Babi Yar

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
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Benoit Douville
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Post by Benoit Douville » 04 Aug 2002 04:31

Dan was talking about the Babi Yar topic on the lounge section so i tought i put back this topic on top with an interesting link with pictures:

http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/holocaust/ ... biyar.html

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Victor´s Justice?
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Post by Victor´s Justice? » 04 Aug 2002 22:16

Gwynn Compton wrote:Stalin even tried to create a Zionist place in the Soviet Union for Jews who did not want to go to the violence in the Holy Land. Initially it attracted large numbers of immigrants, however after the first generation they all began going to Israel.

There was quite an interesting article in National Geographic about it.
In fact there is still a Jewish province in Russia, in the present days. It is located in the far right side of the country, near Mongolia, if I am not mistaken...

viriato
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Post by viriato » 05 Aug 2002 14:18

Victor's Justice wrote:
In fact there is still a Jewish province in Russia, in the present days. It is located in the far right side of the country, near Mongolia, if I am not mistaken...
It is called Birobidjan and it is near the city of Khabarovsk. Its territory borders the Manchuria, not Mongolia.

More about Birobidjan in:

http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/ru-yev.html

Luca
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Post by Luca » 13 Aug 2002 08:31


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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 29 Jan 2004 14:09

This is an old thread, but here are my 2 cents anyway.

At first Soviets tried to hide the Jewish character of mass shootings of 29-30 September 1941, and then they tried to cover up the massacre itself.

Image

This is the draft of the message of Special Commission about Babij Jar shootings. Here's how it reads in the original version:
Hitlerite bandits carried out a mass beastly extermination of the Jewish population. They displayed a notice in which all the Jews were suggested to arrive on 29 September 1941 at the corner of Mel'nikova and Dokterevskaja streets, taking with them documents, money and valuable things. Executioners drove gathered Jews to Babij Jar, took away all their valuables and then shot them.
And here's the edited version:
Hitlerite bandits have driven thousands of peaceful Soviet citizens on 29 September 1941 at the corner of Mel'nikova and Dokterevskaja streets. Executioners led [those who] gathered to Babij Jar, took away all their valuables and then shot them.
Lev Bezymenskij in his article "Informatsija po-sovetski" ("Information, Soviet style", http://magazines.russ.ru/znamia/1998/5/bezym.html) tells fascinating story about Special Commission's suppression of the Jewish genocide.

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 31 Jan 2004 01:37

Sergey Romanov wrote:
At first Soviets tried to hide the Jewish character of mass shootings of 29-30 September 1941, and then they tried to cover up the massacre itself.
The reason why the Soviet authorities concealed the Jewish identity of most of the victims of Babi Yar needs to be considered.

It was not mere nastiness, as implied.

The reason can be illustrated by an apocryphal stoy that made the rounds in the 1970s. According to that story, a member of a delegation of senior United States politicians and officials that was visiting the Soviet Union asked a senior Soviet official why the official Soviet histories of the German occupation did not identify the Jewish victims of the Germans, referring to them merely as "peaceful Soviet citizens".

The Soviet official agreed that most of the victims were Jews, but said that they were not identofied as Jews in order to "avoid arousing inappropriate sympathy".

The United States politician was outraged at the response. He demanded to know why the Soviet Government did not want the Soviet people to feel sympathy for the massacred Jews.

The Soviet official answered: "It is not sympathy for the Jews that we want to avoid, but sympathy for the Nazis".

Regardless of whether the above story is literally true, it does express an essential truth. Soviet historiography aimed to present the German invaders as enemies of the whole Soviet people, as inhuman monsters who were defeated by the Soviet Government, which thereby gained legitimacy as the saviour of the Soviet people from destruction.

If it were revealed that German destructiveness was targeted at the Jews in particular, then the Soviet people would regard its government not as their saviour but rather as the servant of the Jews (a prejudice which was widespread in the Soviet population in any case, particularly in Ukraine, where the concept of "Jewish Bolshevism" was generally believed), and the Soviet Government would thereby lose its legitimacy among the people. Furthermore, the Soviet people might come to regard the German occupiers in retrospect as their liberators from "Jewish Bolshevik" tyranny, much as they had done at the very beginning of the German invasion.

Thus, the Soviet concealment of the Jewish identity of the bulk of the victims of Babi Yar was not inspired by anti-Semitism, but rather by the desire to avoid a revival of anti-Jewish feelings among the Soviet people, in particular its Ukrainian component.

