Babi Yar. Illustration from the book Gerhard Schreiber Kurze Geschichte des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Verlag C.H.Beck oHG, München
President of Israel Reuven Rivlin during his speech in Ukrainian Parliament on September 27 reminded that the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN, banned in Russia) is complicit for mass murders and persecutions of Jews during World War II.
“Approximately 1,5 million Jews were murdered on the territory of modern Ukraine during World War II in Babi Yar and many other places. They were shot in forests, near gullies and ditches, pushed down to mass graves. Many accomplices of the crime were Ukrainians,” Rivlin said during the Parliament hearing dedicated to the 75th anniversary of shooting of tens of thousands of people in Babi Yar.
Among those responsible for the Holocaust in Ukraine OUN militants especially stand out, President of Israel noted.
The current chairman of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, Bogdan Chervak, was outraged by the statement and called it disrespect towards the Ukrainian nation.
Babi Yar is known as the place of mass executions of civilians, mainly Jews, Gypsies, Kiev Karaites, as well as Soviet prisoners of war by German occupational forces and Ukrainian collaborationists in 1941. Over 100 thousand people were executed there. Only 29 managed to survive.
For the following two years Syrets Nazi death camp was operating in Babi Yar. Communists, Young Communist Union members, resistance members, prisoners of war and others. Retreating from Kiev and trying to cover the traces of their crimes, fascists in August-September 1943 destroyed the camp, dug out and burned hundreds of thousands of corpses in furnaces, their ashes were dispersed around Babi Yar. In the end of September 1943 330 prisoners sentenced to death who had to operate the furnaces in Babi Yar rebelled, but only 15 of them survived.