The 2010 Katyń Families Association

After an exhumation conducted in 2012, after a subsequent reburial and now after over 4 years, the location of the body of Anna Walentynowicz is still unknown. So far, 9 exhumations of Smolensk victims have been carried out, with 6 bodies buried in the wrong graves and one body still missing. Now, family members of all the victims cannot be certain as to the location of their relatives.

The medical post-mortem examination documents of 24 women, who died in the plane crash near Smolensk, were sent from Russia to Poland after the crash of the presidential TU154 M. The medical documentation sent by the Russian authorities to Poland were to contain among others the description of the late Anna Walentynowicz, however, they did not correspond to the injuries which she suffered after crash. Therefore, after taking into account the conducted exhumations and the explanations of the family members it turned out that the medical documentation which had been so far assigned to the late Anna Walentynowicz did not correspond to this person at all.


What are we on about?

Janusz Walentynowicz, the son of the deceased Anna Walentynowicz personally identified the body of his deceased mother during identification in Moscow, shortly after the crash. However, relatives of tragically deceased Anna Walentynowicz since 2012 - i.e. since the moment it was stated that there could have been an error in matching the bodies to their descriptions and after the family was presented with Russian post-mortem examination documentation by the Prosecutor’s Office, which supposedly concerned Anna Walentynowicz - have maintained that the presented documentation did not concern their relative. The Prosecutor’s Office implied at that time that the bodies could have been accidentally switched with the bodies of another victim after the plane crash in Moscow during identification. The Prosecutor’s Office implied further that a subsequent exhumation of the two bodies would clear the doubts of the family of Anna Walentynowicz; and that the body removed from the grave would most likely be that of Anna Walentynowicz. Subsequently, the exhumation of the bodies buried in Warsaw and in Gdańsk took place in September 2012.

After the exhumation of Smolensk victim Anna Walentynowicz, relatives have confirmed in a released public statement that the body is not that of the legendary Solidarity activist. Her son, Janusz said that the remains are "not the body of my mother". "The person I saw today on the autopsy table was certainly not the person I recognised in Moscow." said Janusz Walentynowicz at the time. Nevertheless, the Prosecution stated that the bodies had been in fact mistakenly switched and after DNA tests had been reburied accordingly. However, none of 24 Russian medical post-mortem documents concerning 24 women who died on the board of Tupolew describes the late Anna Walentynowicz, claims the son and the grandson of the Solidarity legend, who have been acquainted with the records kept by the Chief Prosecutor’s Office. – The documentation assigned to the person buried after the exhumations in Anna Walentynowicz’s grave does not concern our Mother and Grandmother. There is another person buried in the grave in Gdańsk, assure Janusz Walentynowicz and his son Piotr. It appears that that the bodies had not been exchanged between two graves and that Anna Walentynowicz’s body was not, as it had been supposed, switched with the body of the Katyń Families activist, Teresa Walewska-Przyjałkowska. The body of an unknown person has been discovered in Teresa Walewska’s grave at the Warsaw Cemetery.  So where is Anna Walentynowicz’s body? Has it vanished into thin air?!


After an exhumation conducted in 2012, after a subsequent reburial and now after over 4 years, the location of the body of Anna Walentynowicz is still unknown. So far, 9 exhumations of Smolensk victims have been carried out, with 6 bodies buried in the wrong graves and one body still missing. Now, family members of all the victims cannot be 100% sure as to the location of their relatives. The military prosecutor's office has not ruled out the possibility of further exhumations in the near future. So far, the exhumations have been undertaken under the prosecutions own initiative and judgment, systematically refusing such requests to relatives. A fact to remember and keep in mind is that the coffins of the victims have been sealed in Russia and never allowed to be opened, once in Poland.

From the beginning

The ordeal of Anna Walentynowicz’s relatives has continued since summer 2012, when the Chief Prosecutor’s Office showed the Russian medical post-mortem records allegedly corresponding to the legendary opponent to the members of Walentynowicz’s family. – "We immediately noticed that these records did not describe our Grandmother. And this meant that exhumation was absolutely necessary" said Piotr Walentynowicz. The Prosecutor’s Office supposed that the bodies could have been mistakenly switched and that the body of “Anna Solidarity” could have been buried in the grave of another victim of the crash i.e the Katyń Families activist, Teresa Walewska-Przyjałkowska. The exhumation of the remains from Gdańsk confirmed the observations of the family. Soon it turned out that the body removed from the grave in Warsaw also evoked many doubts of the opponent’s son and grandson.  Janusz Walentynowicz saw the body and personally identified his mother during the identification in Moscow, shortly after the crash. The body in Moscow was not damaged; the face was well preserved, except for a small lesion resulting from a torn mole.


The description of Anna Walentynowicz’s body did not correspond to the condition of the body removed from the grave of the Katyń Families activist, Teresa Walewska-Przyjałkowska. The head of this person had been crushed, as a result of which it was impossible to identify its features. Janusz Walentynowicz pointed to the fact that also the  configuration of stitches after the surgery during which one of the organs had been removed  did not match. However, according to the Prosecution the results of DNA tests conducted after the exhumation confirmed that the body removed from the Warsaw grave are the remains of Anna Walentynowicz. If so, why was the body identifiable in Moscow shortly after the crash but unrecognisable and with no facial features after exhumation? 

