Babi Yar
Overview
 
Babi Yar is a ravine
Ravine
A ravine is a landform narrower than a canyon and is often the product of streamcutting erosion. Ravines are typically classified as larger in scale than gullies, although smaller than valleys. A ravine is generally a fluvial slope landform of relatively steep sides, on the order of twenty to...

 in the Ukrainian
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 capital Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 and a site of a series of massacre
Massacre
A massacre is an event with a heavy death toll.Massacre may also refer to:-Entertainment:*Massacre , a DC Comics villain*Massacre , a 1932 drama film starring Richard Barthelmess*Massacre, a 1956 Western starring Dane Clark...

s carried out by the Nazis during their campaign against the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. The most notorious and the best documented of these massacres took place on September 29–30, 1941, wherein 33,771 Jews were killed in a single operation. The decision to kill all the Jews in Kiev was made by the military governor, Major-General Kurt Eberhard, the Police Commander for Army Group South, SS-Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank that was first created in 1932 as a rank of the SA and until 1942 it was the highest SS rank inferior only to Reichsführer-SS...

 Friedrich Jeckeln
Friedrich Jeckeln
Friedrich Jeckeln was an SS-Obergruppenführer who served as an SS and Police Leader in the occupied Soviet Union during World War II...

, and the Einsatzgruppe C Commander Otto Rasch
Otto Rasch
SS-Brigadeführer Otto Rasch was a high-ranking Nazi official in the occupied Eastern territories, commanding Einsatzgruppe C until October 1941. As a commanding officer, he was a Holocaust perpetrator and mass murderer.-Biography:Rasch was born in Friedrichsruh, northern Germany...

.
Encyclopedia
Babi Yar is a ravine
Ravine
A ravine is a landform narrower than a canyon and is often the product of streamcutting erosion. Ravines are typically classified as larger in scale than gullies, although smaller than valleys. A ravine is generally a fluvial slope landform of relatively steep sides, on the order of twenty to...

 in the Ukrainian
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 capital Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 and a site of a series of massacre
Massacre
A massacre is an event with a heavy death toll.Massacre may also refer to:-Entertainment:*Massacre , a DC Comics villain*Massacre , a 1932 drama film starring Richard Barthelmess*Massacre, a 1956 Western starring Dane Clark...

s carried out by the Nazis during their campaign against the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. The most notorious and the best documented of these massacres took place on September 29–30, 1941, wherein 33,771 Jews were killed in a single operation. The decision to kill all the Jews in Kiev was made by the military governor, Major-General Kurt Eberhard, the Police Commander for Army Group South, SS-Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank that was first created in 1932 as a rank of the SA and until 1942 it was the highest SS rank inferior only to Reichsführer-SS...

 Friedrich Jeckeln
Friedrich Jeckeln
Friedrich Jeckeln was an SS-Obergruppenführer who served as an SS and Police Leader in the occupied Soviet Union during World War II...

, and the Einsatzgruppe C Commander Otto Rasch
Otto Rasch
SS-Brigadeführer Otto Rasch was a high-ranking Nazi official in the occupied Eastern territories, commanding Einsatzgruppe C until October 1941. As a commanding officer, he was a Holocaust perpetrator and mass murderer.-Biography:Rasch was born in Friedrichsruh, northern Germany...

. It was carried out by Sonderkommando
Sonderkommando
Sonderkommandos were work units of Nazi death camp prisoners, composed almost entirely of Jews, who were forced, on threat of their own deaths, to aid with the disposal of gas chamber victims during The Holocaust...

 4a soldiers, along with the aid of the SD
Sicherheitsdienst
Sicherheitsdienst , full title Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS, or SD, was the intelligence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party in Nazi Germany. The organization was the first Nazi Party intelligence organization to be established and was often considered a "sister organization" with the...

 and SS Police Battalions.

Other victims included thousands of Soviet POWs, communists, Gypsies (Romani people), Ukrainian nationalists and civilian hostages. It is estimated that between 100,000 and 150,000 more lives were taken at Babi Yar.

Historical background

The Babi Yar (Babyn Yar) ravine was first mentioned in historical accounts in 1401, in connection with its sale by "baba" (an old woman), the cantiniere, to the Dominican
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 Monastery. In the course of several centuries the site had been used for various purposes including military camps and at least two cemeteries, among them an Orthodox Christian cemetery and a Jewish cemetery. The latter was officially closed in 1937.

