Babi Yar


Of all the Holocaust killing sites in the bloodlands of the former Soviet republics, the most notorious is the Babi Yar ravine on the outskirts of Kiev, where approximately 34,000 Jews were murdered and buried en masse on September 29 and 30, 1941 by Sonderkommando 4a of Einsatzgruppe C. Thousands more Jews as well as Roma and Soviet POWs were murdered here before the summer of 1943, when bodies were exhumed and burned as part of Aktion 1005, designed to eliminate evidence of Nazi crimes. It is likely that the death toll at Babi Yar exceeds 100,000.

Today the site is part of a lushly wooded park in a thriving section of Kiev. The park includes a few small memorials and visitors may walk along a small portion of what remains of the ravine. Across a busy street is a large Soviet-era monument which—like many memorials of that era—celebrates strength and victory in the titanic struggle against fascism, and is silent about the Nazi program to annihilate the Jews and Roma of Europe.