The 29th of September marks a sad and deeply symbolic date in the history of Ukraine. On this and the following day, 80 years ago, almost 34,000 Ukrainian Jews were executed by Nazis in a ravine on the outskirts of Kyiv, known as Babyn Yar.
This trail of death in Babyn Yar did not end until Kyiv was liberated from the German occupiers. The lives of more than 100,000 Ukrainians, Jews, Roma and people of other nationalities were taken, which makes Kyiv one of the epicenters of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. In total, during World War II, the Nazis killed at least 1.5 million Ukrainian Jews - which represents a quarter of all of the Holocaust victims in Europe.
In Soviet times, the tragedy of Babyn Yar was silenced in an attempt to erase it from society’s collective memory. The independent Ukrainian state, in cooperation with the world Jewish community and international partners, is restoring historical justice - the anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy is traditionally celebrated in our country at the state level.
On September 29-30, commemorative events will be held in Ukraine to honor the victims of Babyn Yar. On October 6, remembrance events will be held at Babyn Yar with the participation of world leaders, representatives of international organizations, influential Jewish NGOs, Holocaust witnesses, Ukrainians who saved Jews from death during the Nazi occupation and the Righteous Among the Nations from other countries.
To honor the memory of the many millions of Holocaust victims, we call on international partners to join the commemorative events taking place at Babyn Yar and in the efforts being made to restore and establish historical truth and justice. We believe that it is only through international solidarity, by promoting and protecting universal values and by making a stand against all forms of discrimination - that we can safeguard against such terrible human tragedies ever being allowed to take place again.