Polish Mass Grave Found in Ukraine
- Mass Grave of Massacred Poles Found in Ukraine
Halyna Pastushuk reports from Kyiv,
Aug. 8, 2006
A Ukrainian government commission has concluded that thousands of
people buried in a mass grave outside Kiev were killed during Stalin's
purges, not by Nazi soldiers.
The commission's conclusion supports the testimony of elderly
witnesses in the nearby village of Bykovnia, who said they saw trucks
dripping blood en route to the site in the 1930's, before the Nazis
occupied the area.
Unofficial estimates put the number of bodies in the grave at 200,000
Villagers in Bykovnia broke five decades of silence to accuse Stalin's
secret police after the Ukrainian government erected a monument in May
1988 blaming Nazi occupiers for the crime. The villagers in December
forced Ukrainian authorities to establish the commission, saying three
previous investigations had covered up the truth by blaming Nazi troops.
Dr. Sawomir Kalbarczyk, Chief Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes
against the Polish Nation, said during the international scientific
conference "Archeology and Terror" conference that took place in
Tallin in Novembre 2005:
It is worth mentioning that the Bykovnia pits did not say their last
world" and may provide still a lot of valuable information, since the
Ukrainian authorities plan to carry out further exhumations there.
They were to be conducted in August last year, however were postponed
til this year. The National Remembrance Institute's prosecutors have
been invited in the capacity of observers.
There were found in Bykovnia numerous objects, belonging undoubtedly
to the Polish citizens, among others, the uniforms, military caps,
"knee-boots", Polish coins (including their issue of 1939), and also
the objects manufactured in Poland or in the Western Europe.
Unfortunately, all those things were separated from the corpses, so
they could not be attributed to any concrete persons. One thing is
however of a crucial value it is a driving license belonging to
the person who appears on a partial list of the executed civilians,
drawn up by the NKVD (those who were murdered in Ukraine).
Besides, the Ukrainian soil conceals more secrets. In 1997, the
Ukrainian authorities carried out exhumations in the neighborhood of
the former NKVD prison in Vladimir in Volhynien in order to check
information disclosed by the local population on burial of Stalin's
regime victims at that place. From death-pits there were excavated the
remains of 100 persons, whose skulls had bullet holes in their rear
part. With the corpses there were many items of the Polish origin:
shoulder boards of the Polish military men and policemen, uniform
buttons with the image of the White Eagle, etc. Just recently, the
Institute of National Remembrance has been informed that one of the
investigations, conducted by the Military Prosecutor's Office in
Ukraine brought to discovery in Kiev of the remains of 270
unidentified Polish officers. In cooperation with the Ukrainian party
Poles will do their very best to explain this gloomy atrocity which,
supposedly, may have a certain link with the Katyn Crime. Such
assumptions are justified as a trace of the prisoners murdered in
Ukraine breaks off, among others, in the Kiev prison.
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