The National Katyn Memorial in downtown Baltimore memorializes the little-known, 1940 massacre of Polish nationals at the hands of the Soviets. Knowledge of massacre during WWII was quite contentious because it was the Germans who, in April 1943, discovered 5,000 Polish officer-prisoners in the Katyn forest. Being a German discovery, many thought the massacre as propaganda by the Nazi military against the Soviets. A post-war investigation concluded that the Polish were massacred at the hands of the Soviets, but Soviets didn't submit guilt (and knowledge) of the massacre until the Soviet Union fell in 1989.
U.S. Army Major Clement Knefel, who was present at the Nuremberg Trials, spent most of his life dedicated to building a memorial to the victims of this massacre. After founding the Katyn Memorial Committee of Baltimore and fundraising for over a decade, Knefel’s dream was coming to fruition in 1996, as the State of Maryland and various other groups and prominent individuals pledged support for the memorial. On November 19th, 2000, this dream was realized as the National Katyn Memorial was dedicated at Katyn Circle in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.