top of page

Holocaust & POWs

Babi Yar and the Syrets Concentration Camp, Kyiv, Ukraine

Soon after entering Kyiv, Ukraine on 19 September 1941 the Wehrmacht murdered more than 33,000 Jewish civilians in a ravine called Babi Yar. The bodies were buried, but executions continued until 1943.
In 1942 the Syrets concentration camp was built next to the ravine. Between 19 August and 28 September 1943, camp inmates exhumed bodies from the ravine and cremated them on pyres built on tombstones from the nearby Jewish cemetery.

On 26 September 1943 a Luftwaffe reconnaissance sortie covered the ravine and concentration camp at the time when the Germans were attempting conceal their atrocities (Graphic).

Smoke from ongoing cremation could be seen from probable burn pits at the southern end of the ravine (Graphic). A roadblock had been established across the road at the southside of the ravine. According to an eyewitness sentries were posted on the road near the cemetery to prevent passage while the cremation was in progress.

The Syrets camp consisted of 32 underground barracks which held the prisoners and an adjacent guard’s barracks (Graphic).

bottom of page