Babi Yar summary

Babi Yar summary

“Babi Yar” is a documentary novel by the Russian writer Anatoly Kuznetsov, based on the author’s childhood memories.

The novel consists of an author's introduction, an introductory chapter, and several dozen chapters, combined in three parts. The first part tells of the retreat of the Soviet troops from Kiev, the disaster of the South-Western Front, the first days of the occupation. Also included in the first part is a chronicle of the explosion of Khreshchatyk and the Kiev Pechersk Lavra and the first executions of Jews in Babi Yar. The text shows hostile intonations towards Stalin and his pre-war policy - the chapter “Who brought the Christmas tree” tells about the declaration of Pavel Postyshev as “the enemy of the people”, in the chapter “Books Burned” - about the burning of books, the authors of which were declared “enemies of the people” , in the chapter “Pioneer” - about the deceitfulness of the entire system of raising children in the 1930s, in the chapter “Ogres” tells about hunger in Ukraine during collectivization, in which Kuznetsov’s father took part.

The second part tells about life in the occupation in the period 1941-1943, about the mass hijacking of Ukrainians and Russians to Germany for work, about speculation in the markets of Kiev, about the underground production of sausages, which were made even from humans, about the actions of Ukrainian nationalists, about fate collaboration magazines “Ukrainian Word” and “Timpani” and their editors, about Dynamo Kyiv players shot in Babi Yar because they won football against the German team [1] .

The third part tells about the liberation of Ukraine from the Nazis, about the flight of policemen and collaborators from Kiev, about the battle for the city, about the arsons committed by the Vlasovites and Germans before the retreat, about digging out thousands of corpses in Babi Yar and burning them by the Nazis in order to cover up traces of the crime, about a desperate uprising in the Babi Yar concentration camp, as a result of which 15 people were saved. Also in the third part, questions are raised about perpetuating the memory of Babi Yar in the future, about forgetting the tragedy in the Stalin era, about the future fate of the participants in the events

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