This is my Grandmother with her friends in the photo taken about 1940.
Granny was looking like a Jewish woman, but she is not Jewish, our family is Kazan Tatars.
The Nazis had no time to guess who was a Tatar and
who was a Jew. If she wouldn't join the Red Army and would stay in Kiev,
then she might end up in this ravine with bullet in her head.
This is Old Woman Ravine, or Baby Yar in Russian.
It is a mass grave for more than 100.000 of victims of holocaust.
All have been shot right here in 1941-1943.
It is where boys playing football. The capacity of our
central stadium is less than 100,000 and I believe, if the boys would
understood the history of the site, they would move out and find some
other place for football. They simply do not know.
They are unaware that their favorite soccer club Dynamo was sent here
in 1942. The old name for "Dynamo" was "Start", it used to be ones of the best club in a Soviet Union, so they won several games against German and Hungarian clubs and after defeating Flakelf the
Dynamo soccer team players
were arrested and sent to death at Baby Yar.
While Dynamo was the Soviet police NKVD team and would be sentenced to death one way or another, the thousands of other victims have been just a common, Jewish people, mostly women, children, their grandparents..
The most terrible part of Baby Yar tragedy happened in a first days
of the occupation. People didn't know what to expect from Nazis and
thousands of Jewish people gathered on the streets of Kiev with
documents as they been directed to bring. They thought, they would be
either registored or relocated or something else and on September 29,
1941 the columns moved towards Old Woman Ravine... a big crowd have
been listening music while small groups taken down and shot. Mass
killing lasted 5 days, more then 30.000 of people died in first two
days and then 10.000 in each of the following days...
Everyone who visits this place and has a few minutes to think comes to the same feeling, they start losing faith in people.