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Changes in Text of ‘Babi Yar’ Poem Please Moscow Audience

Dimitri Shostakovitch’s 13th symphony, which initially was greeted by Soviet officialdom with disapproval, was lauded today in Moscow after its second performance following the changes made in the text of Babi Yar, the poem against Russian anti-Semitism which the composer incorporated in his symphony. The poem by Yevgeny Yevtushenko is sung by a chorus during the symphony.

One of the changes adds Ukrainians and other Russians to the Jews "who lie in the ravine" at Babi Yar, near Kiev, where Nazi murder commandos slaughtered tens of thousands of Jewish men, women and children during the wartime occupation of the area. A second change is the omission of the ancient Czarist cry of the Russian anti-Semites–"Kill the Jews and Save Russia."