03 June 2008

Babiy Yar...or where human reason ended

Kiev has (unfortunately) a lot of places of interest off the beaten path to those who are interested in the world war 2 era. As I have mentioned before, Kiev has been , twice, a ground zero for two major operations of the war and was virtually destroyed twice by both german and soviet armies and of all Ukraine, monstrous atrocities were carried out by German Army against Jewish Ukrainians, Gypsies, Communists and any other human being that their sick ideology considered not worthy of living.

"The Last Jew in Vinnytsa (in Ukraine)" a work of satanic art by photographers of Einsatzgruppe (Death Squads of SS)

Along with countless monuments and plaques to the fallen heroes of a bygone era, one has been of special interest to me. Babiy Yar (or Babin Yar in Ukrainian) is a place (now a leisure park) where in September 1941 more than 35,000 (thirty five thousand!) Jewish Ukrainians were brutally murdered, which makes it the single biggest murder action in the history of Holocaust.

Today the park is simply another soviet park..."concrete meets the lawn, drinking till the dawn"

Last week I spent roughly an hour upon the genuineness of a leaflet about Babiy Yar where the Jewish people were called to a ravine and advised to gather all "valuable" belongings with them. The rest is history...thousands were brutally massacred and buried in the forest and the "valuables" were confiscated by germans and their ukrainian militiamen.

It is believed that only three genuine copies of this leaflet survived the war. One in Soviet Army Museum in Moscow (my second home), War Museum in Kiev and a private collector. COpies are widely available for prices down to 15 hrv (3$)

Translation of the document: All Jews of the city of Kiev and its environs must appear on Monday, September 29, 1941, by 8:00 AM on the corner of Melnіkov and Dokterivsky streets (near the cemetery). You are to take your documents, money, valuables, warm clothes, linen etc. Whoever of the Jews does not fulfill this order and is found in another place, shall be shot. Any citizen who enters the apartments that have been left and takes ownership of items will be shot.

Soviet investigators in Babiy Yar after the liberation of Kiev...inspecting the same kind of atrocity they have skillfully perfomed in Katyn (Poland) 2 years before.

After the war, the Soviet Union has built monuments in the place but without references to the religion of the deceased and insisted on their "soviet citizenship" instead. Not until 2000s a Menorah shaped monument was erected.

The Menorah...with thousands of souls crying

The memorial was vandalized recently and has been a media event for some time. It is even possible to find swastika signs along the benches in the park.

A symbol of death and life together

A monument to the fallen orthodox priests lay peacefully in a patio nearby the Menorah

For prospective visitors, you can reach the place by Dorogozhychiy (I know it is hard to read...) Metro Station. Upon leaving the station, head to the forest entrance on the right and ask for "Yevreyskiy Pametnik"...

I think this can help..DO-RO-GO-ZHY-CHIY!

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