Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The FReeper Foxhole Remembers the Katyn Forest Massacre (Poland~1940) - October 13th, 2003
see educational sources | various compiled

Posted on 10/13/2003 4:15:26 AM PDT by snippy_about_it

click here to read article

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 141-160 next last

For the West, the Katyn Massacre was a signal, inceptive incident in the wartime doubt in Western minds about the motives and methods of the Soviet Union. The visualized image of prisoners-of-war, bound and gagged, being forced down onto stacks of fresh corpses of their murdered friends--heaped like so much garbage--then to be shot through the back of their heads was a specter which could not be comfortably or completely ignored and forgotten.

Such wartime disturbance and distrust served as a foundation for the postwar East-West antagonism which became known as "the cold war." Katyn was also important for its subsequent, periodic use as a compelling example of Marxist-Leninism's threat to liberal, Western society and institutions.


Under the German-Soviet pact Poland was divided; the Soviets took, and absorbed into the Soviet Union, the eastern half (Byelorussia and the West Ukraine), the Germans incorporated Pomerania, Posnania and Silesia into the Reich whilst the rest was designated as the General- Government (a colony ruled from Krakow by Hitler's friend, Hans Frank).

In the Soviet zone 1.5 million Poles (including women and children) were transported to labour camps in Siberia and other areas. Many thousands of captured Polish officers were shot at several secret forest sites; the first to be discovered being Katyn, near Smolensk.

The Germans declared their intention of eliminating the Polish race (a task to be completed by 1975) alongside the Jews. This process of elimination, the "Holocaust", was carried out systematically. All members of the "intelligentsia" were hunted down in order to destroy Polish culture and leadership (many were originally exterminated at Oswiencim - better known by its German name, Auschwitz).

Secret universities and schools, a "Cultural Underground", were formed (the penalty for belonging to one was death). In the General Government there were about 100,000 secondary school pupils and over 10,000 university students involved in secret education.

The Polish Jews were herded into Ghettos where they were slowly starved and cruelly offered hopes of survival but, in fact, ended up being shot or gassed. In the end they were transported, alongside non-Jewish Poles, Gypsies and Soviet POWs, to extermination camps such as Auschwitz and Treblinka; at Auschwitz over 4 million were exterminated. 2000 concentration camps were built in Poland, which became the major site of the extermination programme, since this was where most of the intended victims lived.

Many non-Jewish Poles were either transported to Germany and used as slave labour or simply executed. In the cities the Germans would round-up and kill indiscriminately as a punishment for any underground or anti-German or pro-Jewish activity. In the countryside they kept prominent citizens as hostages who would be executed if necessary. Sometimes they liquidated whole villages; at least 300 villages were destroyed. Hans Frank said, "If I wanted to put up a poster for every seven Poles shot, the forests of Poland would not suffice to produce the paper for such posters."

Despite such horror the Poles refused to give in or cooperate (there were no Polish collaborators as in other occupied countries). The Polish Underground or AK (Armia Krajowa or Home Army) was the largest in Europe with 400,000 men.

Long Live Poland!

The Jewish resistance movement was set up separately because of the problem of being imprisoned within the ghettos. Both these organisations caused great damage to the Nazi military machine. Many non-Jewish Poles saved the lives of thousands of Jews despite the fact that the penalty, if caught, was death (in fact, Poland was the only occupied nation where aiding Jews was punishable by death).

Monument at Katyn

Katyn Forest Mass Graves

Clic on the map graphic above to reach a clickable interactive map (once there, use scroll bars) with further details on the mass killings at Katyn

Katyn Monument in New Jersey
The bronze soldier, bayoneted rifle sprung from his back, stands atop a granite base which holds Katyn soil. The statue's effect is as its creator wished it to be: "Like an explosion."

Today's Educational Sources and suggestions for further reading:

1 posted on 10/13/2003 4:15:27 AM PDT by snippy_about_it
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: SAMWolf; Matthew Paul

Katyn cannot sleep
hear the lamenting of the slaughtered masses
never forget what happened here

the soul of the Polish nation
was poured out on this forest soil
but it did not die here

you cannot kill the spirit of freedom
or the pride of a nation that desires it


3 posted on 10/13/2003 4:16:49 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

4 posted on 10/13/2003 4:17:19 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Matthew Paul; mark502inf; Skylight; The Mayor; Prof Engineer; PsyOp; Samwise; comitatus; ...
.......FALL IN to the FReeper Foxhole!

.......Good Monday Morning Everyone!

If you would like added to our ping list let us know.
5 posted on 10/13/2003 4:18:25 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it
Good morning, Snippy and everyone at the Freeper Foxhole. How's it going?
6 posted on 10/13/2003 4:30:04 AM PDT by E.G.C.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it
7 posted on 10/13/2003 4:51:06 AM PDT by Samwise (There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: A. Pole
8 posted on 10/13/2003 4:53:35 AM PDT by snopercod (He not busy being born is busy dying...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: E.G.C.
Good morning EGC.

