The reconstruction of the so-called "Belarusian Katyn list" is carried out by the Centre as part of the research project "The fate of Poles under Soviet rule after September 17, 1939" led by Maciej Wyrwa Ph.D.
The efforts made by the Polish authorities since the 1990s to obtain documentation of the fate of the victims of the "Belarusian list" have not yet produced results. The initiative of the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding aims at collecting all the available information and documents on people who went missing in the north-eastern lands of the Second Polish Republic between September 17, 1939 and June 1940, who may have been victims of the Katyn Massacre.
Our activities are an attempt to reconstruct the missing disposition lists ("death lists"), on the grounds of which prisoners were sent from the prisons of so-called Western Belarus most probably to Minsk, where they were murdered on the basis of the decision of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPSU of March 5, 1940.
The list is created and successively updated mainly based on information received by the Center from the families of the missing persons and other people who were close to them. The information is then verified and expanded on account of available publications, official data held in archives and institutions in Poland and abroad. Among other things, the study used the expertise of the KARTA Center, commissioned by the CPRDU, as well as data from the Book of Records of Convoyed Persons in 1939-1940 by special convoys of the 15th NKVD USSR convoy brigade (stationed in the Belarusian SSR).
We are fully aware that the list drawn up on the basis of collected documents and information constitutes only a research hypothesis and does not exempt the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding and other institutions of the Polish State from efforts to obtain documents concerning the Crime and their publication.
The project involves collecting all the available information and documents on people who went missing in the north-eastern lands of the Second Polish Republic between September 17, 1939 and June 1940, who may have been victims of the Katyn Massacre.
Within the scope of the project, in addition to basic personal data of the arrested person (surname, first name, date and place of birth, parents' names), the information necessary to carry out verification work is collected: the date of arrest and the circumstances related to the imprisonment, the date of the "last news about the arrested person", education, profession, place of residence and work, social status, military or service rank, positions held in social organisations, as well as data concerning the deportation to Kazakhstan in April 1940 of the family of the person arrested.
If the biography of the person you are looking for is not in the book and you have a reason to believe that he or she may have been a victim of the Katyn Massacre, please complete the questionnaire below, which is also attached to the publication.
Maciej Wyrwa Ph.D.