From the Montreal Gazette:
Dr. Raphael Lemkin’s name and words are better known. He fathered the term “genocide” by combining the root words – geno (Greek for family or race) and – cidium (Latin for killing) then doggedly lobbied the UN’s member states until they adopted a Convention on Genocide in December, 1948, his crowning achievement.
Likewise overlooked were Lemkin’s views on communist crimes against humanity. In a 1953 lecture in New York City, for example, he described the “destruction of the Ukrainian nation” as the “classic example of Soviet genocide,” adding insightfully: “The Ukrainian is not and never has been a Russian. His culture, his temperament, his language, his religion, are all different … to eliminate (Ukrainian) nationalism … the Ukrainian peasantry was sacrificed … a famine was necessary for the Soviet and so they got one to order … if the Soviet program succeeds completely, if the intelligentsia, the priest, and the peasant can be eliminated then Ukraine will be as dead as if every Ukrainian were killed, for it will have lost that part of it which has kept and developed its culture, its beliefs, its common ideas, which have guided it and given it a soul, which, in short, made it a nation … This is not simply a case of mass murder. It is a case of genocide, of the destruction, not of individuals only, but of a culture and a nation.”
Yet Ukraine’s declaration that the Great Famine of 1932-1933 (known as the Holodomor) was genocide has secured very little official recognition from other states, Canada one of those few. Most have succumbed to an ongoing Holodomor-denial campaign orchestrated by the Russian Federation’s barkers who insist famine occurred throughout the U.S.S.R. in the 1930s, did not target Ukrainians and so can’t be called genocide. They ignore key evidence – the fact that all foodstuffs were confiscated from Soviet Ukraine even as its borders were blockaded, preventing relief supplies from getting in, or anyone from getting out. And how the Kremlin’s men denied the existence of catastrophic famine conditions as Ukrainian grain was exported to the West. Millions could have been saved but were instead allowed to starve. Most victims were Ukrainians who perished on Ukrainian lands. There’s no denying that.
Written by Lubomyr Luciuk