Ukrainian World Congress (UWC)
World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organizations
Toronto, Ontario and New York, NY, November 10, 2003
"When I awoke, before the dawn, amid their sleep I heard my sons..weep and
ask for bread." (from Dante's description of Hell, ninth and final circle)
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the forced famine of 1932-33,
engineered by the Soviet regime in which 7-10 million Ukrainians perished.
The sheer numbers alone would qualify this entry as the world's most massive
genocide. We honor the millions of victims of this most heinous mass crime
ever committed by man against man. Historians conclude that no nation lost
more than the Ukrainian during the XX century. Together the famines, purges,
persecutions, wars resulted in over twenty million lives lost.
The quintessence of today's commemoration lies not only in reflection.
Seventy years ago when Ukrainians were being brutally murdered by the
millions, many governments in the world were establishing diplomatic
relations with the Soviet Union. Worse, even the press conspired to
conceal, among them the notorious The New York Times, chief correspondent
In 1983 Time magazine wrote about the victims of the famine of 1932-33:
"Their extermination was a matter of state policy, just as the ovens of
Dachau were a matter of state policy. The Ukrainian kulaks died.for the
convenience of the state, to help with the organization of the new order
of things.they died and yet the grass has grown over the world's memory
of their murder. Why ?."
To date this tragic event lacks due condemnation or recognition as a
genocide by many international institutions and governments. In 1988 the
U.S. Congress Commission on the Ukraine Famine concluded: "The Genocide
Convention defines genocide as one or more specified actions committed with
intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group wholly or
partially as such.One or more of the actions specified in the Genocide
Convention was taken against the Ukrainians in order to destroy a
substantial part of the Ukrainian people.Overwhelming evidence indicates
that Stalin was warned of impending famine in Ukraine and pressed for
measures that could only ensure its occurrence and exacerbate its effects.
Such policies not only came into conflict with his response to food supply
difficulties elsewhere in the preceding year, but some of them were
implemented with greater vigor in ethnically Ukrainian areas than elsewhere
and were utilized in order to eliminate any manifestation of Ukrainian
national self assertion."
In 1989 the Ukrainian World Congress convened a Tribunal of eminent
international jurists to conduct hearings on the 1932-33 Famine. The
Tribunal determined that the Famine was planned by the totalitarian regime
of the USSR, that it targeted the Ukrainian nation and that it claimed at
least 7 million lives.
On December 2, 1998 at the Plenary Meeting of the 53rd session of the
UN General Assembly on agenda item 46(b) "Fiftieth anniversary of the
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide"
Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the UN stated: "Last month Ukraine
commemorated one of the most tragic chapters in its history, the 65th
anniversary of the man-made famine of 1932-33, when the Ukrainian people
became the object of a conscious and deliberate genocide undertaken by the
(Click on image to enlarge it)
On April 14, 2000 at a meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation
concerning Rwanda, Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the UN stated:
"For Ukraine genocide is not just a term. We experienced difficult times in
our own history; this century alone witnessed an unspeakable tragedy, when
more than 7 million people were exterminated within two years by a
well-planned famine. These events took place in a country once called the
breadbasket of Europe."
On September 24, 2003 at the general debate of the 58th session of the
United Nations General Assembly, Ukraine's President urged: "70 years ago
the totalitarian Soviet regime engineered an artificial famine in Ukraine,
which claimed the lives of 7 to 10 million of our compatriots.
Unfortunately, back in 1933 the world did not respond to our tragedy. The
international community believed the cynical propaganda of the Soviet Union,
which was selling bread abroad while in Ukraine the hunger was killing 17
people a-minute. From this podium, I would like to call upon all of you to
pay tribute to the memory of those who perished."
This year the parliament of Ukraine adopted a statement on the 70th
anniversary of the Famine honoring the victims and identifying that heinous
act as genocide. The legislatures of Argentina, Australia, Canada and the
United States passed similar resolutions. Others are pending.
Based on the foregoing, we call upon the governments of the world
community of nations and UN non-governmental organizations to recognize the
1932-33 Famine in Ukraine as genocide against the Ukrainian people and to
remember the 7-10 million innocents who perished.
firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ukrainianworldcongress.org, Askold@rcn.com
Graphics have been added by the www.ArtUkraine.com Information
Service (ARTUIS) from its private collection of historical materials
related to the genocidal famine in Ukraine 1932-1933.