November 18, 2011
The somber skies and short days of November remind Romans that this is the month to pray for the dead. It seems fitting that this month opened with a presentation of new documents regarding one of the most tragic – and virtually unacknowledged – events of the modern age, the Ukrainian Famine.
“The Holy See and the Holodomor: Documents from the Vatican Secret Archives on the Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Soviet Ukraine” by Father Athanasius McVay and Professor Lubomyr Luciuk was released Oct. 26 with a book launch at the Russian Ecumenical Center in Rome. The book is available in English through Kashtan Press and Abe Books.
The Holodomor (literally “killing by hunger”) took place in 1932-33 in the fertile grain-producing region of Ukrainian USSR. While the exact number of deaths is not known due to lack of precise records, an estimated 2.4 to 7.5 million people died. This man-made famine, intended to starve the Ukrainian nationalists out of existence, has been recognized as a genocide by many nations worldwide.