Massacres of 29–30 September 1941

Axis forces, mainly German, occupied Kiev on 19 September 1941. On September 26 Maj. Gen. Kurt Eberhard, the military governor, made the decision to exterminate the Jews of Kiev, claiming that it was in retaliation for guerrilla attacks against German troops. and SS-Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank that was first created in 1932 as a rank of the SA and until 1942 it was the highest SS rank inferior only to Reichsführer-SS...

 Friedrich Jeckeln
Friedrich Jeckeln
Friedrich Jeckeln was an SS-Obergruppenführer who served as an SS and Police Leader in the occupied Soviet Union during World War II...

, the SS and Police Leader
SS and Police Leader
SS and Police Leader was a title for senior Nazi officials that commanded large units of the SS, of Gestapo and of the regular German police during and prior to World War II.Three levels of subordination were established for bearers of this title:...

 at Rear Headquarters Army Group South. Einsatzgruppe
Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen were SS paramilitary death squads that were responsible for mass killings, typically by shooting, of Jews in particular, but also significant numbers of other population groups and political categories...

 C carried out the Babi Yar massacre and a number of other mass atrocities in Ukraine during the summer and autumn of 1941. Its commander SS-Brigadefuhrer
Brigadeführer
SS-Brigadeführer was an SS rank that was used in Nazi Germany between the years of 1932 and 1945. Brigadeführer was also an SA rank....

 Dr. Otto Rasch
Otto Rasch
SS-Brigadeführer Otto Rasch was a high-ranking Nazi official in the occupied Eastern territories, commanding Einsatzgruppe C until October 1941. As a commanding officer, he was a Holocaust perpetrator and mass murderer.-Biography:Rasch was born in Friedrichsruh, northern Germany...

 and the officer commanding Sonderkommando
Sonderkommando
Sonderkommandos were work units of Nazi death camp prisoners, composed almost entirely of Jews, who were forced, on threat of their own deaths, to aid with the disposal of gas chamber victims during The Holocaust...

 4a, SS-Standartenfuhrer
Standartenführer
Standartenführer was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank that was used in the so-called Nazi combat-organisations: SA, SS, NSKK and the NSFK...

 Paul Blobel
Paul Blobel
Paul Blobel was a German Nazi war criminal, an SS-Standartenführer and a member of the SD. Born in the city of Potsdam, he participated in the First World War, where by all accounts he served well and was decorated with the Iron Cross first class...

 were at the September 26 meeting as well. An order was then posted in the town:
On 29 and 30 September 1941, a special team of German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 SS
Schutzstaffel
The Schutzstaffel |Sig runes]]) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II...

 troops supported by other German units and local collaborators murdered 33,771 Jewish civilians after taking them to the ravine.

The massacre to come would be the largest single mass killing for which the Nazi regime and its collaborators were responsible during its campaign against the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and is considered to be "the largest single massacre in the history of the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

".

The implementation of the order was entrusted to Sonderkommando 4a, commanded by Blobel, under the general command of Friedrich Jeckeln. This unit consisted of SD
Sicherheitsdienst
Sicherheitsdienst , full title Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS, or SD, was the intelligence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party in Nazi Germany. The organization was the first Nazi Party intelligence organization to be established and was often considered a "sister organization" with the...

 and Sipo
Sicherheitspolizei
The Sicherheitspolizei , often abbreviated as SiPo, was a term used in Nazi Germany to describe the state political and criminal investigation security agencies. It was made up by the combined forces of the Gestapo and the Kripo between 1936 and 1939...

, the third company of the Special Duties Waffen-SS
Waffen-SS
The Waffen-SS was a multi-ethnic and multi-national military force of the Third Reich. It constituted the armed wing of the Schutzstaffel or SS, an organ of the Nazi Party. The Waffen-SS saw action throughout World War II and grew from three regiments to over 38 divisions, and served alongside...

 battalion, and a platoon of the 9th Police Battalion. Police Battalion 45, commanded by Major Besser, conducted the massacre, supported by members of a Waffen-SS battalion.

Afterwards, an official Nazi report described the means by which the people were induced to come to the killing site:
On Monday the Jews of Kiev gathered by the cemetery
Cemetery
A cemetery is a place in which dead bodies and cremated remains are buried. The term "cemetery" implies that the land is specifically designated as a burying ground. Cemeteries in the Western world are where the final ceremonies of death are observed...

