The Katyn massacre was a series of mass executions of Polish intelligentsia committed in April 1940 by NKVD soldiers who were fulfilling the orders of Stalin and the highest command of the Soviet Union.
Over twenty two thousand Poles lost their life in the Katyn, Tver and Kcharkiv forests. Amongst victims of this genocide were: officers, lawyers, doctors, professors and priests who were killed without a single trial.
The world was not supposed to know the truth. For over 50 years these were Germans to be accused for the Katyn massacre. Only on April 13, 1990 the President of USSR Mikhail Gorbachev admitted that it was NKVD to be responsible for these executions.
In the last undelivered speech of President Lech Kaczynski, he was supposed to say: ‘(…)They fell victims to an unspeakable war. Their murder was a violation of the rights and conventions of the civilized world. Their dignity as soldiers, Poles and people, was insulted. Pits of death were supposed to hide the bodies of the murdered and the truth about the crime forever. (…)However, the relatives of the murdered and other courageous people kept the memory, defended it and passed it on to next generations of Poles. They managed to preserve the memory of Katyn in the times of communism and spread it in the times of free and independent Poland. Therefore, we owe respect and gratitude to all of them, especially to the Katyn Families. On behalf of the Polish state, I offer sincere thanks to you, that by defending the memory of your relatives you managed to save a highly important dimension of our Polish consciousness and identity.’
On April 10, 2010 on the way to commemoration ceremony of the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre the President of the Republic of Poland together with his wife and 94 other persons lost their lives.
Today, President of Poland Andrzej Duda planted an oak tree in commemoration of the Victims of the Katyn Massacre. He also said that 'that tree was not only the symbol of remembrance but also a sign of power of Poland and its nation which had not been taken by Katyń and the ground of Smolensk'.