Guest Post: The Memorial to the victims of Soviet Totalitarian regime in Kharkov Ukraine (Part 2)

Dear Friends,

this is the second part of the guest article “The Memorial to the victims of Soviet Totalitarian regime in Kharkov Ukraine” by Michael Mordinson.

You can read the first part here:

The Memorial to the victims of Soviet Totalitarian regime in Kharkov Ukraine (Part 2)

The government of Nazi Germany announced the discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Forest in 1943. The revelation led to the end of diplomatic relations between Moscow and the London-based Polish government-in-exile. The Soviet Union continued to deny responsibility for the massacres until 1990, when it officially acknowledged and condemned the perpetration of the killings by the NKVD.

An investigation conducted by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Soviet Union (1990–1991) and the Russian Federation (1991–2004), has acknowledged Soviet responsibility for the massacres. It was able to confirm the deaths of 1,803 Polish citizens but refused to classify this action as a war crime or an act of genocide. The investigation was closed on grounds that the perpetrators of these massacres were already dead. 

The Memorial to the victims of Soviet Totalitarian regime in Kharkov

The Russian government would not classify the dead as victims of Stalinist repression, formal posthumous rehabilitation was ruled out. The human rights society issued a statement, which declared “this termination of investigation is inadmissible” and that their confirmation of only 1,803 people killed “requires explanation because it is common knowledge that more than 14,500 prisoners were killed”. In November 2010, the Russian State Duma approved a declaration blaming Stalin and other Soviet officials for having personally ordered the massacre.

These evil men, who ruled strong empires, wanted to change the world in accordance to their wicked visions. Hitler planned to kill over 60% of Ukrainians and leave only 30 million Russians, the rest were to be transferred (we all know all too well what transfer meant in the Nazi terminology). Near the end of Stalin’s life, he implemented the “doctors’ case”. If not for his death, millions of Soviet Jews would have been forced to Siberia to survive in inhumane conditions, in which no one is supposed to live through.

Polish men killed in Katyn, Kharkov, Starobelsk and other places were patriots and believed that their country would rid themselves of both Nazi and communist rule. They did not live to see Poland as a free country, which is part of the EU; similarly Kharkov Jews didn’t live to see a strong and independent Israel and Ukrainian poets and writers didn’t live to see Ukraine being an independent state.

This was because many of them were killed in the GULAG camps all over USSR. No matter where we are from and no matter what our religious affiliation is, it’s our responsibility to take a little time out of our everyday routine, and visit the memorials in Kharkov. Whisper the silent prayers for the blessed souls of the innocent people who lost their lives.

Written by Michael Mordinson


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1 Response

  1. hilton says:

    Krystyna and Michael,

    Both of the Totalitarian Soviet post are excellent because it teaches about the wrongs of people who were more evil than the laws allow. I will definately go visit the memorial once I get into Kharkov and pay my respects to people who were treated wrong for no other reason than being different…disrespect for one group is disrespect for any and all other groups since we are all interconnected in one way or another..

    Mahalo from hawaii,

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