Babi Yar

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Roberto
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Re: Memorial at Babi Yar

Post by Roberto » 25 Mar 2002 13:38

michael mills wrote:Medorjurgen wrote:
This is not to say that no Christians were executed by the Germans at Babi Yar. In fact many thousands were, both prisoners of war and civilians of Russian or Ukrainian ethnicity. It is characteristic of the anti-Semitic attitude of the Soviet government that only the non-Jewish victims received a monument
As is usual with most of Medorjurgen's claims about anti-Semitism, the above statement is highly tendentious.

The source quoted by him stated that a memorial erected by the Soviet Government after the War commemorated the Soviet POWs killed at Babi Yar. On what grounds does Medorjurgen claim that Jews were specifically excluded by that memorial? Soviet POWs were of many different nationalities including Jews, and it was in fact Jewish POWs who were singled out, along with commissars and other Communist functionaries who were singled out for execution.

In line with its normal policy, the Soviet Government did not want to emphasise the ethnicity of particular groups of victims, so as not to contribute to the stirring up of ethnic conflict. Instead, it emphasised the common Soviet citizenship of the victims, hardly an example of anti-Semitism I would think. I note that no memorials were specifically dedicated to the civilians of Russian and Ukrainian ethnicity who were killed at Babi Yar according to Medorjurgen either. Instead, a memorial was erected to the victims who had been members of a group representing all Soviet nationalities, the Red Army.

The supposed anti-Semitism of the Soviet Union is a myth invented by Zionist agitators in the years when the Soviet Union supported the Arab side in the Arab-Jewish conflict, and when the mass emigration of Soviet Jewry was being called for.
Michael Mills seems to be accusing me of “judeo-centrism”, a rather ridiculous accusation considering my efforts to provide information about Nazi atrocities against non-Jews, including but not limited to my thread

Non-Jewish victims of Nazi violence
http://pub3.ezboard.com/fskalmanforumfr ... D=79.topic

on the old forum. Also the kind of accusation one would expect from someone who seems to be pathetically obsessed with “Zionist agitators”, whoever those are supposed to be.

Anyway, the quote from George Duncan’s website I provided:
In 1976, a 15 metre high memorial was unveiled on the site to commemorate the Russian POWs who were killed there. However, no reference is made to the Jews or number of Jewish dead.
does not contain the assertion that “Jews were specifically excluded by that memorial”, as Michael Mills would have it. It does, however, make clear that Soviet authorities avoided pointing out the fact that the Jewish population of Kiev had made up a large part if not most of the victims of the Babi Yar killing site. The Babi Yar memorial was by no means the only instance in which Soviet authorities took care not to mention the fact that many of the “Soviet citizens” murdered by the Nazis had been Jews. It seems to have been against official Soviet policy in the Krushchev era to point out that Jews had been a group particularly targeted by Nazi killings, and Soviet author Yevgeni Yevtushenko seems to have broken a taboo when he wrote his poem Babi Yar. At least that’s what Harrison E. Salisbury tells us in his book The Unknown War, from which I will tomorrow provide the pertinent quotes.

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Babi Yar

Post by michael mills » 25 Mar 2002 14:11

Medorjurgen wrote:
Anyway, the quote from George Duncan’s website I provided:

Quote:
In 1976, a 15 metre high memorial was unveiled on the site to commemorate the Russian POWs who were killed there. However, no reference is made to the Jews or number of Jewish dead.


does not contain the assertion that “Jews were specifically excluded by that memorial”, as Michael Mills would have it
Once again Medorjurgen resorts to his old trick of distorting my words. I did not say that the quote contained those words. I was referring to medorjurgen's statement "It is characteristic of the anti-Semitic attitude of the Soviet government that only the non-Jewish victims received a monument ". I said: "On what grounds does MEDORJURGEN claim that Jews were specifically excluded by that memorial"; and he DID make that caim when he wrote "ONLY the non-Jewish victims received a monument".

The quote used by Medorjurgen stated that a memorial to the Russian POWs killed at Babi Yar was erected on the site. Medorjurgen equates that monument with a monument to "only the non-Jewish victims", ie a monument excluding the Jewish victims.