, expecting to be loaded onto trains. The crowd was large enough that most of the men, women, and children could not have known what was happening until it was too late: by the time they heard the machine-gun fire, there was no chance to escape. All were driven down a corridor of soldiers, in groups of ten, and then shot. A truck driver described the scene:

More than thirty thousand Kiev Jews gathered at the corner of the two streets and were escorted to the cemetery, expecting to be loaded onto trains for deportation. The commander of the Einsatzkommando
Einsatzkommando
During World War II, the Nazi German Einsatzkommandos were a sub-group of five Einsatzgruppen mobile killing squads—up to 3,000 men each—usually composed of 500-1,000 functionaries of the SS and Gestapo, whose mission was to kill Jews, Romani, communists and the NKVD collaborators in the captured...

 reported two days later: "Because of 'our special talent of organisation', the Jews still believed to the very last moment before being murdered that indeed all that was happening was that they were being resettled." According to the testimony of a truck driver named Hofer, victims were ordered to undress and beaten if they resisted:
All were driven in groups of ten down a corridor of SS soldiers, and then shot at the edge of the Babi Yar gorge. The crowd was large enough that most of the men, women, and children could not have known what was happening until it was too late: by the time they heard the gunfire, there was no chance to escape. In the evening, the Germans undermined the wall of the ravine and buried the people under the thick layers of earth. According to the Einsatzgruppe's Operational Situation Report, 33,771 Jews from Kiev and its suburbs were systematically shot dead by machine-gun fire at Babi Yar on September 29 and September 30, 1941. The money, valuables, underwear, and clothing of the murdered victims were turned over to the local ethnic Germans
Volksdeutsche
Volksdeutsche - "German in terms of people/folk" -, defined ethnically, is a historical term from the 20th century. The words volk and volkische conveyed in Nazi thinking the meanings of "folk" and "race" while adding the sense of superior civilization and blood...

 and to the Nazi administration of the city.

Survivors

One of the most often-cited parts of Anatoly Kuznetsov
Anatoly Kuznetsov
Anatoly Vasilievich Kuznetsov was a Russian language Soviet writer who described his experiences in German-occupied Kiev during WWII in his internationally acclaimed novel Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel...

's documentary novel Babi Yar
Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel
Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel is an internationally acclaimed documentary novel by Anatoly Kuznetsov about the Babi Yar massacre...

 is the testimony of Dina Pronicheva, an actress of the Kiev Puppet Theatre, and a survivor. She was one of those ordered to march to the ravine, forced to undress, and then shot. Jumping before being shot and falling on other bodies, she played dead in a pile of corpses. She held perfectly still while the Nazis continued to shoot the wounded or gasping victims. Although the SS had covered the mass grave with earth, she eventually managed to climb through the soil and escape. Since it was dark, she had to avoid the flashlights of the Nazis finishing off the remaining victims still alive, wounded and gasping in the grave. She was one of the very few survivors of the massacre and later related her horrifying story to Kuznetsov. At least three survivors are known.

In 2006, Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem is Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953 through the Yad Vashem Law passed by the Knesset, Israel's parliament....

 and other Jewish organizations started a project to identify and name the Babi Yar victims, but so far only 10% have been identified. Yad Vashem has recorded the names of around 3,000 Jews killed at Babi Yar, as well as those of some 7,000 Jews from Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 who were killed during the Holocaust.

Further executions

In the months that followed, thousands more were seized and taken to Babi Yar where they were shot. It is estimated that more than 100,000 residents of Kiev of all ethnic groups, mostly civilians, were murdered by the Nazis there during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. A concentration camp was also built in the area.

Mass executions at Babi Yar continued up until the German forces departed from Kiev. On January 10, 1942 about 100 sailors from a military flotilla were executed there. In addition, Babi Yar became a place of execution of residents of five Gypsy camps. According to various estimates, during 1941—1943 between 70,000- 200,000 Roma people were rounded up and murdered at Babi Yar. Patients of the Ivan Pavlov Psychiatric Hospital
Psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental hospitals, are hospitals specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialise only in short-term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients...

 were gassed and then dumped into the ravine . Thousands of other Ukrainians were killed at Babi Yar. Among those murdered were 621 members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists
Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists
The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists is a Ukrainian political organization which as a movement originally was created in 1929 in Western Ukraine . The OUN accepted violence as an acceptable tool in the fight against foreign and domestic enemies particularly Poland and Russia...

