In an unprecedented step, the Russian State Archive published documents showing how Soviet leader Joseph Stalin approved the World War Two massacre proposed by his secret police henchman Lavrenty Beria. Other prominent members of the ruling Soviet Politburo also signed off on the slaughter.
A four-page document sent to Stalin by Beria, head of the NKVD, the predecessor to the KGB, sets out his proposal to “quickly examine the use of the highest means of punishment – death by shooting”. Stalin’s signature and a red “top secret” stamp are visible on the front page.
That’s not only surprising but a huge, huge gift to historians. Now, you say, what does this mean? Well…why would Medvedev have reason to publicly document the NKVD’s role as one of the most murderous, criminal organizations in history? It’s almost like there’s a former Chekist with whom he’s engaged in an increasingly public political struggle… Hmm…
Because we love you, we’ve added Andrzej Wajda’s Katyń to the Emporium Gormogonicum. Wajda’s father Kazimierz was murdered at Katyń.