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Katyn​ Massacre and Smolensk Air Disaster Commemoration Day

The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) recognizes and commemorates the Katyń Massacre and the Smolensk Air Disaster on April 10, 2022 and every year thereafter. 

In April and May of 1940, approximately 22,000 Polish people, mainly reserve officers, engineers, doctors, teachers, university professors, members of the intelligentsia, and others, had their lives taken by the government of the Soviet Union. This is known as the Katyń Massacre. 

On April 10, 2010, 96 people including Polish President Lech Kaczyński, First Lady Maria Kaczyński, Senior Polish Government Officials, and family members of the Katyń Massacre lost their lives in a fatal plane crash known as the Smolensk Air Disaster, while travelling to Katyń to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Katyń Massacre. 

With 1.1-million Canadians of Polish ancestry, 145,000 reside in Toronto and many attend our Catholic schools. To date, the Katyń Massacre continues to be a historical wound for the Polish community in Toronto, Canada and across the world. 

The TCDSB makes every effort to recognize and commemorate observances that reflect the heritage, history and values of our diverse communities. We are committed to educating students about social injustice and envision graduates who are responsible citizens who give witness to Catholic teaching by promoting peace, justice and the sacredness of human life. 

We kindly request that all schools at the TCDSB observe a moment of silence and reflection for the victims of the Katyń Massacre and Smolensk Air Disaster today, and every year thereafter on April 10th. In the event that April 10 falls on a weekend, the TCDSB will commemorate this event on the Friday preceding. 

The TCDSB stands in solidarity with the Polish community and all those who have been affected by these events. ​​​​​​