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Twenty-five years ago 18,000 Ukrainians came to remember/protest
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By Caryle Murphy, Washington Post Staff Writer, The Washington Post, Wash, D.C., Sat, Oct 1, 1983
Ukrainian-Americans demonstrate against the Soviet Union
By Edmond Jacoby, Washington Times Staff, Washington Times, Wash, D.C., Oct 3, 1983
The 1932-33 famine in Ukraine was a deliberate act of genocide
Letter From Americans of Ukrainian Descent, read by Orest Deychakiwsky, Beltsville, Maryland
Soviet Embassy, Washington,, D.C., Oct 2, 1983, The Ukrainian Weekly, Oct 9, 1983, No. 41, Vol. LI
Huge crowd rallies at Washington Monument
Roma Hadzewycz, The Ukrainian Weekly, Parsippany, NJ, Oct 9, 1983, No. 41, Vol. LI 
To make others aware of the Soviets' horrible crime against humanity
By Marta Kolomayets, The Ukrainian Weekly, Parsippany, New Jersey, Sun, Oct 9, 1993. 

By George B. Zarycky, The Ukrainian Weekly, Parsippinany, New Jersey, Sun, Oct 9, 1983

By Caryle Murphy, Washington Post Staff Writer, The Washington Post, Wash, D.C., Sat, Oct 1, 1983

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Hundreds of Ukrainian Americans are in Washington this week to commemorate a famine in their homeland 50 years ago in which millions died and to protest what they say is the Soviet Union's continued refusal to acknowledge the breadth of the famine on the part of Soviet policies played in causing it.

The gathering will be the first national commemoration of the so-called "Great Famine" of 50 years ago, a crisis that is now a rallying point for anti-Soviet Ukrainians.

"We believe it was a genocide," said Andrij Bilyk, one of the spokesman for the National Committee to Commemorate Genocide Victims in Ukraine 1932-33, a coalition of about 70 Ukrainian organizations that organized this week's events.

"It's a very important moment in Ukrainian history--an important as the Holocaust is in the history of the Jews," said Omeljan Pritsak, director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University, the largest center for Ukrainian studies in the United States.

Last Sunday [September 25, 1983], Ukrainian churches across the country held services inaugurating the commemoration, which also has included nightly candlelight vigils outside the Soviet Embassy and a panel discussion of the famine at the American Enterprise Institute. Organizers say they expect up to 5,000 people Sunday for the final event--a march from the Washington Monument to the Soviet Embassy.

In literature, Ukrainians have called their fertile homeland, now one of the 15 republics in the Soviet Union, "the second-largest European country." There are hundreds of Ukrainian organizations among the estimated 1 million Ukrainian Americans and many of the younger ones still speak the language of their parents and grandparents.

Pritsak said that demographic studies have shown that between 5 and 6 million Ukrainians died in the famine that resulted from Stalin's drive to collectivize agriculture. In his determination to crush Ukrainian peasant resistance to the collectivization and to break their anti-Russian nationalistic spirit, he ordered harsh measures by government troops against farmers.

Despite a drop in food production, harvests continued to be exported, food was confiscated from granaries and homes, there was a physical "blockade" on food imports to the Ukraine and the death penalty for "hoarding" food, according to academicians taking part in this week's panel at the American Enterprise Institute. New internal controls on travel kept peasants from going to cities to search for food or from leaving the Ukraine. Resisting peasants were deported to Siberia. The result was widespread death by starvation.

Although Stalin's policies affected all regions and were anti-peasant, not specifically anti-Ukrainian, they caused the most suffering in the Ukraine and were seen by its inhabitants as a policy of genocide to subjugate the Ukraine to communist rule. "There is no debate that this famine was manmade and encouraged by the authorities," said Vojtech Mastny, a specialist in Soviet and East European affairs at Boston University.

"It was a major outrage and a major tragedy." Soviet historical literature on the Ukrainian famine is almost nonexistent and there is nothing that approximates admission of government errors during that period according to James E. Mace and Robert Conquest, two experts on the famine who took part in the AEI panel.

The only admission they have found in any Soviet publication was in 1975 when V. I. Kozlov, writing on mortality rates in various parts of the Soviet Union in a book titled "Nationalities of the U.S.S.R.," noted that " a crop failure in 1932 in the Ukraine probably even led to a temporary increase in mortality."
It is this failure to speak about the famine that angers many Ukrainians and has brought many of them to this week's commemoration.

