Topic: Military history/Polish military history

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๐Ÿ”— Pilecki's Report

๐Ÿ”— Military history ๐Ÿ”— Poland ๐Ÿ”— Hungary ๐Ÿ”— Military history/World War II ๐Ÿ”— Jewish history ๐Ÿ”— European history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Polish military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/European military history

Witold's Report, also known as Pilecki's Report, is a report about the Auschwitz concentration camp written in 1943 by Witold Pilecki, a Polish military officer and agent of the Polish resistance. Pilecki volunteered in 1940 to be imprisoned in Auschwitz to organize a resistance movement and send out information about it. His was the first comprehensive record of a Holocaust death camp to be obtained by the Allies. He escaped from the camp in April 1943.

The report includes details about the gas chambers, "Selektion" and the sterilization experiments. It states that there were three crematoria in Auschwitz II able to cremate 8000 people daily.

Pilecki's Report preceded and complemented the Auschwitz Protocols, compiled from late 1943, which warned about the mass murder and other atrocities taking place inside the camp. The latter consists of the Polish Major's Report by Jerzy Tabeau, who escaped with Roman Cieliczko on 19 November 1943 and compiled a report between December 1943 and January 1944; the Vrba-Wetzler report; and the Rosin-Mordowicz report.

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๐Ÿ”— Katyn Massacre (1940)

๐Ÿ”— Human rights ๐Ÿ”— Soviet Union ๐Ÿ”— Russia ๐Ÿ”— Military history ๐Ÿ”— Crime ๐Ÿ”— Death ๐Ÿ”— Socialism ๐Ÿ”— Poland ๐Ÿ”— Military history/World War II ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Russian, Soviet and CIS military history ๐Ÿ”— Russia/history of Russia ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Polish military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/European military history

The Katyn massacre (Polish: zbrodnia katyล„ska, "Katyล„ crime"; Russian: ะšะฐั‚ั‹ะฝัะบะฐั ั€ะตะทะฝั Katynskaya reznya, "Katyn massacre", or Russian: ะšะฐั‚ั‹ะฝัะบะธะน ั€ะฐััั‚ั€ะตะป, "Katyn execution by shooting") was a series of mass executions of about 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia carried out by the Soviet Union, specifically the NKVD ("People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs", the Soviet secret police) in April and May 1940. Though the killings also occurred in the Kalinin and Kharkiv prisons and elsewhere, the massacre is named after the Katyn Forest, where some of the mass graves were first discovered.

The massacre was initiated in NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria's proposal of 5 March 1940 to execute all captive members of the Polish officer corps, approved by the Soviet Politburo led by Joseph Stalin. Of the total killed, about 8,000 were officers imprisoned during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, another 6,000 were police officers, and the remaining 8,000 were Polish intelligentsia the Soviets deemed to be "intelligence agents, gendarmes, landowners, saboteurs, factory owners, lawyers, officials, and priests". The Polish Army officer class was representative of the multi-ethnic Polish state; the murdered included ethnic Poles, Polish Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Polish Jews including the Chief Rabbi of the Polish Army, Baruch Steinberg.

The government of Nazi Germany announced the discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Forest in April 1943. Stalin severed diplomatic relations with the London-based Polish government-in-exile when it asked for an investigation by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The USSR claimed the Nazis had killed the victims, and it continued to deny responsibility for the massacres until 1990, when it officially acknowledged and condemned the killings by the NKVD, as well as the subsequent cover-up by the Soviet government.

An investigation conducted by the office of the Prosecutors General of the Soviet Union (1990โ€“1991) and the Russian Federation (1991โ€“2004) confirmed Soviet responsibility for the massacres, but refused to classify this action as a war crime or as an act of mass murder. The investigation was closed on the grounds the perpetrators were dead, and since the Russian government would not classify the dead as victims of the Great Purge, formal posthumous rehabilitation was deemed inapplicable.

In November 2010, the Russian State Duma approved a declaration blaming Stalin and other Soviet officials for ordering the massacre.

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๐Ÿ”— Suwaล‚ki Gap

๐Ÿ”— Russia ๐Ÿ”— Military history ๐Ÿ”— Geography ๐Ÿ”— Poland ๐Ÿ”— Lithuania ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Russian, Soviet and CIS military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Polish military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/European military history ๐Ÿ”— Belarus ๐Ÿ”— NATO

The Suwaล‚ki Gap, also known as the Suwaล‚ki corridor ([suหˆvawkสฒi] (listen)), is a sparsely populated area immediately southwest of the border between Lithuania and Poland, between Belarus and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast. Named after the Polish town of Suwaล‚ki, this choke point has become of great strategic and military importance since Poland and the Baltic states joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The border between Poland and Lithuania was formed after the Suwaล‚ki Agreement of 1920; but it carried little importance in the interwar period as at the time, the Polish lands stretched farther northeast, while during the Cold War, Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union and communist Poland belonged to the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact alliance. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact created borders that cut through the shortest land route between Kaliningrad (Russian territory isolated from the mainland) and Belarus (Russia's ally). As the Baltic states and Poland eventually joined NATO, this narrow border stretch between Poland and Lithuania became a vulnerability for the military bloc because, if a hypothetical military conflict were to erupt between Russia and Belarus on one side and NATO on the other, the capture of the 65ย km (40ย mi)-long strip of land between Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Belarus would likely jeopardise NATO's attempts to defend the Baltic states. NATO's fears about the Suwaล‚ki Gap intensified after 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and launched the war in Donbas, and further increased after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. These worries prompted the alliance to increase its military presence in the area, and an arms race was triggered by these events.

Both Russia and the European Union countries also saw great interest in civilian uses of the gap. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Russia attempted to negotiate an extraterritorial corridor to connect its exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast with Grodno in Belarus, but Poland, Lithuania and the EU did not consent. Movement of goods through the gap was disrupted in summer 2022, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as Lithuania and the European Union introduced transit restrictions on Russian vehicles as part of their sanctions. The Via Baltica road, a vital link connecting Finland and the Baltic states with the rest of the European Union, goes through the area and, as of November 2022, is under construction in Poland as expressway S61.

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