During the Nazi occupation of Kyiv, Babyn Yar was used as a place for mass executions. It was a hollow in the northwest of Kyiv, 2.5 km long and up to 50 meters deep.
In September 1941, occupation authorities arrested nine Kyiv rabbis and forced them to announce to the Jewish community that all Jews and their children will be sent to safe places. On Sept. 28, 1941 announcement were made throughout the city that on Sept. 29 at 8 a.m. all Jews are to come at certain address with their valuables and documents.
Next morning, when the Jews started arriving, they were undressed and forced into the hollow 20-25 meters deep and executed there. To prevent panic among the rest of the waiting Jews, the Nazi were playing loud music and an airplane was circling in the skies. The executions continued for two days. On Sept. 29-30, 33,771 person was killed in Babyn Yar. Mass executions lasted until the end of the Nazi occupation.
The youngest victim of the Babyn Yar execution was only three days old, the oldest was 103 years old.
In three years of occupation, 70,000 to 200,000 people were killed in that area of Kyiv.
In Soviet times, the tragedy was forcibly forgotten. It wasn't until 1966 when writers Viktor Nekrasov and Anatolii Kuznietsov and dissident Ivan Dziuba remembered the victims of the Babyn Yar execution.
Babyn Yar is one of the scariest symbols of Holocaust, along with Oswiencim. A memorial complex is planned to be opened in Kyiv's Babyn Yar by 2021.