The Walentynowicz family persisted. – After many requests we managed to get access to the Russian records of Teresa Walewska-Przyjałkowska, which – in compliance with the exhumation result – were to describe my Grandmother – says Piotr Walentynowicz. – We saw these records, but they also could not be assigned to our Grandmother. We listed many points which proved that. One of the main points was as follows: the victim in Moscow had a head; the picture of the head made in the Moscow Mortuary could be found in the records; it can be seen in that picture that the face of this person does not resemble our Grandma’s face at all. We do not know what happened to the head of this victim- let me remind that facial skeleton was almost wholly missing after the exhumation. But the rest of the description corresponded to the body removed from the grave, which clearly proves  that these records cannot concern Anna Walentynowicz. In relation to the above the Prosecutor’s Office gave us permission to get acquainted with all Russian records concerning the women victims of the crash so that we could find the documentation concerning our Grandmother, the opponent’s grandson says.


- We were provided with all record files containing photographic and medical documentation  of all women who died in the crash. After getting acquainted with the remaining 22 files of Russian documents we concluded that the files of Anna Walentynowicz, my Grandmother, were no present among them -said Piotr Walentynowicz, the grandson of the late Anna Walentynowicz at the meeting of the team.


– All files contained a medical description or photographic material, albeit quite poor. No medical description and the photographs presented in the files correspond to what we know about my Grandmother. We proceeded according to the elimination method. We checked the teeth and the hair colour. If the records described e.g. a tall person or any injuries which did not correspond to what my Dad had seed during the identification in Moscow, we  discarded them. I would like to underline that in the course of getting acquainted with all documentation together with my father we found two files concerning the bodies of the victims that we had seen in the coffins after the exhumation– added Piotr Walentynowicz.


Attorney Stefan Hambura, who acts as the proxy and plenipotentiary of the Walentynowicz family, does not rule out filing an application for yet another exhumation of the body of the late Anna Walentynowicz.- An important moment has come, since we have come to a crossroad. We have the files, but there are no records concerning the late Anna Walentynowicz. I wanted to ask the Chief Prosecutor how the late Anna Walentynowicz could have been buried, if there were no records. - said the attorney Stefan Hambura, who stressed that the time had come to take the investigation out of the hands of the Military Prosecutor’s Office.  They cannot cope with this investigation,  he said.

Prosecutor’s Office advises family private DNA tests

The victim’s grandson asked: “If the Prosecutor’s Office does not have the appropriate post-mortem documentation which describes my Grandmother, on which basis has it selected the bodies for exhumation? How is it possible that the Prosecutor’s Office does not have the records concerning our Grandmother, but the number of records corresponds to the number of women present on the board of Tupolew (there are 24 records altogether)? Surely the Prosecutor’s Office can see that not everything is right, since the prosecutor Jarosław Sej proposed to us to conduct our own DNA tests. However, he did not want to agree to the tests abroad and he only agreed to the tests in Poland, conducted upon the order of the Military Prosecutor’s Office– Piotr Walentynowicz reported.

"Gazeta Polska" asked the Prosecutor’s Office whether the documentation concerning the female victims of the Smolensk crash is complete, or whether a part of this documentation remained in Russia. “In the opinion of the Military District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw the complete documentation form the medical post-mortem examination of corpses of the women victims of the Smolensk crash was  submitted to us– wrote lieutenant colonel Janusz Wójcik, acting as a spokesman of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office. “In the light of the investigation findings after the exhumation, and especially in the light of the report on DNA tests, which were conducted by two independent academic centres (Mikołaj Kopernik University in Bydgoszcz and Medical University in Wrocław), the issue of DNA identification of the late Anna Walentynowicz’s body does not evoke any doubts”, he added.
The prosecutor Wójcik also referred "Gazeta Polska" to the  speech made in Sejm (the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament) by the Chief Prosecutor Andrzej Seremet, who stated in this speech that the families of the victims are guilty of the replacement of corpses, since they incorrectly identified their relatives.


It is an extremely interesting issue, since the documents do not correspond to the description of the person that can be identified by nearly every adult in Poland. The documentation is allegedly complete: 24 women and the same number of corresponding documents; however no documentation matches the body of Anna Walentynowicz, and the description of this body does not corresponded with the documentation description; also the family did not recognise their mother and grandmother in the presented body after exhumation. The conclusion is obvious; how come the Chief Prosecutor’s Office together with its research staff, experts and appraisers have not been able to define who and when could have replaced or has actually replaced DNA samples which served for identification tests of the buried persons? Does it mean that Anna Walentynowicz’s body could be buried in another coffin and the samples for identification tests were taken from the wrong corpse? There are many questions to which no answers have been provided.


More information:


1) Botched burials saga continues


2) Exiled Polish president's body wrongly identified in graves scandal


3) Exhumation of Ryszard Kaczorowski


4) 'That's not my mother', says Walentynowicz's son


5) Exhumation of Anna Walentynowicz


Source: niezależ

Fot. Dominik Sadowski