/ / "Babiy Yar" is a poem by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. The tragedy of Babi Yar

"Babi Yar" is a poem by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. The tragedy of Babi Yar

"Babi Yar" is a poem written by EugeneYevtushenko, who was shocked not only by this tragedy of the victims of Nazism, but also by its absolute taboo in the Soviet times. It is not for nothing that these poems became, to some extent, a protest against the policy of the then government of the USSR, as well as a symbol of the struggle against discrimination against Jews and the silence of the Holocaust.

Babylite poem

The tragedy of Babi Yar

On September 19, 1943, the troopsNazi Germany entered the capital of Ukraine, the city of Kiev. Ten days later, after the explosion at the headquarters of the German command, which was committed by a partisan sabotage group, it was decided to blame the Jews for this. But, of course, this was only an excuse, not a real reason for massacres. The whole matter was in the policy of "final decision", which was one of the first experienced by Kiev. All the Jews of the capital were surrounded, taken to the outskirts, forced to strip naked and shot in a ravine called Babi Yar. Yevgeny Yevtushenko's poem is dedicated to this terrible event. Then about thirty-four thousand men, women and children were deliberately destroyed during one military operation. The shootings continued in the following months, and the prisoners were already victims, both mentally ill people and partisans. But the problem was not even in this villainy, or rather, not only in it. For many years the Soviet government has refused to recognize that the tragic events in Babi Yar were part of the genocide of the Jewish people - the Holocaust. This shocked the poet.

Evtushenko evgeny Alexandrovich

History of writing

Evtushenko Evgeny Alexandrovich hasambiguous reputation. His biography and work are criticized and praised from various angles. Some believe that during the times of the Soviet Union, he enjoyed the love of the authorities, who caressed him. Others are trying to read almost every piece of his work with hidden protest notes and hints. But anyway, the poet became interested in this subject in the early years. He read Ehrenburg's poem dedicated to Babyn Yar. But there, as was prescribed by Soviet propaganda, nothing was said about the nationality of the victims. They were called "Soviet citizens." And Evtushenko, as he wrote later, long wanted to devote poetry to the problem of anti-Semitism in the USSR.

Yevtushenko wavy yar

Traveling to Kiev

In 1961 Evtushenko Evgeny Alexandrovichvisits the capital of Ukraine. He goes to the place of the tragedy and with horror sees that there is not only a monument to the victims, but even some mention of them. At the place where people were shot, there was a dump. On the place where the bones of the innocently murdered lay, trucks came and dumped disgusting garbage. The poet thought that the authorities thus seemed to laugh at those shot. He returned to the hotel and there, in the room, wrote Babiy Yar for several hours. The poem began with lines that there is no monument on the site of the tragedy.


When a poet sees what Babi Yar has become, heis afraid. And it's like akin to Yevtushenko with all the long-suffering Jewish people. In the lines of the poem, he lives with him a terrible history of exile and persecution, including in Russia, where instead of recognizing the memory of these people only spit. He writes about pogroms and their victims, about fascism and callousness - about anti-Semitism in all its guises. But the bureaucratic machine of the contemporary poet of totalitarianism deserved his greatest hatred - the main point of this poem is directed against it.

The tragedy of the Indian Yar

First public appearance

Who was the first to read Yevtushenko "Babi Yar"? Even in the Kiev hotel, these poems were first heard by Ukrainian poets Vitaly Korotich and Ivan Drach. They asked him to read the poem in front of the audience, which was to take place the next day. Rumors about the poem reached the local authorities, who tried to prevent the poet from meeting with the public. But it was too late. So the wall of silence that broke out around the tragedy in Babi Yar was broken. The poem for a long time circled in samizdat. When Yevtushenko read it in Moscow at the Polytechnic Museum, a crowd gathered around the building, which the police were struggling to hold back.

