The list containing the names of 1,996 Polish officers, who were executed in accordance with Stalin’s order in Belarus in 1940, found in Russian State Military Archive by a historian Natalia Lebedeva, Gazeta Wyborcha reports.
The listed 1996 people were brought form NKVD (The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs) prisons in Brest, Pinsk, Hrodna, Baranavichy, Bielastok and other Belarusian towns occupied by the Red Army as on March 5, 1940.
“I’ve suspected that the traces of so called ‘Belarusian Katyn List’ may lurk in the archives of the 15th Convoy Brigade which was dislocated in Belarus in 1940 and were transferring NKVD prisoners to the republic’s capital.
“My guess turned to be right,” says Professor Liebiedzeva, who is a member of Poland–Russia group on complicated cases.
Belarusian Katyn List is a handwritten — by one person, considering the hand — table with the full names of the prisoners, transferred by the 15th Convoy Brigade in 1940.
There is also information on their initial and final destination.
The 15th Brigade was transferring the groups up to 60 people starting from March till July, 1940. The total number of the prisoners brought to Minsk is 1,880 persons out of 1,996. Professor Lebedeva considers 99% of them were executed at the very same time with the officers in Katyn, Tver and Kharkiv.
Gazeta Wyborcha is going to publish the full list soon.
However, the Polish historians doubted that the list published by Ms. Lebedeva is the genuine Belarusian Katyn List.
The representatives of KARTA organizations assert the found documents are the “register of persons who were convoyed by the 15th Convoy Brigade of the NKVD USSR in 1939–1940.”
The KARTA historians say the register contains the names of persons arrested in Belarus in from autumn, 1939, till spring, 1940.
“We have found several names of potential Belarus Katyn List victims in the register. However, some people on the list had been the [concentration] camp prisoners,” KARTA representatives said.
Information on some persons form the list is also contained in the ‘Index of Repressed.’
KARTA has been working on the ‘Index of Repressed’ since 1988 and studying the stories of people repressed by the Soviet authorities in 1939–1956. The Russian partner of KARTA is organization called Memorial.
“I have no idea what other documents Gazeta Wyborcza possesses, but the presented scanned document is known to us as the archive of 15th Convoy Brigade,” says Memorial employee Alexander Pamyatnyh
Unfortunately, the mystery of Belarusian Katyn List — the last piece in the Katyn Massacre puzzle — remains undiscovered hitherto
Previously, the officials asserted that Belarusian Katyn List simply does not exist.
Aliaksandr Lukashenka mentioned that “there wasn’t a single Pole killed in Belarus” answering the question about the Belarusian Katyn List.
“We had only forwarding stations,“ Lukashenka said. Furthermore, according to Lukashenka, Poles were not executed in Belarus. Probably, the executors might have been afraid of local dwellers’ reaction.
Official archivists were supporting such an opinion, too.
“You know why there are Belarusian and Russian lists but no a Belarusian one? It didn’t exist. These lists were made in the very areas of the repressions against these people.
“Why were there the Russian List and the Ukrainian List? It was due to the places of Polish officers mass executions were in Russian and Ukraine. Yet, there is no Belarusian list.
We were working on this issue actively. Belarusian list does not exist and probably may not exist,” Uladzimir Adamushka, the Chief of the Department on Archives of the Ministry of Justice, said in May, 2012,
Where the shot officers may be buried? The historian Ihar Kuzniacou says that Trtascianiec is a possible location.
It is worth mentioning that during the excavations in Kurapaty, Minsk, the personal belongings of the interwar period with inscriptions in Polish were found. They may be only originate from the burial places of 1939–1941.
According to Belarusian historians, ca. 200,000 persons were killed by the Soviet regime.