Babi Yar - a ravine in the northwestern part of Kiev. It was first mentioned under the present name in 1401 when the owner of a tavern (in Ukrainian "baba") who was here, had sold the land to the Dominican monastery.
Picture of the Babi Yar in the beginning of 20-th century
Before the first modern building began to appear here, on the place where moder Yar is located was one of the largest ravine in Kiev - a length of about 2.5 km deeper than 50 m to the bottom of the flowing stream of the same name, now taken to the collector.
According to various historical data, the first mass graves of people began to occur in the Babi Yar during the time of the "red terror" in the late 1930s, killings and burials were carried out by the NKVD and other Soviet agencies. Most mass and notorious massacre took place on 29-30 September 1941. According to the different data Nazis had killed more than 30,000 people in Kiev, of which the most were Jews. In addition Nazis had strangled and killed a huge number of Gypsies, prisoners of war, soldiers of UPA, etc. Within 778 days of Nazi occupation in the Babi Yar as a whole had been slaughtered more than 100 000 Ukrainians, Jews, Russians, Romas and other nationalities. How many victims were buried in the Babi Yar in total, beginning from Stalin's regime, is difficult to determine.
Babi Yar - 1941 year
Another tragedy associated with Babi Yar took place in 1961. Due to the fact that in 1950 the city authorities have decided to pour liquid waste into Babi Yar from the nearly located brick factories, the ravine was not blocked by an earthen rampart. In the morning of Monday March 13, 1966 due to the intensive melting of snow, the tree could not resist the pressure of water and mud flowed out down on the streets. The height of the wave was up to 14 meters. Liquid slurry covered about 30 hectares, destroyed over 30 buildings. Soviet media did not disseminate information about the accident, it was subjected to censorship. According to an official government commission to investigate the causes of the accident, "in the area of Babi Yar during the accident was killed 145 people." According to modern scholars concerning «Kurenivska disaster», the actual number of victims amounted to about 1.5 thousand people.
Another tragedy in the Babi Yar - picture rom 1966
Today on the territory of Babi Yar is also situated television station, built in the 70th. In 2000 the metro station "Dorogozhichi" was opened. If you want to get more information about the history of Babi Yar and the tragical events tha took here place during WW2 you may be interested with our Jewish Kiev tour program.