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Katyn and Auschwitz Made Spring 1940 “Poland’s Most Cruel”

NEWS from THE POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS
DOWNSTATE NEW YORK DIVISION
177 Kent St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11222 – (718) 349-9689
_______________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 31, 2010

KATYN AND AUSCHWITZ MADE

SPRING 1940 “POLAND’S MOST CRUEL”

 

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Brooklyn, N.Y. …It was April 1940. Six months had already

passed since the invasion of Poland by the Germans and the

Russians the prior September. Most of the killing should have

stopped by now.

Little did the Polish people know what was in store for them

from the Germans and the Russians who now occupied their

country.

Their Springtime was about to become just as cruel and bloody

as the winter they just lived through. It was to be the time of

Katyn and Auschwitz.

The Downstate N.Y. Division of the Polish American Congress

will mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre and the

opening of the Auschwitz concentration camp with special

observances at its annual meeting on Sunday, June 13 at the

Polish & Slavic Center in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Participating in the event will be Auschwitz survivors, Polish

war veterans and members of the Children of Polish Christian

Holocaust Survivors.

The recent release of Russian documents about Katyn confirmed

that the Communists began a systematic murder of at least

22,000 Polish army officers, priests, university professors,

doctors, lawyers and other professionals on orders from the

Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin.

The barbaric 1940 orgy of terror and death lasted through the

months of April and May. Most of the executions took place

in the Katyn forest, near Smolensk, the site of the April 10th

plane crash that recently killed the president of Poland and

many government and military officials.

And – as if the Katyn murders were not enough of a Polish

tragedy – the Germans who were in control of the other half

of occupied Poland decided to begin operations at the infamous

Auschwitz death camp on June 14th.

They opened it on that day by sending 728 Polish prisoners

from Tarnow, the first transport ever. For the first two years

of its existence, the majority of inmates in Auschwitz were

Polish. Mass transports of Jews did not begin until Spring,

1942.

World War II officially ended in May, 1945. “For everyone

else but not for Poland and several other countries in Eastern

Europe,” said Michael Preisler, co-chair of the Polish American

Congress Holocaust Documentation Committee and an Auschwitz

survivor himself. “The Russian army would not leave Poland

until 1993.”

Contact: Frank Milewski

pacdny@verizon.net

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