Before the Nazis retreated from Kiev, they attempted to conceal the many atrocities they had committed at Babi Yar. Paul Blobel, who was in control of the mass murders in Babi Yar two years earlier, supervised the Sonderaktion 1005 in eliminating its traces.
For six weeks from August to September 1943, more than 300 chained prisoners were forced to exhume and burn the corpses (using local headstones as bricks to build ovens) and scattered the ashes on farmland in the vicinity (to this day many Ukrainians will not eat cabbage grown on those farms
During the Sonderkommando 1005 exhumations, a group of prisoners secretly armed themselves with tools and scraps of metal they managed to find and conceal. They picked locks with keys they found on victims’ bodies.
Historian Reuben Ainsztein said about these men.
“in those half-naked men who reeked of putrefying flesh, whose bodies were eaten by scabies and covered with…
View original post 521 more words