 (OUN). Ukrainian poet and activist Olena Teliha
Olena Teliha
Olena Ivanivna Teliha was a Ukrainian poet and Ukrainian activist of Ukrainian and Belarusian ethnicity.-Biography:Olena Teliha was born Elena Ivanovna Shovgeneva in the village of Ilyinskoe, near Moscow in Russia where her parents spent summer vacations. There are a several villages by this name...

 and her husband, renowned bandurist
Bandurist
A bandurist is a person who plays the Ukrainian plucked string instrument known as the bandura.-Types of performers:There are a number of different types of bandurist who differ in their paricular choice of instrument, the specific repertoire they play and manner in which they approach their...

 Mykhailo Teliha
Mykhailo Teliha
Mykhailo Pavlovych Teliha Mykhailo Teliha was an active Ukrainian community leader and distinguished musician. He was born in the Akhtyrka Stanitsa in the Kuban. It is here that he first became interested in playing the bandura in 1913...

, were murdered there on February 21, 1942.

Numbers murdered

Estimates of the total number killed at Babi Yar during the Nazi occupation vary. In 1946, Soviet prosecutor L. N. Smirnov at the Nuremberg Trials
Nuremberg Trials
The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany....

 claimed there were approximately 100,000 corpses lying in Babi Yar, using materials of the Extraordinary State Commission
Extraordinary State Commission
The Extraordinary State Commission – fully: "Extraordinary State Commission for ascertaining and investigating crimes perpetrated by the German–Fascist invaders and their accomplices, and the damage inflicted by them on citizens, collective farms, social organisations, State enterprises and...

 set out by the Soviets to investigate Nazi crimes after the liberation of Kiev in 1943. According to testimonies of workers forced to burn the bodies, the numbers range from 70,000 to 120,000.

In a recently published letter to Israeli journalist, writer, and translator Shlomo Even-Shoshan dated May 17, 1965, Anatoli Kuznetsov commented on the Babi Yar atrocity:
For his war crime
War crime
War crimes are serious violations of the laws applicable in armed conflict giving rise to individual criminal responsibility...

s Paul Blobel was sentenced to death by the Nuremberg Military Tribunal in the Einsatzgruppen Trial
Einsatzgruppen Trial
The Einsatzgruppen Trial was the ninth of the twelve trials for war crimes the U.S. authorities held in their occupation zone in Germany in Nuremberg after the end of World War II. These twelve trials were all held before U.S...

. He was hanged in June 1951.

Syrets concentration camp

In the course of the occupation, the Syrets concentration camp
Syrets concentration camp
Syrets was the name of a Nazi concentration camp that was erected in 1942 near Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, which was then a part of the Soviet Union.- Establishment and location :...

 was set up in Babi Yar. Interned communists, Soviet POWs, and captured Soviet partisans
Soviet partisans
The Soviet partisans were members of a resistance movement which fought a guerrilla war against the Axis occupation of the Soviet Union during World War II....

 were murdered there. On February 18, 1943, three Dynamo Kyiv football players who took part in the Match of Death
The Death Match
The Death Match was the Soviet propaganda name for a non-official association football match in 1942 between the local workers of a bakery factory — former professional footballers from Dynamo Kyiv and Lokomotyv Kyiv — and soldiers of the Nazi German Wehrmacht...

 with the German Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 team were also murdered in the camp. It is estimated that about 25,000 Ukrainians died in the Syrets camp.

Concealment of the crimes

Before the Nazis retreated from Kiev, they attempted to conceal their atrocities. Paul Blobel
Paul Blobel
Paul Blobel was a German Nazi war criminal, an SS-Standartenführer and a member of the SD. Born in the city of Potsdam, he participated in the First World War, where by all accounts he served well and was decorated with the Iron Cross first class...

, who was in control of the mass murders in Babi Yar two years earlier, supervised the Sonderaktion 1005
Sonderaktion 1005
The Sonderaktion 1005, also called Aktion 1005, or Enterdungsaktion was conducted during World War II to hide any evidence that millions of people had been murdered by Nazi Germany in Aktion Reinhard in occupied Poland....

 in eliminating its traces. For six weeks from August to September 1943, more than 300 chained prisoners were forced to exhume and burn the corpses (using local headstones as bricks to build ovens) and scatter the ashes on farmland in the vicinity. To this day many Ukrainians will not eat cabbage grown on those farms.

