Dedicated to the victims of the Katyn massacre (1940), this memorial was created by the Polish-American sculptor Andrzej Pitynski and was unveiled in 1991. It stands near the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway in the Exchange Place section of Jersey City, New Jersey.
In the spring of 1940, following the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, some 22,000 Polish prisoners were executed on the orders of Josef Stalin, prompted by the head of the Soviet secret police (NKVD), Lavrentiy Beria. These prisoners included much of the Polish officer corps as well as many members of Poland’s intellectual class. The mass executions took place in the Katyn Forest in Russia, as well as in several prison camps in the USSR.
The Katyn Memorial also honors Poles who were deported to Siberia. The bronze statue atop the granite base of the memorial depicts a Polish soldier bound, gagged, and bayoneted through the back.