Stalin orders the Katyn Forest murders

The front page of the order for the executions, signed by Stalin.

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From the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to comrade STALIN

In the NKVD POW camps and in the prisons of the western oblasts of Ukraine and Belorussia there is currently a large number of former officers of the Polish army, former Polish police officers and employees of intelligence agencies, members of Polish nationalist c-r (counterrevolutionary) parties, participants in underground c-r rebel organizations, defectors and so on. All of them are implacable enemies of Soviet power and full of hatred for the Soviet system.

POW officers and policemen located in the camps are attempting to continue c-r work and are leading anti-Soviet agitation. Each of them is simply waiting to be freed so they can have the opportunity to actively join the fight against Soviet power.

NKVD agents in the western oblasts of Ukraine and Belorussia have uncovered a number of c-r rebel organizations. In each of these c-r organizations the former officers of the former Polish army and former Polish police officers played an active leadership role.

Among the detained defectors and violators of the state- [continues for four pages]

(Signatures: In favor – Stalin, Voroshilov, Molotov, Mikoyan)

(In margin: Comrade Kalinin – In favor. Comrade Kaganovich – In favor.)

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