More thoughts on Katyn’

Let us now consider whether the mass murders in the Katyn’ forest and the other places were a direct consequence of the Soviet-German treaty of 1939 known in the West as the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. First, would the camps for Polish officers, policemen, landowners, etc., existed at all if the USSR had not moved its troops into Eastern Poland in September 1939? No. And how could Soviet Russia attack Poland on its own, without German consent? Hence the pact was a necessary condition for the crime.

Now imagine a country geographically identical to the USSR of August 1939 but ruled by a non-Communist regime — say, a constitutional monarchy. Would it be possible for this hypothetical Russian Empire to enter into an alliance with Nazi Germany? Yes, I believe. First, Hitlerism had not revealed a tenth of its ugliness by then; second, the territories due to Russia under the pace had been parts of the pre-1917 empire, so their annexation would have been a leap towards the empire’s restoration. The worst that could happen to Polish POWs in this scenario would be internment for a year or two, possibly in the less hospitable regions of Russia, before being sent to fight Germany alongside Russian troops. Perhaps some Polish landowners would have lost their land and been forcibly resettled in Russia proper. But there is nothing in the history of imperial Russia to suggest that Katyn would have been a possibility. [Actually, as John Cassian justly remarks, Russia did employ brutal methods to “pacify” Poland but still, never a premeditated, cold-blooded mass murder.]

Hence Molotov-Ribbentrop was not a sufficient condition. Only combined with the fact that Soviet Russia was ruled by Stalin’s junta, did it produce the sanguineous result. My next question would sound odd: What is the connection between Stalin’s regime and Marxian Communism? Here’s what I suggest: Stalin consolidated tyrannical power following an unprecedented social revolution whose guiding ideology was a Marxian heresy, yet Stalin himself resembled, and perhaps was deep in his soul, an Oriental despot or, more generally, a tyrant from a different, long-gone era.

More to come, if anybody’s interested.

One comment

Comments are closed.

Discover more from Winterings in Trans-Scythia

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading