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Statement from Senator Hillary Clinton

March 03, 2008

"We will soon mark the 68th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre of Polish prisoners during World War II.

"This is a time to remember the victims of the Katyn massacre and also to reflect on the importance of remembrance itself. Only by preserving the memory of past inhumanities can we hope to avoid inhumanity in the future. Only by seeking the truth about the past can we be confident about our pursuit of peace and justice today.

"On March 5, 1940, Stalin's Politburo gave the order for the Soviet secret police to execute more than 22,000 Polish POWs in cold blood. This horrific mass murder was covered up by the Soviet authorities and denied for decades until Mikhail Gorbachev finally admitted the truth and Boris Yeltsin aided the international investigations by opening the Russian archives.

"I am concerned that the pace of Russian cooperation has slowed drastically under President Putin. The Russian government, which had promised to hand over personal records of the victims and other information about Katyn, has been dragging its feet and has reclassified many of the files. All the relevant archives should be opened up in the interest of establishing the full truth about Katyn.

"The crimes were committed long ago, but we cannot and we shall not forget.

"I believe that it is highly fitting that a historical film about the massacre titled "Katyn" and created by the acclaimed Polish director Andrej Wajda was nominated for an Academy Award as best foreign film in 2008. Mr. Wajda's father was himself a victim of the Katyn massacre.

"I have profound respect for the Polish nation and for all the peoples of Eastern Europe who have emerged from the darkness of the 20th century. I am proud that in our time the United States has been their partner and ally."

Hillary Clinton, Statement from Senator Hillary Clinton Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/291186

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