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Ukraine: in Babi Yar, 70 years later, the haunted silence of the “Shoah by bullets”

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“Everything here screams in silence”, wrote the Russian poet Evgueni Evtouchenko in 1961 when he discovered Babi Yar, the “ravine of the old woman”, a gigantic pit located ten minutes from the center of Kiev. The Einsatzgruppen, the Nazi execution commandos, aided by collaborators of the Ukrainian police, massacred 33,771 Jews there on September 29 and 30, 1941. It is always the silence that asphyxiates the visitor. On the occasion of International Holocaust Day, the European Jewish Association (EJA) organized a trip to this long forbidden memory for leaders of Jewish communities. Two hundred thousand Jews still live in Ukraine and 1.2 million have been exterminated. A Jewish president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has governed this country surrounded by wars since 2019.

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