It's a good morning, no work for me today.
9 posted on 10/13/2003 4:54:50 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Samwise
Good Morning Samwise.

This was a tough one.
10 posted on 10/13/2003 4:57:02 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it
11 posted on 10/13/2003 4:58:37 AM PDT by A. Pole
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf
Hadn't heard this before.
Did know that the NKVD (later KGB) executed prisoners, but hadn't heard about Katyn.
12 posted on 10/13/2003 4:59:18 AM PDT by Darksheare (Good, Bad, I'm the guy with the Nun.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it
I'm sure it was difficult to work on. Thank you for doing so. It is just so difficult to realize that such evil exists.

Thank you to everyone in the armed forces for keeping us free.
13 posted on 10/13/2003 5:05:28 AM PDT by Samwise (There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it
Our nation will prosper or decline in direct proportion
 to our selection of leaders who are guided by the 
Holy Spirit. If we fail to select Godly leaders our destiny will surely be as that of the Roman Empire.
14 posted on 10/13/2003 5:09:22 AM PDT by The Mayor (I asked God for a friend, He gave me all of YOU...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Samwise; SAMWolf; Matthew Paul
SAM and I have been having conversations with MatthewPaul our FReeper friend in Poland and this came up in conversation.

Of course with Mat still there and SAM's father growing up there during these times it makes it even more poignant for the Foxhole.

I think it's a story we can all consider when we think of our "greatest generation" fighting against this evil like they did. And they are to be honored for it.

The sadder part is that the World Powers left Poland behind after the war was won and Poland had to continue to fight for their own liberation from communism through the 1980's.
15 posted on 10/13/2003 5:20:59 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: A. Pole
Good Morning and thank you for stopping in for today's Foxhole.
16 posted on 10/13/2003 5:21:43 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it

Today's classic warship, USS Alabama (BB-8)

Illinois class battleship
displacement. 11,565 tons
length. 374'10"
beam. 72'5"
draft. 25'0"
speed. 16 k.
complement. 536
armament. 4 13", 14 6", 16 6-pdrs., 4 1-pdrs., 4 .30-cal. mg., 4 18" tt.

The USS Alabama (Battleship No. 8) was laid down on 1 December 1896 at Philadelphia, Pa., by the William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Co.; launched on 18 May 1898; sponsored by Miss Mary Morgan, daughter of the Honorable John T. Morgan, United States Senator from Georgia; and commissioned on 16 October 1900, Capt. Willard H. Brownson in command.

Though assigned to the North Atlantic Station, Alabama did not begin operations with that unit until early the following year. The warship remained at Philadelphia until 13 December when she got underway for the brief trip to New York. She stayed at New York through the New Year and until the latter part of January 1901. Finally, on 27 January, the battleship headed south for winter exercises with the Fleet at the drill grounds in the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola, Fla. Alabama's Navy career began in earnest with her arrival in the gulf early in February. With a single exception in 1904, each year from 1901 to 1907, she conducted Fleet exercises and gunnery drills in the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies in the wintertime before returning north for repairs and operations off the northeastern coast during the summer and autumn. The exception came in the spring of 1904 after the conclusion of winter maneuvers when she departed Pensacola in company with Kearsarge (Battleship No. 5), Maine(Battleship No. 10), Iowa (Battleship No. 4), Olympia (Cruiser No. 6), Baltimore (Cruiser No. 3), and Cleveland (Cruiser No. 19) on a voyage to Portugal and the Mediterranean. After a ceremonial visit to Lisbon honoring the entrance of the Infante into the Portuguese naval school, Alabama and the other three battleships cruised the Mediterranean until mid-August. Returning by way of the Azores, she and her traveling companions arrived in Newport, R. I., on 29 August. Late in September, the warship entered the League Island Navy Yard for repairs. Early in December, Alabama left the yard and resumed cruising with the North Atlantic Fleet.

Near the end of 1907, the battleship set out upon a special mission. On 16 December 1907, she stood out of Hampton Roads in company with what became known as the Great White Fleet. Alabama accompanied the Fleet on its voyage around the South American continent as far as San Francisco. On 18 May 1908 when the bulk of the Fleet headed north to visit the Pacific northwest, she remained at San Francisco for repair at the Mare Island Navy Yard. As a consequence, the warship did not participate in the celebrated visit to Japan. Instead, Alabama and Maine departed San Francisco on 8 June to complete their own, more direct, circumnavigation of the globe. Steaming by way of Honolulu and Guam, the two battleships arrived at Manila in the Philippines on 20 July. In August, they visited Singapore and Colombo on the island of Ceylon. From Colombo, the two battleships made their way, via Aden on the Arabian Peninsula, to the Suez Canal. Through the canal early in September, Alabama and Maine made an expeditious transit of the Mediterranean Sea, pausing only at Naples at mid-month. Following a port call at Gibraltar, they embarked upon the Atlantic passage on 4 October. They made one stop, in the Azores, on their way across the Atlantic. On 19 October as they neared the end of their long voyage, the two battleships parted company. Maine headed for Portsmouth, N.H.; and Alabama steered for New York. Both reached their destinations on the 20th.

