Topic - John H. Van Vliet Jr.

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  • **FILE** A group of American and British POWs being held by the Germans, including Lt. Col. John H. Van Vliet Jr. and Capt. Donald B. Stewart, look over a mass grave where murdered Polish officers are buried, near Smolensk, Russia, in May 1943. The Soviet secret police killed the Poles in 1940, hoping to eliminate an elite that would have resisted Soviet control of Poland. Van Vliet and Stewart were among a group of British and American prisoners forced to see the horrifying site by the Germans, who wanted word to get out to the world of the Soviet atrocity. (Associated Press)

    Memos show U.S. hushed up Soviet crime

    The testimony about the infamous massacre of Polish officers might have lessened the tragic fate that befell Poland under the Soviets, some scholars believe. Instead, it mysteriously vanished into the heart of American power.

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  • Stewart testified before the 1951 Congressional committee about what he saw, and Van Vliet wrote reports on Katyn in 1945 and 1950, the first of which mysteriously disappeared.

    Memos show U.S. hushed up Soviet crime →

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