Advertisement

The Worst Was the Silence: The Unfinished Drama of the Katyn Massacre

(with Dominik Bartmanski)
  • Ron EyermanEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Cultural Sociology book series (CULTSOC)

Abstract

In this chapter we investigate how the 1940 Soviet mass murder of Polish military officers and civilians—the Katyn Massacre—went from being a secretly remembered historical event to an open symbol of Polish heroism and independence. For nearly half a century, there was a prohibition in Soviet-dominated Poland against speaking openly of these deaths or visiting the places of the executions, and a powerful counter-narrative of the perpetrator was propagated in order to shift responsibility away from Russia. However, through the narrative work of various Polish carrier groups, the Katyn Massacre was eventually brought into the public sphere where it called into question the nature of Polish collective identity, becoming a cultural trauma in the process.

References

  1. Abarinow, W. 2007. Oprawcy z Katynia (The Perpetrators of Katyn). Krakow: Znak.Google Scholar
  2. Applebaum, A. 2008. A Movie That Matters. New York Review of Books 55 (2): February 14.Google Scholar
  3. Cienciala, A. M., N. Lebedeva, and W. Materski. 2007. Katyn: A Crime Without Punishment. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Czapski, Józef. 2001 [1951]. Na nieludzkiej ziemi (Inhuman Land). Krakow: Znak.Google Scholar
  5. Hartman, Geoffrey. 2009. Foreword. In Remembering the Holocaust: A Debate, ed. Jeffrey Alexander. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Kaczorowska, T. 2006. Children of the Katyn Massacre. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.Google Scholar
  7. Kiernan, Ben. 1997. Introduction. In Children of Cambodia’s Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors, ed. D. Pran. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Kimmelman, M. 2009. Poland’s Complicated Past Sparks Soul-Searching. New York Times, April 20.Google Scholar
  9. Ksiazek-Czerminska, M. 1999. Wstep (Introduction). In Pisane milościa - losy wdów katyńskich (Written with Love—Lives of the Katyn Widows). Gdynia: Stowarzyszenie Rodzina Katynska.Google Scholar
  10. Materski, W. 2008. Katyń, nasz ból powszedni (Katyn, Our Daily Pain). Warszawa: Ryttn.Google Scholar
  11. Nim, N. 2008. Dziekujemy Wajdzie za Katyn (We Thank Wajda for ‘Katyn’). Gazeta Wyborcza, March 20.Google Scholar
  12. Oseka, P. 2007. Klamstwo specjalnego znaczenia (A Special Lie). Gazeta Wyborcza, September 15–16.Google Scholar
  13. Osiatynski, W. 2010. Polish Heroes, Polish Victims. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/16/opinion/16osiatynski.html?emc=eta. Accessed April 16, 2010.
  14. Paul, M. Allen. 1991. Katyn. New York: Scribner’s.Google Scholar
  15. Sanford, George. 2005. Katyn and the Soviet Massacre of 1940: Truth, Justice, and Memory. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Sariusz-Skapska, I. (2002). Polscy świadkowie GULagu (Polish Witnesses to Gulag). Krakow: Universitas.Google Scholar
  17. Sawicki, J. 2007. Zanim powstala Dolinka Katyńska. Pamieć o Katyniu w pierwszych dekadach istnienia PRL (Before the Katyn Valley Was Created: The Memory of Katyn in the First Decades of the People’s Republic of Poland). Tygodnik Powszechny, September 23.Google Scholar
  18. Slowes, S. 1992. The Road to Katyn. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  19. Smelser, Neil. 2004. Psychological Trauma and Cultural Trauma. In Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity, Jeffrey Alexander, Ronald Eyerman, Bernhard Giesen, Neil Smelser, and Piotr Sztompka. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  20. Snyder, Timothy. 2002. Memory of Sovereignty and Sovereignty Over Memory: Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, 1939–1999. In Memory and Power in Postwar Europe, ed. John-Werner Muller. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Sobolewski, T. 2007. Gest Antygony (Antigone’s Gesture). Gazeta Wyborcza, September 17. Available at http://film.gazeta.pl/film/l,22535,4497644.html.
  22. Suleiman, Susan Rubin. 2006. Crises of Memory and the Second World War. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Szacka, B. 2007. Tylko elita pamieta? (Does Only the Social Elite Remember?). Gazeta Wyborcza, September 15–16.Google Scholar
  24. Venclova, Tomas. 1999. Forms of Hope: Essays. Riverdale-on-Hudson, NY: The Sheep Meadow Press.Google Scholar
  25. Wajda, A. 2007. Przeszlość nieopowiedziana- z Andrzejem Wajda rozmawiaja Joanna Olczak-Ronikier I Tomasz Fialkowski (An Untold Past—An Interview with Andrzej Wajda). Tygodnik Powszechny, September 23.Google Scholar
  26. Wajda, A. 2008. Pokazalem światu Katynń (I Have Showed Katyn to the World). Gazeta Wyborcza, February 26.Google Scholar
  27. Wajda, A. 2009. TVP blokuje ‘Katyn’ (Polish TV blocks ‘Katyn’). Gazeta Wyborcza, January 2.Google Scholar
  28. Walesa, L. 2010. Available at www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11. Accessed April 11, 2010.
  29. Zaremba, M. 2010. Kulturkronikan (Culture Chronicle). Dagens Nyheter, April 13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA

Personalised recommendations