Guest Post: The Memorial to the victims of Soviet Totalitarian regime in Kharkov Ukraine (Part 1)
For a long time, I haven’t published any articles about the history and culture of Ukraine. Almost all the contents on UkrainianDatingBlog.com were focused on Ukrainian dating tips and intercultural differences in a Ukrainian-Western relationship. This weekend, Michael Mordinson sent me, fortunately, an interesting and informative article about a sad and tragic chapter in the Ukrainian history of the 20th century.
Here is the first part of “The Memorial to the victims of Soviet Totalitarian regime in Kharkov, Ukraine”:
My name is Michael Mordinson and I work for Mordinson marriage agency (http://www.mordinson.com), I have written that article because I believe it’s beneficial for men who are looking for a soul mate in Ukraine and in Kharkov in particular to learn as much about their future wife’s city as possible. Understanding the culture and history of that place helps you to understand the people who come from that place better.
The Memorial to the victims of Soviet Totalitarian regime in Kharkov Ukraine
I strongly recommend you visit the “Memorial for the Victims of the Totalitarian Regime” located here in Kharkov on the way to Piathihatki in the Lesopark. This memorial is a rather new one. 25 years ago, it was impossible to imagine that memorial like this would be built because the Soviet regime didn’t admit responsibility for what happened there.
Kharkovites have suffered a tremendous amount during the Nazi occupation in WW2, the Jewish community was completely annihilated, and thousands of Ukrainians and Russians were killed and starved to death. Long before the war came to Kharkov, the blood of 3820 innocent Polish citizens had fallen on the Kharkov soil. In April 1940 the executions of Polish POWs (Prisoners Of War) were carried out in the NKVD headquarters’ basement. The bodies were taken from the city’s center to the 6th district of Lesopark. There the bodies were buried in large holes.
What happened in Kharkov was just one episode of a larger tragedy called the Katyn Massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest Massacre. This was a mass execution of Polish nationals carried out by the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), the Soviet secret police, which occurred in April and May 1940. The massacre was prompted by Lavrentiy Beria’s proposal to execute all members of the Polish Officer Corps, dated March 5,1940. The official document was approved and signed by the Soviet Politburo, including its leader, Joseph Stalin.
The number of victims is estimated at approximately 22,000 people. The victims were murdered in the Katyn Forest in Russia, Kalinin, Kharkov prisons and elsewhere. Of the total killed, about 8,000 were officers taken prisoner during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, another 6,000 were police officers, and the rest were Polish intelligentsia arrested for allegedly being “intelligence agents, gendarmes, landowners, saboteurs, factory owners, lawyers, officials and priests”.
The term “Katyn Massacre” originally referred specifically to the massacre at Katyn Forest, near the villages of Katyn and Gnezdovo (approximately 19 kilometers/12 miles west of Smolensk, of Polish military officers in the Kozelsk prisoner-of-war camp. This was the largest of several simultaneous executions of POWs. Other executions occurred at Starobelsk and Ostashkov camps, the NKVD headquarters in Smolensk, and prisons in Kalinin (Tver), Kharkov, Moscow, and other Soviet cities. Additional executions took place at various locations in Belarus and Western Ukraine, based on special lists of Polish prisoners, prepared by the NKVD specifically for those regions.
To be continued…
Questions? Feel free to ask Krystyna, your Ukrainian dating expert 🙂 (s. here: Contact Krystyna)