Tokele Named

I was given an insight into a terrifying period in our History and when I looked further, there was the Murder of a Child to contend with. Tokele was a 4 year old Girl, and as I realised that she was Murdered because she was a Jew, I could not contain the will to write what was to be a response which has lasted some 20 years. Such is the obscenity written within The Holocaust, which I have explored ever since. I took my lead from there, when Tokele, that 4 year old Murdered Jewish Child touched a very raw nerve, and she has been much of a guiding light for me ever since. As I have traversed the huge despair that has not been stifled, History responds and opens a wound that the Surviving Jews, the Jewish People on the whole, and the State of Israel must endure over and over again. Yet 6,000,000 times over, that endurance must wound more deeply every given moment. So please be aware, that there is an obscenity written within these works and it is detailed in the Slaughter of these 6,000,000 Jewish lives.

Stahlecker Map

This profanity, which not only points to the Destruction of these 6,000,000 Jewish People, but it stresses the very Fact that World indifference led these Jews along the path of abandonment toward annihilation. The Map above declares this clear breach with humanity, and no conscience is allowed to be side stepped so as to accommodate the violation of Tokele. So as to consider her a target for Murder how do we ignore her young age? Once I had decided that I was going to write, I would allow my own clear conscience to add a voice to what that particular indecency had betrayed. While it gradually emerged that I could emphasise in words my abhorrence at the catastrophic subject that is The Holocaust, I was immersed in such depictions of terror so horrible, words could all too easily feel insignificant. That said, it all became apparent that with time, the Testimony of those who could impart so much of all they knew, including, Survivors, Witnesses and even the Perpetrators, that this time was fast diminishing and more words were required.


It is inconceivable however that we can fail to learn anything from The Holocaust when those who know of its immediacy can teach us a little of what they have clearly experienced. Here, words play an important part in our understanding and appreciation of the devastating effect The Holocaust has had upon World Jewry, the State of Israel and upon our own humanity. In this image, and there amongst the bullet ridden bodies of those Jews catapulted into oblivion, are even Children of that humanity. I have come to feel the need to ask ever more questions which become necessary for our own comprehension. The Survivor therefore, who looked death squarely in the eye and evidenced a dimension of human degradation, lends us so many words that we are still hard pressed to even grasp what such an image conveys. The Survivor’s testimony can bring back to humanity a certain hope, and with that, the expectation which must be learnt to benefit all of humankind. It still amazes me that years away from this single incident stretched across a single image, we have yet to learn that Genocide fails all of humanity.

These Children Survived

Also, and in that single image of a Child known to History as Tokele, she too was brutally and callously taken from us. Tokele adds a further dimension to the dehumanising evidence that The Holocaust proclaims. Then when we become witnesses to those Children who managed to Survive, and these are Children who managed to Survive Auschwitz, what on God’s green Earth can we say to them? What detail of hope can we deliver to these Children who have lost practically everything they had lived to know and had Survived to see what was taken away? With respect to what emerges from the time, I received correspondence from a Lady who knew Tokele personally and was acquainted with her immediate Family. She knew of the tragedy in close proximity to the event and now, having been presented with a newer detail of her life, I have felt a more existent kinship with Tokele’s memory. It has always been my desire to ensure that Tokele is not forgotten and while, in essence she has a residence amongst her own People, they are the 6,000,000 Jews for whom, atrocity has met them and sealed the same hate filled and reprehensible fate that devoured Tokele’s little body.

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There are those who have presented to History the very evidence of what they themselves Perpetrated in Hitler’s name. Yet they are hiding more of what they know from those who would only add to our dimension of knowledge. They give an insight into what they were capable of, and in unison with fighting elements of the German Army, the Wehrmacht, accomplished the destruction of 1,250,000 Jewish People by many means besides the bullet and Gas Van. All of which must afford all in History a lesson which should not have been copied, should not have been mimicked and which has delivered further to the excess that is Genocide. Christianity demands of its community both conscience and compassion and yet all too few Jews of The Holocaust received either from an ostensibly Christian Europe.

