Since the Bolshevik Revolution, Jewish Ukrainians were oppressed in both their public and private lives. During the Great Patriotic War, as World war II is referred to here, Ukrainian Jews were executed by the thousands in western villages and cities. The worst slaughter in Kyiv occurred at the Baba Yar, meaning the “Ravine of Women”, named so after the women who would visit soldiers stationed at this former lonely outpost of the Kyiv Russ. In 1943, 32,000 Jews were taken here by Nazi soldiers, shot, and pushed by a bulldozer into the shallow ravine. The number of people killed there equals approximately one-third of the entire Jewish community of Kyiv today, and the park is located within the city where the victims lived.
The largest of the two memorials at the site is actually in the wrong place. After its construction, the sculptor built a small memorial where the people had actually been shot. There are plans to create a museum and larger monument at Baba Yar, funded by various Jewish organisations from around the world.
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