The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)


The Ukrainian Weekly
Parsippany, New Jersey
November 15, 1998


Published below are the texts of a message from President Bill Clinton and a proclamation signed by New York Gov. George E. Pataki, which were read at the commemoration of the Great Famine held at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.


United States President Bill Clinton:

On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine, I join the Ukrainian people and the entire Ukrainian American community in commemorating this tragic chapter in Ukraine's history.

To survivors and their families, the Famine still evokes strong feelings of grief and anger. We have a solemn obligation to keep alive the memory of the innocent victims who suffered and died because of Stalin's attempt to crush Ukraine. But we also must remember the determination and unyielding faith of Ukrainians who struggled and sacrificed for so long to realize their dream of freedom.

While this anniversary is an occasion for both sorrow and reflection, it also reminds us of Ukraine's steadfast commitment to democracy and to continuing its political, social and economic evolution. Today is a time of extraordinary opportunity for the nations of the world as old barriers fall and a new and truly global community emerges. The people of Ukraine, with their rich heritage and reverence for freedom, have much to offer this global community.

As you mark this solemn milestone, I commend you for working to build a brighter future. Best wishes for a memorable observance.

New York Governor George E. Pataki:

Whereas, the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933 is a truly painful chapter in the history of Ukraine, the magnitude of this tragedy becomes even greater in view of the fact that the Famine was not the result of natural causes, but was induced as a brutal Soviet policy directed against the Ukrainian people; and

Whereas, the poignancy that envelopes this sorrowful episode in Ukrainian history stems from the fact that it was a phenomenon unlike others - an artificial famine that was engineered by the Stalin regime in an attempt to collectivize agriculture and crush the nationally conscious Ukrainian nation; and

Whereas, the Famine was a truly callous act aimed at oppressing the political, cultural and human rights of the Ukrainian people; the immediate result was the death of more than 7 million Ukrainians, including the elimination of Ukraine's intelligentsia and its middle class; since it occurred, the Famine has had a lasting impact and has left a permanent mark upon the Ukrainian people, in addition the policies instituted during the Famine period have impeded Ukraine's economy and political development; and

Whereas, in perpetuating this indescribable crime against humanity, the Soviet government had complete control of the borders and food supplies, deliberately refusing to accept relief efforts; at the same time, the Soviets ignored various appeals from foreign governments and organizations to alleviate the catastrophic conditions resulting from the Famine; and

Whereas, the people of a free and independent Ukraine have established a democratic system of government, instituted a free market economy and enacted policies that ensure full respect for human rights; it is important for New Yorkers, as well as all Americans and people worldwide, to continue providing support and assistance to Ukraine as it proceeds down the path of becoming a strong and self-governed nation:

Now, therefore, I, George E. Pataki, governor of the State of New York, do hereby proclaim November 8-9, 1998, as Ukrainian Famine Days of Remembrance in the Empire State and encourage the world community to recognize that the best safeguard against future atrocities of this nature is to maintain and ensure support for an independent Ukrainian state and all democratic nations.

Given under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State at the Capitol in the City of Albany this 6th day of November in the year 1998.

The Ukrainian Weekly, November 15, 1998, No. 46, Vol. LXVI, Roma Hadzewycz, Editor-in-chief, 2200 Route 10, Parsippany, New Jersey. Published by the Ukrainian National Association.
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