Germans Hanged for Katyn

Montréal Gazette,
Canada, November 5, 1990
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Innocent executed

Doing my reading on the history of German war crimes, German war criminals and their adjudication by the victors after World War II, I came across a most interesting passage. In November 1945, seven officers of the German Wehrmacht (and I think it is reasonable to mention their names -- K.H. Strueffling, H. Remlinger, E. Böhom, E. Sommerfeld, H. Jannike, E. Skotki and E. Geherer) were tried by a court of the victorious allies, the Americans, the English, the French and the Russians. They were condemned to death for war crimes and subsequently hanged.

Three more were tried on the same charges (E.P. Vogel, F. Wiese, A. Diere), received sentences of 20 years of hard labor, were turned over to the Russians and never heard of again.

Most interesting about this particular war trial is the charge. The officers were charged and hanged for having shot thousands of Polish officers in the forest of Katyn after the defeat of Poland in 1939.

Now, with glasnost and all, it has been officially established and admitted by the Russians themselves that the murder of thousands of the gallant Polish officer corps in the forest near Katyn was committed by the bolsheviks of Stalin, not by the murderous Nazis, years before the German army invaded. The poor above-mentioned soldiers never got near the scene of the crime.

What evidence was used to hang these innocent soldiers? Who fabricated the "facts" that convinced the court that these men were guilty? Murderers? What do the judges, if they are still alive, have to say for themselves? What of the prosecutors? What were these people hanged for?

H. Famira
Professor of German
Concordia University


Authentic photos of the horrors of Katyn
Tuesday, September 11, 2012: That other Holocaust: WW2 massacre: Memos show US cover-up of Stalin's Katyn slaughter | CBS | the memos online
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