I pointed out that the distinction in the memorialisation policy of the Soviet Government with respect to Babi Yar was between victims who were members of the Red Army, who received a monument, and other victims, both Jewish and non-Jewish. who did not receive a monument. The distinction was not between Jewish victims and non-Jewish victims. Furthermore, I pointed out that non-Jewish civilian victims did not receive a monument. Finally, I showed that a monument to the POWs killed must include the Jewish POWs, even if they were not specifically singled out.

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 25 Mar 2002 14:31

Once again Medorjurgen resorts to his old trick of distorting my words. I did not say that the quote contained those words. I was referring to medorjurgen's statement "It is characteristic of the anti-Semitic attitude of the Soviet government that only the non-Jewish victims received a monument ".
Ach so.

Michael Mills was making a fuss out of the admittedly somewhat inexact wording of my statement, conveniently glossing over the fact that I provided a quote thereafter which clearly shows that the point I was trying to make is not that Jews were specifically excluded from the monument (how could that have been done, anyway?), but that they were not specifically included even though the fact that they made up a large part if not most of the victims of Babi-Yar would have warranted doing so.

Very instructive.

I'll leave it to our audience to decide who is distorting whose words here.

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Baby Yar

Post by Angelo » 25 Mar 2002 23:53

It's all but too clear, Medor. :) I happened to experience the same problem on a thread concerning the gas vans. That shows it's not an exception but a recursive way of proceeding with cavils for needles and provocations for pins.

"Subtleness" is the last resort for all those who can't afford clean-cut arguments. Cavillas quaerunt qui veritatem timeant. (=Those who fear the truth go looking for cavils).

Not changed since then.

Angelo

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Babi Yar

Post by michael mills » 26 Mar 2002 06:45

Angelo

I suggest that before you profess to know the whole truth, you examine all the evidence.

How many people were killed and buried at Babi Yar? I have seen figures upward of 100,000. Of those, some 30,000 were Jews killed in a gigantic massacre over the course of a few days at the end of September 1941. The majority of the victims appear to be various non-Jews killed at various times during the German occupation. Accordingly, why should the Jewish victims be given priority over the non-Jewish?

What I was opposing was Medorjurgen's statement that the failure on the part of the Soviet Government to give specific recognition to the Jewish victims constituted anti-Semitism, even though the ethnicity of none of the victims had been given recognition. My contention is that the demand to give specific recognition to Jewish victims as a group separate from other victims, and having priority over them, constitutes judeocentrism.

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Angelo
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Baby Yar

Post by Angelo » 26 Mar 2002 11:40

Michael,

what Medorjurgen made clear (to me, at least) was that, though the Jewish component of the massacred was all but negligible, no bystander would be aware of that while looking at it.
In other words, while you justified such an omission as a way for the Soviets not to foster any ethnically-motivated quarrel among the rainbow-colored moltitude of ethnicities constituting the U.S.S.R., they (the Soviets) acted in such a way as to back up the whole "rainbow" (that is the Union) leaving no room for the existing somehow poorly hidden nationalisms of all kinds.
I don't question whether such an interpretation has its right to stand or not, but to talk about Judeocentrism when at least (I stress at least) more than 30.000 (according to the milder, sugartopped sources) Jews got slaughtered there (whether a minority or not as compared to all the rest of the victims), it seems to me out of place. A very simple way was to mention that innocent people belonging to (...alphabetically descending or ascending order list of which those people were...) were slain by the Nazis on (date so and so) . Period. Just a bronze, copper, steel, marble plate and that's all.
Simple as that. Equanimity, at least in death, is a sign of civilization.

Angelo

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Post by MadJim » 29 Mar 2002 16:54

I remember that about 20 years ago that an amusement park was planned for the sight. There were howls of protest from Jewish groups, so the pans were cancelled. :D

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Post by Birgitte Heuschkel » 29 Mar 2002 18:09

MadJim wrote:I remember that about 20 years ago that an amusement park was planned for the sight. There were howls of protest from Jewish groups, so the pans were cancelled. :D
That is a frightening thought too, though. Imagine the family going out to have fun, family fox terrier runs off and comes back with a conspicuous-looking old bone. "Oh, dear Ivanko, don't worry about what the dog is eating, it's just one of those [insert ethnic or religious group you don't like here] that the Nazis shot."