"It's completely hushed up, it's as if nothing happened." said Jaroslawa Francozenko of Rockville, a Kiev-born woman who was at the candlelight vigil outside the embassy Wednesday night. She said she wants the Soviets "just to make a mention of it."

Others, like Bilijk, however, demand more. Asked what he wants from the Soviets, Biljyk answered with one word: "Independence."
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Ukrainian-Americans demonstrate against the Soviet Union

By Edmond Jacoby, Washington Times Staff, Washington Times, Wash, D.C., Oct 3, 1983

Thousands of Ukrainian-Americans from more than 50 American cities trekked to within a few hundred feet of the Soviet Embassy yesterday afternoon to read a "Letter to the Kremlin" accusing the Soviet Union of murdering 7 million of their fellow Ukrainians 50 years ago.

The demonstration timed to coincide with a similar march on the Soviet Embassy in Paris, was the culmination of a nine-month organizational effort by the National Committee to Commemorate Genocide in Ukraine.

Although yesterday's march was without incident and no effort was made by marchers to breach police lines around the embassy, some of the demonstrators were openly angered at being prohibited from carrying their letter to the embassy itself. Instead, the statement was read through a bullhorn at 16th and K street NW by Orest Deychakiwsky of Beltsville.

More than 1,000 of the protesters were teens enrolled in one of three organizations that fielded uniformed marching units, the Ukrainian Scouts (boys and girls) and the Ukrainian Democratic Youth. They were kept on the periphery of the crowd during the confrontation at the barricades, one organizer said, "because there are some hotheads there."

Most of the crowd was unable to hear Deychakiwsky read the letter over the public-address system set up for the purpose, and began chanting, "Svoboda Ukraini! Svoboda Ukraini!---Freedom for Ukraine!"

Metropolitan Police Capt. Louis Widawski said the official estimate of the crowd at the embassy was 8,000. March organizers claimed 15,000 to 20,000 at the Sylvan Theater on the grounds of the Washington Monument earlier in the day. They said they thought as many as 12,000 were at the embassy.

The march, and a concert at the Kennedy Center afterward, marked the end of a week of events in Washington commemorating the 50th anniversary of a devastating famine that Ukrainians have called "the forgotten holocaust."

That famine was brought about largely by policies of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin--policies that led to collection of virtually the entire farm output of food and seed grain in the Ukraine, leaving the farmers who opposed communist collectivization of their farms, to starve.

Oscar Kain, chairman of the book of Monarch Mirror Door Co. of Chatsworth, Calif., a guest at the Capital Hilton were many of the marchers massed, said he was impressed with the turnout.

'I've got two Russians who work for me." Kain said. "They told me what happened to them when they tried to leave the Soviet Union. It makes me believe every word the Ukrainians say, America needs to remember this.
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The 1932-33 famine in Ukraine was a deliberate act of genocide

Letter From Americans of Ukrainian Descent, Read by Orest Deychakiwsky, Beltsville, Maryland
Soviet Embassy, Washington,, D.C., October 2, 1983, The Ukrainian Weekly, October 9, 1983, No. 41, Vol. LI

The following letter to the Kremlin from Americans of Ukrainian descent was read in front of the Soviet Embassy at the demonstration on October 2 [1983].
The statement was read by Orest Deychakiwsky, 27, of Beltsville, Md., a staff member of the Congressional Helsinki Commission.

We Ukrainian-Americans are 1 million strong, living in cities and towns throughout this great land of the United States of America. There are two additional millions of us living in other countries of the free world. You have enslaved 50 million of our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and countless millions more who live in daily terror of your dictatorship.

You hide behind a constitution that promises all freedoms, including independence for Ukraine, yet in the past 14 years your tanks have rolled across Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan. You continue to threaten Poland. One month ago you shot a Korean airliner out of the sky, cutting short 269 innocent lives.

Whenever the world questions your actions, your great propaganda machine is mobilized to twist the truth and to lie. Unfortunately, many people believe those lies. And among them are innocent children, like Samantha Smith, who says that she still trusts you.

We don't trust you. We Americans of Ukrainian descent who survived your 1932-33 manufactured famine which destroyed 20 percent of the people of Ukraine; we Americans of Ukrainian descent whose forebearers immigrated to these shores, like millions of Americans before them, to enjoy the freedoms not available elsewhere; and, we Americans of Ukrainian descent who were born in Rochester, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, New York and the other great cities and towns of America - we want you to know that this is just the beginning.