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 31 Jan 2004 02:47

> It is not sympathy for the Jews that we want to avoid, but sympathy for the Nazis

This story tells much about its author, of course, but nothing about Babi Yar or Soviet gentiles' attitude to Jews.

[rest of fantasies and non sequiturs skipped]

I read your speculations with amusement. The fact is, Jews weren't mentioned indeed because of antisemitic policy.

The editing was done by G. F. Aleksandrov, Chief of Propaganda and Agitation department. The same Aleksandrov, who, together with Zueva, on 5 August 1942 wrote a 4-page note to three Secretaries of TsK, complaining that there were too many Jews in Bol'shoj theater, Moscow Conservatory and Moscow Philharmony. And also that this is partially because of the influence of Jewish music critics. "All other cathedras and conservatories ... ", wrote Aleksandrov and Zueva, " ... are in the hands of the Jews: Gol'denveizer, Fajnberg, Tsejtlin, Jampol'skij, Mostras, Dorpiak, Gedike, Pekelis et. al". That's antisemitism, pure and simple.

That Jewish genocide was not talked about because Party bosses cared about opinion of antisemites is pure fantasy. If anything, Jews could be mentioned among the victims of Auschwitz. Internal Soviet reports acknowledged, that genocide at Auschwitz was largely Jewish. The first description of Auschwitz was made by the soldiers of 100th and 322nd divisions, which overran the camp. This first official act of February 27th was signed by major Chelyadin, captain Tomov, sergeant Rossel', lance corporal Vasilenko and Auschwitz survivors Jakov Gordon, doctor from Vilnius, Steinberg, professor from Paris, Epstein, professor of medicine from Prague university. Their conclusion:
During camp's existence from 4,5 to 5 million people were destroyed, most of them Jews from all occupied countries, Russian POWs and Poles, Czechs, Belgians and Dutch, forced to work in Germany.
On the same day chief of political section of 322th division colonel Okhapkin informed the 60th army:
The camps were branches of the death camp Auschwitz.. The task was to exterminate 6 million of Poles and all the Jews of Europe. This plan of extermination of completely innocent civilians was implemented."
But soon Jews fade out completely and Auschwitz now is a death camp for Slavic peoples, as one chief of political section Grishaev wrote. Though he mentioned Jews briefly, when describing his visit to Auschwitz:
All roads are full of infinite crowds of people... I haven't met a single Jew on the roads and in the camp itself. Prisoners said that Jews were destroyed by Germans and exterminated in crematorium."
But in the final text of the Soviet Auschwitz report we don't hear about Jews (with one exception). Authors of the text were D. Kudryavtsev and S. Kuz'min, members of the Commission, who had also written report about Kiev and, obviously, remembered Aleksandrov's editing practices.

As I have already said, Jews could have been mentioned among other nationalities, like, for example, in Grishaev's report: "... Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, Jews, British, French, Dutch, Serbs, Yugoslavs, Czechoslovaks ... ". But it didn't happen. Why? It's obvious.

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Post by David Thompson » 31 Jan 2004 03:15

There are about 75 such reports in the book Nazi Crimes in Ukraine 1941-1944. The object of these reports, most of which were produced by extraordinary commissions for the investigation of war crimes, was to name the crimes and suspects. Some of these reports mention Jews by name, others don't. Some of the reports distinguish Jews or Gypsies as victims, while others do not mention anything about the ethnic background of any citizens of the USSR.

I will try to post the Information of the Extraordinary State Commission on Destructions and Atrocities Perpetrated by the German-Fascist Invaders in the City of Kiev, dated 29 Feb 1944, within a day or so here. This report mentions the Babi Yar murders as incidents within a much larger pattern of plunder, spoliation, slavery and murder committed during the German occupation of the region. Most of the related Nazi crimes did not have predominantly Jewish victims, so there was no particular reason to distinguish Jewish victims from any other Soviet victim.

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 31 Jan 2004 03:35

Certainly, Mr. Thompson (may I call you David?), but in the case of Babij Jar, shootings of exclusively Jewish citizens were purposely masked with "neutral term".

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Post by David Thompson » 31 Jan 2004 04:38

The report of the Extrordinary Commision has been scanned and may be read at:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=42076

Sergey -- The material you've posted shows that any references to Jews in the report were removed by someone, at some level.

You're welcome to call me David.

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Post by michael mills » 31 Jan 2004 12:12

The additional information posted by Sergey Romanov does not counter what I wrote.

