drobitsky_yar_homeNovember, 2013. A sign indicating one of the burial places. The sign says “burial place”.

Drobitsky Yar* is a mass grave located on the outskirts of Kharkov, Ukraine. The events that transpired there during the freezing winter of 1941 are hidden from history books. Even the name, Drobitsky Yar, was a taboo until recently. Locals knew what had happened, but no one dared to talk.

16,000 people, most of them Jews, were taken to the ravine and methodically slaughtered by German Nazis. The killings were planned and victims were executed systematically and with great precision. A large portion of Kharkov’s male population was in combat and thus, victims of Drobitsky Yar in large consisted of women, children, and the elderly.

Drobitsky Yar is a crime scene. Drobitsky Yar is a mass grave. Drobitsky Yar is a gruesome reminder of what humans can do to other humans.

 

 

* Yar means ravine in Ukrainian, Russian and Hebrew.