Marka Ukrainy Decides to Reconsider the Design of the New Stamp
After Serious Issues are Raised about the Stamp Design
ACTION NEEDED NOW
By E. Morgan Williams, Publisher, firstname.lastname@example.org
www.ArtUkraine.com Information Service (ARTUIS)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 3, 2003
Ukraine. Holodomor. In Memory of Victims of Holodomor 1932-1933. 45 kopiykas
(Click on image to enlarge it)
KYIV, UKRAINE......."Marka Ukrainy," the stamp publishing and
distribution house of the Ukrainian Postal Service, "Ukrposhta," has
decided to reconsider the design of a new postage stamp in honor of
the millions of victims of the 1932-1933 holodomor (to kill by hunger,
or torture with hunger) in Ukraine and other famines after very serious
questions about the photographic image of a starving Russian family
from 1921 featured predominately on the stamp were raised.
According to sources in Kyiv, "Marka Ukrainy," after receiving a flood
of objections to the stamp's design, has decided to postpone further work
on the stamp until the issue of the 1921 Russian photograph can be
properly considered and possible alternative images can be found.
"Marka Ukrainy" had said previously the final design of the stamp had
been approved, the printing plates were ready, no holodomor stamps
had actually been printed, and that the stamps would be printed shortly
and ready for distribution on November 22, 2003.
It is not known for sure at this time if "Marka Ukrainy" will be able to
change the design of the stamp in time to have it issued on Saturday,
November 22, 2003, the official date for the 70th anniversary of the
commemoration in honor of the millions of victims of the genocidal
holodomor of 1932-1933. It is also possible that "Marka Ukrainy"
will, after a review, decide to go ahead and publish the stamp as originally
approved or just abandon the holodomor stamp for now and not issue
one this year.
The issue of the photograph of the Russian family from 1921 was first
raised by the ArtUkraine Information Service (ARTUIS) and
then a large host of organizations and individuals around the world as
information about the very questionable and unacceptable design of
the stamp became known.
Officials of the www.ArtUkraine.com Information Service (ARTUIS)
and a small group of very concerned individuals met with the top
official of Marka Ukrainy, Valentyna Khudoliy, in Kyiv on Tuesday
of this week. Also attending the meeting was Svitlana Bodnar, artistic
editor for the new holodomor stamp. The serious concerns about a
new Ukrainian holodomor stamp featuring the photographic image of
a starving Russian family from 1921 were raised.
The issue of the years of three different famines, 1921-1922, 1932-
1933, and 1946-1947 that were listed in the upper right hand
corner of the design of the stamp that had been made public were
also raised with the feeling that the stamp should only focus on
the major genocidal famine of 1932-1933, one of the great tragedies
of modern history. The issue of the word holodomor being on
the stamp three times which tended to make the stamp design
very busy when it was reduced to the size of a real stamp was
The director of the publishing house, "Stamp of Ukraine," stated
that the final design of the holodomor stamp had been changed
slightly from the version that had been make public. The dates
for the three famines in Ukraine had been removed and the final
stamp only focused on the 1932-1933 holodomor.
Director Khudoliy stated that a requirement for the stamp was that
it contain a photographic image and that stamp company officials had
hired an archive organization in Kyiv to find photographic images for
consideration and stamp officials were told the image they selected
for the stamp was from Ukraine. The final design of the stamp was
shown to the group at the meeting. [the final design of the stamp is
attached to this e-mail in a very enlarged image and in an image
slightly larger than the real stamp.]
The artistic editor, hired by Marka Ukrainy for the stamp, Svitlana
Bodnar, said the stamp design had gone through the normal approval
process and had been unanimously approved by the artistic committee
which included some historians and that no one involved in the approval
process had raised any concerns whatsoever about the image of the
Director Valentyna Khudoliy and artistic editor Svitlana Bodnar
vigorously defended the design of the stamp and the use of the
photographic image of the starving Russian family from 1921. They
said it was too late to change anything, the stamp had been approved
by all those whose approval was needed, with no objections, and they
would proceed with the printing of the stamp as soon as possible.
The group at the meeting stated the final design of the stamp was
totally unacceptable, was a gross insult to the millions of Ukrainians
who died in the 1932-1933 holodomor. The stamp was also a
disgrace to the work of the last 70 years by tens of thousands of
Ukrainians and others to research, document and tell the world about
the genocidal famine in Ukraine. This was a tragedy which had been
imposed on Ukraine by the Soviet government who worked hard for
almost 60 years to tell the world there was no genocidal famine in
Ukraine, one of the major cover-ups in recent history.
