The memory of the Katyn Massacre obliges us to work for Poland, President Bronislaw Komorowski said Friday at Warsaw's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, honouring the 75th anniversary of the 1940 mass executions of about 22,000 Poles by Soviet security service.
In the spring of 1940 units of the Soviet security service NKVD executed around 22,000 Polish POWs held in Soviet camps and prisons in Katyn Forest, western Russia. Among the victims was Poland's pre-war intellectual elite, including high army and police officers, officials, teachers, doctors, lawyers, clergy, writers and social activists.
In his address at the ceremony Bronislaw Komorowski reminded that the massacre cost the lives of almost the entire Polish military elite.
"The Stalinist criminals raised their hands on war prisoners and murdered all or almost all of the Polish officers they took hostage in 1939. The 20th century knows no comparable crime", the president declared.
In Bronislaw Komorowski's opinion the Katyn tragedy was the fundament of today's free Polish state. Reminding that the massacre victims were buried in mass graves in Katyn and Mednoye in Russia and Kharkiv and Bykivnia in today's Ukraine, Komorowski said that the conservation of the graves was a sign of thanks to the Katyn victims and their sacrifice.
Present at the ceremony were among others PM Ewa Kopacz, Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak, families of the Katyn victims and war veterans. (PAP)