Items extracted from the death pits
The exhumation works carried out in the Katyn Forest by Polish experts in 1994–1995 proved, beyond any doubt, that the area of the Katyn Memorial contained the remains of Polish Army officers murdered in the spring of 1940 on the decision of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) dated 5 March 1940.
Apart from the bodies of those executed, many items belonging to the murdered officers detained in the POW camp in Kozelsk were extracted from the death pits. These items helped to identify the victims, and also provided evidence of the Soviet perpetration of this terrible crime. These artefacts are considered relics for the families and relatives of those murdered, and some of the artefacts are respectfully held in the Katyn Museum in Warsaw.
Tadeusz Zbigniew Ciszewski, son of Mirosław and Maria, was born in 1914 in Pięknowicze. He was a law student at the Stefan Batory University in Vilnius. He was executed by firing squad between 16 and 19 April 1940.* His mess tin with an engraving was found in the death pit.
Włodzimierz Józef Dobrowolski, son of Zygmunt and Julianna, was born in 1889 in Uman. A lieutenant colonel in the reserve forces and a graduate of the Department of Medicine at the Kyiv University, he worked as a medical doctor. He was also an economic assistant to the Commander of the Sanitary Training Centre and was married. He was executed by firing squad between 9 and 11 April 1940.* His identification tag was found in the death pit.
Roman Jędraszko, son of Wojciech and Agnieszka, was born in 1895 in Warsaw. He held the rank of major and was head of the Department of Materials and Budgets in the Sappers Command of the Ministry of Military Affairs. He was married and had two daughters. He was executed by firing squad between 13 and 14 April 1940.* His “Armoured Sign” badge was found in the death pit.
Antoni Stefanowski, son of Adam and Stefania, was born in 1885 in Niesin and held the rank of colonel in the reserve forces. He was a graduate of the Department of Medicine at the University of Heidelberg and the Philosophy Department at the University of Leipzig. He was a doctor of internal medicine and the author of many medical publications. He was the Medical Director of the Infant Jesus Hospital in Warsaw and was married with three children. He was executed by firing squad between 9 and 11 April 1940.* His Virtuti Militari Order was found in the death pit.
Marian Adolf Wenge, son of Bruno and Stanisława, was born in 1917 in Warsaw. He graduated from the Cadet School of the Cavalry Reserve and the Sapper Cadet School. He was a second lieutenant and an instructor in the 1st Motor Company of the Motor Battalion in Modlin. He was executed by firing squad between 4 and 7 April 1940.* His gorget was found in the death pit.
* The most likely execution dates (but later dates cannot be excluded)