Those who attended the meeting with the Marka Ukrainy officials
made it very clear they felt the photographic image on the stamp was a
major historical error and perpetuated the erroronous use of Russian
famine photographic images from 1921-1933 in materials related to
the 1932-1933 holodomor in Ukraine. They said they strongly
support the issuance of a holodomor stamp by Ukraine this year and
encouraged Marka Ukrainy to quickly find an appropriate design for
the stamp and to proceed with the original plans to issue the stamp on
Marka Ukrainy was also encouraged to drop the requirement that
a photographic image had to be used on the stamp as there are very
few documentable photographic images from the 1932-1933 holodomor
in Ukraine as the Soviet government did not allow such photographs
and kept the borders closed to journalists and to international relief
agencies. The group said they felt an image created by an artist that
could be approved would serve the purpose much better and would
allow the new design of the stamp to be finished much faster.
A memo from Dr. Ingert Kuzych, President, Ukrainian Philatelic and
Numismatic Society (UPNS) sent to members was given to Director
Hudoliy. The memo stated:
"Dear UPNS Member or Concerned Citizen,
"I have just been informed of the incredibly inappropriate stamp design
that Marka Ukrainy has proposed to issue in commemoration of the 70th
anniversary of the Great Famine in Ukraine (Holodomor). Although some
may quibble about details of the overall design, the blatant use of a photo
showing a starving Russian family instead of Ukrainian victims cannot be
left unchallenged. Details of the stamp design and verification that the
persons depicted are Russian appear below [in the UKRAINE REPORT
"If such a stamp were to appear it would be an insult to the 7-10 million
Ukrainian victims who were the victims of this Soviet Russian-instigated
"I am sending this letter to all UPNS members with e-mail addresses as well
as to others who I hope will be able to help in a letter-writing campaign to
change the stamp design. Unfortunately the time is short. The anniversary of
the Holodomor is commemorated during the fourth weekend of November
every year. I imagine the stamp would be issued a couple of weeks ahead of
this time. That only leaves about six to seven weeks to cancel the present
design and undertake a stamp change. Please join me in contacting Marka
Ukrainy AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
"Please send copies of this request to anyone you can think of who would be
willing to drop a line to Marka Ukrainy to see that the impending philatelic
travesty does not occur.
"Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Dr. Ingert Kuzych, President
Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society"
The group that met in Kyiv on Tuesday told Marka Ukrainy that as
they know stamps become real documents of history, they are collected
by millions around the world, they end up shown in books, they are made
into posters for schools, etc.
Stamp designs need to be created by top artists, and be historical correct.
The new Ukrainan holodomor stamp is a very important stamp and
especially needs to be world class, and absolutely historically accurate.
As the meeting closed on Tuesday the Marka Ukrainy officials again said
it was too late and the issuance of the stamp would move forward. The
group that met with Marka Ukrainy strongly stated they would continue
their work to convince Marka Ukrainy to change the design of the stamp.
About an hour after the meeting closed the office of www.ArtUkraine.com
ArtUkraine.com (ARTUIS) received a call from the office of Marka Ukrainy
director Valentyna Khudoliy saying a decision had been made to postpone
work on the stamp, to search for another photograph, to work with the
Ukrainian stamp artistic council to see what decision they would make
regarding the future of the holodomor stamp and said it was not clear of
course at this early date if a new stamp could be completed and printed
by November 22, 2003 or if a new holodomor stamp would be printed
now at all.
It has been confirmed by several sources that the above stated process
had been underway at "Marka Ukrainy" since late Tuesday. It is still not
clear at this time if "Marka Ukrainy" will change the stamp and go ahead
and have it printed in time to present it on November 22, or if they will
decide to print the stamp with the design as originally planned or if
they will cancel the stamp and not print one at all, as no final decision
has been made.
You are encouraged to contact "Marka Ukrainy" as soon as possible
suggesting they change the design of the holodomor stamp by removing
the photographic image of the starving Russian family from 1921 and to
move ahead immediately with a new design and to issue a new holodomor
stamp on November 22, 2003.
Valentyna Khudoliy, Director
Publishing House "Marka Ukrainy"
22 Khreschatyk str.
Kyiv, 01001, Ukraine
Tel: 380 44 229 59 30, or 226 34 93
Fax 044 228 26 68
Fax 044 229 21 82
NOTE: Original Stamp Story from Saturday, September 27, 2003
UKRAINE'S POSTAL SERVICE REPORTED READY TO ISSUE NEW
STAMP IN MEMORY OF THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLODOMOR
IN UKRAINE 1932-1933 AND TWO OTHER FAMINES
The Starving Family of Five Shown on the New Ukrainian Stamp are Russian,
not Ukrainian. Image was Taken from a 1921 Russian Photograph
Campaign Started To Change the Design of the New Holodomor Stamp
By E. Morgan Williams, Publisher, email@example.com
www.ArtUkraine.com Information Service (ARTUIS)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, September 28, 2003
KYIV.......The Ukrainian postal service will issue a new stamp in memory
of the victims of the holodomor (to kill by hunger, or torture with hunger)
of 1932-1933 and two other political famines, 1921-1922; 1946-1947,
according to information received by the ArtUkraine Information
Service (ARTUIS) earlier this week in Kyiv. An image of the stamp was
also obtained. ARTUIS has not yet been able to confirm the information
with Ukrposhta, the Ukrainian postal service.
