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Undeniable

“Everybody is saying now that the Jews are being murdered. No, they have been murdered already. All of them, without exception—old people, women, and children. Those who went home on Monday have also been shot. People say it in a way that does not leave any doubt. No trains left Lukianivka at all. People saw cars with warm shawls and other things driving away from the cemetery. German ‘accuracy.’ They already sorted the loot! A Russian girl accompanied her girlfriend to the cemetery, but crawled through the fence from the other side. She saw how naked people were taken toward Babi Yar and heard shots from a machine gun. There are more and more such rumors and accounts. They are too monstrous to believe. But we are forced to believe them, for the shooting of the Jews is a fact. A fact which is starting to drive us insane. It is impossible to live with this knowledge. The women around us are crying. And we? We also cried on September 29, when we thought they were taken to a concentration camp. But now? Can we really cry? I am writing, but my hair is standing on end.” – Iryna Khoroshunova, October 2, 1941 (quoted by Karel C. Berkhoff in Harvest of Despair)

Published inThe Second World War

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