The Michael Schwartz Library, in partnership with CSU's College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Art Gallery, and Polish Studies Initiative, presents a historical exhibit, "The Destruction of the Polish Elite: Operation AB - Katyn" which sheds light on crimes perpetrated by the Third Reich and the Soviet Union at the beginning of World War II and poses questions about the scope of mutual cooperation between these regimes.
Maria Szonert Binienda, President of the Libra Institute, will hold a discussion on this historical event on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm near the exhibit area on the first floor of the Library. The book, titled The Destruction of the Polish Elite: Operation AB - Katyn will be made available for free to attendees.
The exhibit is divided into several thematic blocks. The first depicts the Soviet-German political and military alliance in the years 1939-1941, as well as the joint invasion of Poland, its partition and occupation, during which the cooperative powers introduced their destructive policy towards the citizens of the conquered country. The next sections present the two notorious criminal operations of 1940, first the Massacre in the Katyn Forests, and then the AB Operation*. Exhibit panels reconstruct preparations for the crimes, their course and the major culprits. The exhibit also presents profiles of several victims, including families that fell victim to both aggressors. Finally, the exhibit looks at the big picture of these operations, depicting their geographical range and documenting the lack of punishment for the vast majority of the Third Reich and the USSR officers responsible for these crimes.
This traveling exhibit was prepared by the Public Education Office of the Institute of National Remembrance, Poland and was made available to Cleveland State University by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago. It is located in the Michael Schwartz Library, first floor east, and is open during regular library hours. It will be displayed through November 21, 2013.
*At the beginning of 1940 Germany began preparing the Ausserordentliche Befriedungsaktion--Special Pacification Operation; Operation AB. In connection with the planned activities in the west of Europe, a decision was made to arrest and murder all those suspected of any links to Polish conspiracy. The extermination action was at its highest intensity from May to July 1940.
For more information about the exhibit or lecture, please call 216-875-9734.