“We must not allow the truth to – once again – become the victim of war.”
By David Hellerman, World Israel News
Russian missiles and shells pounding the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Tuesday hit Babyn Yar, site of a notorious mass killing of Jews during World War II.
The site is adjacent to a television tower targeted by the Russian military. Although the tower was still standing, damage knocked out the city’s television broadcasting and possibly some government communications.
Five people were reported killed and another five injured in the strikes.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced the attack on Twitter.
“To the world: what is the point of saying «never again» for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babyn Yar? At least 5 killed. History repeating…” he tweeted.
Natan Sharansky, who is chairman of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, also condemned the missile strikes.
“We, at the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, built on Europe’s largest mass grave of the Holocaust, work to preserve historical memory following decades of Soviet suppression of historical truth, so that the evils of the past can never be repeated,” he said in a statement.
“We must not allow the truth to – once again – become the victim of war,” the statement added.
Sharansky, a former Soviet refusenik, was born and raised in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk which is now controlled by Russian separatists.
In a 48-hour period on September 29-30, more than 33,000 Jews were shot dead and buried in the Babyn Yar ravine by German forces with the support of Ukrainian Auxiliary Police. The massacre began on the eve of Yom Kippur.
The Nazis also used the ravine to execute Soviet war prisoners, communists, Ukrainian nationalists, Roma, invalids and the mentally disabled. Overall, between 100,000-150,000 people were killed at Babyn Yar during the two-year German occupation of Kyiv.