[Marxism] Katyn

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Aug 24 09:46:05 MDT 2019

On 8/24/19 12:04 AM, Glenn Kissack wrote:
> Furr’s 2018 book on Katyn does address the Polish-Ukrainian 
> archeological team report on the mass grave at Volodymyr-Volyns’kiy in 
> Ukraine. Chapter 5 of the book is entirely devoted to the report. Among 
> other things, he notes that “between 96% and 98% of the shell casings 
> found at this mass execution site are of German make and are date ‘1941’.”
> https://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Katyn-Massacre-Evidence-Solution/dp/0692134255/ref=sr_1_11?keywords=grover+furr&qid=1566618561&s=gateway&sr=8-11
> Glenn

To start with, I am not going to spend $20 on anything written by Furr. 
I got bootlegged copies of Sunkara and Blumenthal's books to review for 
the same reason. I might consider that in Furr's case but Columbia does 
not have any of his books. Quelle surprise.

Let me cut to the chase on this German vs Soviet bullets found at 
Volodymyr-Volynsky that Furr's online article is all about. 
Volodymyr-Volynsky is in Ukraine, not in Russia. The Katyn forest is 
near Smolensk, a city about about 220 miles southwest of Moscow. 
Volodymyr-Volynsky is in the northwest of Ukraine, more than 400 miles 
from Smolensk.

Five years ago archaeologists discovered 950 bodies at 
Volodymyr-Volynsky. It was called a "new Katyn" since this was on the 
grounds of a Soviet prison where Polish officers were being jailed. In 
the unlikely case that Furr is correct about German bullets being found 
in the mass graves (leaving aside that Soviet guards were known to use 
German pistols made available through the non-aggression pact), what 
bearing does that have on the mass graves near Smolensk?

950 corpses were found in Volodymyr-Volynsky but the number in Katyn 
forest is estimated to be 22,000. Furr would have you believe that the 
report of a Polish archaeologist named Dominika Sieminska bears him out. 
However, this report is not available online so we have to rely on his 
interpretation, a guy who is on record as saying that Stalin never 
removed a single Soviet official from his post during his entire career.

The Furr article I referred to previously was titled "The “Official” 
Version of the Katyn Massacre Disproven? Discoveries at a German Mass 
Murder Site in Ukraine". As should be obvious, it does not refer to the 
Smolensk graves.

Furr attempts to deal with the Smolensk graves in another online piece 
here: https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/pol/truthaboutkatyn.html

It is filled with nonsense like this:

	Maybe the Soviets did it! After all, either the Soviets killed the 
Polish officers, or the Nazis did.

	Or -- as I am increasingly inclined to think -- the Soviets shot some 
of the Polish officers, and then later the Nazis shot the rest, for 
different reasons.

	So, maybe the Soviets did shoot them all. But the evidence is not there.

The physical evidence might not be there but the Russians released a ton 
of documents in 2010 that indicated Soviet responsibility, including a 
letter by Beria calling for the liquidation of Polish officers.

Here's how Furr tries to prove that the letter was bogus:

	I've gone over these 4 pages several times, including with a magnifying 
glass. Of course, it might be a very clever forgery. But it LOOKS 
genuine enough.

	There are a number of places that are especially noteworthy, including 
(but not limited to) the following:

	* p. 1- The note where the signatures for those approving the 
resolution are to be placed.

	* p. 3 - The second line under point 2). Here the word "Ukrainy" is not 
divided, but is all on the second line. In the "original", the word is 
divided "Ukrai-ny", between lines 2 and 3 of point 2). This is the only 
place where the line breaks are different from the "original" -- and 
proves that this is different typing, not some kind of clever photocopy.

	* p. 4 - the note on the left questioning the choice of Bashtakov and 
suggesting other names.

	- Just as Mukhin did, starting in 1995! This would be quite a 
coincidence, and makes me wonder about whether this copy is genuine.

	* p. 4 - The name "Kotunov" written between Merkulov and Bashtakov. In 
the "original" document the name written there is "Kobulov". I'm no 
expert in Russian handwriting, but the third letter in this name cannot 
be a "b". It must be a "t".

Sorry. I just can't take this sort of thing seriously. Most of Furr's 
refutation is simply a rehash of what Viktor Iliukhin has alleged. Who 
is Viktor Iliukhin, you ask? Only the Communist Party's representative 
to the Duma. If this is the kind of testimony that is supposed to cinch 
the case for Furr, it is hardly worth rebutting.

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