Ukrainian TV: Babi Yar Survivor Recalls Nationalist Killing His Mother in Front of His Eyes

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



Mikhail Sydko, who was presented on the talk show of Savik Shuster as the last survivor of the Babi Yar tragedy, confirmed the participation of Ukrainian nationalists – Banderists in the murder of Jews.

Sydko, who in 1941 was six years old, recalled that at first, many residents of Kiev, including the Jewish population, met the arrival of Hitler’s army with bread and salt, arranged themselves with towels on the itinerary of entry of the columns of Germans in Kiev.

During the broadcast, Sydko remembered how in front his eyes his mother was killed at Babi Yar by the Auxiliary Policemen from Western Ukraine.

It happened during one of the days of the executions of Jews in Kiev, when the Germans decided to exterminate not all, but leave some for slave labour, and children – for conducting medical experiments of them. When the family of Sydko arrived at Babi Yar, he and his brother were taken to a separate group of boys, and a mother and two sisters were left to wait in a queue outside the gate 20 metres away.

“Clara saw me, raised her hands: Misha, I want you to hold me. She ran towards us. Auxiliary Policeman caught up with her and bashed her head, and she fell. He bashed her chest with his heel – crushed her! Mother saw it and collapsed. Another child fell from her hands. The child cried – but he moved towards him and booted him! And he shot my mother in front of my eyes… In 50 seconds, seeing how he punished three people, my brother Grisha’s hair turned grey. And the guard who stood with us – I don’t know who he was, a German Auxiliary Policeman, or an underground member – seeing this, waved his hand, telling us to run, and all ran like mice,” said Sydko, sharing his memories, barely holding back the tears.

“Maybe because I didn’t know the German language, but I have in my memory only the Western Ukrainian language. Maybe because I didn’t know German, I don’t remember. But I clearly remember it was Banderists and Auxiliary  Policemen,” said Sydko.

“During two and a half years of life in occupied Kiev, I wasn’t so afraid of the Germans as I was of the Auxiliary Policemen,” he stated.

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