The Katyń Massacre: On the 80th Anniversary of the Exhumations


This is a hybrid (in-person/virtual) event. Registration required for attendance. Please note that all attendees must follow Columbia’s COVID-19 Policies and Guidelines. Columbia University is committed to protecting the health and safety of its community. To that end, all visiting alumni and guests must meet the University requirement of full vaccination status in order to attend in-person events. Vaccination cards may be checked upon entry to all venues. All other attendees may participate virtually on Zoom or YouTube.


April 18, 2023
6:15 pm – 7:45 pm


Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room,
1219 International Affairs Building
420 W 118th Street, 12th floor New York,
NY 10027 United States
British, Canadian, and American officers (POWs) brought by the Germans to view the exhumations

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Please join the East Central European Center and the Harriman Institute for a lecture by Krystyna Piorkowska. Moderated by Christopher CaesThe scope of knowledge which the Western Allies had about Katyn in 1943 has become clearer, as has the verified information received by the Prosecutors at the Nuremberg Tribunal and Trials. Did the POW’s or Civilian Internee follow a Code of Conduct prior to/during and after their visit to Katyn? These themes and questions will be reviewed during the lecture at the Harriman Institute.

Krystyna Piórkowska is a graduate of CCNY and Columbia and received a Kosciuszko Foundation Fellowship grant for contemporary literature studies in Warsaw with Prof. Artur Sandauer. In a different era, when working in the area of Central European politics or history meant only Russia, this was her optimal work-around. For the past 14 years she has been delving into US and foreign archives to develop a fuller picture of what the Western Allies knew about the missing Polish officers prior to the German announcement of April 1943, and what they learned through the early 1950’s. This has also disclosed the recalcitrance of the British government to give the Madden Committee access to their citizens. Her initial research culminated in the publication of English-speaking Witnesses to Katyn Recent Research, published in a tete-beche edition in Poland. Her work on Reverend Stanislaus Orlemanski refuted the assertions that he was a Soviet agent and was published in Dzieje Najnowsze of the Polish Academy of Sciences.


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