Anatoly Kuznetsov was a twelve-year-old living in Kiev, Ukraine, when the Germans occupied the city in 1941. His age allowed him to escape the notice of Nazi perpetrators and local collaborators as he observed the war crimes committed against Jews, Roma, Ukrainian nationalists, and Soviet prisoners of war. More than 33,700 people lost their lives in a two-day massacre, followed by as many as 66,000 over the next two years.
At fourteen, Kuznetsov began writing about what he had seen, later supplementing his manuscript with survivor and eyewitness testimony, supporting documents, and the efforts of the Soviet government to conceal any trace of the atrocities perpetrated at Babi Yar. The serialized book was published in the USSR only after extensive censorship, but Kuznetsov converted the original full text to film and smuggled it out of Russia when he defected.
Babi Yar offers a unique, multi-faceted perspective of some of the darkest days of the Holocaust, written by a surviving witness.