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”
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
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
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,
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
Contact: Frank Milewski