September 21, 2007

Today in Jewish History - Tishrei 9

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In 1941, the Nazis carried out executions at Babi Yar, as thousands of Jews were buried in a ravine near the Ukrainian city of Kiev. The Nazis had instructed all 175,000 Jews of Kiev to report to the cemetery. Most thought they would be deported. Yet the Nazis killed the Jews in retaliation for a series of bombings against German installations (though a secret Russian agency was actually responsible). With the aid of Ukrainian citizens, 35,000 Jews were ordered to undress, beaten if they resisted, and then shot at the edge of the Babi Yar gorge. Many people were buried alive, suffocated by the mass of bodies atop them. All told, an estimated 100,000 people -- including Soviet POWs -- were shot at the site.