New Holocaust Horror In Ukraine

GVOZDAVKA, Ukraine -- The blood-soaked soil of Ukraine has served up another horror - a mass grave holding the bodies of at least 5,000 Jews near the site of a former Nazi concentration camp.

German invaders setting fire to a Ukrainian village.

And Holocaust experts said they expect to find more bodies in the rundown village of Gvozdavka-1.

"Ukraine was an enormous killing field, hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered and the entire region is literally filled with hundreds of mass graves," said Efraim Zuroff, director of the Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Word of the discovery hit Holocaust survivor Fira Stukelman like a body blow, because her mother was one of the tens of thousands murdered at Babi Yar outside Kiev in 1941 and buried in a mass grave.

"It reminds us of the Nazis, it reminds us of the Holocaust, it reminds us of everything," said Stukelman, 74, of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. "This makes me sick. When I hear these stories I cannot sleep."

Starting in 1941, the Nazis and their Romanian and Ukrainian allies murdered an estimated 240,000 Jews from the Black Sea port of Odessa and what's now the nation of Moldova.

While Jewish leaders knew many were brought to the concentration camp at Gvozdavka-1, some 110 miles northwest of Odessa, nobody knew where the bodies were buried until last month, when workers laying gas pipes found them.

"The Germans tried to cover up their crimes by forcing Jewish prisoners to exhume the mass graves and burn the bodies," said Peter Black, senior historian at the Holocaust museum in Washington. "But they weren't able to get to all the sites."

Six million Jews were murdered during World War II and 1.5 million of them were Ukrainian. Before that, as many as 10 million Ukrainians had starved to death in the famine engineered in the 1930s by Stalin's brutal regime.

But many of the burial grounds weren't located until after the Soviet Union collapsed and Ukraine became an independent country.

"Every time we think that there's closure to this tragic chapter of the Jewish people, we get reminders that it's not over," said Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League.

Source: NY Daily News

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