Wednesday, 6 November 2013

From one blood libel to another. Part 1.

Shortly before my September 2013 trip to Kiev I leant by chance that Andrew Yushchinsky, the 13 year old boy whose murder in March 1911 prompted the famous ritual murder trial, was buried close to the ravine named Babi Yar in the Ukrainian city of Kiev. The ravine in which the Germans are claimed to have killed anywhere up to 200,000 people, mostly Jews, during the Second World War.

I thought it might be interesting to visit and photograph his grave (which is in a cemetery literally across the road from the main Babi Yar memorial) and also try and find and photograph many of the locations connected, and alleged to be connected, with his murder and the subsequent trial at which his accused murderer Mendel Beilis was acquitted. Although the jury did considered it proven that Yushchinsky had suffered forty-seven separate puncture wounds to his head and body, resulting in an almost total loss of blood, and that his murder happened on the premises of the Jewish-owned brick factory in which Beilis was employed.

I'm grateful to numerous Russian websites that enable me to find many of the locations that I will detail in this and subsequent posts, but the following to deserve special mention: Kievan historian Michael Kalnitsky's article "Charitable Institutions of the Zaitsevs" (Благотворительные учреждения Зайцевых), and Kievan art, architecture and history enthusiast 'agritura' and her article "Kiev: A Walk Through Lukianivka, Part II" (Киев / Прогулка по Лукьяновке. Часть 2).

The two photos above are of the Soviet memorial designed by Anatoly Ignashchenko which was unveiled in July 1976. The statue is just one of several memorials situated in Babi Yar to the alleged murder of up to 200,000 people by the Germans and their cohorts at the site (I photographed others not mentioned here), some Jewish, some Christian, some neither—including this one. At the foot of this statue are three plaques installed in 1991; in Ukrainian, Russian and Yiddish, which read: "Here, in 1941–1943, more than one hundred thousand citizens of the city of Kyiv and prisoners of war were shot by German Fascist invaders."

This post isn't about what really did, or didn't happen at Babi Yar during the German occupation of Kiev, but to briefly detail the opposing revisionist and exterminationist positions: It is claimed that immediately following the German conquest of Kiev the Germans ordered all the Jews in the city to congregate near the ravine on September 29, 1941 to be deported, but instead of deporting them, they shot 33,771 of them within two days. This precise figure of 33,771 appears in the Einsatzgruppen C report of October 7, 1941, which revisionists such as Jürgen Graf (p. 26f) believe "is a forgery, or it is formally authentic but historically inaccurate," a view which, surprisingly, at least one exterminationist historian almost agrees with. Professor Victoria Khiterer (p.7f) writes that "if only 33,771 Jews were killed, it is not possible to explain the disappearance of the rest of the 115,000 - 135,000 Jews stranded in Kiev at the start of the German occupation ... Einsatzgruppe C execution unit did not want to write to Berlin the truth that they were not able to count the number of their victims"!

Burying 33,771 - 169,000 Jews in the Babi Yar ravine in early October 1941.
Photo lifted without permission from littlegreyrabbit

Following this initial massacre at Babi Yar, the Germans are claimed to have dynamited the walls of the ravine and forced Kievans to use the dislodged earth cover the 33,771 to 169,000 corpses. Something which was supposedly caught on camera by German soldier Johannes Haehle.

In the subsequent 24 months that the Germans occupied Kiev numerous further massacres—but individually smaller in scale than the first—is claimed to have happened at Babi Yar. One hundred thousand (there, or thereabouts) is the figure currently recognised by the majority of exterminationists as the number of people murdered and buried at Babi Yar during the German occupation.

The c.100,000 bodies buried at Babi Yar are claimed to have been exhumed and cremated in a six week period beginning at some point in July or August 1943. Mineral exploration geologist, revisionist and aerial photography expert John Ball has asserted that a September 26, 1943 German Luftwaffe photograph of the part of the ravine (near the Jewish cemetery) where it is claimed the cremation operation was centred, shows no evidence of the constant vehicle and foot traffic needed to supply fuel for the cremating c.100,000 people, nor does the ravine itself show any sign of having recently been subjected to extensive excavations. The complete lack of evidence that tens-of-thousands of corpses were ever unearthed and cremated in Babi Yar was also noted by American journalist William H. Lawrence, who was given a guided tour of Babi Yar on October 22, 1943 by the Soviets who had liberated Kiev earlier that month. Lawrence wrote of being told that the corpses of 50,000 to 80,000 Jews had been exhumed and cremated at the site only a few weeks earlier: "On the basis of what we saw, it is impossible for this correspondent to judge the truth or falsity of the story told to us."

