Today, Ukraine and the world commemorates the memory of tens of thousands of victims murdered by the Nazis 79 years ago in the Babyn Yar.
In just two days, on September 29th and 30th, 1941, 34 thousand men, women and children were murdered for the sole reason of being Jewish. Executions had continued up until the city was liberated in 1943. Numerous victims also were Ukrainians, Roma people, people of other nationalities, who resisted occupants or had been listed as those who had to be eliminated.
This shared tragedy of Ukrainian and Jewish people stands as a sorrowful symbol of the Holocaust, a testimony to how inhumane totalitarian regimes can be. The Nazi regime murdered thousands of innocent people; the Soviet regime was persistently wiping out the memory of those victims afterwards. In the post-war period, the USSR conducted targeted anti-Semitic campaigns and deliberately erased the memory and record not only about the tragedy itself, but also about the place of the execution. Those who attempted to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust were persecuted. However, the truth could not be concealed. Individual memories, as well as the invaluable contribution made by witnesses and researchers have enabled the tragedy of the Babyn Yar to take its deserved place in the world’s history.
Ukraine calls on the international community to join effort in preserving and strengthening the respect of the universal human rights, preventing any forms of discrimination, avoiding any repetition of such crimes, as well as restoring and preserving the historic memory of the Babyn Yar tragedy based on the principles of scientific research and political independence.