Taras from Ukrainiana has provided an excellent primer on the Holodomor. He also reported from Kyiv Holodomor commemorations.
- Many Canadians attended a ceremony this week marking the 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine, or Holodomor, and Selkirk-Interlake MP James Bezan says it’s about time.
- Three-quarters of a century after the Ukrainian famine, Olga Zazula still gets overwhelmed by intense grief. “All the families were dying of starvation,” said Zazula, 82, the only known Calgary resident to have lived through the Holodomor. Zazula, later sent with her sister to Germany into forced labour, moved to Canada in 1950 and has lived in Calgary since 1953.
- Christian and Muslim leaders jointly conducted a Holodomor service in the St. Sophia Cathedral of Kyiv and prayed but Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich who attended refused, referring to the Shabbat. Israel is still considering Yushchenko’s call to recognize the genocide as such.
- A book entitled ’Great Famine in Ukraine 1932-1933’ has been presented in Kyiv, a joint research of Polish and Ukrainian historians who looked for archive documents of the NKVD and Polish secret services concerning the Great Famine. The chairman of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance Janusz Kurtyka said the search brought to light a full picture of the tragedy. He underlined that the West, and that included Poland at that time, remained silent when confronted with the tragic facts reported.
- Slavka Shulakewych in Edmonton stifles tears as she recalls her father’s secret tale of torment, he was a survivor of Holodomor. “It was a dark secret,” Shulakewych said, choked with emotion. “He wouldn’t talk about it. It was something people so horrendously lived through and (they) had to do horrendous things.
- The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has called the Holodomor a genocide, “It became a weapon of diabolic revenge due to the inability to eradicate from the consciousness of our wise people endowed with great virtues its filial memory of God, the love of God, the loyalty to and faith in God“. A week later an unnamed member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Synod Metropolitan Onufry of Chernovtsy and Bukovina said “Holodomor was a correction from God, suppression of our pride that rebelled against ourselves, against human existence”. “There are certain forces that use holodomor to divide Russia and Ukraine saying that Russians oppressed Ukrainians.” “While I believe that holodomor killed more people in Russia than in Ukraine,” the Metropolitan said. And then of course he urged believers not to make a political action of commemorating holodomor victims, but rather to pay attention to its spiritual causes (we’ve heard this hypocrosy before).
- Media coverage by the mainstream media was poor. No coverage in Toronto, New American notes the void from the New York Times (are we really surprised?). Nash Holos points out the struggle of creating awareness.
- Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus while visiting Kyiv: The Nazi and Soviet-committed crimes against humanity will be equally condemned and their victims commemorated.
- Ukrainian community in Yonkers came together to commemorate the Holodomor by taking part in a solemn procession.
- Ukraine is having a hard time getting the Holodomor of 1932-33 to be recognized on the international level. What with the Kremlin’s frenzied resistance, Ukraine has to struggle even for its right to submit pertinent resolutions for consideration by international organizations and look for additional arguments to prove its rightness and explain its stand, although it is self-evident.
- “I remember when I was eight years old and there was nothing to eat,” said Anna Shewel, 83. She was living with her family in Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 and is one of the survivors of the Holodomor. Josef Stalin’s communists cut off food and starved millions in an attempt to destroy the country’s drive towards independence.
- When Soviet authorities and many western journalists denied the Holodomor, Gareth Jones announced that millions were starving in Ukraine as a result of Stalin’s policies at a press conference in Berlin on 29 March, 1933. Several foreign correspondents rushed to rubbish the story with 1932 Pulitzer Prize winner Walter Duranty of the New York Times dismissing his eye-witness account as “a big scare story”. Jones was given Ukraine’s Order of Merit at Westminster in London.
- In 1932, when Anna Kaczanowicz was 12 years old, she noticed that her meals were getting smaller and smaller. “My parents tried desperately to grow food, but no matter what they planted, within a few days, everything would be gone — dug up during the middle of the night.” But Kaczanowicz, 88, who lives now in Webster, survived the Holodomor.
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