Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Obama Appoints Delegation To Babi Yar Commemoration

Yesterday President Obama announced the appointment of a Presidential Delegation to attend the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Babyn Yar Massacre in the Ukraine. The 4-person delegation is headed by Marie Yovanovitch, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, and also includes the chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.  The History Channel summarizes the events in Kiev in 1941:
The German army took Kiev on September 19, and special SS squads prepared to carry out Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s orders to exterminate all Jews and Soviet officials found there. Beginning on September 29, more than 30,000 Jews were marched in small groups to the Babi Yar ravine to the north of the city, ordered to strip naked, and then machine-gunned into the ravine. The massacre ended on September 30, and the dead and wounded alike were covered over with dirt and rock.
Perhaps reflecting current international tensions in the area, the White House announcement used the Ukrainian term (Babyn Yar) rather than the more commonly used Russian name (Babi Yar) for the site.