There were far too few words of consolation and certainly a deep satisfaction, in the most part, that these Jews would not return to reclaim what had been taken from them. In that sense, the theft of all things Jewish, even outside the murder they met with, steeps all of those Catholics or Christians with a stain that will not be easily forgiven. The lack of sorrow for what was known to have transpired, strips aware the veneer of Christian charity which their belief system expects and commands. There are – of course – exceptions and YadVashem has established a criterion, the model of which will test the legitimacy of those now considered Righteous Amongst Nations.

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For History, the route toward collaboration was rampant and can be assessed clearly and distinctly with a snippet from these OSR’s. Though the Righteous are far fewer than one should expect, we still seek to laud these few for their exceptional bravery and their fraternal nature. Collaborators, locals with similar antisemitic hatreds assisted the Germans on every level. Many, like the Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians were implicated in the Killings at sites all over Europe and in the Death Camps Hitler had established within Poland. For these all too few Righteous, who stood taller in the face of adversity, more so than Political or Religious leaders who represented nations, states and even their own congregations, are not rewarded enough. For these Righteous too, theirs was an individual act which restored a simple balance missing when the Jews needed as much help as they could get. The standing of these Righteous individuals has soared above the rest of humankind to rescue reputations lost in the ignoble indifference that was to categorise anti-Jewish sentiment, hatred and mass murder.

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The sight of German Wehrmacht and SD Einsatz kommandos arriving together on the scene of an approaching atrocity gave vent to many hatreds. That these antisemitic adornments already filled many communities, these hatreds had been built upon over many centuries, the German presence gave expression to the vilest of natures. It was an easy message from the arriving German forces then for the establishment of Pogroms against the local Jews. Jewish People who had been former neighbours and friends for those vast periods in time were forsaken for many competing reasons. Many Germans initiated kills, which were both exacting and brutal on an individual local level. Far beyond borders, the gathering pace of these initiatives were catastrophic. It concerns me, and I have no doubt that the sincerity of prayer throughout these defiled lands accounted for a wave of guilt that has been forever repressed, but it cannot ever assuage the guilt nor retrieve the loss of human compassion.

All of this is an admission of a very grave wrong which cannot be countenanced with silence. In the 84 years since Hitler came to power, while he was adding to the rhetoric of hatred and anti-Jewish propaganda, silence became the indifferent tone to far too many who looked the other way. Of course Hitler’s version of a more than 2,000 year old hatred, which has more or less descended the steps toward an ignominy none could emulate, was a final solution we know now as The Holocaust. For the Jews of Europe who were already under constant threat, Hitler came along and threatened them even further. That exacting threat became their extinction and the eventual obliteration for 6,000,000 of them. For the intervening years, almost 12 years in all, in which Hitler moved from speech to action, this period would see the cultivation of a past civilisation sink into an abyss of degradation unparalleled in all of History.

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Memory of these events, 71 years since Hitler was defeated and then once Jewish persistence could begin its onward journey once more, all of this has allowed for a Memory which indeed has been Fading. The fuller tragedy in this, after failing to come to terms with the loss of so many, has been that the exact memory we seek to add to our overall knowledge is being discarded by those former members of the Reich who officiated over the atrocities in unison with der Einsatzgruppe. Tragically for all of history, it is important that Wehrmacht recollections are made in earnest so as to unlock the hidden denial which perpetuates the wrong done to the Jews of The Holocaust. It is a nonsense for History to squirm away from directing the debate at those we know are culpable, duplicitous and guilty of some of these excesses. Some of these questions which must not remain unanswered are deliberately responded to by these words. Was the German 17th. Army present at any of the Einsatz Aktionen? Undoubtedly!

Was the commanding officer of that Army, General Karl Heinrich von Stuelpnagel made aware of the atrocity? Remember that the firing squads fully engaged their kills and which remained within earshot of his own HQ’s, were operating for hours on end? It is undeniably true that the evidence was there! How else could a General command if he was unaware of any large, minor or full scale operation was being mounted within the vicinity of his own command? The truth in the duplicitous nature of all too many who either participated, even perpetrated these crimes or knew of the very detail of the slaughter is being concealed. But truth has a habit of explaining for itself what remains undeniably at odds with what has not been allowed to emerge.