Remembrance

After the war, commemoration efforts encountered serious difficulty because of the policy of the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a number of memorials have been erected on the site and elsewhere. The events also formed a part of literature. Babi Yar is located in Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 at the juncture of today's Kurenivka
Kurenivka
Kurenivka or Kurenyovka is a historical neighbourhood on the right bank of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. It is located between the neighbourhoods of Podil, Obolon, Priorka, and Syrets....

, Lukianivka and Syrets neighborhoods
Subdivisions of Kiev
Subdivisions of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, include the formal administrative subdivision into raions and the more detailed informal subdivision into historical neighborhoods.-History of subdivision:...

, between Frunze, Melnykov and Olena Teliha streets and St. Cyril's Monastery
St. Cyril's Monastery
St. Cyril's Monastery is a medieval monastery in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The monastery contains the famous St. Cyril's Church, an important specimen of Kievan Rus' architecture of the 12th century, and combining elements of the 17th and 19th centuries. However, being largely Ukrainian...

. After the Orange Revolution
Orange Revolution
The Orange Revolution was a series of protests and political events that took place in Ukraine from late November 2004 to January 2005, in the immediate aftermath of the run-off vote of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election which was claimed to be marred by massive corruption, voter...

, President Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko is a former President of Ukraine. He took office on January 23, 2005, following a period of popular unrest known as the Orange Revolution...

 of Ukraine hosted a major commemoration of the 65th anniversary in 2006, attended by Presidents Moshe Katsav
Moshe Katsav
Moshe Katsav is an Israeli politician. He served as the eighth President of Israel, a leading Likud member of the Israeli Knesset, and a Cabinet Minister in its government....

 of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Filip Vujanovic
Filip Vujanovic
Filip Vujanović is a Montenegrin politician who, since 2003, has served as the President of Montenegro. He is the first President of Montenegro since it split ties with Serbia and became an independent nation in June 2006...

 of Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

, Stjepan Mesić
Stjepan Mesić
Stjepan "Stipe" Mesić is a Croatian politician and former President of Croatia. Before his ten-year presidential term between 2000 and 2010 he held the posts of Speaker of the Croatian Parliament , Prime Minister of Croatia , the last President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia , Secretary General...

 of Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, and Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi is a title given in several countries to the recognized religious leader of that country's Jewish community, or to a rabbinic leader appointed by the local secular authorities...

 of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

 Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau
Yisrael Meir Lau
Yisrael Meir Lau is the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, Israel, and Chairman of Yad Vashem. He previously served as the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1993 to 2003.-Biography:...

. Rabbi Lau pointed out that if the world had reacted to the massacre of Babi Yar, perhaps the Holocaust might never have happened. Implying that Hitler was emboldened by this impunity, Lau speculated:
A message was also delivered on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, by his representative, Francis Martin O'Donnell
Francis Martin O'Donnell
Francis Martin O'Donnell, KC*SG, KM, KCMCO, is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta to the Slovak Republic. He is a retired former UN official who served most recently as the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Ukraine, from 30...

, who added a Hebrew prayer O'seh Shalom, from the Mourners' Kaddish
Kaddish
Kaddish is a prayer found in the Jewish prayer service. The central theme of the Kaddish is the magnification and sanctification of God's name. In the liturgy different versions of the Kaddish are used functionally as separators between sections of the service...

.

In fiction

  • The Babi Yar executions are described in detail in Jonathan Littell
    Jonathan Littell
    Jonathan Littell is a bilingual writer living in Barcelona. He grew up in France and United States and is a dual citizen of both countries. After acquiring his bachelor degree he worked for a humanitarian organisation for nine years, leaving his job in 2001 in order to concentrate on writing...

    's novel
    Novel
    A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

     "Les Bienveillantes
    Les Bienveillantes
    The Kindly Ones is a historical novel written in French by American-born author Jonathan Littell. The 900-page book became a bestseller in France and was widely discussed in newspapers, magazines, academic journals, books and seminars...

    " (in English, "The Kindly Ones
    The Kindly Ones
    The Kindly Ones is a euphemistic reference to the Furies in Greek mythology.The phrase has been used as the title of:...

    "), where the main character, Dr. Aue, is one of the Nazi officers in charge.
  • In Chapter 5 of his novel
    Novel
    A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

     "The White Hotel
    The White Hotel
    The White Hotel is a novel written by the English poet, translator and novelist D. M. Thomas. It was first published in January 1981 by Gollancz in Great Britain and in March 1981 by The Viking Press in the United States...

