On April 7, 2010, Vladimir Putin traveled to the Katyn forest in Western Russia, in order to join the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in commemorating Stalin’s victims shot and buried there seventy years earlier. Three days after this commemoration, the world was shaken as the plane carrying another Polish delegation to Katyn, headed by President Lech Kaczynski, crashed en route, killing everyone aboard. The catastrophe has sent Poland into mourning, and the events that precipitated it need to be remembered as well. In the spring of 1940, the Soviet political police, NKVD, carried out a secret killing of at least 22,436 Polish prisoners; 4,421 of them were executed in Katyn. Among the countless crimes of World War II (some of them much greater in scope), this mass murder has become subject to arguably the most persistent cover-up in the twentieth century—not only...

 
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