''Remains of Ashes in Babi Yar, In Which the Corpses of Those Executed Were Incinerated (Kiev, 1943–1944),'' Yad Vashem, Series 4147, No. 24 the Black Book, a project to document Nazi mass murder of Jews on Soviet soil. On the pages of Red Star, the Soviet military newspaper and the leading voice of the wartime Soviet press, the journalists A. Avdeenko and Olender wrote pained descriptions of their own impressions of Kiev and Babi Yar. 5 A leading photojournalist, Arkady Shaykhet, photographed the liberation of Kiev for the Illustrated Newspaper. Images taken by the anonymous Extraordinary Commission photographers— preserved in the Ukrainian State Photo, Film, and Sound Archives and presented here for the first time—show the vast ravine into which about a hundred thousand bodies were dumped and incinerated. Babi Yar became the biggest and most lasting symbol of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union, overshadowing even the discovery of the extermination camps, all of which were located on Polish soil. This essay on Soviet liberation photographs includes three images from a village in southern Ukraine called Bogdanovka (Figs. 6, 7, and 8), and nine from Kiev's Babi Yar. We begin where the photographer began, arriving at Babi Yar having heard stories of atrocities. The photographer would have seen a place like this many times before in town after town across Ukraine. He (rarely she) would already know how the scene would unfold, but like a good forensic photographer, he began at the beginning—with a ''general view [obshchii vid]'' (Fig. 1) of the crime scene. In this first photograph, we see a deep, wide ravine. It is a peaceful landscape photograph with some brush in the foreground. But the center of the image, the bottom of the ravine, is an off-white, clearly discolored when compared with the darker color of the
In the West, Auschwitz and its gas chambers became a metonym of genocide, but genocide takes place less often in purpose-built death centers than in mundane sites of daily existence, like “killing fields” in Cambodia or by the sides of roads in Rwanda. So too with the Holocaust. In the Soviet Union, the Holocaust was more mundane, integrated into d...
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Operation Reinhard (1942–1943) was the largest single murder campaign of the Holocaust, during which some 1.7 million Jews from German-occupied Poland were murdered by the Nazis. Most perished in gas chambers at the death camps Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. However, the tempo, kill rates, and spatial dynamics of these events were poorly documente...
This paper presents findings from qualitative interviews with five Jewish people — two Rabbis and three workers in various community service capacities — about their understandings and practices of the Jewish principle of tikkun olam . Tikkun olam is a Hebrew phrase that means “the repair of the world,” has its roots in Rabbinic law, the Kabbalah and the ‘ Aleinu prayer, and became a mainstream term for Jewish social justice work and community contribution in North America following the Shoah (Holocaust). In this study, participants spoke to the imperative to act and responsibility; external tikkun and internal tikkun ; collectivity and interconnectedness; the presence of Jewish history in their work, particularly in the case of the Holocaust; and the spiritual dimension of working with people. This study was undertaken with a narrative approach, to honour and preserve understandings of tikkun olam across Jewish communities. This study indicates the continuing influence of tikkun olam in settings both within and outside the Jewish community. Potential future areas of research are the role of spirituality in social workers’ commitment to social justice and the commitment expressed by several participants to work with Aboriginal people based on a shared history of cultural genocide.