“Two words with more than 100 thousand human lives behind. Two words with millions of crippled destinies behind. Two words with 80 years of common pain of Jewish and Ukrainian peoples behind. Babyn Yar… Two short words that sound like two short shots but carry lengthy and horrible memories for several generations,” the President posted on Facebook, Ukrinform reports.
He noted that today all Ukrainian schools would hold a national lesson dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the great tragedy of Babyn Yar and added that, depending on age and upbringing, some will hear these two terrible words and these terrible numbers for the first time.
“They will hear that 80 years ago, on September 29, 1941, the Nazi occupiers began mass executions in the Babyn Yar tract. That they killed almost 34,000 people in the next two days. That the Nazis, according to various estimates, executed from 100 to 200 thousand people in Babyn Yar over the next two years. Apart from Jews, they massacred Ukrainians and Roma, prisoners of war, and psychiatric hospital patients,” Zelensky stressed.
The Head of State noted that at least 6 million Jews had fallen victim to the Holocaust in Europe, one and a half million of whom, every fourth killed, descended from Ukraine.
The President is convinced that future generations need to be aware of these terrible figures and the terrible crimes of Nazism in order not to repeat these terrible mistakes and terrible tragedies in human history.
“Preserving the memory of World War II, in particular of the Babyn Yar tragedy and the Holocaust, is our duty to future generations. It is our duty to past generations to honor the memory of all those who died,” he said
Zelensky assured that he had been making every effort to turn the Babyn Yar from a land of oblivion into a place of commemoration of the hundreds of thousands of victims killed in 1941-1943.
“Babyn Yar are two terrible words that will always be in our past. ‘Never again’ are two important words that will always be in our future. And the Babyn Yar tragedy which took place in Ukraine 80 years ago must happen never again in Ukraine, other parts of Europe, or somewhere else in the world. Never again,” Zelensky stressed.
As reported, Ukraine is commemorating the Babyn Yar victims on the 80th anniversary of the tragedy.
During World War II, the German occupation forces used the Babyn Yar tract in the northwestern part of Kyiv as a place of mass executions of civilians, mainly Jews. On September 29, 1941, by order of the occupation administration, the entire Jewish population was obliged to appear in Babyn Yar. People were escorted in groups through the checkpoint, after which they were driven to the edge of the ravine and shot. On September 29-30, 33,771 people were killed.
The massacres in the tract lasted until the occupiers left the city. According to official figures, about 100,000 people were shot down there.
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