Hate Exposed in Babi Yar Essay

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Hate Exposed in Babi Yar

 

Babi Yar, a poem written by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, tells the story of the Nazi invasion into a small part of Russia, in which, throughout the duration of World War II, over one-hundred thousand Jews, Gypsies and Russian POW's were brutally murdered. However, what is unique about this particular perspective is that the narrator is not a Jew, but a mere observer who is aghast at the atrocities that took place during the Holocaust. It is through allusions, as well as other literary devices, that Yevtushenko elucidates caustically the absurdities of the hatred that caused the Holocaust, in addition to the narrator's identification with the Jews and their history of oppression.

   
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Perhaps even more of a travesty, however, is the fact that humankind has not learned from the past in light of the fact that this "episode" is merely one link in a long chain of terrors.

    Yevtushenko goes on to allude to Anne Frank, a young Jewish teenager who left behind a diary of her thoughts and dreams, and how the Nazis strip her of any potential future she has when she is murdered in the death camps. Clearly, the allusion creates images in the mind of the reader that mere descriptions via the use of words could not.

    Another effective literary device used in the poem is the first person narrative in which the narrator identifies with those victims which he describes. This is seen in the case where the narrator says "I am Dreyfus", or "Anne Frank, I am she." The narrator does not claim to understand what the feelings and thoughts of these  people are, but rather, he is acknowledging the fact that they are feeling, "detested and denounced" and that unlike the rest of the world who turned its head, or the Russians who actually abetted such heinous crimes, this gentile narrator can not empathize, but does sympathize with his Jewish "brethren."

    Another extremely powerful device used by Yevtushenko is the detail of description and imagery used to describe events and feelings that are in both those whom he identifies with, as well as

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