babushkas picking coal from the slag heap of the century- a slag heap is a pile of coal that isn't good enough to be used, poor people would go through looking for pieces they could use. Here the image is of old women going through coal waste looking for fuel, though the writer is talking about history, going through the dross of history looking for something worthwhile
babushkas picking coal from the slag heap of the century- a hobo is a hoemless person, a tramp- the einsatzgruppen were the extermination squads in the Second World War, so the term is being used in this context to link the genocides. 'Hard at it' means they were very busy killing. Old ladies are holdingsmall children to the breasts (withered dugs) as the Rwandan death squads went through the suburbs, now deathburbs of Kigali.
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