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Friday, October 02, 2009

Ukraine Marks Babyn Yar Massacre Anniversary

On September 29-30, 1941, more than 33,000 Jews perished in the Babyn Yar ravine in Kyiv, machine-gunned by the Nazis, in what became the largest single massacre in the history of the Holocaust.

Later, thousands of Gypsies, Ukrainians and other people followed the Jews into Babyn Yar, including 621 members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and poetess-activist Olena Teliha. Altogether, an estimated 70,000-120,000 people lie buried in the mass grave.

On September 29, 2009, President Yushchenko and Premier Tymoshenko attended the Babyn Yar Memorial.

To bring the tragedy alive, local actors staged a short historical reenactment. A monument depicting a scene from Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel was opened.



Michelle said...

Those photos are amazing, difficult to look at, and important because they bring what happened to life and is something that needs to be remembered so it never happens again.

Taras said...

You're right! These photos should help us prevent history from repeating itself.

Crimes against humanity must never be forgotten.

elmer said...

Then someone please tell me why there was criticism about the memorial to the Holodomor in Ukraine, as if it was a waste of time, effort and money to remember a tragedy far greater in scope and scale than Babyi Yar - millions of people.

Jews rightfully insist on this kind of remembrance, and are not shy in any way about bringing this to people's attention.

But for some reason, Rasha, and even people in Ukraine, are reluctant and/or even ashamed to talk about the Holodomor of 1931-32, and the communist persecutions/famine in 1921-22.

Taras said...

As I said a year ago, the Holodomor Memorial reflects the scale of human tragedy in 1932-32, which can be compared to Ukraine's losses in WW II.

It can also be compared to the Holocaust, even though some people in Israel believe that the Holocaust was more special.

To me, it's not a question of whether the Holodomor Memorial should have been built or not. It's a question of balancing Ukraine's urgent needs, ensuring quality and preventing diversion.

Russia, which claims that Ukraine’s famine was part of a greater all-Soviet natural famine — despite all the evidence to the contrary — doesn’t have a single memorial. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)

When a nation represses or doesn’t remember its past, it is bound to repeat it.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen pictures of Babi Yar before. What can you say when you see something like that? Never again? And then it happens again.

Taras said...

It happens again and again: in Africa, in Asia, and in Europe.

Srebrenica Genocide said...

Tara, is there any sources about who took the photos of the massacre? Was it Nazis or residents of Kiev, or possibly somebody else?

Taras said...

Thank you for asking, Daniel!

You helped me fix the link. The pictures were taken by "Johannes Hahle, a military photographer with the German Propaganda-Kompanie 637 of the 6th Army."

Btw, I'm Taras and the city's Ukrainian name is Kyiv.