Katyn Massacre - Vienna, Austria
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Metro2
N 48° 11.858 E 016° 22.740
33U E 602472 N 5339185
Quick Description: This memorial is located in front of Vienna's Gardekirche, a Roman Catholic church was consecrated in 1763. There is also a statue of Pope John Paul the II outside the church.
Location: Wien, Austria
Date Posted: 5/18/2014 9:55:49 PM
Waymark Code: WMKQVB
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cldisme
Views: 6

Long Description:
The memorial is comprised of a Christian cross with a plaque and an engraved stone. The memorial really reminds us of two related disasters.
The engraved stone simply reads:


10 IV 2010"

and the plaque informs us that on April 10, 2010, the President of Poland "Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and many notable political and military figures crashed in a wooded area near Smolensk while approaching the local military airport. All ninety-six passengers died immediately on impact. The purpose of the visit was to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, in which some 22,000 Polish POWs were murdered by the NKVD." (visit link)

Wikipedia's article on the Katyn Massacre (visit link) informs us:

"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 victims were murdered in the Katyn Forest in Russia, the Kalinin and Kharkiv 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 arrested Polish intelligentsia the Soviets deemed to be "intelligence agents, gendarmes, landowners, saboteurs, factory owners, lawyers, officials and priests".

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 Soviet Union claimed the victims had been murdered by the Nazis, 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. The investigation was closed on the grounds that the perpetrators of the massacre were already dead, and since the Russian government would not classify the dead as victims of Stalinist repression, formal posthumous rehabilitation was deemed inapplicable.

In November 2010, the Russian State Duma approved a declaration blaming Stalin and other Soviet officials for having personally ordered the massacre."
Disaster Date: 3/5/1940

Memorial Sponsors: Gardekirche

Disaster Type: Sociological

Relevant Website: [Web Link]

Date of dedication: Not listed

Parking Coordinates: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
A photo of the memorial from a different angle or view than what is already posted is requested. If a camera is not available, please give a detailed description so that we can get an idea of your visit. Please list anything that has changed since the waymark was created.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log  
TeamSO visited Katyn Massacre  -  Vienna, Austria 5/20/2017 TeamSO visited it
Metro2 visited Katyn Massacre  -  Vienna, Austria 9/11/2013 Metro2 visited it

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