The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)

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70th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION OF THE UKRAINIAN FAMINE-GENOCIDE 1932-1933
  

Discussion and decisions at the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) Executive Board Meeting on January 25, 2003

 

Editor's Note: There are many people around the world who are interested in knowing about and supporting the events, activities, and commemorations there will be in 2003 regarding the 70th anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933 (HOLODOMOR).

 

Several Ukrainian organizations in the United States, Canada, Ukraine and other countries, including the Ukrainian World Congress, have indicated they will be sponsoring various activities and events during 2003.

 

As part of the work to document the various activities that are planned the following information is presented regarding the outstanding work of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA). Future reports about the activities of other organizations will be prepared and distributed.

 

The following is an edited version, in an outline format, by ArtUkraine.com Information Service, of the portion of UCCA Executive Director Tamara Gallo's recent report that presented the six major famine topics discussed and the decisions that were reached at the January UCCA Executive Board meeting: E. Morgan Williams, www.ArtUkraine.com  Information Service

 

UCCA REPORT:

The first meeting in 2003 of the Executive Board of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) was held on Saturday, January 25, 2003, according to UCCA executive director Tamara Gallo's written report regarding the discussion and decisions taken at the UCCA Executive Board meeting. Michael Sawkiw is the president of UCCA.

Ms. Gallo said the main topic on the agenda was the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide. In Tamara Gallo's report she mentions six major areas that were discussed and decisions made.

(1) ANNUAL COMMEMORATION AT ST. PATRICK'S IN NY--

First Ms. Gallo said that a broad spectrum of ideas was discussed about how to appropriately observe the upcoming anniversary including what has become a tradition, the annual commemoration of the Famine-Genocide at St. Patrick's Cathedral, in New York City, which will be held on Saturday, November 15th, 2003 at 2 p.m.

Proposed keynote speakers recommended by the UCCA Executive Board include UN Secretary General Koffi Annan, Vice President Richard Cheney, and U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. The annual event may be preceded with a march/demonstration through Manhattan streets, as was the organized during the 65th anniversary observance.

(2) EDUCATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE--

Secondly Ms. Gallo said in the meeting report that a critical aspect of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide, no matter which anniversary is observed, is education. In a two-pronged approach to this crucial element, the UCCA Executive Board proposed the following:

    (2-A) To educate Ukrainian children at an early age by devoting one entire history lesson on the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide within our system of Saturday Ukrainian schools.

    To supplement this lesson, a special 'competition' would be held among our schoolchildren that would depict their views of the Famine-Genocide through artistic sketches and paintings. The best works from every school would then be displayed throughout the community in a traveling exhibit portraying the Famine-Genocide through the eyes of our youth.

    (2-B) Secondly, since U.S. educational issues are decided on a local level - either by the state or city administration/school boards, the UCCA will begin examining which high school curriculums instruct their students about the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide. Most states require 10th grade high school students to undergo a week of studies titled "Genocide Around the World," to learn the lessons of human persecutions that transpired throughout the world.

    Previous attempts at teachers' workshops will be explored and its collective information will be used to accentuate the need for further education. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933 is not as widely studied as other genocides/ethnocides, and thus must be brought to the forefront for discussion within high school classrooms.


(3) INFORMATION TO THE GREATER AMERICAN PUBLIC---

A multi-faceted media approach in the United States was examined in the context of informing the greater American public about the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933. In particular, the UCCA Executive Board proposed that the highly acclaimed documentary film, "The Harvest of Despair," be broadcast on American television programs such as the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) or similar public information channels.

Furthermore, the UCCA Executive Board proposed to approach The Trident Group, a group of Ukrainian Americans in southern California who work in the motion-picture industry, to develop a documentary about the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide, complete with witness testimonies.

(4) PROGRAM TO REVOKE DURANTY'S PULITZER PRIZE---

A very chilling reminder of misinformation regarding the true facts of the horrors bestowed upon the Ukrainian nation in 1932-1933 was the dubious reporting of New York Times Moscow correspondent Walter Duranty, who subsequently received a Pulitzer Prize for his articles.

The UCCA Executive Board will begin a campaign to revoke Duranty's Pulitzer Prize for his reporting that denying the existence of a Famine-Genocide in Ukraine. Precedents have been set by other journalists who's Pulitzer Prizes were revoked due to falsification of facts and/or journalistic ethics abuses.

(5) UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTION REGARDING GENOCIDE---

In cooperation with the Ukrainian diplomatic representations, the UCCA Executive Board agreed to approach Ukraine's Permanent Mission to the United Nations and the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) to introduce a resolution acknowledging the famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine as an act of genocide at UN General Assembly.

Additionally, cooperative efforts to jointly sponsor an exhibit in the UN's Visitor's Gallery in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide was discussed.

(6) BUILDING A MONUMENT IN WASHINGTON, D.C.--- Finally, the topic that generated the most discussion was the building of a monument in Washington, D.C. to the victims of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide. Last year's bill (H.R. 5289), introduced by Rep. Levin, was not voted upon by Congress since the Appropriations Committee was overburdened by a busy congressional schedule. As early as the first week of February 2003, Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), co-chair of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, will introduce a new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to put into law the erection of the famine memorial in Washington, D.C.

The UCCA Executive Board mandated that a separate Building Committee, formed from all Ukrainian American organizations, be organized to coordinate all aspects associated with the construction of the Famine memorial.

Additionally, it was agreed that the UCCA Presidium meet with the Ukrainian religious hierarchy in the United States to obtain the support of the Churches for the building of such a monument in Washington, D.C.

 

(There was additional information in the Tamara Gallo report about the UCCA meeting but the information was not related to the Famine. The entire report was published by The Ukrainian Weekly, February 9, 2003, on page 5.)


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