The reason why specific reference to the Jewish nationality of the victims was removed was to make it appear that German policies of destruction were aimed at the Soviet people as a whole, regardless of ethnicity, rather than primarily at the Jewish ethnic group.

If the Soviet people realised that it was primarily the Jews that had been targeted by the German occupiers, then they would be less likely to regard the Soviet Communist Government as their saviour from dastardly German "fascism", and more likely to regard the German occupiers positively, as having done them the favour of ridding the country of a population group that many parts of the Soviet people, particularly the Ukrainians, regarded as being responsible for the regime that was tyrannising over them.

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Post by varjag » 31 Jan 2004 12:43

Hey fella's - it's a long thread and a lot of reading. Questions; has any excavations of murdered corpses been done on this site? The more aggressive claims for Babi Yar in recent years have been about 800 000 victims. True or false? Some claims state that Babi Yar was used by the NKVD for mass murders long before the Germans got to the Kiev and that 'layers' of their victims also are there. True or false? What is the state of this controversial site today? Grateful for replies.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 31 Jan 2004 13:41

Is see that Mr. Mills failed to back up his claims with facts.

varjag:

> Hey fella's - it's a long thread and a lot of reading. Questions; has any excavations of murdered corpses been done on this site?

Since most, if not all corpses were burnt, such excavations were unlikely to find them. However, after the war great amounts of ashes and bones remained, and also many things of dead Jews. Local population, of course, witnessed all of this and some even searched for gold, valuables, etc.

> The more aggressive claims for Babi Yar in recent years have been about 800 000 victims.

Please, cite your source. Such claims are wrong, of course, if they're made at all. It's unlikey that number of victims of Babij Jar exceeded 150,000. The exact number is not known, but the ballpark figure is 100,000.

> Some claims state that Babi Yar was used by the NKVD for mass murders long before the Germans got to the Kiev and that 'layers' of their victims also are there. True or false?

Might be true, of course. Now, after the whole Jar was long ago buried under many meters of dirt after the nearby dam broke, it's hard to tell. But since there is a controversy about plans for Jewish cultural center built in this area, some excavations and other investigations (even with the use of space satellites to find the remains of "furnaces") might be done in the near future. At least there were such plans.

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Alexander
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Re: Babi Yar

Post by Alexander » 01 Feb 2004 00:15

Dan wrote:On the old board, I posted a link to an article in a Ukrainian newspaper which said the victoms were Christians killed by the Soviets, and not Jews killed by Germans.

I see now there was evidently a commission, which officially established this to be so, but I don't know anything about this commision or it's findings.

I hesitate to provide a link, and the article comes from Irving's site, and sources German TV as reported by a German vet who imolated himself publicly in 1995. I don't want the thread to get shut down.

The report was in 1988, anyone know about it?

Dan
What newspaper was that ? Let me guess - it was printed in Lviv ? Then don't believe it - a lot of newspapers in western Ukraine are too nationalistic and they can print a lie. (The same thing can be said about communistic newspapers printed in eastern Ukraine).

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Alexander
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Post by Alexander » 01 Feb 2004 00:27

michael mills wrote: The reason can be illustrated by an apocryphal stoy that made the rounds in the 1970s. According to that story, a member of a delegation of senior United States politicians and officials that was visiting the Soviet Union asked a senior Soviet official why the official Soviet histories of the German occupation did not identify the Jewish victims of the Germans, referring to them merely as "peaceful Soviet citizens".

The Soviet official agreed that most of the victims were Jews, but said that they were not identofied as Jews in order to "avoid arousing inappropriate sympathy".

The United States politician was outraged at the response. He demanded to know why the Soviet Government did not want the Soviet people to feel sympathy for the massacred Jews.

The Soviet official answered: "It is not sympathy for the Jews that we want to avoid, but sympathy for the Nazis".
.
I must admit, that Jews were never liked by russians and ukrainians. What's the reason? May be because Jews were always more successfull in business ( I mean Jews that lived in Russian Empire) than russians themselves. And ukrainians always saw Jews as greedy businessmen who were besides supported by polish ( in 15-17 centuries ) and then by russian (in 17-19 centuries) regimes. Don't take this statement as an offence to Jews. This is just a historical fact. Even now Jews are despised by ukrainians. When our people try to offend someone they say : "You're a stinky greedy jew !" That's why jews in Ukraine sometimes try to hide their nationality.

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