Babi Yar


In September of the same year, Babi Yar, a poemEvtushenko, was first published in the Literaturnaya Gazeta. As the author himself admitted, it was much easier to write these poems than to publish them. The editor-in-chief of the Literary Museum assumed that he would most likely be dismissed if he decided to print a poem. But he nevertheless took this bold step by dedicating this publication to the anniversary of the taking of the Kiev by the Germans. In addition, the poem was printed on the front page of the newspaper, which, naturally, attracted general attention to it. This issue of "Literature" became such a shock that all the copies were snapped up in one day. For the first time on the pages of the official Soviet publication sympathy was expressed for the tragedy of the Jewish people, and moreover, the existence of anti-Semitism in the USSR was recognized. For many, this sounded like an encouraging signal. But unfortunately, this was not meant to come true. On the other hand, the times were no longer Stalinist, and there were no special persecutions and repressions.

Babyn yar poems


Did such a turn of events suggest Yevtushenko? "Babi Yar" caused a terrible scandal at the top of the Soviet leadership. The poem was considered "ideologically mistaken." But not only government and party officials were unhappy. Some writers and poets published articles, poems and pamphlets directed against Yevtushenko. They talked about how he exaggerates Jewish suffering, forgetting about the millions of Russians killed. Khrushchev said that the author of the poem shows political immaturity and sings from someone else's voice. Nevertheless, "Babi Yar", whose author became the center of all these scandals, began to be translated into foreign languages. Poems were published in seventy-two states. In the end these publications made Yevtushenko world-famous. But the editor of the newspaper who printed the poem, after all, was fired.

The tragedy of the execution of Jews in Kiev and its reflection in art

Following the example of Yevtushenko, who wrote "Babi Yar"verses about these events began to compose and other authors. In addition, those poets who wrote the lines dedicated to the shooting earlier, decided not to keep more of them in the "table". So the world saw the poems of Nikolai Bazhan, Moses Fishbein, Leonid Pervomaysky. About this event began to speak. In the end, the famous Soviet composer Dmitry Shostakovich wrote the first part of his Thirteenth Symphony specifically on the text of Yevtushenko's poem. Even ten years before these poems, he also came to the place of executions and stood there over the precipice. But when thunder and lightning struck the poet's head after the publication of "Babi Yar", he met with him and decided to write a symphony for both these and other works of the author.

Yevtushenko, who heard music first, was shockedhow exactly Shostakovich was able to reflect his feelings in the sounds. But after that the composer also got into trouble. The singers refused to perform the vocal parts of the symphony (especially after the urgent advice of the then Ukrainian authorities). Nevertheless, the premiere of the work took place and caused a full house and a standing ovation. And the press was ominously silent. This led to the fact that the performance of the symphony became an involuntary demonstration of sentiments directed against Soviet power.

Babi yr ukraine

The power of art

In 1976, in a symbolic place all the sameput a monument. Babiy Yar by that time was already filled up after the ecological catastrophe, when the dam broke through, and clay mixed with water splashed into the private sector. But the tablet did not say a word about the victims of the Holocaust. The monument was dedicated to the death of captured Soviet soldiers and officers. But his very attitude was nevertheless connected with Yevtushenko's poem. The power of art has played a role. The then head of the Ukrainian government asked Moscow to allow the construction of a commemorative sign. He was criticized in the world press as not reflecting the essence of the tragedy. And Yevtushenko's poem was banned from reading publicly in Kiev until the time of "perestroika". But still there is now a monument in the tract Babi Yar. Ukraine, having gained independence, put a symbolic lamp-menoru. And to the Jewish cemetery from him paved the slabs Road of sorrow. In modern Ukraine, Babi Yar became a historical and memorial complex of national importance. On the site of this reserve as an epigraph are the words from the poem Yevtushenko. When last year marked the seventy-fifth anniversary of this tragedy, the President of Ukraine stated that the creation of the Holocaust Memorial in Babi Yar is of importance for all mankind, since it must remember the danger of hatred, fanaticism and racism.

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