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Likewise, were the 4th. and 9th. German Armies ever invited to marshal those Jews who were destined to be Slaughtered? Without doubt! Did their commanding General’s Guenther von Kluge, later to be GeneralFeldmarshal, and Colonel General Adolf Strauss respectively, not know what the volley of gun fire which was ringing out in their vicinity was all about. Not very commanding of Hitler’s Wehrmacht Generals if they didn’t know what was happening on their door step. But for those Survivors, whose acute awareness of this truth manages their Survival, they are being kept from that truth for all the wrong reasons. As the Survivor, who is now being taken from us at an alarming rate, passes into our past, they might never hear a simple apology.

The Survivors are passing into History, all too many with their memory either lost or forgotten. At least some will have handed over to posterity through their Testimony in an Interview and Media capture, an invaluable resource. But this is not just the passage of time for the Survivor. This is to be the removable knowledge of first hand evidence that is slipping away from us which History needs to secure. But I am just one of the many who has grasped this essential need and for what we must learn from these individuals who have already seen and experienced far too much that is harrowing. But for our descendants, for humanity and for all that History represents, we are compelled to seek their return to memories they would surely suffer in remembering.

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So for us, those lessons must also arrive with the testimony of the many Wehrmacht Generals, Officers and ordinary soldiers so heavily involved in ensuring that der Einsatzgruppe managed for Hitler what Hitler demanded of them. The malaise within which the subject of cooperation, complicity and duplicity has been arraigned in the midst of The Holocaust is a negation of their clear responsibility. Armies are governed by Convention and the German Wehrmacht’s conduct has been contradictory to those events History has been given to acknowledge. I have taken to all manner of mediums to invest with meaning the words that will deliver much that shares to the bereaved a feeling of sadness and sorrow. That this should and will extend a posthumous apology on behalf of those who should have been given an apology by now, can only play a minuscule part in redeeming humanity’s loss.

In Remembering that 6,000,000 Jews of Europe were Murdered, and that Tokele is fixed amongst them, I am writing to acknowledge a grave loss which we cannot ever come to terms with. It is for these 6,000,000 individually Murdered Jews to forgive what is the unforgivable and it will be an eternity which will arise before we can ever consider forgiveness on their part. There are still so very many though, who can ask for forgiveness. They can do so for their participation in the major operations that were ranged against innocent Jewish Civilians, simply on the basis that they were Jews. But these perpetrators, of the most vicious of crimes of The Holocaust, will leave to their Children and posterity, the burden of a guilt no longer assuaged.

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Operational details were so matter of fact in dealing with the Slaughter, that it is difficult to imagine the nature of even those who computed these obligatory assessments. Hitler, it must be stated, would have been ecstatic with the accounting he received, handed to him by a phalanx of flunkies. Meanwhile, the relentless stream of reports and citations filled the desks to Hitler’s antechamber and whilst we did too little to prevent this tragedy from happening, Hitler revelled no doubt in its implementing conduct. So in recovering the memory of those no longer with us, and this is all part of why I write, we can lay the blame squarely at Hitler’s desk, around Hitler’s Table, and within Hitler’s contextual assessment for a final resolve of the Jewish question. Sadly for me, the absence of more words from those Hitler ensured could never deliver into the pages of History, their statement of terror and horror leaves me and others to adopt words from their era and adapt them to pay respects to their passing. Indeed the intention of those words are contained in this, my first Book:

Testimony and Fading Memory in the Holocaust.

[2002] ISBN:-1-904115-00-4 and latterly 978-1-904115-00-7

For me, this initial attempt at recalling such a terrible atrocity is in itself merely a collection of reverential words. They are fully seeking to add a voice to the omission of those who were so ritually destroyed in the conflagration settled upon by Hitler. A more concerted confrontation with those whose intolerances drove this very specific Catastrophe forward was not established. At a time when it was essential for the World to have confronted everything that Hitler stood for, it was the Jews who offered Hitler a response they paid for in bloody terms. I make no allowances for the use of that very Testimony which has been so far gifted to us. What it affords us is the clear insight into a period of terror and a brutal awakening for the Jewish People in the midst of a trepidation they never roused from. I am merely a spectator, an onlooker so remotely removed from the anxiety which gripped Men, Women and Their Children, and all because they were Jews. I wholeheartedly offer a Christian perspective as to why this was so wrong and contemptible. I cannot even begin to imagine the full horror to greet these People as they were systematically delivered to the Death Camps and their Killing sites.

