Babi Yar

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Babi Yar (Russian: Бабий Яр; Ukrainian: Бабин Яр, Babyn Yar) is a ravine in the Ukrainian capital Kiev and a site of a series of massacres carried out by the Nazis during their campaign against the Soviet Union. The most notorious and the best documented of these massacres took place on September 29–30, 1941, wherein 33,771 Jews were killed in a single operation. The decision to kill all the Jews in Kiev was made by the military governor, Major-General Friedrich-Georg Eberhardt, the Police Commander for Army Group South, SS-Obergruppenführer Friedrich Jeckeln, and the Einsatzgruppe C Commander Otto Rasch. It was carried out by Sonderkommando 4a soldiers, along with the aid of the SD and SS Police Battalions.

Other victims included thousands of Soviet POWs, communists, Gypsies (Romani people), Ukrainian nationalists and civilian hostages. It is estimated that between 100,000 - 150,000 more lives were taken at Babi Yar.[1]


Historical background

The Babi Yar (Babyn Yar) ravine was first mentioned in historical accounts in 1401, in connection with its sale by "baba" (an old woman), the cantiniere, to the Dominican Monastery.[2] In the course of several centuries the site had been used for various purposes including military camps and at least two cemeteries, among them an Orthodox Christian cemetery and a Jewish cemetery. The latter was officially closed in 1937.

Massacres of 29–30 September 1941

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