Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (28 September) to mark the 75th anniversary of the Babyn Yar massacre in Ukraine:
75 years have now passed since the Babyn Yar massacre.
A few months after Germany invaded the Soviet Union, the German forces occupying Kyiv murdered a large proportion of the city’s Jewish population in the Babyn Yar ravine.
Here, in Babyn Yar, more than thirty‑three thousand innocent children, women and men were killed barbarically in just 48 hours.
Here, in Babyn Yar, the Holocaust ‑ the campaign to exterminate the Jews of Europe ‑ had its terrible beginnings.
Here, in Babyn Yar, tens of thousands of prisoners of war and civilians were executed, here Ukrainians, Russians, Belarusians and many others met their death before the German occupation came to an end in 1943.
Babyn Yar is a symbol of all the suffering, injustice and barbarity sown across Europe by the Nazis.
It is with great humility that we pay tribute to the victims of the horrific deeds perpetrated in Germany’s name, and we are grateful that the people of Ukraine are now joined with us in friendship.