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In extracting from this first book a newer chapter on an auxiliary force so brutally contrived that 3,000 of them massacred, and with impunity, 1,250,000 Jews, and others, History has grown to know the detail of the specific crimes they committed. These supplementary are der Einsatzgruppe and there were four strategically placed groups under specifically challenged individuals tasked with accomplishing Hitler’s Final Solution, in the field of operations. Notable amongst these were Arthur Nebe, Otto Ohlendorf, Otto Rasch and Franz Stahlecker who commanded these four Gruppe. In respective order their commands of Gruppe A, B, C and D acted with unrestrained atrocity while they purged each and every consecutive area of any of its Jewish Community.

The evidence of what emerged, as these bands of thuggish and brutish murderers roamed freely amongst innocent Jewish Communities, is testifiable. Not only has the Testimony of those who actually saw and witnessed der Einsatzgruppe in aktionen been corroborated, but the perpetrators themselves authenticate what the Survivor then informs us. All of this is announced in a clearly written dialogue between the murderous ranks of these executioners while it reaches all the way back toward Hitler in his Wolfschanze, his Wolfslair, and also his Berlin headquarters. These infamous reports, these Operational Situation Reports, OSR’s, are an accounting in cold relief, as to what amounted to Hitler’s attempt to accomplish his Final Solution. Operationally out in the open, these Situations were hidden from view, and in the full glare of War, Reported upon in an itemised and frank way.

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But do not be led along by the simple deed of the Slaughter, managed on an industrial scale and utilising a mechanised methodology that moved from the gas chambers of T4, into the field with der Einsatzgruppe. These massed killings, efficiently handled by the Batzs, Ehrlingers and Sandbergers of der Einsatzgruppe, murdered by bullet decree and fell back on Gassing, utilising Gas Vans to save themselves from the sensitive issue of direct killing. This too was a mere step along the path toward places like Belzec, Birkenau, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka where the process of annihilation moved to the static Gassing Chamber. The Death Camp was borne out of necessity, so as to accomplish for Hitler his Final Solution of the Jewish Question and before his petty world came tumbling down.

In the six Death Camps Hitler had erected in occupied Poland, here the Jewish People were delivered to factories of annihilation. Here, their complete and utter destruction awaited. Here also, at these exact same sites, they were already competing in murderous terms with the efforts of der Einsatzgruppe. Where the Jews faced an amassed destruction of their very being, ash mounds would barely remain to measure the space they had previously occupied. Here too is where Hitler’s ideological grounding made full use of his larceny of intent. For Hitler, the total destruction of The Jewish People did not go far enough for his maniacal despotism. What went hand in hand with the alleviation of every single possession or asset that the Jewish People had ever preserved, owned or acquired was an enrichment for Hitler, his Reich and for all of those involved within The Final Solution.

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All of this was carefully written into the script of Hitler’s demands and it was the requirement of those at the killing end, to ensure the coffers of the Reich were further enhanced. The spoils of war for millennia have been a mixture of gains and losses to do with conflict and human dispersal. But on the spreadsheet of The Holocaust, Hitler’s accosting of the Jews was totally gainful in terms of their destruction and the currency their losses provided. Hitler grew rich on the back of such a grand theft, as did the Reich, its administrators and their descendants. Here too, with the mix of tragedy and duplicity in what was emerging from the atrocity, there is a further accusation against those who even knew the very smallest detail of what was happening to the Jewish People, though many were not implicated directly in its conduct.

We are not even talking about the eventual evidence that came after Hitler had finally slinked off into oblivion. But almost immediately, as and when the slaughter was happening, what was witnessed or assessed became known. British intelligence had managed to intercept the radio transmissions of der Einsatzgruppe as they were conducting their killing spree. But what the intelligence services of the Allied Nations then chose to keep secret, in order to preserve their own interceptions, not only assisted the level of murder that was accumulating, but failed in assisting these Jews during their worst hours of direst need. So with Hitler’s Armies dismantling huge swathes of Russian territory and disassembling an inordinate number of Russian Armies along the way, and working in tandem, I assembled a discourse which became my 2nd. Book.

der Einsatzgruppe and the Destruction of European Jewry.

