The tragedy of Babyn Yar also lies in the fact that its many victims remain nameless. The Nazis tried to hide their crime, and the Soviet government suppressed the truth for ideological reasons, and later distorted what happened. The mission of the NAMES Project is to bring the names of victims out of oblivion, return biographies to the victims, help their descendants preserve their memory, and give an actual idea of the tragedy scale.
Over 70,000 records from memory books, archival documents, lists compiled by researchers from around the world, written and oral testimonies of relatives and friends of victims have been processed and analyzed. Unfortunately, these materials do not always contain complete and accurate information about a person. Some people could be added to such lists several times, and the names of others could be distorted or left out at all. Research activities resulted in developing an updated database to include over 28,000 names of Babyn Yar victims. This database is constantly improved and updated with previously unknown names of victims, facts from their lives, family stories, and photos. In the course of work, our team restores and displays the lost connections between victims, allowing to bring together families and prevent data from being lost.
We always refer to reliable sources - documental records, materials found in the archives. If the data from different sources contain discrepancies, we include all the options and specify this in the footnotes. Names are given in the language of historical documents, Ukrainian or Russian, with transliteration in Latin.
Within the framework of the project, a large-scale digitization of previously classified archival documents is carried out throughout Ukraine, which add up to the large electronic archive of the Foundation. These are files of residents of Kyiv during the occupation of 1941-1943 with personal data of citizens, materials of civil registry offices, funds of district administration of Kyiv during the occupation years, memoirs, certificates, protocols of interrogations, materials of population registration, information about residence permits, food cards, data on the composition of families and other information from various archival institutions.
NAMES explore materials about the pre-war population in Kyiv, the German occupation of the city, the Holocaust, the murders of civilians, prisoners of war, and people who resisted the occupants, as well as about the post-war history of Kyiv and the investigation of Nazi crimes. We strive to recreate the pre-war picture of the urban life of multinational Kyiv, to trace back the stories of its residents during the occupation years, to establish their connection with the present. What has already been done is an important step towards restoring the memory of the victims.
NAMES encourage everyone who knows, remembers, or has heard of people, who were killed in Babyn Yar or other areas of Kyiv, to contact the Memorial Center. Please share with us stories, photos, or any other materials, objects of the material world: reflections of the lives of those who died could be preserved in your family archives - among old letters, documents turned yellow over the time, photo albums. These thin threads of memory will help us recreate the stories of people whose lives were tragically cut short.
Coordinator of the Archive and Research Activities