Katyn Memorial, 1980, hammered copper
Entrance Lobby, City Hall, Buffalo, NY
The memorial plaque was unvailed on the 40th anniversary of the Katyn Forest massacre. A short distance from Smolensk in Russia, Katyn Forest is where in April 1940 the NKVD [the Soviet secret police], on Stalin's orders, shot and buried over 4000 Polish Army officers and service personnel whom the Red Army taken prisoner in September 1939 when the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the East as Nazi Germany was invading it from the West. Since 1980, it has been revealed that in 1959, the KGB (the successor Soviet agencey to the NKVD) reported that Stalin's order of 5 March 1940 resulted in 21,857 Poles being shot. Of these 14,552 were shot and buried in the Katyn Forest. They came from the POW camp at Kozielsk. In like manner in April and May 1940, 6,311 Polish officers from the Ostashkov POW camp and 3,982 from the Starobielsk POW camp were shot and buried in the vicinity of Kalinin (Tver today) and Kharkov, respectively. The burial sites of the remaining 7,300 is not know.