Ukraine Unveils Wooden Synagogue At Babyn Yar Massacre Site

Ukraine has unveiled a synagogue on the site commemorating Babyn Yar, one of the biggest massacres of Jews during World War II.


“The symbolic synagogue is a big step toward restoring the memory of all those who died in this place,” Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said during a ceremony on May 14.

The wooden synagogue, which is constructed like a pop-up book, is decorated with patterns and texts of prayers that recreate the traditional interiors of ancient synagogues in western Ukraine.

About 34,000 Jewish men, women and children were killed at the Babyn Yar ravine on the outskirts of Kyiv on September 29-30, 1941, soon after the Nazis occupied the city. In the following months more than 100,000 people, including Ukrainian nationalists, Roma, Jews, and Soviet prisoners of war were killed at the site.

'Still Much To Say': Remembering The Massacre At Babyn Yar
Photo Gallery:’Still Much To Say’: Remembering The Massacre At Babyn Yar

After World War II, the site was used as a landfill and lagoon. The unveiling of the synagogue is part of the recent effort to shed more light on the massacre.

A monument was built on the site in the 1970s, but it was dedicated only to Soviet victims. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, a sculpture in the shape of a menorah was erected nearby.

The Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, which was behind the effort to install the temporary synagogue, has plans to build a major memorial at the site.

Based on reporting by Reuters, RFE and AFP

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