The Idea Behind The Project

Although Katyn occupies a very important place in history, not many people actually manage to travel to the place where the victims of the Katyn Massacre are buried. Knowing that not everyone can afford to travel to Russia, the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding wants to deliver as much information about this place as possible through its “Katyn Pro Memoria” project.

The first element of the project is a publication entitled “Katyn. In the Footsteps of the Crime” by Jadwiga Rogoża and Maciej Wyrwa, which describes the history and geography of the murder of Polish POWs imprisoned in Kozelsk, transported to Gnezdovo, shot dead and buried in the Katyn Forest, where the Polish War Cemetery is located today. The guide, which combines historical information with practical tips on how to move around the memorial site, is available free of charge in printed and electronic version in Polish, Russian and English (you can download it here).

The second element is the “Katyn Pro Memoria” portal, offering a virtual walk around the Katyn necropolises. After all, the Katyn Massacre is not only about Katyn, but also Bykivnia, Kharkiv, Mednoe and other burial places which we do not know yet. Perhaps also Kuropaty?

The three-stage narrative enables readers to feel the atmosphere of the place, immerse themselves in the symbolic Katyn forest and take a walk to rediscover the events and places known from the tragic pages of Polish history.

When moving deeper into the symbolic forest, we discover “Voices” of the victims, relatives, witnesses of the exhumation, as well as documents. They are presented by outstanding actors, including Jan Englert, Piotr Fronczewski, Andrzej Chyra, Katarzyna Herman or Maja Komorowska. The more inquisitive visitors may go beyond the symbolic space and see the cemeteries as they look like in reality. They can explore the history behind the cemeteries of the Victims of the Crime in Katyn, Mednoe, Kharkiv, Bykivnia, as well as Kuropaty – the place where the bodies of the Victims of the Katyn Massacre were probably hidden.

The third element of the project is the social campaign entitled “Katyn Pro Memoria. Light a Candle of Remembrance.” We seek to restore the individual dimension of the Massacre and provide the full name of each and every person executed there. Through the dedicated mobile application, visitors can light a symbolic candle to commemorate a specific victim. By doing so, they will not only pay tribute to that victims, but also learn about the history of the selected person by reading a short bio.

Authors and Partners

The portal came into being thanks to the efforts of the team at the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding: Paulina Baranowska, Olimpia Bronowicka, Dagmara Kłosińska, Katarzyna Kołakowska, Małgorzata Krystyniak, Robert Śmigielski, and Maciej Wyrwa

Idea of the project: Ernest Wyciszkiewicz, Maciej Wyrwa

Project conception: Maciej Wyrwa

Web site conception: Superskrypt, Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding

Authors of texts: Emilka Bojańczyk/Superskrypt,  Krzysztof Łagojda, Jadwiga Rogoża, Maciej Wyrwa

Translations into English: Olivia Bailey, Róża Kochanowska, Paul McNamara, Danuta Przepiórkowska

Translations into Russian: Maria Krisan, Krzysztof Tyczko, Polina Yustova

Website development: Superskrypt

Films: DogFilm Studio in cooperation with Roman Romanoff (Kuropaty) and Egor Koval (Miednoe)

Music: Paweł Mykietyn

Recordings of voices from the past: Jodie Baltazar, Andrei Bardukhayeu-Arol, Andrzej Chyra, Christina Drobysh, Jan Englert, Adam Ferency, Filip Frątczak, Piotr Fronczewski, Oleg Garbuz, Walentina Gartsuewa, Katarzyna Herman, Aiden Hoyle, Arkadiusz Janiczek, Philip Lenkovsky, Edyta Łukaszewska, Artem Manuiłow, Ian McQuillan-Grace, Maria Niklińska, Rita Raider, Wiktor Ryżakow, Walentyna Sizonienko, Vergil Smith, Magdalena Stużyńska, Wojciech Urbański, Iwan Wyrypajew, Andriej Zagorodnikow, Rafał Zawierucha

Voice-ove: Wiktoria Gorodeckaja  Aiden Hoyle, Maja Komorowska,

Voice-over in film Katyń: Ian Champion, Jan Englert, Ilya Zmieyev

Voice-over in film Kharkiv: Anna Drążkowska, Sławomir Frątczak, Anna Maria Wolińska

Voice-over in film Miednoe: Marian Głosek, Sławomir Frątczak, Ewa Kowalska,

Voice-over in film Bykivia: Sławomir Frątczak, Andrzej Krzysztof Kunert, Maksymilian Rigamonti,

Voice-over in film Kuropaty: Ewa Kowalska, Katarzyna Kubicius, Kazimiera Lange, Zianon Pazniak

Special thanks to: The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, Katyn Museum – The Martyrdom Branch of the Polish Army Museum, “Memorial” Society (Moscow)

Other contributors: Adam Błonowski, Michał Ceglarek, Yuriy Drug, Fundacja Plac Teatralny, Fundacja Ośrodka Karta, Janusz Felczyński Odlewnia Dzwonów Przemyśl, Sebastian Karwat, Róża Kochanowska, Michał Kołakowski, Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego, Regina Piątek, Małgorzata Pol, TS Software Tomasz Stasiak, Teresa Zachara

The Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding is a state legal person supervised by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. Find out more.