The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)


(Extensions of Remarks - November 29, 2001)
[Page: E2169]


Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, sixty-eight years ago a horrific crime was inflicted, killing an estimated 3-5 million people and yet this genocide is seldom heard of. I am referring to the Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine conducted by Stalin's Soviet Union. We should not, we can not allow the elimination of a people go unnoticed or become forgotten. While some events in history are documented and memorialized to ensure that future generations will never have to be victim to them again, we have a duty to learn of and reveal those that have not yet been exposed.

The Ukrainian Government has designated the last Saturday in the month of November as Ukrainian Famine Remembrance Day. Today I join those in mourning and assist their cause in expanding the world's acknowledgment of what had happened.

The 1930's marked a time of ``Collectivization'' for the new Soviet Empire. Any symbolism or feelings of Ukrainian national consciousness or identity was hoped to be erased but to do so required an ethnic cleansing of the most brutal nature. The task took the form of a man-made famine whereas the quota for grain procurement from Ukraine was increased by 44 percent. The extraordinarily high quota resulted in a severe grain shortage, effectively starving the Ukrainian people.

After collection, grain elevators were guarded by military troops and secret police denying access to even those who had harvested the grain in the immediate area. Those hiding grain were killed and an internal passport system was implemented to restrict people from moving to where there was food. The result was a demoralized and depleted Ukrainian ethnic population. Stalin covered up this genocide so effectively that little is known to outsiders even today. Perhaps that will end now.

Today, there is a Ukrainian state, proud but mindful of its past. They will forever suffer the memory of being intentionally starved to death to end their struggle for freedom. Let us, a nation that symbolizes the very definition of freedom, learn of and remember the struggle the Ukrainians endured to obtain it. Mr. Speaker, in the spirit of standing up to all who threaten democracy and freedom, last Saturday, November 24, 2001, was the Ukrainian Famine Remembrance Day.