Zmievskaya Balka is the largest burial spot of Holocaust victims in present-day Russia. In 1942, German invaders shot down or murdered in other ways nearly 27,000 people living in Rostov, mainly Jews. On August 5-6, 1942, Soviet prisoners of war dug large holes and ditches in Zmievskaya Balka, after that, they were shot dead in this place. And on August 9, an order was published, according to it, the Jews of Rostov had to come to the collecting stations at 8 a.m. on August 11 to be “relocated”. From these stations, people in groups of 200 or 300 were transported or driven to the execution place.
Currently, a memorial complex, constructed in 1975 to celebrate the 30th
anniversary of the victory, is located on this spot. The authors of this complex are architects N. Nersesiyats, R. Muradyan, sculptors N. Avedikov, E. Lopko. B. Lopko. Its core is a monumental sculptural group made of grey concrete and having no pedestal, it rises high from the ravine’s low. The compositional center is a figure of a woman, who symbolizes a mother and Motherland, encouraging the Soviet people in their fatal fight against the Nazi.
A viewing platform near the entrance to the memorial offers a view of the whole complex. A staircase from this place leads to a hall of grief decorated with black marble, which houses an exposition revealing atrocities of the Nazi in the occupied city.