Louis FitzGibbon, a British scholar and humanitarian, was active for years in publicizing the suppressed truth about the 1940 killing of thousands of captured Polish officers by the Soviet secret police. Although the facts about the massacre are now well established, during the 1970s his efforts on behalf of justice and historical truth were considered controversial because many people still endorsed the World War II claim by the Allied powers that the gruesome wartime killings had been carried out by German authorities.
Born in London in 1925, the young FitzGibbon was educated by Benedictine monks. In 1938 he entered the Naval College at Dartmouth, and in 1942 he went to sea, serving in the British navy until 1954. During that period he served six years in submarines, and completed a Polish interpreters course.
He later studied law, ran his own business, and for a time served as personal assistant to Duncan Sandys, a Member of Parliament. FitzGibbon was a Knight of Malta, and a Knight of St. Lazarus. For some years he was an executive with a commercial company in London. He also served as the director of a trade association and of two national charities.
American scholar Louis Robert Coatney wrote in his 1993 Master’s thesis: “A veritable crusader on the issue of Katyn was Louis Fitzgibbon, who had a number of books published in the 1970s bringing forth the contemporary evidence accumulated. In 1971, his book Katyn presented some of the most graphic and compelling evidence of Soviet guilt.”
His books on the subject included:
Fluent in the Polish language, he was highly regarded by expatriate Poles in both Britain and the United States. The Polish Government in Exile awarded him the Gold Cross of Merit, and the Order of Polonia Restituta.
From 1971 until 1977 he was Secretary of the Katyn Memorial Fund. He served as chairman of the Katyn Memorial Committee in London, which organized the erection of an impressive obelisk memorial to the Polish victims that he and his wife had designed.
FitzGibbon was in southern California in September 1979 to speak at the first “International Revisionist Conference,” organized by the Institute for Historical Review. His address, “Hidden Aspects of the Katyn Massacre: The 'Lost 10,000',” was published in the premier, Spring 1980 issue of the IHR’s Journal of Historical Review.
( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v01/v01p-31_FitzGibbon.html ) American editions of his book, Katyn, were published by Noontide Press in 1979, and by the IHR in 1980.
In 1972-73 he headed a United Nations emergency refugee relief program in Sudan, serving in Khartoum and Juba. He also become involved with the plight of the people of Somalia, a country he visited twice in 1978. His book on the subject, The Betrayal of the Somalis, was published in 1982.
Louis FitzGibbon died in London, age 78, on January 31, 2003.