Tag Archives: holodomor

The shameful roots of the Shaw Festival

The Shaw Festival is a major Canadian theatre festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario founded in 1962 as a salute to Irish Playwright George Bernard Shaw.  The Globe and Mail noticed how this year among others the lack of diversity among actors, which mirrored Shaw’s own beliefs:

Shaw was a Stalinist and helped whitewash the Ukrainian Holodomor

From his Wikipedia page:

After visiting the USSR in the 1930s where he met Stalin, Shaw became an ardent supporter of the Stalinist USSR. The preface to his play On the Rocks (1933) is primarily an effort to justify the pogroms conducted by the OGPU. In an open letter to the Manchester Guardian, he dismisses stories of a Soviet famine as slanderous and calls reports of its exploited workers falsehoods.[57] Asked why he did not stay permanently in the Soviet ‘earthly paradise’, Shaw jokingly explained that England was a hell and he was a small devil. He wrote a defense of Stalin’s espousal of Lysenkoism in a letter to Labour Monthly.

You can download the play here, it should be in the public domain in Canada.

Edit:  I found a lot more information online.  Very scary to know we have a festival for a man who believed Auschwitz was caused by overcrowding.

Holodomor Flame arrives in Britain

From the Tameside Advertiser:

TAMESIDE’S Ukrainian community gathered this week to mark one of the darkest hours in its people’s history.

Scores of people with family ties to the former Soviet country filled Ashton’s Ukrainian Club to remember the famine of 1932-3.

Martyn Chymera, of the UK’s Holodomor Commemoration Committee, said: “For a long time the Holodomor was hidden behind the Iron Curtain. But this is a chance to tell the world — it’s such a significant part of history. People should be aware of it as they are aware of other tragedies.”

Ukrainians all over the world want the famine officially recognised as genocide.They say that the United Kingdom and other countries need to accept that Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin deliberately starved millions of Ukrainians in order to suppress dissent across the Soviet Union.

Mr Chymera added: “The British government probably are scared of the Kremlin’s reaction and want to keep good relations with Russia.”

The Ukrainian community in Tameside dates back to about 1946, when Ukrainians started entering the UK after World War Two. Many of them headed for Yorkshire and Lancashire, where they set up communities in mill towns.

Holodomor Flame in South America

This month was a busy one for the International Holodomor Flame as it toured South America. It left Ottawa for one-day visits to Columbia, then Ecuador as well as Peru in its first week. Its second week was spent in Brazil and made several stops. Brazil has the third largest diaspora population, outside the US and Canada.

Next the Flame was in Paraguay for a few days where it received some media attention. Also a very nice amount of attention from the following stop in Argentina, including some videos here, here and here (there’s also a Ukrainian newspaper there in Spanish). The Flame is in Chile for the rest of the week and then it heads for Britain (where it is trying to get recognized as genocide and has been for some time) and a large tour in Europe for the next couple of months.

I apologize for the non-English articles, I hope someone’s Spanish & Portuguese is up to par! Thanks to reader Bogdano for the links.

Is the Vatican the next genocide denier?

Last month President Yushchenko invited Pope Benedict to Ukraine to set up a working group to research and study historical documents in the Vatican Secret Archives related to Ukraine, including the Holodomor.

Unfortunately what they got was Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a Secretary of State who loves the lime light – he appeared on many TV shows and articles denouncing the Da Vinci code and on his first day on the job announced “the Pope’s option in favour of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue is equally unequivocal”.  His attitude towards the Holodomor isn’t any better:

“The Ukrainian people and authorities perceive the tragedy of the Holodomor very painfully primarily because, as we know, the tremendous failure of crops that affected Ukraine in those years provoked the death of seven million people,” Bertone said.

Crop failure, are you serious?  It’s such an outdated defense not even the deniers are using it anymore!  Even the slightest amount of research will draw you the conclusion that the Holodomor was the result of a state-sponsored famine through confiscation (Fact #2), not a natural catastrophe.

The new direction the Vatican is taking is a complete turn around from the days of Pope John Paul II who was a staunch opponent of Communism.  He addressed to Ukraine on the 70th anniversary of the Holodomor:

These are the sentiments that the 70th anniversary of the consequences of the Holodomor tragedy awakens in my heart: millions of people suffered an atrocious death due to the nefarious success of an ideology that caused suffering and bereavement in many parts of the world throughout the 20th century. It is for this reason, Venerable Brothers, that I want to be present in spirit at the celebrations to commemorate the countless victims of the great famine instigated in Ukraine by the Communist regime. It was an inhuman scheme put into effect in cold blood by those in power at the time.

As is proving more and more evident, larger groups of concentrated power aren’t beneficial to the individual no matter what group you belong to.

I’m still looking up how to contact Cardinal Bertone.

Holodomor left off of TDSB’s genocide curriculum

From the Toronto Sun:

Leaders of an “insulted” Ukrainian community last night blasted the Toronto District School Board for approving a genocide class that doesn’t include the 1932-33 Holodomor in its list of three atrocities to be studied in-depth.

The TDSB last night unanimously approved the course design for the Grade 11 genocide class, which will focus mainly on three mass murders — the 1915 Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, and the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

But a board superintendent, Nadine Segal, said other genocides, including the current Darfur crisis as well as the Soviet-engineered Ukrainian Holodomor famine, will be touched upon in a broader, survey context. Students will have the opportunity to choose other genocides for independent study, Segal said.

From the Globe and Mail:

A group of Ukrainian-Canadians sat in the board meeting’s audience in support of an effort to have the Holodomor, the 1932-33 Ukrainian genocide, included as a core case study.

The board passed some minor amendments aimed at bolstering the profile of the Holodomor in the curriculum, including a mandatory statement that crimes against humanity not used as one of the three core case studies were not of lesser importance than those that were, and that other atrocities could be included as case studies.

While most of the media focused on the Armenian-Turkish battle over the course, it was refreshing to see some bring up the issue and keep the topic fresh in the media. The course unfortunately will not be reviewed for another three years.

Meanwhile in 2009 Alberta will start teaching the Holodomor and the internment of Ukrainians during WWI in its schools, the League of Ukrainian Canadians have had their Holodomor education plan posted for quite some time, and there are plenty more resources in the US.