Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The forest of the Katyn massacre

In the spring of 1940, the Katyn Forest witnessed the massacre of 20,000 Polish officers and civilians accused of spying by the NKVD. The slaughter was carried out under the command of Stalin but the Soviets attributed to Germany. It was not until 1990, when Mikhail Gorbachev brought to light the hidden documents. After that, Russia recognized their involvement in the incident. Years later a memorial was set in the place.
For Poles is a cursed place since, in 2010, President Kaczynski and 95 others including leading figures of Polish government and clegy suffered a plane crash with no survivors when traveling to Katyn to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the slaughter.



VISITOR INFORMATION

Official website: http://www.katyn-memorial.ru
Opening hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Guided tour: 800 rubles (20 euros)  
Museum admission: 50 rubles (1.25 euros)




The memorial complex was inaugurated in 2000. It consists of a large cemetery, some monuments and a museum. All Polish officers killed in the slaughter of Katyn were buried in mass graves in June. Part of the cemetery is Russian and here are buried more than 6,000 victims of the Soviet Great Purge of 1930.




GETTING TO KATYN FOREST

Location: here .

Located in Russia 400 km away from Moscow and 320 km away from Minsk. The railway line that links Moscow (Belarus station) to Minsk (Minsk station Pas) passes through Smolensk, 20 km away from Katyn. The journey takes about 4-5 hours from both cities.  
Once in Smolensk you can take the bus #101 (Smetanino direction) to Kozyi Goryy. A sign indicates: "Memorial Polskim ofitseram pogibshim v Katyni".





Fuentes:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/russia/western-european-russia/katyn-forest/transport/getting-there-away
http://www.archives.gov/research/foreign-policy/katyn-massacre/
http://www.katyn.org.au/

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