November 23, 2009
LOOSING A KATYN AMONG THE PIGEONS:
Poles protest US Stalin memorial plan (thenews.pl, 23.11.2009)
The Polish community in the United States is outraged by a plan to honour Josef Stalin by placing his bust on a pedestal at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia.
According to William McIntosh, the director of the Bradford museum, which is coordinating the project, the Soviet dictator deserves to be acknowledged alongside Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt has he was an ally of the US after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
U.S. Honors Stalin on Hallowed Ground, Will Saddam Hussein Be Next? (Alex Storozynski, November 18, 2009, Huffington Post)
This misguided move will haunt millions of Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, Jews, etc. whose families were massacred by this Soviet tyrant. Stalin's killing machine slaughtered more people than Adolf Hitler and the Nazis did.
Hitler and Stalin were allies and started World War II in 1939 by both attacking Poland at the same time. [...]
By placing a bust of Stalin on hallowed ground, McIntosh disrespects veterans, including my father who took part in the Normandy invasion. When the war began, Dionysius Storozynski was 17 and living in Lvov, Poland. He fought in the underground against Stalin's army that invaded Poland and later joined the Polish troops in France that fought the Germans in the West. When France surrendered, he was evacuated to England and trained for the allied invasion of Normandy.
In 1944, when the beachhead was taken, Corporal Storozynski rode a motorcycle off a transport from England as part of the 24th Lancers Regiment of the 1st Polish Armored Division. It was lead by Major Jan Kanski with 47 officers, 634 men, 52 Sherman tanks, 11 Stuart tanks and six anti-aircraft tanks. My father sped ahead of these troops, and scoured the French countryside with his binoculars. He radioed the coordinates of the Germans to Polish tank commanders. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower inspected my father's regiment, which saw heavy action in Caen, Falaise and Aberville in France. They helped liberate Belgium and Holland.
During the campaign, my father lost part of his hearing when he drove over a land mine. Major Kanski lost his life.
My maternal grandfather, Sgt. Wladslaw Krzyzanowski, also fought in the Polish Army against Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. In 1939 he was tortured and sentenced to death by Stalin's NKVD, forerunner of the KGB. His crime? He fought against Stalin's ally at the time, Hitler. My grandfather's sentence was commuted to life, and he was one of 1.5 million Poles sent to Stalin's forced labor gulags in Siberia in the years 1939-1941. He escaped and joined the army of Polish Gen. Wladyslaw Anders that fought alongside British General Bernard Montgomery. The Brits and the Poles pushed the Germans across North Africa and together with the American military liberated Italy. My grandfather won medals at the Battle of Monte Cassino.
Other Polish soldiers were not as lucky. The NKVD took 22,000 Polish officers into the Katyn Forest, tied their hands behind their backs, and one by one shot them in the back of their heads. The bodies were dumped into mass graves. Many have yet to be recovered for proper burial.
Sometimes you have to wonder why the Poles stay so loyal despite the way we treat them. Posted by Orrin Judd at November 23, 2009 4:38 PM