September 29 marks a tragic day: on this day in 1941 began the mass shootings of Jews at Babi Yar, in the North-West of Kiev. For the first two days the German military and their Ukrainian collaborators had killed about 34 thousand people. According to various estimates, in total, 1941 in Babi Yar were killed 70-150 thousand people.
— Babi Yar: what was said in Kiev on 29 September 1941
The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on the morning of 29 September, published on his official page in Facebook the following statement: «Babi Yar is one of the deep wounds caused by the Holocaust. This is our common tragedy – especially the Jewish and Ukrainian peoples. Eternal memory to the innocent victims».
Prime Minister of Ukraine Vladimir Groisman has published in Facebook: «Today we remember the victims of one of the worst tragedies of mankind — the events in Babi Yar. The mourning day. It is our duty to preserve the memory of Babi Yar and pass it on to future generations. Only the memory protects against repeating the mistakes of the past.»
On 29 September 1941 the German occupation administration ordered the «Yids of Kiev» to gather at the corner of Melnikovsky and Dehtiarivska streets (near the cemetery).
Just was posted about 2 thousand such advertisements are in Ukrainian and Russian languages. According to the text, the Jews were waiting for the relocation, otherwise why bring warm clothes, money and valuables? Separately, it was stressed that the Jews who attempted to escape and the local looters will be shot.
However, instead of the supply trucks Kiev Jews were waiting for Sonderkommando 4A, SS standartenfuhrer Paul Blobel and units of the Ukrainian auxiliary police. Involved in the action were soldiers of the Sixth infantry of the army of the Wehrmacht (soon it will completely die at Stalingrad).
On September 29-30 in pits of Babi Yar were shot 33.771 people. During the second action, in early October were killed and about 17.000 Jews. Thus, according to the Electronic Jewish encyclopedia, the press in the Ukrainian language, urged the Kiev authorities to extradite fleeing Jews.
Babi Yar was also used as a place of execution, Gypsies, POWs, and the mentally ill. As recalled by the BBC, here was shot 621 members of Organization of Ukrainian nationalists and participated in the «death match», the players of Kiev «Dynamo» Nikolai Trusevich, Ivan Kuzmenko and Alex Klimenko.
In total, Babi Yar was buried, according to various estimates, from 70,000 to 150,000 victims of the Nazis.
During the Second World war, the Stalinist regime has used the tragedy of Babi Yar to mobilize support abroad. However, in the second half of the forties, with the growing campaign of anti-Semitism, the Jews began to talk about abstract «Soviet citizens». This policy was continued in subsequent decades, found reflection in the memorial, erected in the seventies on the site of mass executions.
In the fifties there was a plan to build on the site of a ravine stadium. Against it in 1959 was made by the writer Viktor Nekrasov, who had violated the conspiracy of silence. In 1961, the «Literary newspaper» published Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s poem «Babi Yar», which became an event in the public life of the country. Five years later, the magazine «Youth» published a documentary novel by Anatoly Kuznetsov with the same name.
These publications, together with the triumph of Israel in the six day war, became the primary factor in the awakening of national consciousness of the Jews of the Soviet Union. At Babi Yar began to conduct an illegal memorial ceremony, which was attended by the Ukrainian intelligentsia.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union ceremony at Babi Yar became official. However, a quarter of a century after the proclamation of Ukraine’s independence the issue of the participation of Ukrainians in the massacres of Jews continued to complicate bilateral relations between Israel and Ukraine, on whose territory the Nazis and their accomplices murdered six million Jews.