Alabama was placed in reserve at New York on 3 November 1908. Though she remained inactive at New York, the battleship was not decommissioned until 17 August 1909. The warship underwent an extensive overhaul that lasted until the early part of 1912. On 17 April 1912, she was placed in commission, second reserve, at New York, Comdr. Charles F. Preston in command. At that point, she became an element of the newly established Atlantic Reserve Fleet. According to that concept, the Navy organized a unit that comprised nine of the older battleships as well as Brooklyn (Armored Cruiser No. 3), Columbia (Cruiser No. 12), and Minneapolis (Cruiser No. 13) for the purpose of keeping those ships constantly ready for active service using the fiscal expedient of severely reduced complements that could be filled out rapidly by naval militiamen and volunteers in an emergency. The unit as a whole possessed enough officers and men to take two or three of the ships to sea on a rotating basis to test their material readiness and to exercise the sailors at drill.

Alabama was placed in full commission on 25 July 1912 and operated with the Atlantic Fleet off the New England coast through the summer. She was returned to reserve status-in commission, first reserve-at New York on 10 September 1912. Late in the spring of 1913, the Navy added a new dimension to the concept of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet by having the warships of that unit embark detachments of the various state naval militias for training afloat in a manner similar in many respects to the contemporary Navy's selected reserve program. During the summer of 1913, Alabama cruised along the east coast and made two round-trip voyages to Bermuda to train naval militiamen from Maryland, the District of Columbia, New York, Rhode Island, Maine, North Carolina, and Indiana. She ended her last training cruise of the year at Philadelphia on 2 September. The battleship was placed in ordinary on 31 October 1913 and in reserve on 1 July 1914.

Though still in commission, she passed the next 30 months in relative inactivity with the Reserve Force, Atlantic Fleet, at Philadelphia. America's shift toward belligerency in World War I, however, brought Alabama out of the doldrums of the peace-time reserve at the beginning of 1917. On 22 January, she became receiving ship at Philadelphia, embarking drafts of recruits for training. In mid-March, the battleship moved south to the lower reaches of the Chesapeake Bay and began transforming landsmen into sailors. She took a brief respite from her rigorous training schedule on 6 April 1917 for the announcement of the United States declaration of war on the Central Powers. Two days later, Alabama became flagship of Division 1, Atlantic Fleet. For the remainder of World War 1, the warship conducted recruit training missions in the lower Chesapeake Bay and in the coastal waters of the Atlantic seaboard, though she made one visit to the Gulf of Mexico in late June and early July of 1918.

After the armistice on 11 November 1918, her recruit training duties continued but began to diminish somewhat in intensity. During February and March of 1919, the battleship steamed south to the West Indies for winter maneuvers. She returned to Philad elphia in mid-April for routine repairs before heading for Annapolis to embark Naval Academy midshipmen for their summer training cruise. On 28 and 29 May, Alabama made the short trip from Philadelphia to Annapolis. She left Annapolis on 9 June with 184 midshipmen embarked. During the first part of the cruise, Alabama visited the West Indies and made a trip through the Panama Canal and back. In mid-July, she voyaged to New York and the New England coast. August saw her return south or maneuvers at the drill grounds. Alabama disembarked the midshipmen at Annapolis at the end of August and returned to Philadelphia.

After more than nine months at Philadelphia lingering in a sort of naval purgatory, the battleship was finally decommissioned on 7 May 1920. On 15 September 1921, Alabama was transferred to the War Department to be used as a target, and her name was struck from the Navy list. Subjected to aerial bombing tests in Chesapeake Bay by planes of the Army Air Service, the former warship sank in shallow water on 27 September 1921. On 19 March 1924, her sunken hulk was sold for scrap.

17 posted on 10/13/2003 5:21:59 AM PDT by aomagrat (IYAOYAS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Darksheare
Morning Darksheare.

I hadn't heard of Katyn either, not specifically anyway. It's not spoken of or written about much.
18 posted on 10/13/2003 5:25:22 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: The Mayor
Good Morning Mayor.
19 posted on 10/13/2003 5:25:41 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: aomagrat
Good morning aomagrat. Good photo of the phosphorus bomb.
20 posted on 10/13/2003 5:27:08 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 141-160 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson