"Katyn"--New movie tells taboo tale of Polish massacre





Until now, no one has managed to force open the darkest corners of Poland's "sealed memory." Andrzej Wajda's new World War II drama, "Katyn," succeeds. It tells the long-taboo tale of the roughly 14,500 Polish military officers murdered by the Soviet army in 1940.

When "Katyn" opened in Poland last fall, a nation remembered its dead. Polish students were obliged to see it, and a candlelit vigil was held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw.

The vigil featured a reading of the names of each of the 14,500 Polish officers murdered at Katyn. It took almost two days. Television and radio stations covered the event live.

The first name was spoken by Polish President Lech Kaczynski. Well-known journalists and actors from the "Katyn" cast also helped read the names of those victims who had been positively identified. Some 7,500 names were absent from the list, including that of Jakub Wajda, the father of Andrzej Wajda, the famous director whose World War II drama "Katyn" depicts in vivid detail a massacre indelibly engraved on Poland's collective memory.


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