On the other hand, there are Germans who confessed to partaking in, or knowing of the massacres at Babi Yar; testimonies from sonderkommados forced to partake in the cremations; contemporary diaries that mention large scale shootings, and finally the Einsatzgruppen C report of October 7, 1941. Revisionists don't contest that several thousand Jews may have been shot by the Germans in Kiev, in reprisal actions (Graf, p. 27f), and according to Michael Nikiforuk, even a major newspaper in Kiev has rubbished the orthodox Babi Yar story.

That's more than enough back-ground on the alleged massacres, burials and cremations at Babi Yar. On to the actual topic of this post, the boy who is buried just metres away from the Babi Yar memorial. 

Andrew Yushchinsky

I shot this short video on my Ipod, standing beside the Soviet memorial at Babi Yar. At the start of the video you can just see a glimpse through the trees of the red-painted wall of the Lukianivka Cemetery where Andrew Yushchinsky is buried.

The entrance gates to Lukianivka Cemetery, no. 7  Dorogozhytska Street, Kiev.

The grave of Andrew Yushchinsky (with the blue canopy, which was added in 2006)

Russian text reads:

Здесь почивают мощи
Св. отрока-мученика Андрея
Увенчан Мученическим венцом
на 13-м году, 12/25 марта 1911г.
Святьiй (recte: Святьий) мучениче Андрее.
моли бога о нас.

Approximate translation (improvements welcomed)

Here lie the relics of
Young-martyr St. Andrew
Enwreathed with the crown of martyrdom
aged 13-years, between 12/25 March 1911.
Saint Martyr Andrew.
Pray to God for us.

In the photo above you can see a religious icon of Yushchinsky—who is considered a saint by some members of the Orthodox church—alongside representations of the "cave" in which his body was found, the Zaitsev brick factory in which the jury judged that he'd been murdered, and in the back ground Saint Sophia's Cathedral in Kiev. 

This engraved stone tablet was another addition to Yushchinsky's grave in 2006. The text reads:

"12 березня 1911 року в Києві, на вулиці Верхньоюрківській (recte: Верхньоюрківська), що на Лук'янівці, в одному із приміщень цегельного заводу, який належав єврейській хірургічній лікарні (завідував нею купець Марко Іонів Зайцев), було скоєно жахливий злочин. 13-річному хлопчикові Андрію Ющинському затисли рота й колючим знаряддям нанесли рани в тім’я, потилицю, скроні, шию, що супроводжувалося пораненнями мозкової вени, артерії, лівої скроні та шийної вени. Це призвело до сильної кровотечі. Він втратив до п’яти склянок крові. Ющинському знову було нанесено тією ж зброєю рани в тулуб, що супроводжувалося пораненням легень, печінки, правої нирки і серця, в ділянку якого направили решту ударів. Усього було 47 ударів. Це викликало мученицькі страждання Ющинського. Тіло було повністю обезкровлене, внаслідок чого наступила смерть. (З рішення Київського суду присяжних)"

The Ukrainian text translates to English as:

"March 12, 1911 in Kiev, in Lukyanivka on Verkhne-Yurkovsky Street, in one of the brick factory buildings that belonged to the Jewish Surgical Hospital (in the management of merchant Marco Ion Zaitsev), a terrible crime was committed. 13-year-old Andrew Yushchinsky was gagged at the mouth and wounds were inflicted on the forehead, back of the head, the temples, and neck with a barbed instrument, accompanied by wounds to the cerebral veins and arteries on the left temple and cervical veins. This led to heavy bleeding. He lost up to five glasses of blood. With the same weapon wounds were again inflicted on Yushchinsky's body, accompanying injuries to the lungs, liver,right kidney and—the area to which the last blows were directed—the heart. There were 47 blows. This caused Yushchinsky's martyrdom of agony. The body was fully bled white, and as a result death ensued. (From the verdict of the Kiev court jury)"

The text is based on the first of two questions the jury at the murder trial (which was conducted in Russian) of Mendel Beilis were instructed to answer. It's not a faithful representation, as in the trial transcript there is no mention of 'martyrdom' ; Ukrainian: мученицькі; Russian: мученические (page 300 of volume III of the trial transcript).

Below is the facsimile of the original text from the trial transcript, which does include some Cyrillic characters which are no longer part of the Russian alphabet.

