Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel
Bargain Book Copy
When I submitted the original manuscript of this book to the editor of the magazine Yunost in Moscow, it was returned to me immediately with the advice not to show it to anybody else until I had removed all the "anti-Soviet stuff" from it. I removed important sections from the chapters about the Kreshchatik, the destruction of the monastery, the disaster of 1961 and so forth, and submitted a milder version in which the sense of the book, though discernible, was concealed.
The manuscript passed through many departments, up to and including the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party, a nd while it was being prepared for publication the multistage censorship cut out another quarter of the text: the whole sense of the book was turned upside down. It was in that form that Babi Yar was published.
The same fate befell all my earlier works, and the works of other writers too. In the Soviet Union a writer is constantly faced with a choice: either he will not be published at all or he can publish what the censorship will permit . . .
In 1969 I escaped from the Soviet Union, taking with me the films to which I had transferred my manuscripts, including the complete text of Babi Yar. I am now presenting it as the first of my books to appear without being submitted to any political censorship, and I wish the present text of Babi Yar to be regarded as the only true one.