We who have lived in Ukraine or learned about our heritage from our parents and grandparents, we want you to know that we have come of age in America. We have come of age as Americans and as communicators. Utilizing all of the forums available to us in this land of liberty, we are going to tell our fellow Americans about the real Soviet Union.

And we are ready to meet head on the propaganda machine that we know you will launch against us. We know you want to discredit us. But you will not succeed. For when you shot down the Korean airliner, and lied about it, the world finally understood what you really are.

We have come here from more than 50 cities, more than 5,000 strong to remind the world that 50 years ago you murdered 7 million Ukrainians by purposely starving them to death.

Almost half - 3 million - were little innocent children, many of whom died alone, without their mothers and fathers, in mass camps. Their bodies have long since decayed in mass graves in the black earth of Ukraine. You took the breadbasket of Europe and you laid it to waste. And then you lied about it.

You refused international aid to the starving masses of Ukraine. You shot people who tried to find food You erected watchtowers across Ukraine to better be able to spot people fleeing the villages. You turned them back to starve.

We have come here to tell the world that this assault on the Ukrainian nation - its people, its language, its culture and its religions - continues today. You liquidated the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church headed by Metropolitan Vasyl Lypkivsky, and you liquidated the Ukrainian Catholic Church headed by Patriarch Josyf Slipyj. Many of Ukraine's finest writers, and the flower of its cultural elite languish in the gulag and psychiatric prisons in internal exile far from Ukraine.

The 1932-33 famine in Ukraine was a deliberate act of genocide - the only man-made famine in the history of the world. Although today your methods are different, your goal remains the same - you want to destroy the Ukrainian identity.

Your current leadership is aware of the genocidal famine and today's Russification policies. But they continue to deny them. Your history books make no mention of them. The Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 has not entered into Western consciousness as it should have. It became the "forgotten holocaust." But it is forgotten no longer. In the tragic death of the 269 aboard the Korean airliner, there is a new awareness of what you are.

We, Americans of Ukrainian descent, together with all Americans and people of the world who respect human life, and value human liberty, will see to it that those who died in your man-made famine in Ukraine; that those who died aboard the Korean airliner, that those who continue to suffer under your dictatorship - we will see to it that they did not die, nor will they suffer, in vain.

LINK: The Ukrainian Weekly, Parsippany, NJ, October 9, 1983,
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Huge crowd rallies at Washington Monument

By Roma Hadzewycz, The Ukrainian Weekly, Ukrainian National Association, Parsippany, NJ, Oct 9, 1983, No. 41, Vol. LI 

WASHINGTON - Thousands of Ukrainians gathered in the shadow of the Washington Monument on Sunday morning, October 2, to mourn those of their kinsmen who had perished in the Great Famine of 1932-33 and to renew their pledge to always remember and to never allow the world to forget the holocaust inflicted upon the Ukrainian nation by the Soviet regime.

They began arriving shortly after 9 a.m. in preparation for the 10 a.m. rally. By the time the program began, the grounds near the Sylvan Theater were filled with a sea of placards and banners, some identifying the hometowns of the groups in attendance or the organizations present, others scoring the USSR for crimes against humanity such as the artificially created famine, and still others warning the free world to beware of the ever-present Soviet threat.

During the two-and-a-half-hour rally, the participants heard speakers - including a representative of President Ronald Reagan and Rep. Don Ritter of Pennsylvania - expressing sympathy for the loss of 7 million lives and lauding the Ukrainian nation's courage and continued resistance to Soviet Communist subjugation.

As the rally progressed and buses carrying Ukrainians from throughout the United States continued to arrive, the crowd of 6,000 tripled in size to an estimated 18,000, according to Washington police.

The rally and the subsequent march, demonstration and memorial concert at the Kennedy Center, were the culmination of a series of events held during the Great Famine Memorial Week in the nation's capital.

The rally got under way with the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Jarema Cisaruk, a member of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus of Detroit, and brief welcoming remarks by Dr. Peter G. Stercho, chairman of the National Committee to Commemorate Genocide Victims in Ukraine, a community organization that sponsored the week's events.

Invocations were then delivered in Ukrainian by Metropolitan Mstyslav of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and in English by Pastor Wladimir Borowsky of the Ukrainian Evangelical Alliance of North America.

