We must never forget the Ukrainian genocide
BY WALENTYNA KASPRYK, THE PROVINCE
NOVEMBER 27, 2011
Today is Ukrainian Famine and Genocide Memorial Day, as proclaimed by an act of Canada’s Parliament in 2008, which recognized the Holodomor, the forced famine of up to 10 million Ukrainians in 1932-33 by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin as a genocide.
Canada is one of several countries, including the U.S., Argentina, Italy, Austria and Poland, to recognize the famine as genocide. Victims also have been honoured by various international institutions, including the European Parliament and two United Nations groups.
On Friday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper called on all Canadians to honour “the millions of men, women and children who suffered horribly and perished during the Ukrainian famine-genocide.”
“The Ukrainian famine, under the oppressive Soviet communist regime of Josef Stalin, remains one of the most atrocious crimes against humanity ever perpetrated. It also reminds us of the real importance of our country’s commitment to the protection and promotion of freedom, democracy and human rights.”
Ukrainians who resisted collectivization of their farms by the former Soviet regime were starved to death in the country known as the Breadbasket of Europe because of its fertile fields.
The peasant farmers were to Stalin threatening examples of self-reliance and capitalism. The Ukrainians were forced to deliver all of their marketable grain to the state or face arrest and exile to Siberia or other territories.