Exhibition "Babi Yar. History and Faces" dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the tragedy in Babi Yar

Exhibition "Babi Yar. History and Faces" dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the tragedy in Babi Yar

Gallery of Modern Art M17 
102 Antonovycha Str., Kyiv

The exhibition "Babi Yar. History and Faces" introduces visitors to the tragic atmosphere of the autumn days of 1941 when the Nazis began the annihilation of Kyiv Jews.

When touring around the installation spaces of the exhibition, the visitors see how peaceful life of the pre-war Kyiv was interrupted with the roar of planes and exploding bombs; how fates went along three tragic roads – the front, evacuation, occupation; how the last defenders left Kyiv; how the German army occupied the city on September 19, 1941, and how Khreshchatyk was blown up on September 24, 1941.

Together with the citizens of Kyiv, the visitors of the exhibition read the announcements posted in the city in 1941 to realize that Jewish families had only one night to make arrangements. They experience the same feelings that the Jews had 75 years ago trying to take along the essentials for a long journey to an unknown destination and for an unknown duration. Then the path of sorrow begins – from the pavement of the city onto the soil of Babi Yar, and under its ground.

Coal and ashes mixed with sand... Was this all that was left of those 33,771 people executed on September 29-30? Or of those 5,000 executed during the next two days? And of those who were executed at Babi Yar in two years that followed? Jews, Gypsies, the sick and the doctors of St. Kyrylo's mental hospital, prisoners of war, members of the OUN... This question can only be answered by our contemporaries and descendants.

The memory space allows each visitor to look into the eyes of the dead; to pronounce their names; to put a chestnut on the land – a lot of them lay on Kyiv’s land on September 1941 and they are still on the streets of Kyiv today.


Take a chestnut and say the name of the deceased. Let the phrase come true: "They tried to bury us, but they didn't know we were seeds." Let the memory revive in our souls and let our minds be filled with the desire to know, to understand and to remember that our hearts keep the resolve to protect each other by all means. May soldiers never kill children again.

50 years ago, on the 25th anniversary of executions at Babi Yar, Ivan Dziuba said: “There are such things and tragedies, the immensity of which makes words powerless. They speak more than the silence – the great silence of thousands of people. Maybe we have to avoid words and think about such things silently. However, the silence tells a lot when all that can be said has been said. When there is still a lot to say, or when nothing has been said, the silence becomes an accomplice of falsehood and lack of freedom. That’s why we speak, and we should speak.”

Texts, documents, personal stories, experienced tragedies, memories and stories of the righteous among the nations are represented in the second, informative part of the exhibition located on the second floor of the gallery. It is yet another attempt to reflect on the lessons of the tragedy of Babi Yar... The young guides – Kyiv pupils and students – will assist you in that.

The exhibition has been prepared by the Institute of Judaica with the support of the Babyn Yar Memorial Charity Fund and the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities (Vaad) of Ukraine. Assistance in creating the exhibition was provided by the DAR Charitable Foundation, SigmaBleyzer corporation and the Academy of Beauty Art.

Within the framework of the project, a seminar for teachers named “Babyn Yar. The lessons of the tragedy. Attempts to understand." and training workshops for the exhibition guides were organized with the support of the Department of education and science, youth and sports of the Kyiv City State Administration and the Education Department of the State Administration of the Shevchenko District in the City of Kyiv.

Press-reliz in Russian -  link
All Photos- Judaica Institute FB page 

Photographer - Е. Zaslavskaya



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