Kiev's central position on the Dnieper River attracted Jewish settlers from the founding of the town in the eighth century. Up to 1793, Jews were continually expelled from and readmitted to the town. From 1,500 Jews in 1815, the Jewish population grew to 81,526 (13% of the population) at the outbreak of World War I. At the outbreak of World War II, the Jewish population was 175,000 (20% of the population). The Germans occupied the city on September 21, 1941. On September 28, 1941, Jews were ordered to appear the next morning. These Jews were marched to the ravine at Babi Yar and shot to death. According to the official report of the SS, over 33,000 Jews were so executed from September 29-30. Over 100,000 persons were ultimately killed at Babi Yar. The Jewish population today is estimated at about 110,000.
The postcard below depicts the Great Synagogue of Kiev, The synagogue now is used as a puppet theater.
Photograph of Jews on their way to Babi Yar
Encyclopedia Judaica, CD Rom Edition, Keter Publishing
Babi Yar: Critical Comments and Questions
Copyright © 1998-99 Edward Victor