Executions of Kiev Jews by German army mobile killing units, 1942

Execution of Kyiv Jews by German Army Mobile Assassination Units (Einsatzgruppen) near Ivanograd, Ukraine. The executioner appears to be standing over the body of the already executed person. The gun barrels of other executioners are visible on the left edge of the picture.

The photo was sent to Germany from the Eastern Front and intercepted by a member of the Polish resistance at the Warsaw Post Office collecting documents on Nazi war crimes.

The original print was owned by Tadeusz Mazur and Jerzy Tomaszewski and now resides in the Historical Archives in Warsaw. The original German inscription on the back of the picture read: "Ukraine 1942, Jewish Action [Operation], Ivanograd".

In the words of British journalist Robert Fisk, the picture is considered "one of the most influential and inspiring images of the Nazi Holocaust". It was featured in several books, and was displayed in photos as "precious and terrifying evidence" of "Nazi brutality in Eastern Europe" in both Poland and Germany.

In 1964, at the height of the Cold War, the popular German weekly Der Spiegel (ed. 49/1964) published the picture with a diatribe, which many angry readers named, claiming it was made by Russians. Fake, although the most objectionable. Evidence was found from official German records.

Encountering a society with photographic evidence of its personal experience of war is almost as old as photography itself, wrote reporter-historian Janina Struck, who discussed the image in her personal photographs: A Soldier's Inside View of War. . In extreme cases, "possession of such personal photographs can lead to a court-martial", and yet soldiers continue to take them.

Between 1941 and 1945, approximately 300,000 Ukrainian and other non-Jewish victims were killed as part of Nazi extermination policies, as well as between 850,000 – 900,000 Jews who lived on the territory of modern Ukraine.

The original plans for the genocide called for the extermination of 65% of the country's 23.2 million Ukrainians, and the remaining residents to be treated as slaves. In ten years' time, the plan effectively called for the extermination, expulsion, Germanization, or enslavement of most or all Ukrainians.

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