Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lucia A movie on the Katyn Forest Massacre

For the first time ever, a movie has been made about the Katyn Forest Massacre of 1940.

In 1940, Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union and ally of Hilter's Germany, signed an order to kill 25,000 captured Polish Officers. The order was carried out secretly. All of the men who went to their deaths were told they were going back to their families. Instead they were transported in groups of around 250 and sent out to the forests where they were shot and buried in mass graves.

When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, they found the mass graves and publicised them to the world. The Soviets, at the time supposedly allies of the West and Poland, flatly denied responsibility. When challenged by Poland's exiled government, the Soviets in a huff, broke off relations with Poland. The other allies sided with the Soviets, putting Poland in a politically difficult and bad situation with the other allies (namely Britain the US).

During the 50 years that the Soviet Union ruled Poland in all but name, the Katyn Forest Massacre was not even allowed to be talked about. It was to be erased from public memory.

A few days ago, Andrzej Wajda's new film on the massacre was shown at the Berlin Film Festival. The film maker's father was one of the officers killed, so making this film was near and dear to his heart.
[...] the last 20 minutes of the film number among the most impressive of any film based on World War II. The execution of the officers is depicted in great detail. Handcuffed men are kicked off a truck and driven into a forest. Then comes the shot of the military pistol in the back of the head. By the dozens. Lifeless corpses fall with a thud into sand pits dug for this very purpose. A bulldozer stands by to fill in the mass grave.
Amazingly, according to the Economist, it looks like the lie that it was the Nazis is resurfacing in Russia. As the article says, an Oscar (the film is nominated for best foreign language film), would be a great answer to that!

Related Links: History Lessons from Poland ~ Spiegel Online
New Film Katyn" Unburied Dead ~ The Economist

10 comment(s):

MK said...

Learned something new today, thanks Lucyna.

"...the Katyn Forest Massacre was not even allowed to be talked about."

Much like the Chinese and Tianamen Square.

I wonder how many more have been wiped from history by the evil of communism that we don't even know about.

Hoolian said...

Much like the Chinese and Tianamen Square.

Or perhaps like the Japanese Govt erasing/editing WWII in the the official history textbooks taught in every school is Japan.

Its funny that the suppression of free speech never actually works - despite the lengths people will go to. In fact, the harder someone tries to squeeze it out, the more persistant it becomes.

fugley said...

Amazingly, according to the Economist, it looks like the lie that it was the Nazis is resurfacing in Russia. As the article says, an Oscar (the film is nominated for best foreign language film), would be a great answer to that!

I wasn't aware that Oscars conveyed historical accuracy; you learn something everyday.

As to the story, well European history is littered with massacres and evil acts.

The Lithuanians seem to think the Poles did some terrible things on their invasions.

Lucyna Maria said...

Fugley, do you even know what you are talking about?

The purpose of this massacre was to kill all those who could possibly help lead Poland in the future. The officers represented the educated and loyal men of society, the natural leaders of their communities. Killing them was a part of a calculated takeover of the country.

And what invasions of Lithuania?

ZenTiger said...

Fugley, old chap. Open your heart. What was the purpose of your comment?

I wasn't aware that Oscars conveyed historical accuracy; you learn something everyday.

A film was made to inform people of the Katyn Massacre. It is fact, in spite of what your flippancy implies. The fact that a film may be nominated for an Oscar down the track does not in anyway change the historical accuracy of the film. An Oscar nomination does not have the criteria of only selecting fantasy stories.

Making a comment from that perspective reflects badly on you.

As to the story, well European history is littered with massacres and evil acts.

Spoken like a true lefty, unfortunately. Real people, real lives. They still mean something more than a "so what?".

The Lithuanians seem to think the Poles did some terrible things on their invasions.

And that makes this alright in your books?

It seemed the purpose of your comment was to simultaneously demonstrate a lack of humanity and try to criticise any aspect of Lucyna's post that you could muster. Perhaps the latter created the former. Was it really worth it Fugley?

Anonymous said...

Actually, the comment by Fugley is fairly accurate though. European, and world history has many examples of massacres like Katyn. Perhaps the difference though is Poland was in the Soviet sphere so it was never acknowledged by the USSR until January 1989 during discussions with Poland's solidarity government - something I am not sure if Lucyna mentioned or not. It was however widely known outside the eastern bloc due to captured German documents, and from memory most of the officers were killed by a gunshot to the back of the head which was fairly consistent with Soviet execution techniques (as opposed to machine gunning). The Nazi's however were an easy group to pin it on for obvious reasons. Lucyna obviously has an attachment to it due to her heritage, in which case I suggest she goes to Warsaw to see the Katyn monument just outside of the city walls in the old town. Fugley isn't deriding the massacre or devaluing the lives lost - nor is he apologizing for the actions taken by the USSR, atleast that not what I get from his post anyway.

S

ZenTiger said...

Actually, the comment by Fugley is fairly accurate though.

Well, Fugley's comment about the Oscars (implying this movie was not historically correct) is certainly inaccurate. And rude.

I have no dispute with your historical recap, and yes, I recall previous posts by Lucyna on this topic that have covered off the details.

Fugley isn't deriding the massacre or devaluing the lives lost - nor is he apologizing for the actions taken by the USSR, at least that not what I get from his post anyway.

Well, the "same old" approach and the flippancy around the comments disrespects the memory of this event. It isn't particularly appropriate to counter a post about a specific mass massacre with "so what, it happens every-where" given the entire context of his comment. As I explained.

Anonymous said...

Without having seen the movie, we don't know how accurate it is zen..."The lives of others", while gripping and with an overall message aimed at countering Ostalgie wasn't historically accurate - although it was brilliant - small factors about the film were engineered to provoke a feeling. Fugley wasn't treating the massacre with flippancy any more than I have. Chances are the movie isn't going to be 100% historically correct - I've never seen a film that treats any historic event that has been 100% correct. Perhaps you're missing the woods for the trees.

S

Murray said...

Fugley I'd address your comments but unfortunately your hosts are polite people who don't approve of words like wanker, dickhead and fucknuckle.

On for others: We do know for fact a a LOT of Poles have been dug up who had their hands tied behind their backs and been shot in the back of the head and in 1990 the Russians put their hand up for it.

Hopefully that will help you in your search for their "root causes" or whatever excause you're looking for to get the commies off the hook this week.

dad4justice said...

fugly is a fetid fungus.

Post a Comment

Please be respectful. Foul language and personal attacks may get your comment deleted without warning. Contact us if your comment doesn't appear - the spam filter may have grabbed it.