Babi Yar Бабий яр

Бабий яр

In 1941 the largest single massacre of the Holocaust took place at Babi Yar, a ravine in Kiev.

In just 2 days almost 34 thousand Jews were murdered by a team of German SS troops, other German units, and local collaborators.

Babi Yar Yevgeny Yevtushenko  Reading:Boris Vetrov Music:John Williams

Babi Yar

No monument stands over Babi Yar.
A drop sheer as a crude gravestone.
I am afraid.
Today I am as old in years
as all the Jewish people.
Now I seem to be
a Jew.
Here I plod through ancient Egypt.
Here I perish crucified, on the cross,
and to this day I bear the scars of nails.
I seem to be
The Philistine
is both informer and judge.
I am behind bars.
Beset on every side.
spat on,
Squealing, dainty ladies in flounced Brussels lace
stick their parasols into my face.
I seem to be then
a young boy in Byelostok.
Blood runs, spilling over the floors.
The barroom rabble-rousers
give off a stench of vodka and onion.
A boot kicks me aside, helpless.
In vain I plead with these pogrom bullies.
While they jeer and shout,
“Beat the Yids. Save Russia!”
some grain-marketeer beats up my mother.
0 my Russian people!
I know
are international to the core.
But those with unclean hands
have often made a jingle of your purest name.
I know the goodness of my land.
How vile these anti-Semites-
without a qualm
they pompously called themselves
the Union of the Russian People!
I seem to be
Anne Frank
as a branch in April.
And I love.
And have no need of phrases.
My need
is that we gaze into each other.
How little we can see
or smell!
We are denied the leaves,
we are denied the sky.
Yet we can do so much —
embrace each other in a darkened room.
They’re coming here?
Be not afraid. Those are the booming
sounds of spring:
spring is coming here.
Come then to me.
Quick, give me your lips.
Are they smashing down the door?
No, it’s the ice breaking …
The wild grasses rustle over Babi Yar.
The trees look ominous,
like judges.
Here all things scream silently,
and, baring my head,
slowly I feel myself
turning gray.
And I myself
am one massive, soundless scream
above the thousand thousand buried here.
I am
each old man
here shot dead.
I am
every child
here shot dead.
Nothing in me
shall ever forget!
The “Internationale,” let it
when the last anti-Semite on earth
is buried forever.
In my blood there is no Jewish blood.
In their callous rage, all anti-Semites
must hate me now as a Jew.
For that reason
I am a true Russian!

Babij Jar (übersetzt von Paul Celan)
Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Shostakovich: Symphony #13 in Bb Minor “Babi Yar”, Op. 113 – I Babi Yar: Adagio

Sarajevos Abandoned Olympic Sites


11 comments on “Babi Yar Бабий яр

  1. […] Williams 3min. 59sec. waclaw schreyer English translation by Paul Celan  can be found here: Babi Yar Бабий яр → […]


  2. Massacre in Poland: Katyn Forest Knows, O Yes, She Does Not only does Eva have wrenching poetry, she has researched historical perspective and video background referencing the Katyn Forest massacre. —- Bear


  3. Theresa says:

    Man’s inhumanity to man is not even a strong enough statement for this evil. We remember…we must all remember. [] I offer my promise to never forget.


    • We Are Not a Number
      This is meant to be a link to “We Are Not A Number”.
      Here is an excerpt from Theresa’s post:

      “I prayed Psalm 23 aloud.

      The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
      He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
      He leadeth me beside the still waters.
      He restoreth my soul:
      He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
      Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
      I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
      Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
      Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
      Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
      Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
      And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”


  4. barbtaub says:

    There is no way to mark this as “like”. Why isn’t there an “important” button? My husband’s entire family, what was left after Poland and the Holocaust, fits around a kitchen table. Even their town has a new name, and their old synagogue is now a drug store. It’s important to remember — not anti-semitism, but what humans are capable of doing to one another.

    Thank you for sharing.


    • I agree with you. It is important to remember. There are those whose say it is all made up propaganda. Such things happened. They can and do happen in different guises. There are entities constantly working to make such events occur, sometimes all at once, and sometimes so spread out that it is difficult to see the patterns which yet result in horror. ——
      However, I do also think anti-Semitism is import to acknowledge. I am sorry for the personal losses in your husbands family, but glad that enough survived for him to Be. Thank you for your courage in replying.— Bear


  5. screenshot says:

    Reblogged this on Biblical Times News.



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