KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — The Kiev municipality’s decision to build a hotel on the site of the Babi Yar massacre memorial has alarmed Ukraine’s Jewish community.
Kiev officials approved a plan Sept. 17 to build 28 hotels to accommodate the tens of thousands of visitors expected for soccer’s 2012 European Championship, including one at the Babi Yar site, the UNIAN news agency reported Tuesday.
More than 33,700 Jews were gathered and killed by the Nazis along the Babi Yar ravine’s edge on Sept. 29 and 30, 1941.
The Babi Yar memorial is located in a residential area of the Ukraine capital.
Kiev City Councilman Sergey Melnik, who opposes the plan, told JTA that 67 Kiev capital deputies voted for the hotel plan without knowing essential details of the construction. Kiev Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky reportedly has shown interest in building on Kiev’s green spaces, Melnik said.
According to Kiev municipality officials, there are 125 hotels in Kiev — far fewer than in European capitals.