Babi Yar : A Document in the Form of a Novel; New, Complete, Uncensored VersionBy
“I wonder if we shall ever understand that the most precious thing in this world is a man’s life and his freedom? Or is there still more barbarism ahead? With these questions I think I shall bring this book to an end. I wish you peace. And freedom.”
At the age of twelve, Anatoly Kuznetsov experienced the Nazi invasion of Ukraine, and soon began keeping a diary of the brutal occupation of Kiev that followed. Years later, he combined those notebooks with other survivors’ memories to create a classic work of documentary witness in the form of a novel. When Babi Yar was first published in a Soviet magazine in 1966, it became a literary sensation, not least for its powerful and unprecedented narratives of the Nazi massacre of the city’s Jews, and later Roma, prisoners of war, and other victims, at the Babi Yar ravine—one of the largest mass killings of the Holocaust. After Kuznetsov defected to Great Britain in 1969, he republished the book in a new edition that included extensive passages censored by Soviets, along with his later reflections.
In the manner of Elie Wiesel’s Night or The Diary of Anne Frank, here is a book that tells some of the most uncomfortable truths of the past century—and the most essential. Featuring a new introduction by Masha Gessen, Babi Yar is a classic of Holocaust and World War II testimony.