military tours

Katyn Massacre Memorial Tour (Russia)

updated on 20/07/2014

Katyn is a village 18 km west of Smolensk, Russia. In the early 1940s it was a site where over 4 000 Polish military servicemen were killed by the Soviet Secret Service NKVD. After the division of Poland between the Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 a lot of Poles were taken to the Soviet camps and, suspected of potential espionage and sabotage activities, executed in April-May 1940.

We will take a transfer to Katyn Forest area along M2 highway and reach the site within 4 hours. Unveiled in 2000 the State Memorial of Katyn became the first international memorial in Russia commemorating the victims of Stalin’s repressions.

All visitors pass through the complex entrance – two burial mounds joined by glass gates symbolizing the fragile boundary between the world of past and today. Behind the gates the alley takes one to First Memorial Area commemorating the Soviet POWs destroyed by the Nazi in 1943. Next to it is a museum exhibition featuring a train car which was used by the Soviets to transport camp prisoners.

Ten-meter Russian Orthodox cross – a symbol of eternal memory and confession – opens the Russian part of the memorial. Nine mass graves of the Soviet political repression victims are outlined roughly – the death toll unknown to the date. These are to be researched – hence small bridges taking you over the site.

In the Polish military graveyard six mass graves accommodate the remains of the Polish officers. An open-air church is created by a Catholic cross, an Altar slab and the walls with the names of the Polish prisoners executed in 1940. Katyn bell is placed below the ground level and is to remind us of who’s buried on site and to warn the coming generations.

Not far from the site is a Russian Orthodox monastery where a lunch break can be organized before taking a return ride.

Tour duration: 11 hours, around 650 km round way.

Tour price: USD 430 (per car 1-3 guests)

Note: the price quoted is for reference purposes and is confirmed upon request. It covers transportation (the standard option for 1-3 pax is Skoda Superb), an English-speaking guide-driver, travel services and taxes, car insurance to Russia. The exact price can be confirmed upon request. The tour is available round the week. You will be required to have a Russian visa to tour Katyn Memorial!


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