“Babi Yar: Faces and Fates, 75th Anniversary of the Tragedy”

Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) will host the exhibition “Babi Yar: Faces and Fates; 75th Anniversary of the Tragedy,” in remembrance of the mass extermination of Jews in Kiev, Ukraine, on September 29 – 30, 1941.  Curated by Julia Smilianska, Director of the Institute of Judaica in Kiev in conjunction with SigmaBleyzer, Houston / DAR Kiev, Ukraine, the exhibit is on view in the Museum’s foyer beginning September 9, 2016.  

Detail Plan of Kiev, which indicated the Jewish cemetery and Babi Yar. 1914 

“We are so humbled to showcase ‘Babi Yar’ at HMH,” said Kelly J. Zúñiga, Ed.D., executive director, Holocaust Museum Houston. “This exhibition highlights the struggle for the rights of all human beings and the humanity for remembrance. Organizers in Kiev are currently working on a new memorial in honor of those who died at the ravine site where the executions occurred. This exhibit reminds us that the unimaginable must not be forgotten nor repeated, ever.”

Kiev is documented as one of the cities targeted by the Nazis for “the final solution of the Jewish question.” All Jews were killed regardless of age, sex, health or social status. The victims were school children, infants, elderly people, pregnant women, professors, doctors, violinists, teachers and others. A huge ravine at the outskirts of Kiev became the scene of the mass execution by the Einsatzgruppen C that during the first two days killed 33,771 persons. The Babi Yar executions under Nazi occupation continued for two years, ending with the liberation of Kiev in November, 1943. Only a handful of Jews survived due to friends and relatives who managed to acquire fake IDs to prove their “racial purity” and by others who protected them in hiding.

The exhibition consists of eight panels, beginning with Jewish life in Kiev for ten centuries, their contribution to the city’s history and visage, and the structure of Kiev’s population on the eve of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June, 1941. Additional panels highlight the first days of the war, the public mood in the city, and the events leading up to the massacre. Most noteworthy are the excerpts of personal documents, maps and stories of witnesses to the Nazi “killing machine.” The exhibition ends with the miraculous stories of salvation, the upstanders who helped victims and the memorials dedicated to their memory.

The new exhibit runs through October 30, 2016, in the Museum’s foyer at the Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St., in Houston’s Museum District.  A reception, immediately followed by a memorial service, will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, September 8, 2016. The Memorial Service led by Cantor Tunitsky will be from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.   Admission is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required for this reception. Visit: http://www.hmh.org/RegisterEvent.aspx to RSVP online. To renew a membership or to join and attend, visit www.hmh.org, e-mail membership@hmh.org or call 713-527-1616.

Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors’ legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.

Holocaust Museum Houston’s Morgan Family Center is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004. For more information about the Museum, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.

September 9, 2016 - October 30, 2016

Holocaust Museum Houston

M: Closed
T-W: 10 am to 5 pm
Th: 10 am to 8 pm
F-Sa: 10 am to 5 pm
Su: Noon to 5 pm