Babi Yar-destroying the evidence

Babi Yar

I had planned to do a blog on the horrors of Babi Yar, but I decided against it. Firstly because there is not one word I could write which best describes the depravities committed by the Nazis,both German and Ukrainian.

(Notice dated September 28, 1941 in Russian, Ukrainian with German translation ordering all Kievan Jews to assemble for supposed resettlement)


Secondly there are so many comprehensive  records and documentaries about it , and I just couldn’t do justice to any of them.

I will keep this blog short and focus on those tasked to destroy the evidence of the atrocities.

Sonderaktion 1005 consisted of Jewish inmates tasked to exhume the bodies of the Babi Yar massacres and burn the remains and scatter the ashes on farms nearby.

Before the Germans retreated from Kiev, they attempted to hide the atrocities they had committed at Babi Yar. Members od Sonderaktion 1005 who were inmates at Syrets concentration camp decided enough is enough and staged a revolt.


A number  of prisoners, who had been involved in the exhumations, secretly armed themselves with tools and bits of metal they found and conceal. They picked locks with keys they had found on the exhumed bodies..

The best way to describe the emotional and physical state of mind of these men is in a quote from historian Reuben Ainsztein.

“in those half-naked men who reeked of putrefying flesh, whose bodies were eaten by scabies and covered with a layer of mud and soot, and of whose physical strength so little remained, there survived a spirit that defied everything that the Nazis’ New Order had done or could do to them. In the men whom the SS men saw only as walking corpses, there matured a determination that at least one of them must survive to tell the world about what happened in Babi Yar.”

On the night of September 29, 1943, while  the camp was being dismantled, the inmate revolt broke out.  Prisoners overpowered the guards using the tools and scraps of metal they found and their bare hands. Fifteen people managed to escape.

One of the escapees,Vladimir Davіdov, was a witness at the Nuremberg trials.

I know there are people who condemn the actions of the Sonderaktiions, or Sonder kommandos, they say they were traitors and collaborators, But the people who condemn them are usually people who never had to face a situation where you had to choose between life and death. For that is the choice these men had, life or death. Work for us and live or die by execution or in the gas chambers.

If I had been put in that situation, I more then likely would have done the same. At least they lived to tell the stories and provide evidence.


I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks




1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.