The Katyn Massacre of 22,000 Polish prisoners of war is a crime to which there are no witnesses. Committed in utmost secrecy in April–May 1940 by the NKVD on the direct orders of Joseph Stalin, for nearly fifty years the Soviet regime succeeded in maintaining the fiction that Katyn was a Nazi atrocity, their story unchallenged by Western governments fearful of upsetting a powerful wartime ally and Cold War adversary.
Surviving Katyn explores the decades-long search for answers, focusing on the experience of those individuals with the most at stake – the few survivors of the massacre and the Polish wartime forensic investigators – whose quest for the truth in the face of an inscrutable, unknowable, and utterly ruthless enemy came at great personal cost.
Historian and biographer Jane Rogoyska is the acclaimed author of Gerda Taro: Inventing Robert Capa. She has a particular interest in the turbulent period from the 1930s to the Cold War in Europe. Her research into the Katyn Massacre led to her first novel, Kozlowski (long-listed for the Desmond Elliott Prize) and Still Here: A Polish Odyssey which she wrote and presented for BBC Radio 4.