Illustration of the new Babi Yar memorial site, Kiev, Ukraine.
Illustration of the new Babi Yar memorial site, Kiev, Ukraine. Photo by WFRJ
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Shimon Briman
WFRJ President Alexander Levin standing beside a model of the Babi Yar memorial site, Kiev, Ukraine. Photo by Shimon Briman

A new memorial complex will be built at the site of the Babi Yar massacre in Kiev, where an estimated 50,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust, the World Forum of Russian-speaking Jews announced Sunday.

The model of the memorial site was presented at a gathering of the Governing Board of the Jewish Agency, which is currently convening in the Ukrainian capital.

According to WFRJ President Alexander Levin, the new memorial site seeks to provide visitors from around the world with an emotional connection to the massacre.

In addition to a Jewish center and synagogue at the site, there will be a display of historic material including remains of clothes and belongings of the murdered, documents from the Nazi archives, a 3D film, and interviews with survivors, the WFRJ said in a press statement.

Construction of the site, which is expected to take two-and-a-half years to complete, will begin in the coming months.

In his speech on Sunday, Levin said the memorial site “will commemorate not only the killings of Jewish people, but also all other victims who were brutally murdered by the Nazis on Ukrainian territory."

Some 100,000 people were murdered by the Nazis at Babi Yar, more than half of whom were Jews. On September 29 and 30, 1941 alone, German SS troops, supported by other German units and local collaborators, gathered 33,771 Jewish civilians at the ravine outside Kiev and murdered them with machine guns.

Attempts to commemorate the massacre after the war were thwarted by the Soviet Union.

In September 2009, plans to build a hotel on the Babi Yar memorial site were announced, but within a week Kiev’s mayor used his veto power to scrap the plan.