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This is the first page of Beria's memo to Josef Stalin proposing the murder of 22,000 Polish officers, gendarmes, police, military settlers, and others. It was accepted by the Politburo on March 5, 1940, and bears the scrawled signatures of "I.V. Stalin, K. Voroshilov, A. Mikoyan, V. Molotov."
To Comrade Stalin
In the USSR NKVD prisoner-of-war camps of the western regions of Ukraine and Belorussia [that is, occupied eastern Poland], there are at present a large number of former officers of the Polish Army, former workers in the Polish Police and intelligence organs, members of Polish nationalist c-r [counter-revolutionary] parties, participants in exposed c-r insurgent organizations, refugees, and others. They are all sworn enemies of Soviet power, filled with hatred for the Soviet system of government. ...
Among them are:
generals, colonels and lieutenant colonels 295
majors and captains 2,080
lieutenants, 2nd lieutenants, and ensigns 6,049
police officers, junior officers, border guards, and gendarmerie 1,030
rank-and-file police, gendarmes, prison guards, and intelligence agents 5,138
officials, landowners, priests, and settlers 144
In the prisons of the western oblasts of Ukraine and Belarussia a total of 18,632 arrested people (including 10,685 Poles) are held, including:
former officers 1,207
former police, intelligence agents, and gendarme 5141
spies and saboteurs 347
former land owners, factory owners, and officials 465
members of various c-5 and insurgent organisations and of various c-r elements 5,345
Based on the fact that they are all hardened, irremediable enemies of Soviet power, the NKVD USSR believes it is essential:
I. To direct the USSR NKVD to:
1) examine the cases of the 14,700 former Polish officers, officials, landowners, police, intelligence agents, gendarmes, settlers, and prison guards who are now in the prisoner-of-war camps
2) and also examine the cases of those who have been arrested and are in the prisons of western oblasts of Ukraine and Belorussia, numbering 11,000, members of various c-r espionage and sabotage organizations, former landowners, manufacturers, former Polish officers, officials, and refugees, [and] using the special procedure, apply to them the supreme punishment, [execution by] shooting.