10 September 2012

U.S. Hushed Up Soviet Massacre at Katyn

Though they tried to escape blame for decades, the Soviet responsibility for the Katyn Massacre has been known for some time. Now it appears that our government helped cover it up. Of course, most wars are accompanied by propaganda on all sides. But some is worse than others.

This story reminds me of Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honor trilogy, when the protagonist-- who initially enlisted thinking the war was for a noble cause-- realized that his country's pact with communism led to an horrific outcome for those countries put under Soviet domination and moreover put socialists in control in England.

Pat Buchanan called World War II "the unnecessary war". It was, though it is considered an unquestionably noble cause for nearly everyone who studied in in American schools. Yet, as Buchanan notes, it's not easy to see what this country gained in siding with one totalitarian regime over another, half a world away.

World War II defines our country, much as the Civil War did for those who came before it. It would be nice to appraise the mythos based on reality.


Anonymous said...

There is a small artistic monument to the Katyn martyrdom on the campus of the Orchard Lake Schools
(SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary) in Orchard Lake, Michigan (suburban Detroit). It is very poignant. One of the priest-faculty members there was one of the very small handful of soldier-survivors from that tragedy.
Father Michael, O.P.

Anonymous said...

So I guess we should have not only taken on the Nazi's and Japs, but also the Soviet Union in WWII?


x said...

Did you know seven German officers were tried and hanged for the Katyn massacres by those wonderful Allies? Do you think their families will receive reparations?

thetimman said...

Mike, I think just the opposite. There was not a sufficient national interest for the US to enter the war in Europe (leaving the Japan issue out of this discussion, just for the sake of keeping it tidy). FDR agitated for war in both theaters long before we entered officially.

Athelstane said...

Having been in Poland a fair amount of time in recent years, I can verify that Katyn is still very much remembered there. They haven't forgotten.

Pat, like our gracious host, is dead on target about so many things...but World War II is not, may I say, one of them. Hitler after all declared war on us, not the other way around, mainly for ideological reasons that had little to do with America's non-belligerent support of Britain. Had the Nazis achieved even a stalemate, Catholic Poland would cease to exist entirely, and the Vatican would exist only in exile. Diabolical though Soviet communism was, the Nazis represented a more aggressive demonic energy bound to come into conflict with the U.S.. My great uncles fought helped defeat him, and I believe it was, indeed, a noble cause. However appalling our ally of convenience proved to be.

Anonymous said...

I understand your point, but with the knowledge that we now have (and likely had at the time) of the crimes committed by the Nazi's, how can you not say that was a valid reason for war with Germany?