Note: The names “Babyn Yar” and “Babi Yar” refer to the same ravine outside Kiev, Ukraine, where the mass shooting of Jews — plus gypsies (Roma), Soviet prisoners of war, and others — took place during the Second World War. Babyn Yar is a transliteration of the site’s name in Ukrainian.
The massacre of Jews at Babyn Yar outside Kiev in Ukraine has a special place in the annals of human inhumanity. Over a two-day (or weeklong) period, 33,731 Jews — men, women, and children — were stripped of their clothing and possessions, and then shot to death. After the Nazis finished with the Jews, they meted out the same treatment to tens of thousands of other human beings.
A symbolic synagogue has now been built on the site — symbolic because it will not be used as an active congregation, but rather as a defiant memorial to the victims of the Nazi campaign to eradicate the Jews of Ukraine.
Quote: “Today, at this very moment, a synagogue will spring forth from the ground at Babyn Yar, the site where 33,771 Jews were murdered in a two-day period in late September 1941.The Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center (BYHMC) will unveil the very first Jewish prayer space at Babyn Yar at a ceremony led by Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, Chief Rabbi of Ukraine and Kyiv.
“ ‘This spot was the place that the Germans thought would create a “Judenrein” Kyiv — a city that would be “cleansed” of its Jews,’ said Rabbi Bleich. ‘The fact that we’re able to create a memorial here that symbolizes a synagogue shows the victory of the Jewish people over their oppressors.’ ”
Sources: Jewish Virtual Library, The Jerusalem Post
Learn more about the Babyn Yar massacre from the Jewish Virtual Library. ►
Watch “Video Of Babi Yar, Ukraine — Jewish Holocaust Massacre” [6:50]. ►
Watch “The Survivor of Babi Yar Massacre” [7:54]. ►
Read “The story behind the rebirth of a synagogue in Babyn Yar” ►
Photo of the newly built synagogue at Babyn Yar: m.jpost.com
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