Letter From Americans of Ukrainian Descent
Read by Orest Deychakiwsky, Beltsville, Maryland
Soviet Embassy, Washington,, D.C., October 2, 1983
The Ukrainian Weekly, October 9, 1983, No. 41, Vol. LI
The following letter to the Kremlin from Americans of Ukrainian descent
was read in front of the Soviet Embassy at the demonstration on October
The statement was read by Orest Deychakiwsky, 27, of Beltsville,
Md., a staff member of the Congressional Helsinki Commission.
Famine Button. Washington Rally, October, 1983
(Click on images to enlarge them)
We Ukrainian-Americans are 1 million strong, living in cities and towns
throughout this great land of the United States of America. There are two
additional millions of us living in other countries of the free world. You
have enslaved 50 million of our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and
countless millions more who live in daily terror of your dictatorship.
You hide behind a constitution that promises all freedoms, including
independence for Ukraine, yet in the past 14 years your tanks have rolled
across Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan. You continue to threaten Poland.
One month ago you shot a Korean airliner out of the sky, cutting short 269
Whenever the world questions your actions, your great propaganda machine is
mobilized to twist the truth and to lie. Unfortunately, many people believe
those lies. And among them are innocent children, like Samantha Smith, who
says that she still trusts you.
We don't trust you. We Americans of Ukrainian descent who survived your
1932-33 manufactured famine which destroyed 20 percent of the people of
Ukraine; we Americans of Ukrainian descent whose forebearers immigrated to
these shores, like millions of Americans before them, to enjoy the freedoms
not available elsewhere; and, we Americans of Ukrainian descent who were
born in Rochester, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, New York
and the other great cities and towns of America - we want you to know that
this is just the beginning.
We who have lived in Ukraine or learned about our heritage from our parents
and grandparents, we want you to know that we have come of age in America.
We have come of age as Americans and as communicators. Utilizing all of the
forums available to us in this land of liberty, we are going to tell our
fellow Americans about the real Soviet Union.
Soviet Leaders-L. T. Beria. Lviv, 1940
Postcard from ArtUkraine.com collection
And we are ready to meet head on the propaganda machine that we know you
will launch against us. We know you want to discredit us. But you will not
succeed. For when you shot down the Korean airliner, and lied about it, the
world finally understood what you really are.
We have come here from more than 50 cities, more than 5,000 strong to remind
the world that 50 years ago you murdered 7 million Ukrainians by purposely
starving them to death.
Almost half - 3 million - were little innocent children, many of whom died
alone, without their mothers and fathers, in mass camps. Their bodies have
long since decayed in mass graves in the black earth of Ukraine. You took
the breadbasket of Europe and you laid it to waste. And then you lied about
You refused international aid to the starving masses of Ukraine. You
shot people who tried to find food You erected watchtowers across Ukraine
to better be able to spot people fleeing the villages. You turned them back
We have come here to tell the world that this assault on the Ukrainian
nation - its people, its language, its culture and its religions - continues
today. You liquidated the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church headed
by Metropolitan Vasyl Lypkivsky, and you liquidated the Ukrainian Catholic
Church headed by Patriarch Josyf Slipyj. Many of Ukraine's finest writers,
and the flower of its cultural elite languish in the gulag and psychiatric
prisons in internal exile far from Ukraine.
The Great Breakthrough, 1929
Oleksandr Makarenko, 1988
Poster from ArtUkraine.com collection
The 1932-33 famine in Ukraine was a deliberate act of genocide - the only
man-made famine in the history of the world. Although today your methods are
different, your goal remains the same - you want to destroy the Ukrainian
Your current leadership is aware of the genocidal famine and today's
Russification policies. But they continue to deny them. Your history books
make no mention of them. The Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 has not entered
into Western consciousness as it should have. It became the "forgotten
holocaust." But it is forgotten no longer. In the tragic death of the 269
aboard the Korean airliner, there is a new awareness of what you are.
We, Americans of Ukrainian descent, together with all Americans and people
of the world who respect human life, and value human liberty, will see to it
that those who died in your man-made famine in Ukraine; that those who died
aboard the Korean airliner, that those who continue to suffer under your
dictatorship - we will see to it that they did not die, nor will they
suffer, in vain.
The Ukrainian Weekly, Parsippany, NJ, October 9, 1983
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