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Local Holocaust observances focus on Babi Yar massacre

"Babi Yar" - the words themselves evoke absolute terror to those who know what happened there. Babi Yar is a ravine outside Kiev where, during two days in September, 1941, German troops killed more than 33,000 Jews of the city.

Round after round of ammunition was used as the special killing squads known as Einsatzgruppen and German Security Police commandos forced row upon row of naked men, women and children to crawl into the ravine to be shot. Babi Yar has become a symbol of Nazi brutality at its worst.

In this, the 60th year since the massacre at Babi Yar, this tragic event will be the focus of the annual Jewish community observance of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year's program, which is coordinated by the Dallas Holocaust Memorial Center, will take place at 7:30 p.m. April 19 at Congregation Shearith Israel, 9401 Douglas in Dallas.

The program will include a special presentation about the history of Babi Yar and a reading of the famous poem titled "Babi Yar" written by Evgeny Evtushenko, a non-Jewish Russian poet. Evtushenko was so distressed by this appalling event that he composed this moving poem to express its impact.

Dallas' Holocaust survivors will participate in their traditional procession through the sanctuary as they are honored by our Jewish community. Selected children and grandchildren of local survivors will light six memorial candles that commemorate the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

Rabbi Howard Wolk from Congregation Shaare Tefilla will lead the ceremony. Other rabbis and cantors participating include Rabbi William Gershon and Canto Itzchak Zhrebker from Congregation Shearith Israel and Rabbi David Lyon and Canton Don Croll from Temple Shalom. Cantor Max Wider, along with Holocaust survivors, will also participate. Co-sponsors of the annual observance of Yom Hashoah are the Dallas Holocaust Memorial Center, the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and the Rabbinical Association of Greater Dallas.

The entire community is invited to attend the program as well as the annual Yom Hashoah minyan at the Holocaust Center at 9 a.m. April 22. A special kaddish is said there for all the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Breakfast will be served following the service. For more information, call the Dallas Holocaust Memorial Center at (214) 750-4654.

This story was published in the DallasJewishWeek
on: Thursday, April 12, 2001

and was last modified on: Sat, Apr 21, 2001








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