The picture haunts me.
An image of black and white, it seeps into my consciousness often, particularly when I find myself holding tight my children.
I pick up my toddler and snuggle her close, and I think of the mother – of the hollow, vacant eyes staring numbly ahead as she holds her child so similarly.
I lay on the floor by my ten-year old, and it appears again. When the children shriek through the house, filling each corner with delighted laughter, I find myself once more drifting to this woman. Who was she, and what was she thinking as she held her children in her arms and waited to usher them to death?
Oh September 29, 1941, the German army stationed in Kiev, Ukraine began a mass execution of Jews. Having been told they were being transported, thousands of Jewish men, women, and children lined up just outside the city, at Babi Yar, a ravine that would soon forever be known as “the killing ditch”.
By the end of the day on September 30, just under 34,000 people had been murdered.