Holodomor news round-up – Nov 26, 2010

Here are a few news clips from highlighting Holodomor Awareness Week that ends tomorrow with the Holodomor memorial day:

Documenting a tragedy

The late James E. Mace called Ukraine a “post-genocidal society.” This is a pertinent epithet for “Eastern Ukraine,” or Soviet Ukraine as it existed in 1932-33, which never fully recovered and where present-day residents still have problems coming to terms with the crimes committed in 1932-33 because essentially this heartland of Ukraine was systematically “denationalized” and eradicated by the Soviet regime.


How to honor victims of Holodomor

But was it genocide? Given the blockade of Soviet Ukraine’s borders to prevent aid coming in, or anyone leaving, the significant grain exports that continued despite official knowledge of catastrophic famine conditions, the wholesale confiscation of all foodstuffs from Ukrainian lands, and how the Soviets and their shills orchestrated a campaign of Holodomor-denial for decades, the answer is certainly yes.


Edmontonians commemorate Ukrainian genocide – Holodomor ceremony honours victims of Stalin’s holocaust

“ten years it took me,” referring to the amount of time he spent researching, composing and then advocating to see Bill 37 passed, which proclaims every fourth Saturday in November “Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day.”


Revoke writer’s undeserved Pulitzer

A  number of western journalists reported from Ukraine, the most prominent of whom was Walter Duranty, of The New York Times. He was awarded a Pulitzer prize for his reporting as a foreign correspondent in Moscow. Unfortunately, his reports were full of deception. Duranty denied the famine and praised the Stalinist regime, during one of the most appalling genocides in history.


Candle lit commemorating Holodomor genocide that killed millions

The historical setting of the Holodomor was the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and the creation of the Soviet Union. Functionaries of the victorious Bolshevik side flexed their political muscles by wiping out independent farmers and nationalists …  The region was sealed off by army units, which allowed nobody to flee. Asked in an interview if there still are deniers of the Holodomor, Lysyk said, "Absolutely!". He listed politicians in modern Russia who interpret criticism of the old Soviet Union as criticism of Russia, plus some in Ukraine who want good relations with their powerful neighbour. "This is one of the reasons we, in the diaspora, need to build international pressure so they know they have to do what’s right — they have to follow their hearts and not try to curry favour with another country by altering their history."



M.P. Borys Wrzesnewskyj – Nov 22, 2010


M.P. James Bezan


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One thought on “Holodomor news round-up – Nov 26, 2010

  1. Since my February editorial “Ukraine Expert”, Eh? Marples Owes Ukrainians and Ukrainian Canadians an Apology” in Ukrainian News (re-printed by Kyiv Post), which is available under Periodicals section from: http://serhiykostyuk.com/index.php?i=portfolio) Dr.Marples’ has changed his written style about Ukrainian history.

    However, there is no author’s voice as a historian and a scholar on the Holodomor, one would expect to be in the Kyiv Post’s Opinion Section. There are careless mistakes, and, most importantly, there is no clear understanding that Holodomor was an act of genocide against Ukrainians.

    First of all, a more precise definition of Holodomor is “Killing by Hunger”, based on two Ukrainian words: holod – “hunger, starvation, famine”, and moryty – “to induce suffering, to kill”. “Death by Hunger” (as described by Marples) and “Killing by Hunger” are two different things; and they ultimately lead to different context of Holodomor – either tragedy (Act of God) or genocide (Act of a Man – and even those who describe Holodomor as tragedy, know name of this man – Josef Stalin).

    Second, the Holodomor fully conforms to the definition of the genocide according to the 1948 UN Convention of Genocide. The goal was to destruct the Ukrainian nation. The Communist regime targeted the Ukrainians, in the sense of a civic nation, in Soviet Ukraine, and as an ethnic group in Soviet Russia, especially in the predominantly Ukrainian Kuban region of the Northern Caucasus.

    Article 2 of the 1948 UN Convention says that “…genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a)killing members of the group; (b)causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c)deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its psychical destruction in whole or in part; (c)imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (c)forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”.

    Consequently, even from the selected facts a title is essential: “Documenting a GENOCIDE”. Entitling this piece as “Documenting a Tragedy” is with lines of current Ukraine’s President, its Administration and Government. For example, On Nov. 22, Foreign Minister of Ukraine K.Gryshchenko in his “Address to Ukrainians Abroad on the Occasion of the 77th Holodomor Anniversary” disseminated by the Embassy of Ukraine in Canada did not dare to call Holodomor 1932-33 as an act of Genocide. Minister called it tragedy, like President Yanukovych, of course (who appointed him), like Putin…you name them.

    PM of Canada called it genocide, both in Canada and while in Ukraine, the Parliament of Canada and five legislatures across the country called it genocide, Parliament of Ukraine called it genocide, and 14 countries in the world called it genocide… Often biased towards Ukrainian history Edmonton Journal newspaper on Nov. 21, 2010 published an article titled “Edmontonians Commemorate Ukrainian Genocide”.

    Are those who call the Ukrainian Holodomor 1932-33 as Genocide wrong? Or what you see depend how you look at it?

    Third, quoting Mace in the last paragraph is not seeing the forest for the trees. Here is another quote from the world renowned Holodomor scholar James Mace: “I remain convinced that for Stalin to have complete centralized power in his hands, he found it necessary to physically destroy the second-largest Soviet republic, meaning the annihilation of the Ukrainian peasantry, Ukrainian intelligentsia, Ukrainian language, and history as understood by the people; to do away with Ukraine and things Ukrainian as such. The calculation was very simple, very primitive: no people, therefore, no separate country, and thus no problem. Such a policy is Genocide in the classic sense of the word”.

