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Nazi propaganda: anti-Soviet

Film | Accession Number: 1995.147.1 | RG Number: RG-60.0894 | Film ID: 30

Images of the Dnieper River and a forest, excavations of corpses in advanced degrees of decay with visible bullet wounds. Swedish narration claims that the victims shown are Polish officers murdered by the Soviet secret police GPU in the forest of Katyn. The corpses are examined by an European commission including the former minister president of Poland Prof. Koslowski and coroners said to be from Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, and Bulgaria. Piles of dead bodies are pictured, most of them hardly identifiable. Remnants of the Polish Gen. Smorawinski are shown. Relatives try to identify some of the victims by their personal items. Similar pictures of exhumed corpses of murdered Ukrainians are shown from Vinnitsa. Orthodox priests are at the scene. Victims' belongings such as private pictures, bibles, crucifixes, and rosaries are shown. A wreath is presented at the site. Corpses are reburied and the gravesites with crucifixes are blessed by Bishop Gregory. Ends with narration about the danger to European culture and civilization posed by the Jewish invention of Bolshevism.

Historical context: Katyn near Smolensk was the site of a massacre of about 4400 captured Polish officers by the Soviet secret police NKWD after an order given by Stalin on March 5, 1940. After occupying the territory surrounding Katyn, the Germans gathered an international commission to exhume the corpses April 13, 1943 to make a propaganda gain by blaming the massacre on the Bolshevists. After recapturing the area in 1944 the Soviets authorities exhumed the bodies again and blamed the massacre on the German army. It was not until April 13, 1990 that the Soviet government acknowledged its responsibility for the massacre.

Production:  1943
Katyn Forest, Soviet Union
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Bundesarchiv Filmarchiv
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:52:04
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