33,771 Kiev Jews killed at Babi Yar


On September 28, the Germans posted notices in Kiev ordering the Jews to report the next day at 8:00 a.m. to the corner of Melnik and Dekhtyarev streets for relocation to other localities. The Germans expected 6,000 Jews to comply; instead, 30,000 reached the assembly point. The Germans herded the masses down Melnik Street toward the Jewish cemetery at the edge of the city and the nearby ravine of Babi Yar. The interior of the ravine was fenced with barbed wire and guarded by police, soldiers of the Waffen-SS, and Ukrainian police. As they approached the vale of death, the victims were forced to hand over their valuables, undress, and advance in ranks of 10 toward a terrace at the edge of the valley. When they reached the edge, they were gunned down by automatic fire and their bodies toppled into the ravine. The squads of shooters from Sonderkommando 4a relieved one another every few hours. At the end of the day, the bodies were covered with a thin layer of soil. On September 29-30, according to official reports of the Einsatzgruppe, 33,771 Jews were shot. Most of the victims were women, children, the elderly, and the ill—those who had not been able to flee from Kiev after the Germans invaded. The Einsatzgruppe report noted proudly that, "owing to exceptionally clever organization," the Jews did not realize what awaited them until the last moment. The report added that "there were no incidents."