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Babi Yar, one grave for 150,000 Jews

01-05-2019

 

Babi Yar is a ravine in the Ukrainian capital Kiev  and a site of massacres carried out by German forces and by local Ukrainian collaborators during their campaign against the Soviet Union in World War II. The first, and best documented, of the massacres took place 29–30 September 1941, killing 33,771 Jews.

The decision to kill all the Jews in Kiev was made by the military governor, Generalmajor Kurt Eberhard,  the Police Commander for Army Group South, SS-Obergruppenführer Friedrich Jeckeln,  and the Einsatzgruppe C Commander SS Brigade Führer Otto Rasch. Sonderkommando 4a soldiers, along with the aid of the SD and SS Police Battalions backed by the local police carried out the orders. The massacre was the largest mass-killing under the auspices of the Nazi regime and its collaborators during its campaign against the Soviet Union and is considered to be “the largest single massacre in the history of the Holocaust” to that particular date, surpassed only by the 1941 Odessa massacre of more than 50,000 Jews in October 1941 (committed by German and Romanian troops) and by Aktion Erntefest of November 1943 in occupied Poland with 42,000–43,000 victims.

  

Victims of other massacres at the site included Soviet prisoners of war, communists, Ukrainian nationalists and Roma.[5][6][7] It is estimated that between 100,000 and 150,000 people were killed at Babi Yar during the German occupation.

After the end of the war Kurt Eberhard came in November 1945 in US custody, in which he committed suicide on September 8, 1947, age 72, in Stuttgart.

Friedrich Jeckeln was tried by a Soviet Russian military court together with other accused in Riga.  The hearing of the case lasted from January 26 to February 3, 1946. Friedrich Jeckeln was found guilty and sentenced to the death penalty. In the presence of several thousands of spectators, he was hanged in public the same day, age 51 in Riga in the vicinity of the West Dvina.

Otto Rasch was indicted at the Einsatzgruppen trial at the end of September 1947 but the case against Rasch was discontinued on 5 February 1948 because he had Parkinson’s disease and associated dementia. Otto Rasch died, age 56, later that year on 1 November in Wehrstedt, Lower Saxony.

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