Seriously. While there is quite likely no piece of flat land at least in Europe that hasn't been the site of violent death at some point or other in history, let's at least give the dead enough peace to let them be forgotten before we build Disneyworlds in the graveyards.

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Post by Tchort » 29 Mar 2002 19:04

To Angelo and Medorjurgen-

Why is it anti-semitic to not acknowledge jewish death when you are acknowledging death in general? If 100,000 people were killed at babi yar, and only as noted above 30,000 were jews, why must the jews have special recognition? What about the Russian and Ukranians? Are they not as precious as the jews? Apprently not, as we are pumped full of holocaust*tm* propoganda all over the world while hardly no one knows about the attempted Ukranian genocide of the early 1930's where between 6 and 10 million were systematically starved :evil:

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Baby Yar

Post by Angelo » 30 Mar 2002 03:18

Tchort wrote:
Why is it anti-semitic to not acknowledge jewish death when you are acknowledging death in general?
First, I didn't even mention "antisemitism". I emphasized and I'll keep on emphasizing that the most correct and objective way to pay a tribute to the victims was to indicate their nationality and/or race given the fact that all people victim of a murder have the right to be recognized for what they are and for what they represented and stood for. So much so, whenever they were slaughtered because they belonged to a given race, creed, religious belief, etc.
Acknowledging death in general, as you mentioned, does not allow the occasional visitor, researcher, student, etc. to get the true image and the real reason for which those DEATHS are being ACKNOWLEDGED. Besides, the eventual surviving relatives, friends and comrades of those DEAD have the right to see that the SACRIFICE of their beloved ones has been acknowledged and will pass down in history as a sad but eloquently telling proof of what a miserable band of criminals had the guts to do in days when your life depended on your race or on your nationality. It's not MUCH, I agree, but let's not deny them even this acknowledgement if we don't want to kill those victims twice.

Tchort added:
If 100,000 people were killed at babi yar, and only as noted above 30,000 were jews, why must the jews have special recognition?
No "special recognition" at all. It would be so, and you'd be in your right to complain, IF it was omitted that 100.000 Ukrainians (and/or any other nationals involved) were slaughtered together with those 30.000 (approx.)
Jews.

Tchort went on:
What about the Russian and Ukranians? Are they not as precious as the jews?
I think I answered that point. Any one slaughtered with no other reasons than those already mention and let me add to them the enforcing of a ferocious and inadmissible retaliation for acts that were not committed by him, is just as PRECIOUS as anybody else.
Let me tell you, Tchort, that the first step toward that horrible way of handling man's life, gets started the moment you hold someone more precious than another. Innocents are INNOCENTS, no matter what professional haters may say about it.

Tchort concluded:
Apprently not, as we are pumped full of holocaust*tm* propoganda all over the world while hardly no one knows about the attempted Ukranian genocide of the early 1930's where between 6 and 10 million were systematically starved
Not me, Tchort! I guess I know about that and so many other horrible crimes perpetrated by order of, and on behalf of Stalin, I could fill in a whole encyclopedia. If you feel like opening a thread on his crimes, I won't need any special effort to devote to him those same bitter words of condemnation which so naturally I used in relation to his German Race-Master counterpart.

