The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)


The Day WEEKLY DIGEST of Ukrainian News in English
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, December 2, 2003

The Holodomor of 1932-1933 was among major topics The Day has been constantly addressing during the last year. We made our contribution in rebuilding the horrible truth about those dreadful years by reaching many hearts: evidence of this was the Candle in the Window action supported by many Ukrainians in response to The Day's call.

The work has not yet been completed. The world has not finally recognized the Holodomor genocide of the Ukrainian people. However, November 22 commemorating Holodomor victims became a step toward realizing ourselves as a nation, a community.

"The memory about the events of the Manmade Famine is a nation building element, stressing fundamental values that unite our society and bind us with our past. Without it, it is impossible to form a single state organism either at present or in the future," head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Cardinal Lubomyr Huzar wrote in his open letter to Ukraine's Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Poster by Olga Kaczmar
(Click on image to enlarge it)

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholics also expressed his confidence that on the day of the seventieth anniversary of the 1932-1933 Famine "everybody should meet [near the Memorial Sign to Holodomor Victims at Mykhailovska Ploshcha -Ed.] even if for a short while, even if only to look at each other and feel that, taken together, we are a great single whole, united by common values of extraordinary character not of this world."

However, not everybody in Ukraine is striving to rally around extraordinary values. We believe it impossible to pass over in silence other quotations, those from an article titled " The Day on 'Genocide' and National Rebirth of the Ukrainian Society" (Komunist [Communist], November 19, 2003).

The article is no eye-opener, since CPU leader Petro Symonenko himself claimed before journalists that there were no famine, calling all talks about it political technology used by those in power. When in the heat of the Tuzla scandal the Crimean Republic CPU Committee organized a pro-Russian rally in Simferopol, The Day wrote that Ukrainian communists have not yet chosen a country, whose interests they wish to defend.

In fact, the courts should analyze the article's author vocabulary, and people whose names are mentioned there have every right to turn to the court with a request to protect their dignity. We have nothing much to add to what have already been said and written by The Day 's journalists on this topic. Our reader, whose letter is published beneath, is right: we are not afraid of being accused of anti-Communism. We are proud of our cooperation with Professor James Mace.

We believe that Communist deputies leaving Verkhovna Rada hall during the parliamentary hearings on the Holodomor was an immoral act and outrageous condemnation of their own people's history. There are, of course, people in Communist party with high moral principles, like, for instance, poet, publicist, head of the Ukrainian Cultural Fund Borys Oliynyk who spoke about Holodomor as early as at the Nineteenth Party Conference in 1989.

Unfortunately, this seems to be quite he exception. However, there are no doubts that Ukraine needs a modern leftist party that professes national ideas, like the Left does in other countries, post-Soviet ones included.