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Prytulak   InfoUkes Posting   27-Aug-1997   Babyn Yar (two contributions to Stefan's archive)
Date:  Wed, 27 Aug 1997 13:54:01 -0700
To:  [email protected]
From:  Lubomyr Prytulak
Subject:  Babyn Yar (two contributions to Stefan's archive)



     Readers of POLITICS must be aware that Stefan Lemieszewski has been researching and collecting Babyn Yar estimates.  As this is primarily a collection of statements made in secondary sources, its usefulness lies not so much in what it tells us about Babyn Yar as in what it tells us about people using Babyn Yar that is, one may view the utility of Stefan's archive as one of contributing to a sociological or psychological study of rumor transmission.


Below, I add two more items to Stefan's collection.  It is my hope that Stefan will place all the examples that he already has and that he continues to discover and that others continue to forward to him into a single file, and that he makes that file available to anybody upon request.


This is information which is valuable and which should be made accessible on a permanent basis.  So, anybody posting Babyn Yar estimates in POLITICS or wherever, or sending them to Stefan directly, please proofread your quote and include a full citation.


My two contributions:

BABI YAR, bah bee YAHR, was a ravine near Kiev in the Soviet Union and the site of one of the largest massacres in history.  The Nazis murdered about 35,000 Jews there on Sept. 29-30, 1941, during World War II.

The German army had captured Kiev and posted notices ordering the city's Jews to report for resettlement.  The victims, carrying their belongings, marched to Babi Yar ravine, where special German military units machine-gunned them.  By 1943, when the Germans retreated, the ravine had become a mass grave for more than 100,000 persons, most of them Jews.  The Germans burned the bodies in an attempt to destroy evidence of the deaths.

In 1961, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, a Soviet poet, wrote a poem called "Babi Yar" attacking prejudice against Jews.  Dimitri Shostakovich, a Soviet composer, based part of his Symphony No. 13 (1962), also called Babi Yar, on Yevtushenko's poem.
Leon A. Jick, The World Book Encyclopedia, World Book, Chicago, 1985, Volume 2, p. 3.

Ukrainians collaborated with the notorious Nazi Einsatzgruppen.  Most of the Jews of Soviet Russia who perished under the Nazis were residents of the Ukraine.  The young Soviet poet Yevtushenko memorialized their martyrdom in his poem "Babi Yar."  Babi Yar is a suburb of Kiev where tens of thousands of Jews were massacred.  It is a matter of record that the population of Kiev lined the sidewalks and applauded when the Nazis led Jews to death.
Judd L. Teller, from his letter to the editor of The New York Times, April 16, 1964, in Walter Dushnyck (ed.), Ukrainians and Jews, The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, New York, 1966, p. 160.

I restrict myself to two observations:

(1) There seems to be a discrepancy between the first estimate, which is "more than 100,000 persons, most of them Jews," and the second estimate which is "tens of thousands of Jews."


(2) What is the meaning in the second quotation of the expression of "It is a matter of record that"?  It strikes me that this expression might be approximately synonymous with "I urge you to believe that" or "All my friends seem to agree that."



Lubomyr Prytulak


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