    Finally, Ukrainians worldwide are commemorating the 77th anniversary…, NOT “78th” as written by Marples in the first sentence.

    Serhiy Kostyuk

    Read more: http://www.kyivpost.com/news/opinion/op_ed/detail/91065/20/page/1/#comment-95580#ixzz16Si5EdT4

    “Ukraine expert”, eh?
    Marples owes Ukrainians and Ukrainian Canadians an apology

    By Serhiy Kostyuk

    At first it was difficult to believe that David Marples, Ph.D., a distinguished professor at the
    University of Alberta could write such a misleading and offensive article (“Hero of Ukraine
    links to Jewish killings”) and the Edmonton Journal would actually print it, as they did on Feb.
    7, the day the people of Ukraine peacefully elected a new President of Ukraine.
    The “scholarly” component of Marples’ article has been very aptly addressed by Stepan
    Bandera’s grandson Stephen, Ukrainian News Editor Marco Levytsky, CIUS Director Dr.
    Zenon Kohut and Lubomyr Markevych. And the distress this has created in our community was
    noted in the Letter to the Editor of The Journal by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Alberta
    Provincial Council, which “is receiving calls from respected individuals in Alberta society who
    are being harassed at work as a result of an inaccurate, inappropriate and sensational headline
    and column.”
    Who is Marples and why he is throwing around comments that nurture Ukrainophobia?
    I’ve up two Jan 28 Voice of America (VoA) reports by André de Nesnera “Tymoshenko
    Faces Yanukovich in Feb. 7 Ukrainian Presidential Runoff ” and “Yanukovich Seen as Front-
    Runner in Ukraine Presidential Election”, both basically the same story under different
    headlines, in which Marples was quoted and referred to as a “Ukraine expert”. Some expert.
    Marples says that Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko “earned a doctorate in
    economics”. Not true. In actual fact, Tymoshenko only defended her Candidate of Economic
    Sciences degree in 1999, and never started working on her doctorate after that. (In Ukraine a
    doctorate takes another 4-6 years of study following a Candidate degree).
    While noting that Yanukovych was convicted of assault and manslaughter (the second not
    true) as a youth, Marples adds that “Tymoshenko also spent time in prison — but for so-called
    ‘white collar’ crimes. So both the presidential candidates of Ukraine have been in jail”. Again
    not true. Yanukovych was convicted twice and served sentences for each of these offenses, but
    Tymoshenko was never convicted of either “white collar” or “street” crimes. She spent six
    weeks in a detention centre, but in March 2001 Pechersk District Court of Kyiv revoked the
    arrest warrant issued by Prosecutor-General’s Office and dismissed the charges against her).
    Marples is also careless with his dates. He says that Yanukovych “was arrested in 1968”.
    Not true. Yanukovych was sentenced a year earlier, on December 15, 1967 (according to
    Article 141, Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR).
    But what lessons do we take from the Marples article that was published in The Edmonton
    First, can you imagine that the Canadian Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for
    Holocaust Studies or someone in a similar position would publish Nazi propaganda? Yet what
    is Marples, who is the Director of the Stasiuk Program for the Study of Contemporary Ukraine
    at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the U of A, doing when he makes the totally
    unsubstantiated claim that “members of the OUN-B spearheaded pogroms in L’viv in the summer of 1941 when about 4,000 Jews were killed”? He is spreading Soviet disinformation.
    Second, historical research on the Ukrainian nationalist movement during the Second
    World War, Stalinism, repressions, Holodomor-Genocide 1932-33, Famine 1946-47, and
    dissident movement in Ukraine should be based on the unclassified archived documents and
    memoirs, which are now available in printed and electronic formats. Researchers should stop
    unquestioningly using material from Soviet sources on the history of the USSR and Ukraine,
    which serves only to spread stereotypes of Ukrainians. They should distinguish between the
    Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the Galicia Division
    (later renamed First Division of the National Army of Ukraine) and the Roland and Nachtigall
    Battalions of the Wehrmacht. The English author Samuel Johnson once said “It is more from
    carelessness about truth than from intentionally lying that there is so much falsehood in the
    Third, Ukrainian Canadians should respect not only others, but also themselves. We should
    defend our human rights and continue to battle discrimination. We should think twice before
    inviting Marples to deliver a lecture, giving him research and travel grants, allowing him to
    manage Ukrainian projects or rewarding him in other ways. It is unfortunate that he was
    awarded the Shevchenko Medal in 1999 by the “Ukrainian Canadian Committee (national)”, as
    he says on his web site. Apparently he’s unaware the title Ukrainian Canadian Committee was
    replaced with Ukrainian Canadian Congress 10 years before his award, back in 1989.
    Finally, Marples should be held responsible for his statements and apologize to Ukrainians
    for the disinformation he is spreading. In 2009 Ignatieff apologized for and condemned
    statements he had posed in the form of a rhetorical exercise in his 1992 book “Blood and
    Belonging”. In 2008 Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall apologized for speaking in an
    exaggerated Ukrainian accent and mocking then-NDP leader Roy Romanow, who went on to
    become premier in the 1991. Similarly Wildrose Alliance chief of staff Stephen Carter
    apologized for poking fun at Premier Ed Stelmach’s Ukrainian accent in 2009.
    Ukrainian Canadians welcomed the belated or quick, but unequivocal apologies from
    Ignatieff, Wall, Carter and others, and considered those matters closed. Does Marples have the
    courage to apologize for a rehash of misinformation?

    Serhiy Kostyuk

    Read more: http://www.kyivpost.com/news/opinion/op_ed/detail/91065/20/page/1/#comment-95580#ixzz16SiHR8Tv

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