Friday, April 07, 2006

Slavic Sheepshead Bay

Earlier this week, Forgotten NY spotlighted Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, home to a couple of thought-provoking Slavic sites.

First up, check out Babi Yar Triangle (Corbin Place and Brighton 15th Street), a park named after a 1941 pogrom led by Nazi Einsatzgruppe soldiers and Ukrainan militiamen at Babi Yar, near Kyiv. Nearly 34,000 Jews were killed in just two days, and over the course of the 778 days of Nazi rule in Ukraine a ravine in Babi Yar became the final resting place for over 100,000 people - Jews, Roma, handicapped people, Soviet POWs homosexuals and others. This park was dedicated in 1989.

Sheepshead Bay is also home to the only Holocaust memorial park in New York City, dedicated in 1985.

The monument in the park also commemorates the mass killings at Jasenovac, a concentration camp run by the Croatian Ustase from 1941 to 1945. Hundreds of thousands of Serbs, as well as Jews, Roma, anti-fascists and others were put to death there, and Jasenovac has been a wedge between the Serbs and Croats ever since.
The neighborhood is also home to the Bethel Russian Baptist Fellowship (2310 Voorhies Avenue), and the (gay?) bar Secrets (1321 Avenue Z between East 13th & East 14th Streets). And in nearby Gravesend Neck you'll find the Russian restaurants Elrisha (2364 McDonald Ave between Gravesend Neck Road & Villa) and Anyway Cafe (1602 Gravesend Neck Road), as well as the Russian Baths of NY (1200 Gravesend Neck Road, Gravesend Neck).

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