[2003] ISBN:-1-904115-01-2 and latterly 978-1-904115-01-4

These Einsatzgruppe forces commenced in earnest, to destroy all Jews, Russian Kommisars and anyone else they thought fit to crush. As soon as Hitler’s legions entered into Russia, the slaughter began. In their earlier form, these Einsatz forces had roamed through Poland immediately after September 1st. 1939, honing their murderous skills and delivering for Hitler what Hitler had then assessed he could further achieve. In Russia, these four roving bands of der Einsatzgruppe, once Hitler had set them their target in killing, set about their own specific detail; targeting all Jews, Soviet Kommisars and anyone else Hitler saw fit to destroy. The establishment of the killing fields which applied such an enormously murderous effort within Russia, also marked Jews in the Baltic States and in the Balkans for the exact same mistreatment. It is an immeasurable Catastrophe which has been singularly assessed as having driven 1,250,000 Jews toward extinction.

That der Einsatzgruppe has largely achieved such notoriety, is almost hidden beneath the depths of depravity being assessed within the six Death Camps. Here, across the German border in Poland, Auschwitz has been given the mantle of Holocaust expression. It is, however, necessary to be cautious with that final Einsatzgruppe assessment in as much as we cannot be certain as to the accuracy of the account. It is as likely that far more than this 1,250,000 number of Jewish Men, Women and Their Children were taken out and Shot, Gassed, Hanged and were otherwise killed to satiate a blood lust festering inside Hitler’s fetid mind. The target of der Einsatzgruppe had not been fully met, but in quick time 15% of all Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian Jewry had been slaughtered. As the progress toward annihilation of what then remained of 10,000,000 Jews or so, this was being scheduled for future certainty. In many places, der Einsatzgruppe accomplished an astonishing 100% success rate in its killing enterprise.

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Do not forget also that the language of annihilation was covered in subterfuge and the euphemistic terms sought to secrete the very detail of the destruction. But what is also certain, a mere force of 3,000 men and women, no matter how ideologically adept at murder they were, could not have accomplished this engineered cleansing operation on their own. The collaboration of many nationals, from the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and complemented on a large scale by Ukrainian collaborators. Of course there were many others who ensured Hitler’s enterprise was well managed and maintained. It is not just these other nationals who sought to apply their own hatred and who became enmeshed in this vile and murderous trade. There were many German civilian units, members of the Waffen SS, soldiers of the Wehrmacht and Polizei officers who are all implicated in the worst of the excesses.

However deeply the indoctrination of the many were incubated and sourced to inflict such an excess upon so many more Jews should not be ignored. As killing site after killing site became filled with the destruction of entire Jewish Communities, those implicated and involved in the very detail of the destruction became ever more authoritative. Their authority over the Jews they came into contact with was complete. There was no overriding moral principles to bring to bear and all scruples were laid outside the gates to the Death Camps and the Killing Sites. From here, as der Einsatzgruppe cut a swathe through so many Jews, I extracted my next title. From within the midst of an atrocity so immense, The Holocaust, my third book could have been written to converge on the discourse of the brutal savagery meted out to the Jewish People in this one ravine.

Babi-Yar -A Jewish Catastrophe.

[2005] ISBN:- 1-904115-03-9 and latterly 978-1-904115-03-8

So while atrocity was placed at the forefront of all negotiations between der Einsatzgruppe and the Wehrmacht, the very detail of that close liaison moved on from Minsk. In the midst of what Hitler had certainly suggested be planned, we arrive at Kiev where the single most devastating atrocity perpetrated against the Jewish People was then enacted. Here within this Book, I began a more deeply focused work, delving into my research with only that single atrocity in mind. Such was the staggering nature of the assault upon the Jews of Kiev, which has exemplified the kill rate to be attained by all of Hitler’s minions, the Catastrophe for the Jews within Babi-Yar warrants such closer attention. This two day orgy of killing proved in need of the necessary emphasis for me, so as to add to the wider context of The Holocaust I had already written about.

