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Babi Yar - Analysis of the Poem- Yevtushenko speaks in first person throughout the poem This creates the tone of him being in the shoes of the Jews As he says in lines 63-64 No Jewish blood is mixed in mine but let me be a Jew He writes the poem to evoke compassion for the Jews and make others aware of their hardships and injustices Only then can I call myself Russian lines 66-67 The poet writes of a future time when the Russian people realize that the Jews are people as well accept them as such If you hate the Jews he asks why not hate me as well True peace and unity will only occur when they have accepted everyone including the Jews Stanza I describes the forest of Babi Yar a ravine on the outskirts of Kiev It was the site of the Nazi massacre of more than thirty thousand Russian Jews on September 29-30 1941 There is no memorial to the thirty thousand but fear pervades the area Fear that such a thing could occur at the hands of other humans The poet feels the persecution and pain and fear of the Jews who stood there in this place of horror Yevtushenko makes himself an Israelite slave of Egypt and a martyr who died for the sake of his religion In lines 7-8 he claims that he still bars the marks of the persecution of the past There is still terrible persecution of the Jews in present times because of their religion These lines serve as the transition from the Biblical and ancient examples he gives to the allusions of more recent acts of hatred The lines also allude to the fact that these Russian Jews who were murdered
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