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Evil disguised by requirements of duty
In 1940 about 22,000 Polish military officers, doctors, lawyers, and educators were brutally murdered by the Soviet Army in a span of about 28 days. This much I was aware of prior to watching Katyn. What I didn't understand about this event was the effect it had on the Polish people. These people were fully aware of the mass execution, but were forbidden to acknowledge that it was the Soviets who were responsible.
I remember reading about the massacre at Katyn a few months ago and thinking to myself how it is possible for human beings to do this to each other. I remember details given about the Chief Soviet executioner who personally executed 7,000 of these victims of circumstance. These men were deprived of the opportunity to die glorious deaths on the battlefield in the service of country. Instead they were slaughtered like animals in a basement and carted off to mass graves.
In the film, "Katyn", we get an accurate retelling of the story from the eyes of the soldiers themselves and the families who mourned them. As you can imagine, the story goes far beyond the event itself. We learn how families were torn apart, and how they were forced to deal with their grief with reservations about the truth. It illustrates how important the right of free speech can be, and also says a lot about the carelessness some people have for the value of human life.
Men were selected for execution simply because of their professions, having done nothing to deserve such a punishment. There is one particular scene that is absolutely painful to watch in which men recite the Lord's Prayer moments before death.
For Poles, this is a key event in the history of their country. For others it is a lesson in human dignity. I would recommend it to anyone. 9/10