MENU

Similar articles

Free Yaroslav Mysyak: NGOs call on US President to ask Zelensky to pardon Ukrainian youth pastor How can Ukraine’s leaders hand Babyn Yar into private Russian hands? Zisels: Synagogue on Babyn Yar graveyard is ‘super provocation’ aimed at discrediting Ukraine Russia exploits war veterans for offensive against opposition activists and historical truth Outrage as Ukraine’s Culture Minister allows synagogue to be built on graveyard at Babyn Yar Russian oligarch plans for Babyn Yar seem aimed at fuelling anti-Semitism in Ukraine Savagely beaten Maidan activist Tetyana Chornovol formally charged with a non-existent murderContentious choice of Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Complex is a win-win situation for RussiaStalin took Crimean Tatar Dilyara Alieva’s homeland and parents; Putin’s Russia has taken her sonHow can a Russian oligarch control remembrance of the Victims of Babyn Yar in Ukraine?Charges against Tetyana Chornovol play to Yanukovych and Russian lies about MaidanYanukovych’s lawyer reportedly knew in advance he would get top job in State body investigating Maidan crimesOutrage in Ukraine as Yanukovych lawyer appointed first deputy head of body investigating Maidan crimesUkrainian rights activist held prisoner in Russian proxy Donbas ‘republic’ receives international awardWhat is Happening around Babyn Yar Today?Russia legalizes state kidnappings to ’fight terrorism’Sharp Reversal by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General on Investigating Maidan & Yanukovych CrimesBabyn Yar: "Did the sun really not pale at the sight of that horror? "Roma Victims Remembered at Babyn YarAlarm bells ring as chief Maidan crimes investigator threatened with criminal charges

In Remembrance: Babyn Yar, September 1941

29.09.2014

 

73 years ago, on 29 and 30 September 1941, the Nazis murdered over 33 thousand Jewish men, women and children at Babyn Yar [or Babi Yar, from the Russian], then a ravine on the outskirts of Kyiv.  

Notices appeared around Kyiv the day before, ordering all Jews to come the next morning with their possessions and documents to the corner of Melnykova and Degtyryovska St.  Those who did not, the announcement read, would be executed. 

Around 150 were given refuge by non-Jewish friends or neighbours.  Each of those people faced certain execution if the Nazis found out.

Many of those who came believed that they were to be deported. Instead, they were forced by Nazi Einsatzgruppen and local collaborators to take off all their clothes, and then murdered at the edge of the ravine.   Only 29 people are known to have survived.

In Soviet times the execution during those terrible days of Jews at Babyn Yar was assiduously ignored.  Plans to build a rubbish dump at the ravine were condemned by the writer and War veteran Viktor Nekrasov who in 1959 spoke out, calling for a monument to those murdered at Babyn Yar.  The authorities ignored such calls, with even pulp being pumped into the ravine.  This led in 1961 to a catastrophic mudslide which claimed the lives of about 2 thousand people.

During the 1960s and 1970s the Soviets continued building over the ravine area.  A television centre and sports complex were built on Melnykova St, and by 1980 the territory had mainly been turned into a park, with only a small part of Babyn Yar remaining.

After unauthorized meetings on 29 September 1966, the 25th anniversary of the Massacre (addressed by Ivan Dzyuba, Viktor Nekrasov and others) and a year later, the authorities finally acknowledged the need for some monument.  The official monument erected by 1968 was to the memory of “Soviet citizens during the period of the temporary German-Fascist occupation of 1941-1943”. 

The story of Soviet lies is long and sordid.  In 1991, just a month after Ukraine’s independence, a formal apology was made and a Menorah erected at Babyn Yar. 

It is true that during the War years many of those murdered at Babyn Yar were not Jewish.  It is also true that on these terrible days in September 1941 the Jews of Kyiv were massacred as Jews.  

 

 

Halya Coynash

 Share this