This week, Ukrainians worldwide are commemorating the 78th anniversary of the Great Famine of 1932-33, known as the Holodomor (Death by Hunger).
In the period 2005-2009, when Viktor Yushchenko was president of Ukraine, several archival collections on the Famine-Holodomor of 1932-33 were made available to researchers, which supplemented earlier information gathered mainly from eyewitness reports. Perhaps the most important of these were reports from the Soviet secret police files (then called the OGPU, from 1934, the NKVD).
Ukrainian genocide to be marked by local community
by Daniel Nolan -Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton’s Ukrainian community will mark the 1930s genocide in that nation with a special service Sunday on the steps of City Hall.
Between 50 and 100 people are expected for the 3:30 p.m. vigil to recognize what is known as the Holodomor (which roughly translates as Death by Hunger).
The ceremony comes at a time as the new president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, gives conflicting stands on the 1932-33 famine which is attributed to action by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin to crush Ukrainian nationalism and resistance by farmers to forced collectivism. It is said anywhere from three to 10 million people died.
Yanukovych, who became president in 2010, is from a pro-Russian party and called labelling the famine a genocide “incorrect and unfair” in an April speech because it also impacted Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Yet, in September the president replaced on his website a historical statement on the Holodomor. Members of the International Ukrainian Federation have met with the president and expressed dismay at his comments.
Luba Petpetlura, secretary of Ukrainian Canadian Congress (Hamilton branch), said it is important to mark the Holodomor because of threats by such people as Yanukovych to dismiss it.
“It’s one genocide that is virtually unknown in the world,” she said Wednesday. “It’s one of the biggest genocides in the 20th century that happened and it’s been covered up, suppressed and denied. I think humanity owes it to history and future generations to learn about this atrocity so history doesn’t repeat itself again.”