Metropolitan Mstyslav was accompanied that day by three other Ukrainian Orthodox hierarchs: Archbishop Mark of New York, Archbishop Constantine of Chicago and Bishop Wolodymyr Didowycz of Germany.

Metropolitan Mstyslav noted in his prayer that the purpose of the rally was "to bow our heads before the known and unknown graves of the millions of Ukrainian martyrs who died 50 years ago in the agony of death by starvation."

Three symbolic black coffins, each marked "7,000,000 Ukrainians murdered," were carried onto the stage, as members of the Plast and ODUM Ukrainian youth organizations formed an honor guard. Pastor Borowsky then delivered the English-language invocation, stating: "we are here to redeem from oblivion" the 7 million who died in the Great Famine.

Conduct of the rally program was then assumed by Dr. Myron B. Kuropas, former special assistant for ethnic affairs to President Gerald R. Ford.
Dr. Kuropas welcomed the representative of President Reagan, Morton Blackwell, special assistant for public liaison.
Mr. Blackwell proceeded to read a message from the president, the full text of which follows.

"I am pleased to join those gathered for this ceremony honoring the memory of the millions who died in the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33.

"This event provides an opportunity to remember those who suffered and died during the farm collectivization and subsequent forced famine and period of severe repression. That attempt to crush the life, will and spirit of a people by a totalitarian government holds important meaning for us today.

"In a time when the entire world is outraged by the senseless murder of 269 passengers on Korean Airlines Flight 007, we must not forget that this kind of action is not new to the Soviet Union.

"That the dream of freedom lives on in the hearts of Ukrainians everywhere is an inspiration to each of us.

"I commend your participation in this special observance and the moral vision it represents. May it be a reminder to all of us of how fortunate we are to live in a land of freedom."

Next to address the rally was Rep. Ritter, who is chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Baltic States and Ukraine and a member of the Congressional Helsinki Commission.

Rep. Ritter began his remarks in Ukrainian, saying: "Today, my dear friends, I honor the 7 million who died in the famine/holocaust and the millions who lived through those terrible years. But that is not enough. Today, I devote myself with all my heart and soul to the cause of freedom for our oppressed brothers and sisters living in Ukraine."

"We are here to tell the story to the world of the people who suffered, the victims, the survivors," he said. "Yes, we want the world to know about this crime against humanity, not that they may feel sympathy towards the victims. That is given. But, even more important is that the world better understand that the disease of totalitarian control over people longing to be free is what creates holocausts."

He concluded his speech, too, in Ukrainian. "May the memory of those who died live on in our hearts and in the hearts of all Americans so that the flame of freedom for Ukraine will never die. Long live the flame of freedom. Glory to Ukraine," he said. (The full text of Rep. Ritter's address appears on page 6.,

A message of sympathy was delivered by Rabbi Andrew Baker, Mid-Atlantic regional chairman of the American Jewish Committee. "We share memories of suffering in the Soviet Union. We also share the hope that our brethren, locked behind an iron curtain, will one day be free," he said.

He continued: "We are, of course, gathered here to recall a very specific event of unspeakable horror - the enforced famine and the intentional death of millions of Ukrainians. As one reads the first-person historical accounts, as one examines the photographic evidence, the shock and revulsion are nearly overwhelming. But it is not only the monstrous crime at which one recoils. It is the willingness of so many to look the other way, of governments to carry on with 'business as usual,' and of people quick to relegate such events to the dusty corners of distant history.

"We Jews share with you the experience of such horrors in our own recent history and the experience of a world quick to close its eyes, quick to forget what had taken place. We join with you in the firm belief that only through remembering can we hope to ensure that such evil deeds will not recur."
Rabbi Baker then noted: "We share in your memories on this day and in your hopes that we all may learn from them. For our sake and the sake of our children we can do nothing less."

The keynote Ukrainian-language speaker was John O. Flis, newly re-elected chairman of the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council and supreme president of the Ukrainian National Association.

"When they were dying - the bells did not toll. And no one wept over them ... And there were millions of them. At least 7 million, but there may have been 10 million or more. Millions of children, women and men, our sisters and brothers by blood - Ukrainians.

