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Kiev; Babi Yar; POWs

Film | Accession Number: 2001.355.1 | RG Number: RG-60.3157 | Film ID: 2489

Kiev in flames. The silhouette of Bohdan Khmelnytsky's statue stands in front of a bombed out building. Cut to a statue of Taras Schevchenko, the Ukrainian poet and writer. Tanks roll through the city streets. A peasant woman is on her knees, wailing in the street. Civilians, all women, speak with soldiers. Cut to outside of city. People look upon bodies in a ravine at Babi Yar. VS, action, fighting, planes, anti-aircraft artillery, guns, military advance, tanks, wounded, nurses, bodies on road, wounded men, pan of vast area, destroyed wagons, wreckage, debris. VS, faces of captured POWs. German prisoners, including officers, are marched along a country road. Cut to a shot of a decapitated head on the road.

Translation of Ukrainian narration:
But where are the happy crowds of joyful people from Kyiv? Nowhere. No Kyivians remained. Bitter fire and smoke was wandering along empty streets and deserted squares. Bohdan raised his mace, "Oh, hurry, hurry you, my descendants! People are enslaved! Run, kill, and take revenge! Let freedom be sprinkled with the enemies' blood." And now Shevchenko's avenue is filled with the noise of Kravchenko's tanks rolling in. And here Kyivians are coming. So few. How sad their greetings are in this smoke. None could believe these were the Kyiv civilians. They could not believe themselves: they had changed so much during those times of calamity. Two years of fascist occupation are like two centuries lived beyond everything human in an empty, deserted, and looted city. These two years left a heavy burden on their souls. Two hundred thousand residents shot, hanged, and murdered in gas chambers. Just in Babi Yar alone torturers killed more than one thousand civilians. Babies were buried alive next to their murdered mothers. One can see how the ground was moving, shaking with the convulsions of those buried alive. There were raids, when Germans were hunting for people with dogs. And people were hiding like animals. This is the place where people cried, screamed, and cursed. This is the place of their last "farewell."

Everything returns to where it comes from. They lost their Prussian spirit in Ukrainian leas, and nothing remains of their vigorous pride. These are the third-rate people: prisoners, or a mixture of torturers and gorillas. The Officer's pride has melted away; faith has left them; all strategic plans and hopes have been lost, even heads have been lost. This horrible bloody experience does not promise anything better ahead. Eastern territories have been crisscrossed. The time is coming. They will tear off their iron crosses. They will hide the wounds on their faces like criminals hide their brands. And the word "fascism" will remain a criminal and offensive word in the vocabularies of all mankind.

Kyiv (Kiev), Soviet Union
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of TSDKFFA
Record last modified: 2021-03-31 13:13:55
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