Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki published a touching entry on social media on occasion of the Day of Remembrance, which he began by quoting one of Poland’s most famous poets, Adam Mickiewicz:
“If I forget them, God in Heaven, thou forget me too!”
“These words force themselves on my lips today, reminding of the sin of failing to preach about truth and memory, when we honor Polish officers who were murdered by the Soviets in the Katyn Forest,” he wrote.
Morawiecki reminded that April 13 is the day chosen by Polish parliament in 2007 to commemorate the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the 1940 Katyn massacre.
“It commemorates this heinous crime whose victims were Poles. They were murdered because they were Poles. This was the only and sufficient argument for Soviet criminals. The perpetrators of this crime, and of many others, were never punished. In communist Poland, those who demanded the truth were punished. Even today, there are supporters of the idea that we should not speak too much of the Katyn massacre to not spread the truth of it as it is uncomfortable,” wrote Morawiecki.
The prime minister believes that there are those who are trying to whitewash the perpetrators by accusing the victims of acts which they never committed.
“This confusion of terms, confusion of good with evil, is meant to disgrace the truth to create a conviction that ‘everyone has their own truth’,” he wrote. Morawiecki concluded his statement by emphasizing that “in days such as this one, we must care for the truth and pass it down to the next generations”.
In Spring 1940, the Soviet NKVD murdered close to 22,000 Polish officers and intelligentsia in what became known as the Katyn massacre. While the mass murders were carried out in several locations, the event is named after the Katyn forest where the first mass graves were discovered by German soldiers in April 1943.
The Soviet Union admitted to the crime 50 years after it was committed, on April 13, 1990, when Mikhail Gorbatchev released top-secret documents on the matter.
Nevertheless, ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, the subject of the Katyn massacre has been a source of conflict. Moscow continues to refuse to reveal secret NKVD archives including the Belarus list which contains the data of Poles murdered in Belarus.