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Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel; New, Complete, Uncensored Version Paperback – January 1, 1970

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Language Notes

Text: English, Russian (translation) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 478 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; New edition edition (January 1, 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374528179
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374528171
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Snorri Wolfersson on May 8, 2005
I first read this book in high school as a shelf clearing library rat. It was not recommended, it was not widely known, it just sat on a shelf gathering dust. As far as I could tell, I was the first person to check this book out of my high school's library....books used to have cards glued to the back page where you signed your name...this one had no signatures. I read "Babi Yar" 3 times in the next 2 weeks and was stunned at the inhumanity of people towards people. I actually had trouble sleeping for a while. I didn't run across this book again for another 25 years. It kind of jumped at me from the shelf at my local library. It offered the same brutal emotional clubbing at 41 that I had experienced at 16. No different. How horrible can we actually be as humans? Pretty damn horrible it appears. The progessive rape of Kiev (et al) by Stalin, the Nazis, and Stalin AGAIN is a mostly overlooked story. This one tells it quite well. Music lovers should listen to Al Stewart's "Roads to Moscow" for a somewhat hurried reference.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By S. Lubman on September 5, 2005
I read this book in the original Russian. I could not put it down until I read the whole thing. As far as truthfulness I have absolutely no doubt, since his accounts are the same that I have heard from my own grandparents who fought in and survived in the war. To the reviewer below - Jeannette DuPree (South Carolina), what do the modern historians doubt? The thousands of victims (including the immediate members of my family) of German brutality? It's revisionist lying.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By TT on May 9, 2002
Babi Yar is easily the best book I have ever read; the prose is wonderful, the perspective refreshing. Never have I enjoyed a book so much, or was so deeply affected. Some argue that
"Night" portrays the Holocaust better, or that the age of the author at the time of the events portrayed undermines their validity- I must disagree. Seeing the horrors so young and describing them with the eyes of a child gives a much different view of the Holocaust than that of an adult, which is typically the perspective we see. This, however, was a child's life and appropriately there is no talk of politics-it is raw emotion, it is hunger, it is the innocent eyes of a child in the most horrible environment. It is truly an amazing book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Chloe on August 6, 2002
Babi Yar is one of the best books I have ever read, the truth in this book is phenomenal. This documentary made me both laugh and cry and made me furious beyond belief. Coming from grandparents who were forced to spend years of their lives in concentration camps during the Holocaust for the mere reason that they were Jewish, made me really understand how the Jews felt during the book. I definitly recomment this book to everyone!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By liana on May 29, 2009
Wow, this book is insane. Very well written. I am surprised it hasn't been reprinted since the 1970s. It's about the Nazi invasion into Kiev and their 2 year takeover of the city. Babi Yar was a ravine near the city where 70,000 Jews were murdered and 100s of thousands other people as well. The Nazis tried to cover it up by burning everything then the Soviet Union tried to cover it up by building a dam over it. The author is a 12 year old boy when the Nazis invade. The writing is very thorough a...more Wow, this book is insane. Very well written. I am surprised it hasn't been reprinted since the 1970s. It's about the Nazi invasion into Kiev and their 2 year takeover of the city. Babi Yar was a ravine near the city where 70,000 Jews were murdered and 100s of thousands other people as well. The Nazis tried to cover it up by burning everything then the Soviet Union tried to cover it up by building a dam over it. The author is a 12 year old boy when the Nazis invade. The writing is very thorough and easy to follow. It was first published in the Soviet union in 1966 but they censored half of the book, when Kuznetsov came to the US the book was reprinted in 1969 with the things the Soviets took out in bold and adding his additions to the book in brackets. I think this is a little distracting and it would be nice to reprint the book now, especially since it is out of print. I am surprised it is not better known. This is a must read for everyone. Kuznetsov says he wrote the book to try to understand Babi Yar but came no closer to understanding the Nazis after he finished the book, at least we can (hopefully) learn something from history.

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E. Jacobs on May 29, 2001
This book is a documented portrait of barbaric inhumanity that took place during the holocaust at a ravine called Babi Yar. It is a place that over 33,000 jews were murdered and buried dead or alive. This book is told from the eyes of a young non- jewish boy who lived in Kiev and witnessed the inhumane massacre that took place outside of his city. The book is well written and imposibble to put down. After reading this book, one can understand more about the holocaust and about the chilling and incomprehensible behavior against the jewish nation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By keetmom on October 16, 2014
Quite the worst place in the world to have lived in recent times was the Ukraine in the first half of the last century and "Babi Yar" tells you why. It is written by a survivor of WWII whose grandparents and parents lived through WWI, the Russian Civil War, the destruction of land-owning peasants by the Bolsheviks, the genocidal famine that followed and Stalin's Terror. All of this and then comes the invasion by the Wehrmacht, hot on their heels the sonderkommandos with instructions to kill every Jewish person they can as quickly as possible, the Nazi occupation and the concentration camps, liberation by the Red Army and finally the restoration of Soviet rule. So it is a tale of killing and suffering on an unbelievable scale. In its final uncensored form, it is also a fascinating revelation of the power of totalitarian systems to control what people think as well as what they write. Kuznetsov produces a layered text showing what he originally wrote, how he censored that himself before presenting it for publication and the even more reduced form in which the Soviets allowed it to published. It is a tale both devastating (for its honesty of the toll of human life taken by systematic Soviet and Nazi brutality) and heartwarning (for its coming of age account of a young boy living through it all). Don't ever let a Holocaust nay-sayer try to persuage you the six million is a myth. What happened at Babi Yar was public knowledge, seen and heard by thousands of residents of Kiev, despite the efforts of first the Nazis and later the Soviets to cover it up.
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