‘Over the course of two days, September 29-30, 1941, 33,771 Ukrainian Jews were brutally murdered at Babi Yar.  The massacre of Jewish men, women and children was one of the largest single acts of murder during the Holocaust.  It was a devastating example of the broader wave of shootings, sometimes known as the ‘Holocaust by bullets’, carried out across the Soviet Union which took the lives of more than 2 million Jews.   The murderous acts principally were carried out by the Einsatzgruppen and other members of the German occupying forces, but they were also notably assisted by vast numbers of local collaborators.

This week marks the 80th anniversary of the Babi Yar massacre.  We are compelled to remember and honour those who were killed at Babi Yar and across other European sites during  the Holocaust.  And we also offer our heartfelt thoughts, prayers and condolences to Jewish families and others in the community who are scarred by these abominable events.  Babi Yar serves as a stark reminder not only of the dangers of right-wing extremism and racial hatred, but the willingness of others to become devastatingly complicit in the most inhuman and heinous actions.  It, therefore, drives us to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to learn about and understand the Holocaust and reflect on its contemporary significance.’

 

Prof Stuart Foster,

Executive Director, UCL Centre for Holocaust Education

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