[Marxism] Katyn

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Aug 23 11:28:21 MDT 2019

Let me start off by saying that David Walters made a good point by 
referring to Hitler being just as anxious to wipe out the Polish officer 
corps as Stalin. It’s like Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient 
Express” with multiple suspects having both the motive and the means of 
killing someone on the train who they all hated.

In the case of Katyn, there is no Inspector Clouseau to solve the crime 
even though Grover Furr would have you think so. He even created a 
website called “The Katyn Forest Whodunnit” 
(https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/pol/truthaboutkatyn.html) that 
provides “irrefutable evidence that the ‘official’ narrative of "Katyn" 
has to be false.” He invites people to read an article he wrote for 
“Socialism and Democracy” in 2013 titled “The “Official” Version of the 
Katyn Massacre Disproven?” 
  that must have been approved by editors in the same feckless manner 
that allowed the Isaac Deutscher Prize judges to give an award in 
Trotsky’s biographer’s name in 2014 to Roland Boer, a theologian whose 
love of Stalin might even surpasses Furr’s.

Furr was on Marxmail for a couple of months maybe about five years ago 
until I removed him for having no interest in the discussion here except 
to get people to read his drivel.

I generally have zero interest in whatever this literature professor has 
to say but was forced to respond to his attack on me that was published 
in CounterPunch in 2017 
He took exception to a review I had written of a narrative film about 
the Holodomor in Ukraine titled “Bitter Harvest” 
which I answered here: 
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/24/what-caused-the-holodomor/. It 
turned out that the expert Furr relied on to absolve Stalin for starving 
a million Ukrainians to death had also written articles absolving 
England for the Potato Famine in Ireland and the famine in Bengal during 
WWII. He sure knows how to pick ‘em.

Although I have no intention of taking apart what Furr has written about 
Katyn since it would get in the way of more important research topics I 
am involved with, I did read his “The ‘Official’ Version of the Katyn 
Massacre Disproven?”. Much of it has the aura of serious research, 
abetted no doubt by his ability to read Polish and Russian, the language 
most of the important documents about Katyn are written in. Since my 
only languages besides English are Spanish and a smattering of Turkish, 
it would be impossible for me to refute him point by point.

I will leave it like this. His article is focused on a mass grave found 
in the town of Volodymyr-Volyns‘kiy, Ukraine that supposedly backs up 
the claim that Stalin authorized the executions of Polish officers.

Adopting the surgical gown that Jack Klugman wore as a medical examiner 
in “Quincy, M.E.”, Furr offers irrefutable evidence that clears Stalin. 
He writes that “all but a very few” of the shell casings found in the 
graves were of German manufacture. This was the finding of the 
archaeologists who examined the site. Since they were Ukrainians and 
Poles, you’d have to assume that they were to be trusted. So, that would 
cinch the case, no?

Of course, it would be necessary to read the report for yourself to 
verify Furr’s claim. To start with, it is not online and even if it was, 
you’d need to be able to read Polish to understand it unless you were 
willing to put up with Google’s hit-or-miss translation.

However, what I did find was a Telegraph article from 2014 titled 
“Stalin-era mass grave found in Ukrainian castle” 
that states the archaeologists found cartridge cases from a TT pistol, a 
Soviet sidearm, in the mass grave. Odd that such a scrupulous researcher 
like Furr neglected to mention that, although it goes hand in hand with 
other findings of his over the years, including the charge that Leon 
Trotsky conspired “with fascists and his own followers within the USSR 
to sabotage industry, transportation, and mines.”

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