That is why, he said, "it is our sacred duty to ourselves remember and to make others aware of history's greatest crime, its perpetrators and its victims."
He then went on to point out that Ukrainians should recall "this dark night" of Ukrainian history with the hope that "a new morn" will bring with it a better fate for the Ukrainian nation.

In the memory of those millions of Ukrainian martyrs of the Great Famine, Mr. Flis urged, "let us pledge that we will do all that is possible to see to it that Ukraine does indeed get its own Washington with his righteous law."

Former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky and Marek Czyselczyk, a representative of the Solidarity trade union, also spoke at the rally.

The KAL incident represents "just a drop of blood into the ocean of misery caused by the Soviets," said Mr. Bukovsky, referring to the recent downing of a Korean passenger jet. Millions of others died in the collectivization campaign during the famine, the purges, the show trials, he noted, adding to this list of Soviet horrors the tragedies of the Baltic States, Ukraine, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan and Nicaragua.

The Solidarity representative expressed his sympathy for the famine victims, and, speaking as a Pole, noted that it is his sincere hope that both the Ukrainian and Polish nations will one day live in democracy.

"May the free flag of Poland fly over Warsaw, and may the free flag of Ukraine fly over Kiev," he said. "Long live free Poland, long live free Ukraine."

Other speakers who addressed the rally participants were: Chris Gersten, chairman of the Freedom Federation, a coalition of 19 ethnic organizations; Dr. Mario Lopez Escobar, Paraguayan ambassador to the United States and chairman of the Organization of American States; Maj. Gen. (ret.) George Keegan, former chief of intelligence of the U.S. Air Force and current chairman of the Congressional Advisory Board; Mykola Plawiuk of the World Congress of Free Ukrainians; Ulana Mazurkevich of the Ukrainian Human Rights Committee of Philadelphia; and Stephen Procyk, executive member of the National Committee to Commemorate Genocide Victims in Ukraine and chairman of its Washington branch.

Messages were received from many members of Congress, among them the following senators: Rudy Boschwitz (R-Minn.), Dave Durenberger (R-Minn.), John Glenn (D-Ohio), Mark O. Hatfield (R-Ore.), John Heinz (R-Pa.), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Charles McC. Mathias Jr. (R-Md.), Daniel P. Moynihan (D-N.Y.), Charles H. Percy (R-Ill.), Donald W. Riegle Jr. (D-Mich.), Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Edward Zorinsky (D-Neb.).
The following representatives also sent messages: Glenn M. Anderson (D-Calif.), Frank Annunzio (D-Ill.), Sherwood L. Boehlert (R-N.Y.), Philip M. Crane (R-Ill.), Brian J. Donnelly (D-Mass.), Hamilton Fish Jr. (R-N.Y.), Bill McCollum (R-Fla.), Henry J. Nowak (D-N.Y.), Mary Rose Oakar (D-Ohio), Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) and Gus Yatron (D-Pa.).

Messages were later received from Reps. Joseph P. Addabbo (D-N.Y.), Mario Biaggi (D-N.Y.), Edward F. Feighan (D-Ohio) and Samuel S. Stratton (D-N.Y.).

In addition, Gov. Dick Thornburgh of Pennsylvania, and Canadian Member of Parliament Jesse P. Flis sent greetings to the rally participants.

At the conclusion of the rally Dr. Stercho once again took the podium, this time to thank all the participants. Msgr. Walter Paska, who appeared at the rally in the name of Archbishop-Metropolitan Stephen Sulyk who is in Rome at the World Bishops Synod, offered the benediction.

The program concluded with a performance by the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus directed by Hryhory Kytasty, which presented two selections, a Ukrainian patriotic song and "God Bless America." The rally was formally closed with the singing by all present of the Ukrainian national anthem.

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To make others aware of the Soviets' horrible crime against humanity

By Marta Kolomayets, The Ukrainian Weekly, Parsippany, New Jersey, Sunday, October 9, 1993. 

WASHINGTON - They came from all over the United States; they came by bus, by car, by train and by plane. They all converged upon the nation's capital. Some 18,000 Ukrainian Americans gathered at the Washington Monument on Sunday, October 2, for one reason: they came to commemorate the millions of victims of the Great Famine in Ukraine 1932-33.

Some had carried the memory of the tragedy in their hearts and in their minds for 50 years. Some knew only of the genocide through stories told by parents and relatives. Still others, second- and third-generation Ukrainians learned of the holocaust through English-language accounts in the Ukrainian press and through word of mouth. They all came to honor the memory of innocent victims - Ukrainian brothers and sisters - and to make others aware of the Soviets' horrible crime against humanity.

