Its title is taken from Baby Yar
, a ravine in Kiev where the Nazis killed and buried the bodies of more than 100,000 local inhabitants.
The White Hotel concerns Lisa Erdman, an early patient of Sigmund Freud; it explores her sexual hysteria and her premonitions of the 1941 Baby Yar
massacre in which she eventually dies.
His poem Baby Yar
(1961), mourning the Nazi massacre of an estimated 34,000 Ukrainian Jews, was an attack on lingering Soviet anti-Semitism.