Ukraine commemorates the victims of the Babyny Yar tragedy


September 29 is the Day of Remembrance of the Babyny Yar Tragedy – one of the most terrible symbols of the Holocaust.

Babyn Yar is a memorial site and necropolis of about 100,000 civilians and prisoners of war shot by the Nazis in 1941–1943. Among them are Jews and Roma, Red Army soldiers, communists, underground members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, prisoners of the Syretskyi concentration camp, “saboteurs”, curfew violators, and even patients of the Pavlov psychiatric hospital.

The mass shooting of Jews in Babi Yar on September 29-30, 1941 became a symbol of the “Bullet Holocaust” and the Nazi policy of mass extermination.

“The shootings in the tract began immediately after the entry of the Nazis and their allies into Kyiv in September 1941 and took place almost daily until the end of the occupation of the city. September 29-30 became the most tragic, when almost 34,000 Jewish residents of Kyiv were killed. In German reports, this operation was called “grossaktion”. The formal reason for it was the Soviet sabotage of the destruction of Khreschatyk on September 24,” the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance notes.

The Nazi operation in Babi Yar on September 29-30 became one of the largest punitive actions of the Second World War. Most of the settlements in Ukraine have their larger or smaller “women’s ravines” – places where the Nazis shot Jews and other victims.

Sonderkommando 4a under the command of SS Standardenführer Paul Blobel was responsible for the executions of the end of September – beginning of October 1941 in Babyny Yar. This Nazi unit also carried out mass murders of Jews in Lviv, Rivne, Lutsk, Novohrad-Volynskyi, Zhytomyr, Bila Tserkva and other cities.

After the discovery and understanding of the horrors of the Holocaust, the world community adopted the position of “never again”, but genocides still occur.

“Today there is a war in Ukraine. The Russian occupiers even borrow rhetoric from the Nazis, declaring a “solution of the Ukrainian question”, similar to Hitler’s “solution of the Jewish question”. Russian so-called “anti-fascism” has become the main threat to Jews in modern Ukraine and has contributed to the destruction of the memory of the Holocaust: Russian troops are shelling Jewish cemeteries, synagogues, even Babin Yar. Peace, security and balance in Europe and the world are possible only after Ukraine wins the war, and all criminals are duly punished,” the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance emphasizes.

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