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For the Jews who were driven toward Babi-Yar what amounted to a ritual slaughter, whose capacity was not accomplished even with Auschwitz, even at the height of the Hungarian Jews’ most savage loss of life, set the bar for atrocity. The monstrosity of what is in evidence here is all too easily generalised. Babi-Yar exemplifies the detailed effort made and with the arrival of a hatred so imbued in those willing to accomplish the act, the Jewish People were bloodied to extinction. As much as it did depict the particularity and the expression within the atrociousness itself, History has not claimed a more manifestly heinous crime in all the years of human existence. So following on from this ravine, a kill site with no equivalent even in all of Hitler’s rampage, nothing has ever since followed this shockingly murderous lead. In 33,771 ways a terror above and beyond the horror Hitler had harnessed and then commanded was unleashed and this has become the very narrative and factual detail in my third Book.

In no other place and in no other time has Hitler’s Final Solution been more resolutely exemplified, and with such mass brutality and slaughter than here at Babi Yar. The depth of depravity which Hitler sought from those he engineered to act on his behalf cannot be truly understood nor comprehended. In modern day terms, and without recourse to latter day evidences, demonstrations of such brutality the sight of which we have been gifted, Babi Yar is an atrocity written in 33,771 atrocious terms. The fact too that Babi Yar might well have escaped detection has much to praise witnesses for delivering its factual integrity. Even the intelligence gathering agencies of the free world could not allow for such an atrocity to escape the crucible of notoriety. Proper remorse or even the administering of appropriate justice still escapes from Babi Yar.

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I had wanted this third Book to take on an element of the concern I shared for the grave losses incurred by these Jews of Kiev. That they were Men, Women and alongside them Their Children just like us should be enough to merely state that this was wrong. But lamentably, because they were Jewish People, much of History has seen fit to dismiss this relevant fact. While I could not know what these Jewish People had endured, or how they had suffered or even if they themselves could be adequately and eventually mourned over, I could raise a voice, use my words to place their loss before us all. I have thus far endeavoured to give words to the admittance of a graver wrong than has ever been contemplated and accessed. What Hitler achieved no man has ever formerly found the depraved nature to have accomplished. Such an atrocity remains the accusation of Hitler, and even those who might seek to emulate such an evil undertaking.

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I had often sought the advice of Elie Wiesel and he had satisfied me that History must play its part in searching The Holocaust for meaning. He assured me that no novel narrative could do justice to the memory we sought for those Jews so cruelly taken from us. So for me, the reconstructed words of those very Jews who were murdered at Babi Yar would have to wait. Their omitted voices, let alone the suffrage of those very Jews at the point of decimation could not be heard by other than those Jews alongside them and who were suffering the same fate. The voices of the many who witnessed and even perpetrated these crimes are stilled for their own guilt ridden and selfish reasons. But for those Kievan Jews, wronged even in these OSR dispatches to Hitler, and whose air was drowned out within The Holocaust, their fears could not be resurrected by me, nor anyone who did not hear their plaintive cries.

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For these innocent Jews then, and as Hitler regaled his subordinates to exemplify further his demands for a Final Solution, Blobel and his SK4a used every means to achieve Hitler’s end. The sheer deceit used to convey to History the concocted excuse which render the Jews toward destruction, was never plausible. Within Babi Yar itself there had to be a stated fear, a terrible horror and an agony which belonged only to these, the Jewish condemned. These murdered Jews could be given a space in our memory only if History asserts their right to have belonged. Some on the frontier of open hatred for all things Jewish, would deny the very presence of these 33,771 Jews at Babi Yar. That all certain memory is kept intact by those who seek to deliver to posterity the sense of wrong that was done against these Jewish People, must prevail. The injustice that is perpetuating the effort to negate their very name, even to this very day, must not be allowed to precipitate any further abuse of their name.

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With this many Jews facing slaughter, it is abundantly clear that their former homes had been taken over by Hitler and his Reich. This is what Hitler surely meant by Lebensraum! Though we settle here on the exact total for the two day slaughter, at 33,771 murdered Jews of Kiev, that figure could all too easily be the calculation of around 36,000 Jews who are otherwise mentioned. With as many as 200,000 Kievan Jews and others filling the ravine, History will never know the exacting detail of Blobel’s effort let alone what the ranks of the Sonderkommando, Polizei, Wehrmacht and Waffen SS achieved here. It is certain though that Hitler was aware that between some 75,000 and 80,000 Jewish People had already been Slaughtered in the first days since Kiev had been taken. But while the accounting is far from clear, and though the measure is both brutal and exacting, we know with pain and sadness that the Jewish loss is real and our loss is no less certain.