It is expected according to usually reliable sources that the stamp will be
issued in November of 2003. The official day of commemoration of the
holodomor in Ukraine is the fourth Saturday of November each year.
The stamp has on it the image of a starving mother and four children
with the words "Ukraine, In Memory of Victims of Holodomor,
1932-1933." In the upper right hand corner of the stamp are listed
the dates for three famines, 1921-1922, 1932-1933, 1946-1947.
The word holodomor is on the stamp three times.
There is not any text on the stamp to exactly indicate the stamp is in
commemoration this year of the 70th anniversary of the 1932-1933
holodomor though the 1932-1933 holodomor is feathered in a square
with a church bell on it that takes up the right half the stamp. The stamp
will reportedly sell for 45 kopiykas.
To see the image of the new stamp, that according to sources will
be issued year this year, click on:
A RUSSIAN FAMILY, NOT A UKRAINIAN FAMILY
IS SHOWN ON THE NEW UKRAINIAN STAMP
ARTUIS has shown the reported new Ukrainian holodomor stamp image to
several holodomor experts and the experts agree that the starving family
shown on the stamp is taken from a 1921-1922 photograph. The experts
also believe the photograph was taken in Soviet Russia and was not taken
in Soviet Ukraine.
The photograph of the starving family of five is shown in a new huge two
volume book of photographs entitled: "Ukraine: XX Century." The two
volume set, authored by Volodymyr Lytwyn, Valeriy Smoliy and Mykola
Shpakovaty, was published in 2002 in Kyiv that show a very large number
of black and white photographs in chronological order supposedly related
to Ukraine during the XX Century. There are almost 2,000 pages in the
The image of the family on the new stamp is shown in a photograph in
Volume 1 on page 389 with the text, "Starving Family" 1921 year.
ARTUIS has talked to the publisher of the publication, Alternatives, who
stated they could not verify historically that all of the famine related
photographs shown for 1921-1922 and 1932-1933 in the book were
actually taken in Ukraine.
The very young naked girl shown in the photograph and on the new stamp
also is shown in a different photograph on a printed postcard published in
Europe in 1921-1922. The postcard was sold to raise money for the
famine relief program in Soviet Russia.
The postcard is number nine from a set of 10 or so postcards
issued by children's humanitarian organizations in Geneva, Brussels,
Lausanne, and Paris. The photographs on the postcards are thought
by most experts to have been taken in Soviet Russia in 1921-1922.
ARTUIS contacted Dr. Roman Serbyn, a internationally known
Ukrainian/Canadian scholar, who is professor emeritus of history at the
University of Quebec, Montreal, Canada. Dr. Serbyn has researched and
published books and articles about the famines in Ukraine for many years.
About 10 years ago Roman authored a book about the 1921-1923 famine
in Ukraine entitled, "Famine 1921-1923 and the Ukrainian Press in
Roman has verified to ARTUIS that the photograph showing the starving
family of five was not taken in Ukraine but was indeed taken in Russia.
The correspondence to ARTUIS from Professor Serbyn follows:
"Saturday, September 27, 2003
"Glad to have [recently] met you in Kyiv, now our correspondence is
"The two photographs you sent me are from the 1921-23 famine, from a
place called Buzuluk (on the Samara river) in the Orenburg oblast
(RSFSR) and one of the relief centres for the ARA [American Relief
Agency] and Nansen campaigns [an international relief program headed
by the European High Commissioner of Relief F. Nansen of Norway]
in Russia proper.
The little girl is the same in both photographs, and if you look
carefully, you'll see that the two pictures were taken in the same
place, in front of the same doorway.
I have seen both of them, and am sure that I have reproductions of
them at home, but cannot find anything except the little girl in a
small brochure entitled ¨La famine en Russi¨with a preface by Anatole
France. The brochure was published to raise funds for famine relief in
"There are very few authenticated photos of Ukraine in the 1932-33
famine, so it may be necessary to use a picture from the first famine,
but it must be one from Ukraine (and Buzuluk is not in Ukraine). I hope
you can impress this on the people in Ukraine, so as to avoid this
It would be a shame to see another effort to commemorate the
Famine-Genocide undermined by stupidity.
"Please let me know what happens with this project,
"Yours, Roman" [Dr. Roman Serbyn, Montreal, Canada]
Some of the Ukrainians and those with Ukrainian heritage contacted
by ARTUIS about the new stamp have indicated they will immediately
start a major campaign to convince the Ukrainian government to change
the design of the holodomor stamp now showing a starving family from
Russia in 1921.
These three tragic events in Ukraine's history cost the lives of many
million of people, severely and permanently damaged the lives of millions
more, and has severely cost the nation of Ukraine in so many ways ever
since. The genocidal famine of 1932-1933 against Ukraine is one of
the great tragedies of history.
NOTE: If you wish to see any of the images mentioned in the story please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send them to you.