http://www.thenews.pl/international/artykul153706_katyn-must-be-termed-genocide--say-politicians.html Katyn must be termed ‘genocide’, say politiciansMessage 1 of 1 , Apr 20, 2011View Sourcehttp://www.thenews.pl/international/artykul153706_katyn-must-be-termed-genocide--say-politicians.html
Katyn must be termed ‘genocide’, say politicians19.04.2011 12:12
A group of over thirty politicians and journalists have called on President Bronisław Komorowski to issue a declaration that would confirm Poland’s stand whereby the Katyń massacre of Polish officers in 1940 in Soviet Russia is termed as a genocide.
The appeal - signed by, among others, former deputy speaker of parliament Marek Jurek, MEP Konrad Szymański, former MEP and prominent historian Wojciech Roszkowski and director of the Warsaw Rising Museum Jan Ołdakowski - follows an opinion by presidential adviser Roman Kuzniar expressed in a radio interview last week that Katyn was a war crime rather than an act of genocide.
“I realize that many Poles find it difficult to accept but the Katyn crime does not come under the definition of genocide as formulated in UN conventions,” he said.
In their appeal to the President, Polish politicians and journalists write that Katyn was genocide both as an extermination of Polish intelligentsia and as an element of the Soviet Union’s genocidal policies in the territories seized from Poland after 17 September 1939.
The appeal stresses that the notion ‘genocide’ in reference to Katyn was used not only by Polish state organs and public opinion but also by a team of experts of the Supreme Military Prosecutor of the Russian Federation in 1993.
Former Chairman of the National Remembrance Institute and now Civic Platform senator Leon Kieres told the Polish Press Agency that the goal of the Katyn massacre was an elimination of Polish elites, which was to result in an enslavement of the Polish nation, and therefore it was a crime of genocide. Professor Kieres recalled that after World War II the Russians themselves referred to Katyń as genocide when trying to make Nazi Germany responsible for the crime.
According to the authors of the appeal to the President, belittling the importance of truth about Soviet communism does not serve to enhance Polish-Russian dialogue. (mk)