The plane crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski and much of Poland's political elite thrust the story of Katyn onto the front pages of newspapers around the world, spurring interest in this massacre that had been covered up for decades. On May 5, experts on the Katyn Forest Massacre from Poland, Russia and the United States will be joined by members of Congress to discuss new details about this unearthed chapter of history, and to explore the future of Polish-Russian relations.
Morning and afternoon panel discussions will be held in the Coolidge Auditorium at the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, and an exhibit about the Katyn Massacre prepared by The Council to Protect the Memory of Combat and Martyrdom will be shown in the Rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building and the Whittall Pavilion in the Library of Congress.
The Katyn massacre caused the greatest diplomatic crisis of World War II after the Wehrmacht discovered the bodies of the Polish officers in early 1943. The Germans exploited the discovery of the mass graves to split the Western Alliance. Poland and the Soviet Union were then allied with the U.S. and Great Britain against Germany, but when the Poles demanded an investigation, Stalin broke off relations with the Polish government in exile and later installed a Communist puppet regime in Warsaw.
The massacre was part of Stalin's policy to liquidate the Polish intelligentsia. Nearly 22,000 officers captured by the Soviets were murdered, and Stalin deported more than one million Poles to Siberia where many died from starvation and forced labor. The litany of horrors Stalin visited on the Poles fused into the one word – Katyń.
See the Draft Program Below
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The 70th Anniversary Observance of The Katyń Massacre
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress,Thomas Jefferson Building
1st Street, SE, Between Independence Ave & East Capitol Street
May 5, 2010
Sponsor: The Kosciuszko Foundation: The American Center for Polish Culture In Cooperation With: The U.S. Helsinki Commission, The Foundation for Polish Science, The Cold War Studies Program at Harvard University, The Memorial Human Rights Protection Center in Moscow, The Polish Embassy in Washington D.C., The Council to Preserve the Memory of Combat and Martyrdom
Opening of Conference
8:30 a.m. Registration
Introduction of guests by Alex Storozynski, President & Executive Director, The Kosciuszko Foundation, host and conference moderator
Welcome by Dr. James Billington, Librarian of Congress
Senator Barbara Mikulski
Remarks by Ambassador Robert Kupiecki, Republic of Poland
Address by Sen. Benjamin Cardin, Chairman, U.S. Helsinki Commission
10:15 a.m. Panel Presentation and Discussion
The Katyń Forest Massacre: Its Importance and Consequences
Moderator: Ambassador Thomas Simons, the Davis Center, Harvard University
Prof. Natalia Lebedeva, co-editor, Katyn: A Crime Without Punishment
Alexander Guryanov, Memorial human rights organization, Moscow
Dr. Mark Kramer, Cold War Studies Program, Harvard University
Dr. Michael Szporer, University of Maryland/UC, and Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
11: 30 a.m.
Remarks and Introduction House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
11: 45 a.m.
Address by Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Center for Strategic and International Studies and former National Security Advisor
12:30 p.m. Break for Lunch.
Rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building, an Opening of the Exhibit by The Council to Protect the Memory of Combat and Martyrdom, "Katyn Forest, Massacre. Politics. Morality."
Welcome to Afternoon Session, Alex Storozynski
Sen. Richard Lugar, Ranking Minority Member, Foreign Relations Committee
Sen. Leon Kieres, Chairman of the Commission of Foreign Affairs Senate of the Republic of Poland
Remarks by Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak
Daniel Fried, Former U.S. Ambassador to Poland (1997-2000)
Panel: Katyn: The Potential Benefits of Reconciliation
Moderator: Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Member of the House Appropriations Committee
Victor Ashe, U.S. Ambassador to Poland, 2004-2009
Prof. Anna Cienciala, co-editor Katyn: A Crime Without Punishment
Allen Paul, author Katyn: Stalin's Massacre and the Triumph of Truth
Dr. Ruth Wedgwood, Johns Hopkins School of International Studies
Thomas Patrick Melady, U.S. Ambassadors to Holy See 1989-1993
5:00 p.m. Conference concludes
Congressional Reception: Library of Congress, Montepelier Room Guests to include members of Congress, the diplomatic corps, the Washington Public policy community, members of the media and representatives of the Russian and Polish American Communities.
For more information contact:
The Kosciuszko Foundation
212 734 2130