Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Dr. Wodziński of the Technical Committee noted the presence of the Medical Commission in his report, just as he later noted the presence of the English-speaking POWs.

The IMC very clearly reviewed and included the relevant portions of the Technical Committee’s and the Werhmacht Committee’s work. They noted in their report that in the gross majority of cases the victim was executed by one shot – and one shot only – while in a few cases two shots were needed and in only one case were three bullets used.  

"From the crushing of the skull and marks of gunpowder on the occipital bone near the hole made by the entrance of the bullet, as well as from the fact that in almost every case the bullet entered the head at the same place", the Commission concluded that the shots were fired from pistols pressed to the head or at very close range. This was also corroborated by the fact that the bullet had in every case, taken practically the same course with only a few small variations. The fact that all wounds were absolutely identical and that all the shots had been localized in a small area of the occipital bone lead the Commission to the conclusion that the shooting had been done by "experienced hands".

The Commission further stated that on many of the bodies the arms were tied together in exactly the same manner and in some cases the clothes and skin showed signs of being pierced by a four-edged bayonet.

This latter statement which though not directly referring to the perpetrators of the murders, was of special significance since, unlike all other armies, which used flat, single-edged bayonets, the Russian army alone used and still uses fouredged bayonets.

Further paragraphs of the Protocol gave additional indirect clues as to the perpetration of the murders, stating that the officers' arms were in each case bound in exactly the same way as those of Russian civilians, also dug up in the Katyn wood but buried at a much earlier date. These had been murdered in exactly the same manner as had the Polish officers.

Those civilian murders had occured in the mid-1930s, when the entire Kozie Gory complex was a closed NKVD site with restricted entry.

It was only in reviewing the materials that were made available to scholars many decades later was it possible to discover that in some cases the Soviet NKVD executioners had individually been executing as many as 250 men a day.  They finally complained that they could not maintain such a schedule, and their ‘norma’ or quota was reduced.  These experienced hands then received special monetary awards from the NKVD.

© Krystyna Piórkowska