Katyń: Unfinished Inquiry
Capitol Hill Conference
September 15, 2011
Introduction – Maria Szonert Binienda, President, Libra Institute, Inc.
Opening Remarks – John Lenczowski, President, The Institute of World Politics
Katyń in the Polish-American Community – Frank Spula, President, Polish-American Congress
US Congressional Investigation of the Katyn Forest Massacre – Honorable Aurelia Pucinski
Presentation of the 2011 Roman Pucinski Award to Hon. Mark Kirk, Senator from the State of Illinois
Remarks by Senator Mark Kirk, Recipient of the 2011 Roman Pucinski Award
Presentation of the Report of the Cleveland Experts Meeting on Katyn – Prof. David Crane
A report from the Katyn Symposium that took place at CWRU School of Law in February of 2011.
Remarks by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
2011 Warsaw Declaration on Culture, Memory, and Identity ̶ John Van Oudenaren, Director, Word Digital Library, The Library of Congress.
Presentation of the 2011 Congressional Leadership Award, PAC Ohio
Remarks by Representative Marcy Kaptur, Recipient of the 2011 PAC Ohio Congressional Leadership Award.
Concluding Remarks – Wesley Adamczyk, Son of the Katyń Victim
Libra Institute, Inc.
The Institute of World Politics
Frederick K. Cox International Law Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Law; Katyń Forest Massacre Memorial Committee, Jersey City, NJ; Kresy-Siberia Foundation, USA; National Katyń Memorial Foundation, Baltimore, MD; Polish Army Veterans Association in America; Polish Legacy Project – WWII, Buffalo, NY; Siberian Society of U.S.A; Siberian Society of Florida; The American Council for Polish Culture; The Pilsudski Institute of America; The Poles of “Santa Rosa” Club, Chicago, IL; The Polish American Congress; The Polish American Historical Association.
KATYN: UNFINISHED INQUIRY
US House of Representatives, The Capitol Hill
September 15, 2011
Wesley Adamczyk, Son of the Polish Officer murdered in Katyn
As the son of a Katyn victim, I would first like to express my deepest gratitude to all the individuals who invited me to participate in the Katyn Symposium held at Case Western Reserve University in February of this year, and in today’s session on Capitol Hill in Washington. In particular, I would like to thank Professor Michael Scharf, the director of Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law; Maria Szonert, the president of Libra Institute Inc.; and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who made today’s conference possible.
In June of 1998, nearly six decades after searching for my father’s burial site, my American-born son and I finally had an opportunity to pay our respects to my father—and to the nearly 3,900 other Polish officers who were murdered by the Soviet NKVD in the spring of 1940—at Piatichatki cemetery, in today’s Ukraine. Upon leaving the cemetery I asked my son to look back at the hundreds of Polish flags rising from the fifteen mass graves. Then I appealed to him never to forget that neither the grinding of the bones nor the planting of trees over the graves would prevent the truth from emerging from the place where it had lain buried so long.
Although the suppression of truth concerning all aspects of the Katyn crime has been referred to as an “international cover-up,” the term does not reveal its true nature and origin. Shortly after World War Two ended, the Big Four met in London to establish the procedures for the upcoming trials of major war criminals at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg. It was decided at that time that the Soviets would handle the indictment and prosecution of the Katyn crime, even though the Western Allies knew that all arrows pointed to Soviet guilt. This decision allowed the Soviets to charge the Germans for the Katyn crime, and eventually the case was dropped altogether for lack of evidence. A “conspiracy of silence” was born during the London meeting and continued throughout the Nuremberg trials to shield the Soviets from being charged with the Katyn crime. The Western Allies may have won the war against Nazi Germany, but justice for the victims of Katyn was never sought or achieved.
Today, standing on the floor of the United States Congress, I hope and pray that all the documents concerning the Katyn crime will be disclosed and that the truth will be fully revealed—not only to uphold the universal principles of justice for which we stand, but also to honor the victims of the Katyn crime, the Polish people, and the Polish nation.