- Film Title
The Truth About Tragedy
Kiev, Soviet Union
- Accessed at US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Central State Film, Photo & Sound Archives
Women with shovels, working, men erecting barricades and makeshift fortifications. VS of soldiers working. A newspaper headline reads: "The Fascists shall not be allowed to take the capital of Soviet Ukraine. Everything for the defense of our home, of all we love!" A sign (possibly at a movie theater) reads "Showing: Reports from the Front of the Patriotic War". People stand in street, looking at the sky. German planes. Soviet guns aimed at the sky. Another intertitle reads "Helios Pavlovich Myhailyuk: a participant in the defense of Kiev". Street life. It would seem that this footage was intended to show that life goes on in Kiev even in the middle of war: there is a advertisements for the circus, for the theater (the signs are in Russian, Ukrainian, and Yiddish). One of the circus advertisements reads: "Soon: The opening of the winter season of the Kiev State Circus, 4 Sept. 1941", indicating that this footage was probably taken during the autumn of 1941. People walk about the park, two elderly Jews on a bench converse, a young couple on another bench talks, children in a playground go down a slide and frolic, dance in a circle. Elderly peasant woman walking. Testimony of survivors of Babi Yar.
Translation of Ukrainian narration, with Russian spoken by the witnesses:
[The narration begins with a story about Hitler's plan concerning Kyiv.] According to his plan Kyiv had to be seized in three weeks after the outbreak of war. On July 15th Hitler planned to have a military parade in the city, and many guests were invited.
The voice of a witness (Helios Pavlovych Myhailyuk - a Red Army soldier, Kyiv defender): "During one of the attacks on the city a German plane dropped a sack..." [Story stops here]
[Narration proceeds.] During the prewar years the Soviet propaganda kept silent on Nazi anti-Semitism. Why did they keep it a secret during the war? They [the Soviet officials] didn't say that the fascists' paths were measured by Jews' blood, but by kilometers. Perhaps it happened because both Stalin and Hitler had the same opinion of Jews.
[Narration is interrupted by a woman's voice (Galyna Matviivna Motuzova)], "We had no idea..."
[Narration proceeds.] The city was doomed, but Stalin refused to listen to anyone who would offer to surrender.
Record last modified: 2018-11-27 11:01:02
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn1002619