Posts Tagged ‘Babi Yar’

Today marks a watershed moment in the history of the Holocaust, one I knew little about until my advanced studies.

Over 33,000 people were murdered, by hand, at close range, at the edge of a ravine.

In two days.

Did you learn about this in school? Why was it not widely known? The killers came from all over Germany, ‘ordinary men’, the bulk of whom went on to live out their days unaccountable for their crimes. Perhaps some are still walking among us.

So I’ll share these two posts that came up in my social media feed this morning. The first is from the organization. ‘Yahad – In Unum is the leading research organization investigating the mass executions of more than 2 million Jews and tens of thousands Roma/Gypsy people in Eastern Europe between 1941 and 1944.’ Important, literally groundbreaking work. Check Father out.

The second is from Yad Vashem in Jerusalem (where I studied for three incredible weeks!), Israel’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority and World Holocaust Remembrance Center, ‘the ultimate source for Holocaust education, remembrance, documentation, and research. From the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem’s approach incorporates meaningful educational initiatives, groundbreaking research, and inspirational exhibits,’ one of which is in the link.

Study the faces. Never forget.

80 long years have passed since the 29th and 30th September 1941. Commemorating the Babi Yar massacre is not about remembering a number, however great it may be.
It is about remembering that more than 30,000 women, children, men, grandparents were taken from their homes, were forced to move to an unknown destination, a destination that would become their Babi Yar grave, simply because they were born Jewish.

The Ravine at Babi-Yar. September, 1941.

They were shot by German gunmen from all over Germany. And then thousands of neighbors watched, most of them passive, as their Jewish neighbors left the building forever.
80 years have passed. The memory was suppressed during the Soviet era, the bodies were burned by the Germans to erase forever the evidence of the crimes committed.
Finally, a memorial is being built after so many years of absence. It will probably be the first large memorial located near a mass grave.
Mass graves do not usually serve as memorials. The victims are killed, the pits are filled and silence falls.
This memorial is an act of justice for these women, children, adults shot because they were Jews. One by one we find the sacred names of each of them.
Today, over 150 German criminals at Babi Yar have been identified. Tens of thousands of Jewish victims are being identified.
A man-made mass crime machine is made up of human beings. Every German, every Ukrainian is fully responsible for having taken part in the Nazi criminal machine.
Babi Yar also represents a reminder that other mass murders have been perpetrated, by ISIS in broad daylight in Syria, in Iraq, by Boko Haram in Nigeria, by others in the Mail, in Niger.
Babi Yar is also a signal: sooner or later, where you kill, throw bodies into pits, we will come back. The names of the victims will be found and sanctified. The names of the perpetrators will not be drowned in silence.

-Father Patrick Desbois, Yahad – In Unum

Marking 80 years to the Murder of the Jews at Babi Yar >> https://bit.ly/3kGVRSh

On 29-30 September 1941, approximately 33,771 Jewish men, women and children from Kiev and the surrounding areas were murdered at Babi Yar by Einsatzgruppe C soldiers with the assistance of local collaborators. Jews who managed to escape the massacre in September but were discovered in the ensuing months, were also brought to Babi Yar and murdered.

80 photos and stories of the Jews murdered at Babi Yar are now online in a special exhibit just launched on the Yad Vashem website.

The photos were submitted to Yad Vashem together with Pages of Testimony containing the names and brief biographical information of the victims. Each Page is a mute testament to the persecution of an entire Jewish community: Rabbis, teachers and pupils, traders and artisans, philosophers and scientists- and in many cases entire families.

In this moving exhibit we can see the faces and explore the stories of 80 of the Jewish men, women and children who were murdered 80 years ago at a ravine called Babi Yar. Explore the exhibit here >> https://bit.ly/3kGVRSh

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