According to Edward Raczyński, Churchill admitted on 15 April 1943 during a conversation with General Sikorski†: "Alas, the German revelations are probably true. The Bolsheviks can be very cruel." However, at the same time, on 24 April 1943 Churchill assured the Soviets: "We shall certainly oppose vigorously any 'investigation' by the International Red Cross or any other body in any territory under German authority. Such investigation would be a fraud and its conclusions reached by terrorism."
[...] an admiral, two generals, 24 colonels, 79 lieutenant colonels, 258 majors, 654 captains, 17 naval captains, 3,420 NCOs, seven chaplains, three landowners, a prince, 43 officials, 85 privates, 131 refugees, 20 university professors, 300 physicians; several hundred lawyers, engineers, and teachers; and more than 100 writers and journalists as well as about 200 pilots.
In Katyn, screening out of competition, Andrzej Wajda revisits the infamous massacre. In 1940, the Soviet army executed 20,000 Polish prisoners of war in the forest of Katyn, but after the war, the Nazis were blamed for the murders. In cold grey and brown images and with a brooding score by Krzysztof Penderecki, Wadja portrays first the run-up and then the aftermath of the massacre, telling the story of several families. Eventually, in a harrowing climax, he takes us into the forest itself, where we witness the horrifying events from the point of view of those who were killed.
The opening scenes, where families are separated, scholars arrested, prisoners deported, and fascists come knocking in the night, are proficiently executed but familiar from the scores of movies already made about World War II. I was much more intrigued with the Orwellian second half of Katyn, in which history is rewritten by the victors. Under Soviet occupation, the official version of the massacre is mercilessly enforced, and anybody who dares to say otherwise or puts the "wrong" date on a gravestone won't be heard from again.
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