Katyn Forest Massacre

Katyn Forest was home to the graves of over 4,300 Polish officers. The German army discovered these graves in March of 1943. The deceased Polish officers were Prisoners of War following the aftermath of the invasion of the Soviets and occupation of the Polish Eastern provinces between 1939-1941. Unfortunately for the Germans, the Soviets completely denied the massacre and blamed it all on the Germans. Katyn Forest is located near Smolensk in Russia. The murders that occurred in Katyn Forest are known as the Katyn Forest Massacre.

The mass execution of Polish military by the Soviets during the Second World War triggered the severance of diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and the Polish government. Following Germany and the Soviet Union’s completion of the Nonaggression Pact of 1939, the Soviets occupied the eastern half of Poland. As a result, many Polish officers were kept in prison camps inside the Soviet Union.


The Katyn Massacre left a deep wound in Polish-Soviet relationships during the rest of World War II and afterward. For the Polish people, Katyn became a symbol of the many victims of Stalinism.