our country.»

Historian Ihar Kuzniatsou sees the things differently. He states that there were Poles among the people executed in Minsk and refers to the information given by the KGB and the Supreme Court in the course of the posthumous rehabilitation campaign which started soon after Josef Stalin’s death.

«Dissembling the facts even after these 75 years equals to insulting to the memory of the dead. Suddenly it turns out that not a single Pole was executed here and the Belarusian Katyn list does not exist at all! But at present day information disclosure is absolutely impossible. Last year we created a film for Belsat TV channel which refers to Russian Federal Security Service documents when proving its existence. Either the list was destroyed in Belarus or it is in Moscow now, it does not matter at all. It is crucial we accepted the fact itself.»

National Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita disputed Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s claim as well: «NKVD executed 3,782 Poles staying in prisons on the territory of the BSSR [Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic] at that time. The names of these people, as well as the places where they were executed and buried remain unknown up to the present day.»

Polish historian Wojciech Materski dismissed Lukashenka’s remarks as «not only lies but also boundless hypocrisy». «Lukashenka is using the Polish tragedy in the game with Moscow. When he quarreled with the Kremlin, he hinted that he would give the list [of the Poles executed in Belarus] to the Poles. Now that he has reached agreement with Moscow, he has forgotten about this list,» the professor said in an interview with Rzeczpospolita.



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