September 29-30, 1941 – November 6, 1943
80th Anniversary of Nazi Atrocities
Committed at Babi Yar
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed at Babi Yar by the Nazis and their Ukrainian collaborators in their campaign against the Soviet Union during World War II. They are said to be the worst committed up to that time, surpassed by even greater crimes committed by the Nazis after that.
Babi Yar is a ravine in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The Nazis carried out massacres in that ravine from September 29, 1941 to November 6, 1943, when Soviet forces liberated Kiev. The first and best documented of these massacres took place on September 29-30,1941 when 33,771 Jews were massacred there. Only 29 were said to have survived. Overall 100,000-150,000 Jews, Soviet prisoners of war, communists, Roma and disabled persons were massacred at Babi Yar. The Nazis even massacred the Ukrainian collaborators who helped them carry the massacres out.
The 80th anniversary is an occasion to mourn the lives lost, come to terms with the untold suffering of the victims and salute the bravery and heroism of those who fought to bring an end to the Nazi war machine and criminal aim of world domination no matter what the cost. It is also necessary at this time to oppose the rewriting of history on the part of forces with what can only be despicable aims to pass off Ukrainian collaborators of the Nazis as freedom fighters, heroes, liberators and victims of the Soviet Union. In Canada, those who promote such despicable portrayals have seats in high places. They are even building a memorial in Ottawa with the help of the National Capital Commission and funding from forces that carried out atrocities such as those at Babi Yar, claiming that Canada is a refuge for victims of communism such as themselves. The propaganda these forces carry out is pernicious, designed to put those who defend the cause of peace, freedom, democracy and justice in a defensive position which portrays them as those who spread disinformation. It is a matter of great sadness that the occasion of erecting a memorial at Babi Year to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the massacres there was used by such virulently reactionary forces to present a self-serving narrative of what took place there.
On this occasion, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada expresses its deepest condolences to the families of all those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis and we condemn official attempts to portray Nazi collaborators as freedom fighters. For the information of readers, we publish an account which gives the example of how history is being rewritten by those who are preparing to plunge the world once again into the abyss of war in order to achieve aims which do not accord with the demands of humanity for peace, freedom and democracy which favours humankind.
(Photos: J. Boyer, A. Long)