Commemorations to mark 7 decades since Babi Yar in Ukraine

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
September 8, 2011 05:38

Conference on anti-Semitism coinciding with 70th anniversary of murder of 33,771 Jews at Babi Yar will take place in Kiev on September 20.

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Babi Yar

Babi Yar 311. (photo credit:Courtesy)

A series of memorial services and conferences will be held across Ukraine over the coming month remembering Jews slain by the Nazis in the aftermath of Operation Barbarossa 70 years ago.

An international conference on anti-Semitism that coincides with the 70th anniversary of the murder of 33,771 Jews at Babi Yar later this month will take place in the capital Kiev on September 20.

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The event, organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism with the support of the Ukrainian parliament, is aimed at battling anti-Semitism and educating future generations against racism.

“The conference will bring together lawmakers from around the world, with the specific goal of addressing the troubling scourge of Jew-hatred everywhere, especially in the countries of the former Soviet Union,” the organizers said in a statement.

“This conference will therefore present us with a welcome opportunity to highlight a united front, to display a common commitment to fight anti- Semitism to the very best of our abilities, while also designing innovative and necessary strategies to achieve that very goal.”

Meanwhile, memorial services will be held over the coming month by the Lo Tishkach Foundation in several Ukrainian towns and hamlets where thousands of Jews were executed by advancing German forces.

Ceremonies will be held in Baryshivka on September 12; in Fastiv and Dymer on September 14; in Brovary on September 26; and in Tarascha on October 10.

In recent years the foundation has been working in cooperation with the Association of Jewish Communities of Ukraine, and the United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, to commemorate the mass murders of Jews with the setting of memorial stones.

Some one million Jews were executed, typically by shooting, by German units called Einsatzgruppen after the Third Reich conquered large swaths of the Soviet Union in 1941. The method of executions was eventually deemed inefficient by the Nazis who created concentration camps with gas chambers the following year.


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