Pawlo Malar, of Syracuse, N.Y., was an eyewitness to the famine in the Poltava region. He, along with a full bus of Plast members and parishioners of St. John's Ukrainian Catholic and St. Luke's Ukrainian Orthodox churches, traveled to Washington to rightfully commemorate the great tragedy.

"As a 22-year-old student in the city, I saw the trucks coming around to pick up the corpses, I saw death all around me," he stated, recalling the famine years. "And through the years I have tried to spread the word about the famine," he added. Mr. Malar said he participated in the 15th, 25th and 40th year commemorations of the famine held in the diaspora. He is the author of a trilogy "Zolotyi Doshch," in which he devotes several chapters to the famine.

On Sunday he came to Washington because he feels the Reagan administration is not apathetic to the politics of the Soviet Union, as administrations in the past were.

He was one of many demonstrators who arrived as early as 9:30 a.m. The chartered buses from various cities kept pulling up near the Washington Monument to let rally-goers off. The dark sky, scattered with rain clouds, seemed almost appropriate for the somber event.

By 10:30 a.m. the masses extended to either side of the stage and stretched way back to the Washington Monument, a distance of several hundred feet. The sun started breaking through the clouds and the umbrellas were folded and put away.

The people still kept coming; chartered buses from all parts of the United States - the Rochestarians carried their symbolic coffins, imprinted with the words "7,000,000 Ukrainians Murdered"; the Plast members assembled, staking out a good piece of land to accommodate 1,000 uniformed members of all ages.

Women in embroidered blouses and dark skirts, members of the Ukrainian National Women's League of America and the Ukrainian Gold Cross listened attentively to the speakers on the stage. Eleven full buses from the Philadelphia area carried both young and old to the commemorations in Washington.

Among the sea of faces, signs proclaiming all the cities and towns represented emerged. They read San Diego; Los Angeles; Chicago; Dayton, Solon, Youngstown (Ohio); Pittsburgh, Monessen (Pa.); Buffalo (N.Y.); Hartford (Conn.); Detroit; Richmond (Va.); Trenton (N.J.); Boston; New York and Baltimore. The list of cities grew longer and longer as the rally continued past noon. Ukrainians from Texas, Florida, Rhode Island, and Washington made their way through the crowds.

Signs, some meticulously printed and others scrawled in a hurried fashion, were carried by many of the demonstrators. They carried such slogans as "The West Must Not Forget," "Whole Ukrainian History is Holocaust," "7,000,269 Murdered - 1933 Soviet Genocide in Ukraine, 1983 Soviet Attack on KAL 007."

As the solemn march to the Soviet Embassy began the demonstration took on a somber tone. The uniformed members of Plast and ODUM gave the march a formal air, followed by representatives of women's organizations and communities.

The Ukrainian Orthodox League, numbering over 200 from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Illinois, marched together, caught up in the spirit of unity which, their president Dr. Gayle Woloschak remarked, has prevailed since their summer convention.

Marching the mile-long route from the Washington Monument to the Soviet Embassy, the Ukrainian Americans conscientiously informed passers-by of the great tragedy perpetrated upon the Ukrainian people by the Soviet regime.

A young marcher from St. Mary's parish in Solon, Ohio, remarked "I'll bet you could not even find a handful of people on the street who know about this tragedy," and continued marching on proudly with his group, which had traveled 10 hours to get to Washington.

"We're a small community in Richmond, Va.," remarked Ihor Taran in a southern drawl, "but we're aware of the famine and we came here today to commemorate the memory of the victims. My parents came from Zaporizhzhia and Kiev and I've grown up being aware of the tragedy of the genocide," he said.

A handful of marchers from Kentucky, representing the cities of Louisville and Lexington, were organized by the local UNA branch and had traveled to Washington to commemorate the event on a national level. "We've had local television and press coverage in Kentucky," Oksana Mostovych stated.

Road-weary Chicagoans who spent 17 hours on a chartered bus, their travels extended due to bad weather in Pennsylvania, arrived in Washington on Friday. Many of them spent the day visiting U.S. senators and congressmen with fellow members of Americans for Human Rights in Ukraine.

