Welcome!

Article

Yakov Kaper

Babi Yar - His life in Kiev under the Nazi Occupation

Yakov Kaper

His Account of Life in Kiev

48 Melnikova - Syrets Camp – Babi Yar

Selected Extracts from the Thorny Road

 

...Continued from part

 

Part 4 – Babi Yar Ravine

Kikes of the city of Kiev and vicinity! On Monday, September 29, you are to appear by 08:00 a.m. with your possessions, money, documents, valuables, and warm clothing at Dorogozhitskaya Street, next to the Jewish cemetery. Failure to appear is punishable by death.

Order posted in Kiev in Russian and Ukrainian, on or around September 26, 1941

Before we were sent to Babi Yar we noticed that opposite the exit from the Syrets camp a high fence had appeared. We did not understand what it was covering. As soon as we approached the camp gates we were ordered to take our footwear off. We thought it was our last stop. Here policemen and the Germans were not like those in the camp, they were even worse monsters with awful bandit eyes, but it was all the same for us, we didn’t bother them.

At last the command was given and we went out. We were escorted by two soldiers with automatic guns on both sides even though we did not have far to go. Along the road we found ourselves near an earthen rampart and in the distance I noticed a house or a hut. At the entrance there was a skull with crossbones, but it was not a drawing like on electrical boxes but a real human skull and bones.

It became clear that there was no way back from here. We were led further and we found ourselves in a ravine and inside there was smooth ground. I didn’t understand how they came there in cars but it was evident that this was a road and that some gaswagens had been there.

We were ordered to sit down on the ground, we heard a lot of noise and cries over the precipice. We did not know what was going on, at last a young officer, who I think was one of the bigger bosses appeared. He was yelling louder than anybody else and ordered groups of people in fives to come forward.

So, one of those German bandits went, took five of us and we were led behind the fence that was made of twigs and sticks. We didn’t know what was going on behind that fence. The one thing that calmed us down a little was that no shootings were heard there, which meant that they would not shoot us immediately. If they killed us in a gaswagen, they would have killed us all at the same time.

Soon the same fascist came again and took five more people: I was sitting and did not know what to think. I must say, I didn’t think about much at all since there was, seemingly no options other than death, so whatever would be would be.

At last my turn came, I was led away. As soon as I found myself behind the camouflaged rampart I saw the panorama that I would remember till the last day of my life. The corpses were accurately laid out – later I learned that the furnaces had been prepared to burn the corpses. I cried out, “That’s enough I don’t want to live any longer, shoot me now.”

At that moment the biggest boss, a German ran up to me, later I learned that his name was Topaide, he struck me so hard in the face that he rattled my lower jaw. I could neither cry nor talk. One of the Germans pulled me towards another one who was sitting on a small stool. There were chains and a rail lying there, he put the clamps on my ankles then the chain. He inserted rivets and hammered then on the rail.

I started guessing where we had ended up and what we would be doing, he ordered me to sit there where other chained prisoners were already sitting. My mouth bled and I couldn’t feel my teeth nor move my tongue. I tried to fix my jaw with my hands.

Jews who did not arrive on 29 September at the designated place, as ordered, and were shot

We all were sitting and waiting until all of us were chained and then dinner was announced. All those working stopped their work and came to the place where we were sitting. When all of them were lined up, Topaide ordered the guards to check the chains on the prisoner’s ankles. They were checked three times a day.

Everybody in the line was checked and then we were ordered to get food. There stood thermoses with soup, each prisoner came up and got a slice of bread and a scoop of soup. I couldn’t eat anything. Philip Vilkes came up to me and I gave him my portion. He exclaimed that this is the end and there was no hope anymore.

When dinner was over each went to his work. The newcomers were also assigned to work: I together with ten other prisoners joined the team that was called the outgoing team, though there was no going out there. There where we had seen the camouflaged fence was also a ravine, but it was almost on the road, when the war began people dug an anti-tank trench and in it were the corpses of military men and commanders mainly.

On one side, a furnace was being erected, first they brought stones taken from the Jewish cemetery, the tombstones bore the dates of those buried in the cemetery. Long railway rails were put on those stones, then iron fences also removed from the cemetery and then some logs with a little room in between to let air through when they started burning.

Topaide headed the work of those making the furnaces, he ran from one place to another without a minute’s rest: he quickly gave orders and went on running. The main work was in Babi Yar but he also ran over to us in the anti-tank trench. When everything was ready we were ordered to pull the corpses out and put them on the furnaces. For this special tools were prepared, there was a handle in the form a ring and a rod 50-60 centimetres long with a hook sharpened end.

 

Read more here: http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/survivor/kaperbabiyar.html

 

The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team

www.HolocaustResearchProject.org

 

Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 2010

More Stories By Holocaust Research Project

The aim of H.E.A.R.T is to inform and educate people about the Holocaust and the extermination programs conducted by the Nazi regime throughout Europe during the Second World War.

H.E.A.R.T research and material is contributed from a group of independent Holocaust researchers who devote their spare time to research for the production of this website and other forms of related publications, such as leaflets and books.

H.E.A.R.T is run by its trustees and directors, who manage the daily administration of the website, review all research materials, fact checking, and addressing any required corrections.

Most materials presented on the H.E.A.R.T website originate in Poland, Germany, the former Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom as well as from private sources in the USA and other countries.

H.E.A.R.T currently accepts no new membership however we do maintain affiliations with educational institutions and private associations that contribute articles, photos, rare documents, etc.

Contributed text and pages will appear on the website as a "Guest Publication" with the author maintaining full copyright to the submitted text however page design and layout is owned by © H.E.A.R.T. All other material presented on this website is subject to H.E.A.R.T copyright however all pages may be used “Freely” providing the source is credited as the following:

"Courtesy of the Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team www.HolocaustResearchProject.org " © H.E.A.R.T www.HolocaustResearchProject.org

Latest Stories
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, will examine the regulations and provide insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo is an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalized support service from its globally located cloud platfor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, discussed the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information.
FinTechs use the cloud to operate at the speed and scale of digital financial activity, but are often hindered by the complexity of managing security and compliance in the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sesh Murthy, co-founder and CTO of Cloud Raxak, showed how proactive and automated cloud security enables FinTechs to leverage the cloud to achieve their business goals. Through business-driven cloud security, FinTechs can speed time-to-market, diminish risk and costs, maintain continu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SkyScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SkyScale is a world-class provider of cloud-based, ultra-fast multi-GPU hardware platforms for lease to customers desiring the fastest performance available as a service anywhere in the world. SkyScale builds, configures, and manages dedicated systems strategically located in maximum-securit...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Outscale was founded in 2010, is based in France, is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes and has done quite a bit of work with divisions of Dassault," explained Jackie Funk, Digital Marketing exec at Outscale, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We were founded in 2003 and the way we were founded was about good backup and good disaster recovery for our clients, and for the last 20 years we've been pretty consistent with that," noted Marc Malafronte, Territory Manager at StorageCraft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.