This year marks the 65th anniversary of one of the world's worst
genocides: the Great Famine of 1932-1933 that ravaged
The Ukrainian Weekly
Ukrainian National Association
Parsippany, New Jersey
July 7, 1998
This year marks the 65th anniversary of one of the world's worst genocides:
the Great Famine of 1932-1933 that ravaged Soviet-occupied Ukraine.
The famine was not a natural disaster, but a man-made atrocity that killed 7
million men, women and children. It was a heinous use of food as a weapon -
in this case used by Stalin and his henchmen to destroy a nation.
The regime ordered the expropriation of foodstuffs in the possession of
the rural population to destroy the nationally conscious segments of
Ukrainian society, secure collectivization and support industrialization. It
was, as the dissident samvydav of the 1970s put it, "a political famine,"
"planned at the top by the Kremlin."
Sixty-five years after the Great Famine, there are many who do not know
about this tragic episode, which is analogous in Ukrainian history to the
Holocaust in Jewish history and was, in fact, a precursor to other
Our communities around the globe solemnly marked the 50th anniversary of
this national tragedy in 1983 with diverse events and publications. All were
attempts not only to remember, but to tell others about this unimaginable
horror wrought by Stalin and, indeed, the Soviet system. This year, some of
our communities are taking advantage of another anniversary to increase
public awareness about the famine and its ramifications.
Montreal led the way with a series of commemorative events in the spring: a
memorial march, an exhibit of photographs and books about the famine, a
series of lectures and segments about the famine broadcast on the local
Ukrainian radio program.
In the Canadian capital the Ukrainian community held a memorial
manifestation, plus a memorial service. The Ottawa community also took a
pragmatic approach to the solemnities. A scholarship fund was launched to
support research into the politics of famine and a "soup kitchen" fund was
established to feed the hungry in Ukraine today. As well, community members
are pushing for a section on the Great Famine in Ukraine to be included in
federal government's plans for a Holocaust or genocide museum in the
Their efforts are commendable and should be emulated by others during this
65th anniversary year of the Great Famine. This is yet another opportunity
to ensure that this genocide is not forgotten and that its lessons are
understood by new generations with the hope that they will never allow such
history to be repeated.
(P.S.: For our part, as a public service on the occasion of the anniversary,
we at The Weekly are currently working to update our archives site on the
Internet to include special sections on the famine that were published
throughout the 50th anniversary year on the pages of this newspaper. These
sections are being posted in addition to the special issue published on
March 20, 1983, that already is available on the archives site located at
The Ukrainian Weekly, July 26, 1998, No. 30, Vol. LXVI, Roma
Hadzewycz, Editor-in-chief, 2200 Route 10, P.O. Box 280, Parsippany,
New Jersey, 07054. Published by the Ukrainian National Association.
An extensive collection of famine related materials can be found on
The Ukrainian Weekly website: http://www.ukrweekly.com
For personal and academic use only