Тема: Mednoe: where are the poland prisoners of war buried
Mednoe: where are the poland prisoners of war buried
Three versions of the disappearance. (Given to reduce)
The Katyn tragedy which occurred six months after the outbreak of the Second World war had a negative impact on the Polish-Russian relations for a long time. They became more complicated on the 10-th of April, 2010, when the plane by the President of Poland Lech Kaczynsky crashed near Smolensk. There were 96 people on the board of the Tu-154 flying to the mourning event on the occasion of the 70-th anniversary of the Katyn case.
The Katyn tragedy claimed the lives of nearly 22 thousands of Poland prisoners of war. On the 26-th of November 2010 the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation had accepted the statement « About the Katyn tragedy and it`s victims» and acknowledged the Katyn execution as a crime committed by the direction of the Stalinist leadership of the USSR, and expressed its sympathy to the Polish people. The President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and subsequently elected President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin officially condemned the Katyn tragedy as a crime of Stalin regime.
The definition of «Katyn» is adopted by the village of Katyn and the Katyn forest where 4421 pole people had been shot. In Russia is known another place of mass destruction of poles in the frames of the Katyn case – it is the city of Kalinin where 6296 Polish prisoners of war were shot, it is nearly one and a half times more than in Katyn. It is considered that the executed in Kalinin were buried near the district village Mednoye, 30 kilometres far from the regional centre (since July 17, 1990, Tver again).
However, the parliamentary opposition is impugning the Katyn case. For example, Victor Ilyukhin (now deceased), the Chairman of State Duma Committee on constitutional legislation and state building, declared about any involvement of the Soviet side to this crime. In May 2010 he showed the representatives of mass media the press, stamps, forms of the sample of 1940, the facsimile of Stalin. They were provided by a friend of the Deputy, who held high positions in KGB and FSB. The acquaintance told how they planned to fake a «closed package №1» and agreed to confirm his testimony in the case of the official investigation of the Katyn case if his personal safety was ensured, still Victor Ilyukhin died.
April 17, 2015, a proceeding devoted to the struggle against the falsification of history – particularly military history – took place in the walls of the Tver City Duma. The Head of the city Alexander Korzyn opened the meeting, and then the tone was set by the coordinator of the International project «The Truth about Katyn» Sergey Strygin, the follower of V.Ilyukhin. The author of these lines attended the forum and came to the conclusion that those who were crying louder about the falsification of history, are just those people who fake it themselves!
March 11, 2016 again the Katyn tragedy was discussed , now in the conference hall of the research centre «Tvergeophysics». The organizers, relatively young people, entitled the meeting simply «What do we know about Mednoye?»
Although the organizers arranged passport control at the entrance, the new forum brought together more participants than in the City Duma. Igor Korpusov, the representative of Preobrazhensky Commonwealth of small Orthodox brotherhoods, and the regional coordinator of the project «The Last Adress»Artem Vazhenkov held the meeting. Near them were sitting the head of the Polish program «Memorial» Alexander Guryanov (Moscow) and the scientific researcher of the Memorial Complex «Mednoye» Ivan Tsykov. Two video tapes were shown. The first video presented the story of the retired general-major of justice Alexander Tretetsky. In August 1991 A.Tretetsky supervised investigations in the village near Mednoye. Another tape gave the comments by leading researcher of the Institute of General history Russian Academy of Sciences Natalia Lebedeva. Those comments concerned a special folder» of Politburo, the activity by Burdenko`s commission in Katyn, the vicissitudes of the Nuremderg trials on Katyn case, etc.
Alexander Tretetsky restated from the screen what had been said before: in 1991 they extracted the remains of 243 Polish officers. Не also pointed out that the bodies exhumed near Mednoye were decomposed less than the bodies near Kharkov. He explained that the best safety was promoted by frozen ground in Mednoye and by the close location of the buried bodies. A large part of prisoners had been shot from German pistols Walther, this fact reinforces the speculative version about killing the poles by Germans. However, the investigators of the Chief military Prosecutor`s office found out the documents showing that officers of NKVD at that time were provided by German weapon as more trusty. Tretetsky emphasized that the testimony of Dmitry Tokarev, the chief of NKVD in Kalinin region, about executions of Polish prisoners in Kalinin were truthful, reliable, confirmed by other sources.
