The Katyn Massacre occupies a significant place in history, but only a few people visit the locations where the victims of the Massacre are buried: not everyone has the means to go to Russia.
Through this project Katyn Pro Memoria The Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding wants to present in the fullest possible way the resting place of over 4000 Polish POWs.
The project’s first feature is Katyn: Following the Footsteps of the Crime by Jadwiga Rogoża and Maciej Wyrwa. This guide describes the history and geography of the murder of the Polish POWs imprisoned in Kozelsk, transported to Gnezdovo, then shot dead and buried in the Katyn Forest. A Polish War Cemetery now marks the site.
The guide combines historical information with practical tips on how to move around the memorial portal. It is available free of charge in printed and digital versions in both Polish and English (download it here). A Russian version will be published soon.
The second feature is the Katyn Pro Memoria, a virtual guide of the Memorial Complex.
The first level of accompanying narrative covers the Polish War Cemetery in Katyn, symbolically presented through five sections: Entrance, Burial Mound, Graves, Altar Area, and Death Pits.
On moving deeper into the forest we find Voices: testimonies of victims, relatives, and exhumation witnesses, as well as key documents. They are presented by distinguished actors including Jan Englert, Piotr Fronczewski, Andrzej Chyra and director Ivan Vyrypayev. Through the second narrative level visitors go beyond the symbolic space of the forest to see what the cemetery looks in real life, through interactive narrated films.
The third element of the project is the social campaign Katyn Pro Memoria. Light a Candle of Remembrance. We present the individual dimension of the Katyn Massacre, giving the full name of every person executed by the NKVD and buried in the Katyn forest. They learn about the history of their selected victim by reading a short biography and then pay personal tribute by lighting a symbolic virtual candle in his honour or her honour.