I guess I'll take this chance, to let any one interested in that subject, that is the Ukrainian genocide, know that an interesting, and in my opinion, pretty serious analysis about it can be found at:

http://www.infoukes.com/history/famine/index.html

Angelo

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Post by Roberto » 31 Mar 2002 18:40

[...]
It was arduous work for the Sonderkommando. A squad would shoot for an hour, then take a rest, being replaced by another squad. At nightfall the task was far from finished. The remaining victims were herded into empty garages, kept overnight, and shooting resumed in the morning. By the time the exercise had been completed the Sonderkommando was able to report that exactly 33,771 Jews had been killed in 36 hours. The ravine was dynamited to put a cover of earth over the bodies.
As the German occupation went on other victims were shot and buried at Babi Yar, possibly 100,000 in all - more Jews, Soviet POWs, partisans, Communists. According to a postwar estimate made by a special commission under Krushchev’s chairmanship, about 195,000 persons were executed by the Nazis in the Kiev area.
Before the German pullout the Sonderkommando had another task - to try to conceal the extent of their crime. Slave labor excavated the site and burned the remains of the bodies in a pyre over a period of six weeks.
Babi Yar in the post-Stalin years became a symbol of German atrocities in Russia, particularly against the Jews - a symbol in spite of itself, for Soviet authorities were not eager to perpetuate the memory of a crime directed so specifically against the Jews. At one time there were plans to bulldoze Babi Yar and put up a housing development or an athletic center. After much bitterness a memorial monument was finally erected to “all” the victims, Russian and Jewish, of Babi Yar.
[...]
Yevgeny Yevtushenko, the Russian poet who skyrocketed to fame in the Krushchev days, wrote a poem to Babi Yar in 1961. Bestial as had been the Nazi atrocity against the Jews, it was still against Communist Party policy to mention Babi Yar publicly in the Soviet Union. Yevtushenko spoke out regardless of the official outburst he knew would greet his words:
“The wild grasses rustle over Babi Yar
The trees look ominous as judges,
Here all things scream in silence ...
And I myself am one massive, soundless scream
Above the thousand thousand buried here
I am each old man here shot dead
I am every child here shot dead
Nothing in me shall ever forget.”


Source of quote:

Harrison E.Salisbury, The Unknown War, Bantam Books 1978, pages 160 to 165.
Last edited by Roberto on 01 Apr 2002 10:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Angelo
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Baby Yar

Post by Angelo » 01 Apr 2002 01:25

Thanks Medor for your quote.

It tells more than all of my contributions since I first joined this site.

Angelo

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 01 Apr 2002 11:19

Angelo,

I'm glad you liked it.

You may find Yevtushenko's poems online:

http://www.vladivostok.com/Speaking_In_ ... henko.html

http://lightning.prohosting.com/~zhenka ... chive.html

Cheers,

Roberto
Babii Yar


No monument stands over Babii Yar.
A drop sheer as a crude gravestone.
I am afraid.
Today I am as old in years
as all the Jewish people.
Now I seem to be
a Jew.
Here I plod through ancient Egypt.
Here I perish crucified, on the cross,
and to this day I bear the scars of nails.
I seem to be
Dreyfus.
The Philistine
is both informer and judge.
I am behind bars.
Beset on every side.
Hounded,
spat on,
slandered.
Squealing, dainty ladies in flounced Brussels lace
stick their parasols into my face.
I seem to be then
a young boy in Byelostok.
Blood runs, spilling over the floors.
The bar-room rabble-rousers
give off a stench of vodka and onion.
A boot kicks me aside, helpless.
In vain I plead with these pogrom bullies.
While they jeer and shout,
"Beat the Yids. Save Russia!"
some grain-marketeer beats up my mother.
O my Russian people!
I know
you
are international to the core.
But those with unclean hands
have often made a jingle of your purest name.
I know the goodness of my land.
How vile these antisemites--
without a qualm
they pompously called themselves
"The Union of the Russian People"!
I seem to be
Anne Frank
transparent
as a branch in April.
And I love.
And have no need of phrases.
My need
is that we gaze into each other.
How little we can see
or smell!
We are denied the leaves,
we are denied the sky.
Yet we can do so much--
tenderly
embrace each other in a dark room.
They’re coming here?
Be not afraid. those are the booming
sounds of spring:
spring is coming here.
Come then to me.
Quick, give me your lips.
Are they smashing down the door?
No, it’s the ice breaking...
The wild grasses rustle over Babii Yar.
The trees look ominous,
like judges.
Here all things scream silently,
and, baring my head,
slowly I feel myself
turning gray.
And I myself
am one massive, soundless scream
above the thousand thousand buried here.
I am
each old man
here shot dead.
I am
every child
here shot dead.
Nothing in me
shall ever forget!
The "Internationale", let it
thunder
when the last antisemite on earth
is buried forever.
In my blood there is no Jewish blood.
In their callous rage, all antisemites
must hate me now as a Jew.
For that reason
I am a true Russian!
http://lightning.prohosting.com/~zhenka/015.html

