Katyn and `The Good War`
The decapitation of the Polish
government last weekend, including President Lech
Kaczynski and the military leadership, on that flight to
Katyn Massacre, brings to mind the terrible and
tragic days and deeds of what many yet call the Good
From Russian reports, the Polish
pilot waved off four commands from air traffic control
to divert to Moscow or Minsk. The airfield at Smolensk
was fogged in. There is
speculation that Kaczynski, fiercely
nationalistic and distrustful of Russians, may have
defiantly ordered his pilot to land, rather than delay
the 70th anniversary of Katyn. The symbolism is
For it was Polish defiance of Adolf
Hitler`s demand to negotiate the return of Danzig, a
German town put under Polish control after World War I,
that gave birth to the Hitler-Stalin Pact, which led to
After the German invasion on
Sept. 1, 1939, ignited the war, Joseph Stalin
attacked Poland from the east on Sept. 17, capturing
much of the Polish officer corps.
In April 1940, on Stalin`s order,
the Soviet Secret Police, the NKVD, murdered virtually
the entire leadership of the nation, including 8,000
officers and near twice that number of intellectuals and
civilian leaders. Some 4,000 were
shot with their hands tied behind their backs in Katyn
The Germans unearthed the bodies in
1943 and invited the Red Cross in to examine the site.
Through newspapers found on the corpses, the date of the
atrocity was fixed as more than a year before the German
Army invaded the Soviet Union.
When Polish patriots, whose sons
had flown with the Royal Air Force in the
Battle of Britain, went to Winston Churchill to
demand that he get answers from Stalin about the
atrocity, he brushed them off.
"There is no
sense prowling around the three-year-old graves of
Smolensk," said the Great Man.
At Stalin`s request, Churchill
bullied the Poles into acceding to Soviet annexation of
all the Polish land Stalin had been awarded for signing
his pact with Hitler.
At the Nuremberg trials, the
Russian delegation, led by Andrei Vishinsky, the
Stalin`s dirty work in the purge trials, charged the
Germans with the massacre.
This presented a problem for the
Americans and British who knew the truth. They finessed
the issue by leaving the charge unresolved.
Before, during and after the
Nuremberg trials that would convict the Nazis of
humanity," one of the greatest crimes against
humanity in history was being committed. Fifteen million
Germans—old men, women, children—were driven like cattle
out of ancestral homes in Prussia, Pomerania,
Brandenburg, Silesia and the Sudetenland.
As human rights champion Alfred de
Zayas wrote in his courageous
Nemesis at Potsdam: The Expulsion of the Germans From the East,
perhaps 2 million died in the exodus. Few German women
in Eastern Europe escaped rape.
The Allies turned a blind eye to
the monstrous atrocity, as ancient names vanished. Memel
became Klaipeda. Prussia disappeared. Koenigsberg, the
city of Immanuel Kant, became Kaliningrad. Danzig became
Gdansk. Breslau became Wroclaw.
deserved it, for what they did," comes the retort.
Undeniably, the Nazi atrocities
were numerous and horrible—against Poles, Ukrainians,
Yet, it was innocent Germans who
paid for the crimes of the guilty Germans.
What happened in Eastern and
Central Europe from 1939 to 1948 provided proof, if any
more were really needed, of the truth of W.H. Auden`s
insight in his poem
"Those to whom evil is done do evil in return."
At war`s end, Churchill and Harry
repatriate 2 million Soviet prisoners of war to Stalin,
none of whom wished to go back. For return to Russia
meant death at the railhead or a short brutal life at
slave labor in the Gulag Archipelago.
Operation Keelhaul was the name
given the Allied collusion with the Red Army in
transferring these terrified POWs back to their deaths
at the hands of the same Soviet butchers who had done
the murdering at Katyn.
On Sept. 3, 1939, Britain and
France declared war on Germany to restore the integrity
and independence of Poland. For this great goal they
converted a German-Polish clash that lasted three
weeks—into a world war lasting six years.
And was Poland saved? No. Poland
As a consequence of the war begun
on her behalf, millions of Poles—Jews and Catholics
alike—perished, the Katyn massacre was carried out, the
Home Army was annihilated, the nation suffered five
years of Nazi rule and almost half a century of
The tragedy of today is that it was men of the postwar
generation, like Lech Kaczynski, who
the faith of their fathers and led Poland out of
that darkness into the sunlight of freedom, who died
seeking to pay homage to their fathers who suffered one
of the greatest crimes of that bloodiest of centuries.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.