The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)

The 1932-33 famine in Ukraine was a deliberate act of genocide

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 2 [1983].

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 innocent lives.


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 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 it.


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 to starve.


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 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 identity.


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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