The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)

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"UKRAINE 33"
Poem by Luis Gomez De Aranda, Ambassador of Spain to Ukraine
  

By E. Morgan Williams, Publisher
www.ArtUkraine.com  Information Service (ARTUIS)
Kyiv, Ukraine, March 23, 2004

KYIV - Luis Gomez de Aranda, the Ambassador of Spain to Ukraine since October 2001, has been very interested in the arts and history of the various countries where he has lived during his long career as a diplomat. He furthered his interest in the arts by starting to write poetry ten years ago.

The Spanish Ambassador to Ukraine visited the Ukrainian Genocidal Famine (Holodomor) 1932-1933 70th Anniversary Commemoration Exhibition "To the Dead, and the Living and the Unborn," at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv, Ukraine, November 21-29, 2003. The Exhibition featured almost one-hundred art works related to the murder by starvation of over seven million rural Ukrainians by the Soviets under the direction of J. Stalin.

Luis Gomez De Aranda, Ambassador of Spain to Ukraine
(Click on image to enlarge it)

Ambassador Luis Gomez de Aranda said he was moved by the Holodomor exhibition and the visual depiction of the horrors experienced by the Ukrainian people. He said he decided to send us a poem he had written earlier, before the Exhibition, about the famine terror in Ukraine during 1932-1933. He mentioned it was the first poem he had written about this tragic event.

The following is the English and Spanish text of the poem "UKRAINE 33" [originally written in Spanish] by the Spanish Ambassador to Ukraine, Mr. Luis Gomez de Aranda:

 

UKRAINE 33

Trains and caravans are in the distance,
nearby vision of red soldiers coming.

Neither rye, nor wheat in the house;
wall newspapers and arms, posters lying.

There are engines, trucks, and gun-fires;
neither oat, nor horse at the house.

Only light in the Kremlin, late evening,
maps and pen on the desk at night hours.

In rough trunks all new seeds germinating
seeds of lead, and gray patches all over
on the snow red star is in blossom,
and a cross with arms raised to the nowhere

Flags on walls that are old and all rotten
thousands icons there, and those mud patches
seem like huge spikes, they are like vision
and the wings of glory in futures.

This is bird that is injured, a woman
presses it to her chest very closely.

To her chest, to her soul where trembles
hawthorn branch, still alive though hopeless.

Both good things be memorized in the soul
and the things that were never in blossom.

Those nights were so clear in summer
and the stones were stones, like always,
and great river was solemnly flowing
never changing its course, calm and gorgeous.

And the moon was the moon, as accustomed,
rain in summer, as always, was friendly
giving hope to fields and the homes.

But in winter - it happened abruptly,
there appeared red flags, not the snow.

Sound of church bells was heard in the dawn,
In the afternoon - funeral flow.

Like a piece of old linen in coffer,
that brief instant consecrates forever
it turns out to be mourning shroud.

Powerful sceptre encircled by star pearls,
watches all this nonchalant and quiet
from the height of its distant ice throne;
Women walking around like shadows,
Eyes are searching for something in snow
In the well, in the courtyard, in anything.

Trains and caravans are in the distance,
Nearby vision of red soldiers coming.

Neither rye, nor wheat in the house:
Wall newspapers and arms, posters lying.

Only light in the Kremlin, late evening,
Maps and pen on the desk at night hours........

UCRANIA 1933

Lejos trenes y oscuros furgones,
cerca un sueno de botas pesadas.

No hay centeno, ni trigo en la aldea;
hay pistolas, murales, pancartas.

Hay motores, camiones, fusiles;
no hay caballo, ni avena, ni paja.

Una luz en el Kremlin, ya tarde,
una mesa, una pluma, unos mapas.

En los troncos rugosos germinan
las semillas de plomo y el barro
roja estrella es, florece en la nieve,
y una cruz con los brazos alzados.

En las viejas paredes, banderas,
mil iconos cual soles, y el barro
toma cuerpo en espigas gigantes,
y en futuros de gloria y alados.

Es un pajaro herido y lo lleva
la mujer, junto al pecho, en el brazo.

Junto al alma, y apenas temblando,
una rama de espino.

Un recuerdo de cosas que fueron
y un recuerdo jamas florecido.

Mas la noche fue clara, un verano,
y la piedra fue piedra,
y el gran rio, solemne y tranquilo,
siguio; el curso que nunca dejara.

Y la luna fue luna, cual suele,
y la lluvia en verano, en el campo,
como suele, fue amiga y fue casa.

Mas llegado el invierno,
en bandera devino, y rendida, la nieve.

Se hizo al alba un repique de iglesia
y a la tarde se hizo,
como un funebre canto.

Como el pavo en el arca olvidado,
que un instante muy breve consagra,
para siempre, en reliquia o sudario.

Sumo cetro y perlado de estrellas,
mira absorto y distante, en la altura,
sobre un trono de hielo y callado;
y mas cerca mujeres
con el ojo prendido en la nieve,
en la nada, en el pozo, en el patio.

Lejos trenes y oscuros furgones,
cerca un suen;o de botas pesadas.

No hay centeno, ni trigo en la aldea,
No hay caballo, ni avena, ni paja.

Una luz en el Kremlin, ya tarde;
una mesa, una pluma, unos mapas........


BIOGRAPHY OF THE AMBASSADOR OF SPAIN

Ambassador Luis Gomez de Aranda y Villen was born on May 31, 1946 in the town of Rute, Cordoba. He has a degree in jurisprudence. He started his diplomatic career on December 2, 1974 when he was assigned to be a member of the Preparatory Commission on the question of Spain's presence at the International Tribunal.

In 1975 he served at the Embassy of Spain in the Federal Republic of Germany. Starting in 1979 he worked at the main board of international economic connections and at the main board of external policy for Africa and Continental Asia for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain.

He was then assigned as an Embassy Counselor at the Embassy of Spain in the USSR, where he served from 1982 to 1984. Then later in 1984 he was assigned to the Embassy of Spain in Argentina, where he worked as Minister-Counselor until 1990.

In August of 1990 worked as chief of the informatic section of the General secretarian office of the European Union countries and chief of external policy section for the Middle East at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain.

On April 15, 1992 he was assigned as General Consular of Spain in Munich. In March 1997 he undertook the position of Ambassador of Spain in the United Republic of Tansania, Republic of Ruanda (June,1998) and Republic of Burundi (December, 1998), residing in Dar Es Salaam.

In October 2001 he presented his official Letter accrediting him as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Spain to Ukraine to the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma.


NOTE: The ArtUkraine.com Information Service (ARTUIS) expresses its gratitude to the Spanish Ambassador to Ukraine, Luis Gomez de Aranda, for his interest in Ukraine and the terrible suffering of the Ukrainian people during 1932-1933. We also thank the Ambassador for sending us the poem he wrote, "UKRAINE 33" for publication in the "Genocide" gallery of our website,  www.ArtUkraine.com.

The poem was translated from the original Spanish to English by the ArtUkraine.com Information Service (ARTUIS).

The poem can be republished with proper credits to the author, Ambassador Luis Gomez de Aranda and the publisher, ArtUkraine.com Information Service (ARTUIS).

FOR PERSONAL AND ACADEMIC USE ONLY
 
 

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