Friday, August 3rd, 2012

By Lois Lane

Forty-eight hours ago, something happened in the Ukraine that has, until now, gone unspoken.

The picture is hard to look at, the reality was worse. The camp was silent, almost deathly so; as if all life had fled from the area. Ruined buildings stood in ghostly sentry around a single building in the center of the compound. Off to one side of the camp was a testament to the hundreds of lives lost there. White lye powder made outlines of hands and feet that overlapped macabrely. Near far away, stood hundreds of headstones. Someone had survived the victims there, and buried the dead. The question is not 'who buried them', but rather two separate questions: 'who are the victims' and 'why have their deaths not been reported?'

Survivors of this apparent genocide were located and interviewed by the Daily Planet. None of them wished to be fully identified, for fear of backlash by the Ukrainian government.

"Little food, little rest, too much work. Everyday was work, work, work," said one of the survivors, a young woman, no more than twenty. Her English is broken, as is her voice as she recalls the horrors she lived through. "All day, we dig, big hole. I not know why for until last day."

"We were held at different camps throughout the country. We talked about it, sometimes. My train was full of boys, young men, and we were shipped, like cattle, from where we were to that place. We called it the Death Camp," said one through a translator. "I don't know why, but then I could only thank God that when they started separating us, I wasn't one of the ones they took.

God keep their souls, the rest of them. They were taken to another building...."


"They pushed them in. Even young children. Pushed, pushed. I hear screaming, Hell sound. We made to go inside. And then bodies, my brother, ten years seen. So many bodies. They all dead," stated another survivor, a teenaged girl who informed the Planet she had lost count of how long she had been detained.

The survivors all stated that when they were forced to pull the bodies of friends, neighbors, sisters, and brothers from the slaughter house, they saw the faces twisted in pain, agony, and fear. The victims had been forced to strip, and those that survived them, made carry the bodies of their family and their friends into a mass grave, and to shovel a layer of lyme over them, instead of the dirt of burial.

When asked what saved them, all half dozen survivors that were interviewed stated the same thing: a zhar-ptytsia, the firebird of slavic myth. A zhar-ptytsia and her friends, the survivors all reported with slightly varying descriptions of their recuers, came into the camp, destroyed and detained many of the soldiers that had held them, then ripped open the cells they were being held in to set them free.

Pictures and old news reels from the genocide that ripped through Europe in the 1940s came to mind; from the mass grave, to desolation of the camp, and the hallow, once hopeless gaze of the survivors. Something of the holocaust of that era remains in the Ukraine, and it has once more lashed out at an otherwise innocent section of the population. But which section of the population was victimized?

Aside from being Ukrainian, all of the victims shared one thing in common. All of them were mutants.

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