Following is a transcription in modern Russian, taken from this site:
Старшина присяжных читает:
«Доказано ли, что 12-го марта 1911 года в Киеве, на Лукьяновке, по Верхне-Юрковской улице, в одном из помещений кирпичного завода, принадлежащего еврейской хирургической больнице и находящегося в заведывании купца Марка Ионова Зайцева, тринадцатилетнему мальчику Андрею Ющинскому при зажатом рте были нанесены колющим орудием на теменной, затылочной, височной областях, а также на шее раны, сопровождавшиеся поранениями мозговой вены, артерий, левого виска, шейных вен, давшие вследствие этого обильное кровотечение, а затем, когда у Ющинского вытекла кровь в количестве до 5-ти стаканов, ему вновь были причинены таким же орудием раны в туловище, сопровождавшиеся поранениями легких, печени, правой почки, сердца, в область которого были направлены последние удары, каковые ранения в своей совокупности числом 47, вызвав мучительные страдания у Ющинского, повлекли за собой почти полное обескровление тела и смерть его».
Ответ присяжных заседателей:
— Да, доказано.

Foreman of the jury reads:
"Is it proved whether, on the 12th of March 1991 in Kiev, in Lukyanivka on Verkhne-Yurkovsky Street*, In one of the brick factory premises appurtenant to the Jewish Hospital Surgical and placed under the superintendence of the merchant Mark Jonoff Zaitsev, the thirteen year old Andrey Yuschinsky had wounds inflicted upon him with a sharp tool on the forehead, the head, the temples, and also on the neck; that the veins and arteries on the left temple were pierced, thus causing an abundant loss of blood; that after five glasses of blood had come out, new wounds with the same tool were inflicted on the body, piercing the lungs, the liver, the right kidney, the heart, where the last blow was struck; and that such wounds, numbering 47, caused painful suffering to Yuschinsky, led to almost complete loss of blood, and to his Death?"
The jury responded:
— Yes, it is proved.

* This road was renamed Otto Schmidt Street (улица Отто Шмидта) during WWII.

Thanks to Anon. for providing the translations from Ukrainian and Russian text, although the translation from the trial transcript is mostly taken from this article 'The Beilis Affair' (pdf format) written in 1914-1915 and found in the online archives of the American Jewish Committee. 

It's interesting to note that in all the half-dozen or so books I've checked which attempt to refute the jury's decision about Yuschinsky being murdered in the Jewish brick factory, and blame his murder on a gang of local small-time criminals, none of them quote the the above passage in full. 

Much more on this to come.


  1. Sonderkommando were considered Geheimnisträger — bearers of secrets. The secret they were agents of Zion? The secret that they are forced? The secret that six million of there brothers and sisters are not murdered?

    By the way: what would Shostakovitch feel if there is also lied about Babi Yar?

  2. "On the other hand, there are Germans who confessed to partaking in, or knowing of the massacres at Babi Yar; testimonies from sonderkommados forced to partake in the cremations; contemporary diaries that mentions the shootings, and finally the Einsatzgruppen C report of October 7, 1941."

    Or in other words, only things very easy to coerce or forge...

    Your own articles about the Manstein trial demonstrated how unreliable the Einsatzgruppen reports are. The Soviets and the Americans had document forgery factories faking or altering all kinds of documents, including diaries (the Ciano diaries are one example of this), for all kinds of propaganda purposes. And it was vastly demonstrated the Germans 'confessed' about anything in the hands of the Allied 'interrogators' (for instance some Nazis confessed there were gas chambers at Buchenwald while today all historians admits there were none). No doubt the NKVD men knew how to get false 'confessions' about Babi Yar and any lie born in the brain of the Bolshevik propagandists. Beria, chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus (NKVD) during World War II, even boasted he could get anyone [under investigation] to confess they were linked to the king or queen of England.

  3. Imagine 100.000 people, a sold out giant stadium. 100.000 corpses to be exhumed and cremated within six weeks, and than their bones crushed ?
    You could say, alright, they also burned thousands of victims of the Dresden massacre on streetcar rails.
    But I think this cannot be done without leaving traces. How many workes were necessary to do this?
    Sometimes you see reports were archeologists find fire places from stone age. I mean: it is impossible to this without leaving any traces. Why no forensic and archeological investigation?
    BRI: You´re doing such a great job: Looking for original printed sources and investigate the places were things happened or allegedly took place. What a difference to all this journalists and also historians who work more with "copy paste". Joachim Fest, author of a well known Hitler biography was proud not to have used any original source!


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