A.Guryanov reported that the Polish prisoners had been transported from Ostashkov to Kalinin in 23 steps, it practically coincides with the information given by Borisovets, the chief of the Ostashkov prisoner`s camp, and the total number of graves. Not far from Tver near the village Zavolzhsky, a pit with the uniform of Polish policemen and equipment was discovered, but there were no human remains there. Guryanov announced the total amount of polish prisoners of war, found in all excavations in the Memorial Complex «Mednoye». Their number is 2358.
However, there are much more names at the Polish military cemetery in MC « Mednoye» - 6296. Where are the remains of most of those 6296? Now there are three versions. As the creator of the third of them I just indicate that I don`t doubt either the number of executed poles, nor the fact of their execution in Kalinin. But there are additional considerations below.
Guryanov noted that the degree of decomposition of the remains in different excavations was various. A lot of bodies were absolutely decomposed, only the traces of wax remain, and soil had specific colour because of the blue uniform. And this is the first version: full decomposition of the bodies. Still, the fragments of newspapers, personal notes, banknotes, certificates found at the excavations, were in leather cases, purses or in the legs of boots. And the tannins released from the skin contributed to the preservation of paper.
According to Guryanov, the report on the exhumation 1994-1995 was published only in Polish, but not in Russian. Do not explain something previous declarations by Bronislaw Mlodzievsky, the Professor of the police Academy of the Olsztyn province of Poland. He led the work of the expert group in 1994-1995 and insured that the remains of all citizens of Poland in Mednoye had been raised to the surface.
At the meeting in «Tvergeophysics» also spoke Sergey Strygin and Doctor of historical sciences Alexey Plotnikov (Moscow). Strygin is one of the authors of the alternative version that the prisoners belonging to the more dangerous category than officers, were not executed in spring 1940, but brought from Ostashkov camp to the other areas of the USSR, most likely to the Kola labour camp to the construction of the Murmansk – Vaenga (now the town Severomorsk) railroad.
Strygin also said that except the Soviet soldiers of the 29-th Army, died in local hospitals, about a hundred soldiers of the Polish Army and prisoners of Kalinin remand prison (soviet citizens) were buried on the territory of «Mednoye».
Still today the opposition is intensively speculating on the subject of the death of «our» Red Army soldiers who fell into Polish captivity in 1919-1920. But it is obvious, that when the Red Army was the army of the third International in fact, many citizens of independent state formations - Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States, Hungary and even China – served in it. The USSR was formed out of a number of States much later, at the end of 1922, and during the Civil war the boots of a Polish soldier had not tread the territory of the RSFSR. However, speaking about «our» army the opposition actually shifts all the responsibility, including financial problems, for the invasion of Poland in 1920 – on Russia.
Finally, the third version is more clear to the citizens of Tver than to Moscovites. Documents published by the Federal security service indicate that the victims of political repression in Kalinin are buried at the Volyn cemetery and in the yard of Tver medical Academy. The representative of the MC «Mednoye» Ivan Tsykov told that in Mednoye and its suburbs the excavations of the graves of Soviet victims of political repression had never been produced; but the press reported about the burials around the Central stadium and Gorbatka locality. So the acknowledgement by now late captain of internal service Stanislav Dudarev about the fragments of the Polish uniforms on the territory of the remand prison near the Oriental Bridge can be hardly remarkable.
My working hypothesis for many years is that the Polish prisoners of war were being shot not only in the building of the Department of interior but also in a regional prison, which had been supplied by railway line since 1925. And their bodies were buried not only in Mednoye but at the urban graveyards of Peremerky, Bobachevsky grove, at the Neopalimovsky cemetery. It was irrational to carry all the bodies to Mednoye!.. How else can one explain the fact that neither the Tver regional Prosecutor`s office nor the office of the Federal counterintelligence service of Tver region could not find any witness of the column of wagons with the bodies of 200-250 poles going to Mednoye.
The opponents, denying the fact of the execution of Polish officers, seem to irritate Poland, but it is misconception: Sergey Strygin and his supporters are Poland`s «fifth column», and not only because of heated interest for the Katyn case. Just without them no one will force Russians to seek Polish graves in Tver and its suburbs and to create new Polish memorials.
Igor Alexandrovich MANGAZEEV, local historian, member of the Russian Union of journalists.
*The text is translated by Elena Tikhonova, researcher of local history, Prokopyevsk, Kemerovo region, Russia.