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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Poland 2015 - 75th Anniversary of the Katyń Massacre







ISSUE DATE: 7 April 2015
NOMINAL VALUE: 1.75 PLN
CIRCULATION: 270 000
STAMP DESIGN: Marzanna Dąbrowska
CARD SIZE: 31.25 x 39.5 mm
SHEET LAYOUT: 9 stamps in sheet
PAPER: fluorescent
PRINTING: offset


The Katyn massacre was a series of mass executions of Polish nationals carried out by the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), the Soviet secret police, in April and May 1940. Originally the term "Katyn massacre", also known as the Katyn Forest massacre, referred to the massacre at Katyn Forest, which was discovered first and was the largest execution of this type.

The massacre was prompted by NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria's proposal to execute all captive members of the Polish Officer Corps, dated 5 March 1940, approved by the Soviet Politburo, including its leader, Joseph Stalin. The number of victims is estimated at about 22 000. 

The government of Nazi Germany announced the discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Forest in 1943. When the London-based Polish government-in-exile asked for an investigation by the International Red Cross, Stalin immediately severed diplomatic relations with it. The USSR claimed the victims had been murdered by the Nazis in 1941, and continued to deny responsibility for the massacres until 1990, when it officially acknowledged and condemned the perpetration of the killings by the NKVD, as well as the subsequent cover-up by the Soviet government.

An investigation conducted by the Prosecutor General's Office of the Soviet Union (1990–1991) and the Russian Federation (1991–2004) confirmed Soviet responsibility for the massacres, but refused to classify this action as a war crime or an act of genocide.






75th anniversary of the Katyń Massacre

SINGLE MINT STAMP






FIRST DAY COVER (FDC)







STAMP SHEET