Deadly attack in Babyn Yar, Ukraine leaves LA Jewish community mourning: 'The evil must end'

The bombs severely damaged Babyn Yar, known as one of the most prominent Holocaust memorials in the world.

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Thursday, March 3, 2022
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A Russian missile attack hit the historic site in Ukraine meant to commemorate a key site of the Holocaust and Nazi atrocities of World War II.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Russian missile attack hit an historic site marking one of the greatest Nazi atrocities of World War II: The museum meant to commemorate a key site of the Holocaust.

The bombs severely damaged Babyn Yar, known as "Babi" Yar in America, one of the most prominent Holocaust memorials in the world.

"To the world: what is the point of saying never again for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babyn Yar? At least 5 killed. History repeating..." Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a tweet after the bombing.

The attack impacted the Jewish community in Los Angeles as the city is also home to a memorial site of the event.

"You say Babi Yar almost in the same breath as you say Warsaw Ghetto, Auschwitz," Rabbi Abraham Cooper of Simon Wiesenthal Center said. "It's short hand for the worst time of the Jewish people."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a Jewish global human rights organization that researches the Holocaust and hate and then puts it into historical and contemporary context.

Rescue crews rushed to put out the flames and search for survivors after Russian forces targeted a massive TV complex and TV tower in Kyiv, the site also home of the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial.

"To see that damaged unfortunately, a circle, a full circle of tears and suffering and tragedy and now we're talking about Babi Yar again in the midst of suffering of the Ukrainian people," Rabbi Cooper said. "It's almost beyond belief."

Cooper said the site was the first major mass murder of the Holocaust. More than 30,000 Jews were shot and killed over two days in September 1941 and their bodies were dumped in the ravine known as Babi Yar.

Zelenskyy, who commemorated the 80th anniversary of the atrocity last year with the unveiling of the memorial, says at least five people were killed in the attack.

The bombing drew condemnation from around world.

"It's anger, call to action," Cooper said. "This kind of behavior cannot be rewarded by apathy or silence."

News of the missile strike also impacted residents in West Hollywood, where another memorial marks the horrific tragedy, dedicated by the large immigrant community from the former Soviet Union who call the area home.

One resident said, "the evil must end."