    ", D.M. Thomas vividly describes the whole episode and his main character, Lisa's execution at Babi Yar. He describes Dina Pronicheva as "the only witness, the sole authority for what Lisa saw and felt". However Lisa's death is not recounted and, in Chapter 6, Lisa later arrives, still alive, in a reception camp in Israel.
  • "The Survivor of Babi Yar" by Othniel J. Seiden c 1980 ISBN 937050-02-4 is an account of the title character as he escapes and forms a Jewish resistance group of some size and significance.
  • "The Remnant - Jewish Resistance in WWII" by Othniel J. Seiden c 2010 ISBN: 0980194148 (Books To Believe In) also tells of the horrors of Babi Yar along with the stories of the Forest People of the Ukraine who made up much of the Jewish Resistance to the Nazis.

Mudslide

Babi Yar was also the site of a large mudslide in the spring of 1961. An earthen dam in the ravine had held loam
Loam
Loam is soil composed of sand, silt, and clay in relatively even concentration . Loam soils generally contain more nutrients and humus than sandy soils, have better infiltration and drainage than silty soils, and are easier to till than clay soils...

 pulp that had been pumped from the local brick
Brick
A brick is a block of ceramic material used in masonry construction, usually laid using various kinds of mortar. It has been regarded as one of the longest lasting and strongest building materials used throughout history.-History:...

 factories for ten years without sufficient drainage. The dam collapsed after heavy rain, inundating the lower-lying Kurenivka
Kurenivka
Kurenivka or Kurenyovka is a historical neighbourhood on the right bank of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. It is located between the neighbourhoods of Podil, Obolon, Priorka, and Syrets....

 neighborhood. The death toll was estimated to be between 500 and 2,000 people.

See also

  • The Holocaust
    The Holocaust
    The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

  • History of the Jews in Ukraine
    History of the Jews in Ukraine
    Jewish communities have existed in the territory of Ukraine from the time of Kievan Rus' and developed many of the most distinctive modern Jewish theological and cultural traditions. While at times they flourished, at other times they faced periods of persecution and antisemitic discriminatory...

  • Operation Barbarossa
    Operation Barbarossa
    Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

  • Reichskommissariat Ukraine
    Reichskommissariat Ukraine
    Reichskommissariat Ukraine , literally "Reich Commissariat of Ukraine", was the civilian occupation regime of much of German-occupied Ukraine during World War II. Between September 1941 and March 1944, the Reichskommissariat was administered by Reichskommissar Erich Koch as a colony...

  • Ukrainian-German collaboration during World War II
    Ukrainian-German collaboration during World War II
    During the military occupation of Ukraine by Nazi Germany, a number of Ukrainians initially chose to cooperate with the Nazis. Their reasons included the hopes of independence from the Soviet Union and past maltreatment by Soviet authorities....

  • Consequences of German Nazism
    Consequences of German Nazism
    Nazism and the acts of the Nazi German state profoundly affected many countries, communities and peoples before, during and after World War II. While the attempt of Germany to exterminate several nations viewed as subhuman by Nazi ideology was eventually stopped by the Allies, Nazi aggression...

  • Genocides in history
  • Mass graves in the Soviet Union
    Mass graves in the Soviet Union
    This page discusses mass graves in the Soviet Union.-Soviet repression and terror:The government of the USSR under Stalin murdered many of its own citizens and foreigners. These mass killings were carried out by the security organisations, such as the NKVD, and reached their peak in the Great Purge...

  • Babi Yar Symphony by Shostakovich
    Symphony No. 13 (Shostakovich)
    The Symphony No. 13 in B flat minor by Dmitri Shostakovich was first performed in Moscow on 18 December, 1962 by the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and the basses of the Republican State and Gnessin Institute Choirs, under Kirill Kondrashin . The soloist was Vitali Gromadsky...

  • 1961 Kurenivka mudslide in Kiev
    1961 Kurenivka mudslide in Kiev
    On March 13, 1961, a large-scale mudslide with numerous fatalities took place in Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev .The dam securing the loam pulp dump of a brick factory near Babi Yar failed after rain, releasing large volumes of pulp down the high steep hill along the modern Olena Teliha Street...

     (a disaster that killed hundreds of local residents and workers)
  • List of massacres in Ukraine

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