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Angelo
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Evtushenko's Baby Yar

Post by Angelo » 02 Apr 2002 14:15

That poem, even in its translated version, is worth ten thousand pages of Russian history.
He managed to convey his vivid images of a tender, innocent love fighting his way out to resurrection over the gloomy, shriek filled with ghostly shots of hatred and death so well I always shiver when I slowly read each sentence of his soul.

And how could any one throw such a work of brain and heart away, speculating over the author's personality, his native country, his political beliefs and other aspects of his private or public life to deny the poem the wisdom it spreads out on such a capital theme as that human life so many wanted to reduce to bleeding flesh and incinerated dust for their lust of power and self-worshipping.

Those words "...Today I'm old in years as all the Jewish people..."
let me recall that ageing is not simply a natural progressive stage of cells being marked by the flowing of time, that would be still acceptable with a smile, ageing is much too often in our history denying our fellow men to live their youth with glass shattering laughters in mom's reassuring eyes and sudden cries over a lightly bruised knee while playing hide and seek before the call for suppertime. Ageing is when the blue sky doesn't help you welcome its sunny light with a smile, and when even your dearest ones can't help shedding a tear while smiling at your bewildered eyes, knowing you knew it all but where prevented from your inner fears to ask them "why ?".

Yes, "...beat the Yids, save Russia!..." and the ageing gets whipped for rushing faster to its unnatural outcome, a single man finally grown up to a mask of blood lying at the feet of the proud "keeper of the key" of any kind, but in those days so widely and often branded by a skull "divine".
Skulls... they chose a proper emblem for their hearts! Skulls, as long as handed over to that mass of Jews, most of them poor and ragged as a result of their alleged gold-craving thirst for money and power, their deadly threat to a nation's sound pursuit of peace and happiness as their Fuehrer was striving to achieve by sending out his "skulls" to crush the evil genes of his misfortunes.

"I know you're international to the core...", what if, presumptuously enough, I'd turn this phrase by which he paid his honest tribute to a brotherhood he lived in his own heart, but one his own country leaders misused and turned against his people, what if, for just a while I take it to describe the home of hatred and despise: would it spoil the poem of its world renown or cast a shade of doubt on his sincere and true shameful cry over the the crucifying of those "dangerous" Jews that faced the honest, peace-loving "skulls" who helped them "smile" their life away before it got too late for dear old Grossgerman soil ?
No, I know he would excuse me for this is what his poem is all about: you can dress hatred with all kinds of suits and colors, you can place crosses instead of skulls on the caps of those who sold their heart to it, you can yell "schnell, los, du Schwein" or just "davai, davai", you can call any one names using the lingo you grew up with, but in the end all that you are is just the most radical and true DENIAL of a man.
As things were, though, he couldn't but take the Jews as an example of the atrocious sufferings a man-denied creature can bring to his neighbor and if in Baby Yar the body count was not in their own "favor" they still deserved a mention not just for the many "Baby Yar's " where the unlucky deadly numbers were on their side, but because in each and every death of one of them there was the one, unique and single universe of man.
"...for that reason I'm a true Russian!"

Yes, for that reason, Evtushenko, you're a MAN.

Thanks to you, Medor, for giving me a chance to think aloud. :)

Angelo

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Post by Gwynn Compton » 02 Apr 2002 22:40

Indeed, Poet's are actually quite important in looking back at history. While not so crucial in explaning more recent events, they provide an interesting window into the worlds of, for example, the ancient Greeks and Romans, where Homer and Virgil allow modern scholars to make a picture of what values mattered to people back then, how they lived, how they fought, what the felt. Poems are more useful than just to express one's feelings, they're a box full of tricks. :)

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