TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – The Toledo Main Library downtown is the first U.S. stop of a traveling exhibit of the book "Katyn" by Allen Paul.
The book chronicles a tragic part of Poland's history when thousands of Polish nationals were massacred by the Soviets during World War II. The Soviets denied the massacre for years.
Allen was in town to give a presentation on his book Saturday at Lourdes College in Sylvania.
U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur was among those who brought the author to Toledo, and she was at the library for the opening of the exhibit. It will be on display until July 31.
The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest massacre (Polish: zbrodnia katy¨½ska, 'Katy¨½ crime'; Russian: §¬§Ñ§ä§í§ß§ã§Ü§Ú§Û §â§Ñ§ã§ã§ä§â§Ö§Ý), was a mass murder of Polish nationals carried out by the Soviet secret police NKVD in April-May 1940. It was based on Lavrentiy Beria's proposal to execute all members of the Polish Officer Corps, dated 5 March 1940. This official document was then approved and signed by the Soviet Politburo, including Joseph Stalin. The number of victims is estimated at about 22,000, the most commonly cited number being 21,768. The victims were murdered in the Katyn Forest in Russia, the Kalinin and Kharkov prisons and elsewhere. About 8,000 were officers taken prisoner during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, the rest being Polish doctors, professors, lawmakers, police officers, and other public servants arrested for allegedly being "intelligence agents, gendarmes, landowners, saboteurs, factory owners, lawyers, officials and priests." Since Poland's conscription system required every unexempted university graduate to become a reserve officer, the NKVD was able to round up much of the Polish intelligentsia, and the Russian, Ukrainian, Protestant, Muslim Tatar, Jewish, Georgian, and Belarusian intelligentsia of Polish citizenship.
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