The first-, second- and third-generation Ukrainian Americans who have never experienced the tyranny of the Soviet system took part in the commemorations. So did newly arrived Soviet emigres. Former dissident Nadia Svitlychna and her entire family showed up in Washington, as did former political prisoner Valentyn Moroz, who now resides in Toronto with his wife, and recent defector Victor Kovalenko, presently a Plast member in Philadelphia.

The United States Ukrainian community was not the only Ukrainian community represented. Torontonians came down by bus to observe U.S. national famine commemorations. One Canadian student remarked that he thought it was important for Canadians also to take part in one of the largest commemorations of the 50th anniversary of this holocaust. Ukrainians from Australia and Europe took part in the commemorations as did many non-Ukrainian friends of Ukrainians.

Maria Petrauskas - dressed in traditional Lithuanian garb - and her daughter Solamaja, joined the masses of Ukrainians at the Washington Monument. "We have always known about the famine, today we come out to the demonstration in solidarity with our oppressed brothers," Solamaja said.

Some of the marchers, too old to walk the route of the march, were driven to the embassy to watch the crowds assemble and hear the statement addressed to the Kremlin. Hlib Naumenko of St. George's Church in Yardville, N.J., who was 23 at the time of the famine, said that his family in Poltava was saved by eating gruel even dogs refused to eat. "Today, I come to remind myself of those days and to make others aware," he said, slowly making his way to a bench.
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By George B. Zarycky, The Ukrainian Weekly, Parsippinany, New Jersey, Sunday, October 9, 1983

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An estimated 18,000 Ukrainians, marching in a phalanx that at one point stretched nearly a mile, assembled within 500 feet of the Soviet Embassy here on Sunday afternoon, October 2, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the artificial famine in Ukraine which killed 7 million people in 1932-33.

As the marchers moved down 16th Street toward the embassy, many carrying colorful banners castigating the Soviet regime, they were met by a large contingent of uniformed police, who had cordoned off the block between K and L streets near the embassy, which is between L and M streets. Over 15 blue Metro Police cruisers lined the street, while others were parked bumper to bumper sealing off both ends of the block.

Police had expected a group of some 5,000 people, but as row after row of demonstrators continued to stream down 16th Street, it soon became clear that at least three times as many were at the rally. The first to arrive at the police barricades were members of the Plast Ukrainian Youth Organization - 1,000 strong - who marched in uniformed formations behind a large banner. It took another 40 minutes for the rest of the huge crowd to make its way from the Washington Monument.

As the crowd continued to swell, many groups were forced to fan out on either side of K Street to keep the intersection clear.

At about 2 p.m., Orest Deychakiwsky, a 27-year-old staff member of the Congressional Helsinki Commission, read an open letter to the Kremlin.
Surrounded by a sea of demonstrators and reporters, Mr. Deychakiwsky called the Soviet-engineered famine "a deliberate act of genocide" against the Ukrainian people, and warned the Kremlin that the Ukrainian community in the United States would continue to "tell our fellow Americans about the real Soviet Union." (For the full text of Mr. Deychakiwsky's remarks, see page 6.)

Chastising the Soviets for the invasion of Afghanistan, the shooting down of Korean Airlines Flight 007 and the continuing policies of Russification in the non-Russian republics, Mr. Deychakiwsky said that the world is finally becoming more aware of the nature of the Soviet system.

"We Americans of Ukrainian descent, together with all Americans and people of the world who respect human life - and value human liberty - will see to it that those who died in your man-made famine in Ukraine, that those who died aboard the Korean airliner, that those who continue to suffer under your dictatorship - we will see to it that they did not die, nor will they suffer, in vain," he said.

The march itself began at the Washington Monument following a special famine commemorative program. With parade marshals wearing blue-and-gold armbands issuing instructions, the demonstrators marched north up 15th Street, the southbound lanes of which were closed to traffic. As motorists looked on, marchers made their way past government buildings for several blocks before turning left onto Pennsylvania Avenue.

While the demonstrators filed past Presidential Park directly across the avenue from the White House, curious onlookers came forward to ask what the march was all about or to take famine literature being distributed by several parade marshals.

From the White House, the marchers snaked through tree-lined residential streets with elegant brownstones before turning north again on 16th Street.

Although the march was called to commemorate the Great Famine, many of the demonstrators carried placards denouncing Soviet aggression, calling for freedom of religion in Ukraine or protesting the downing of the Korean passenger plane.
One sign read "Koreans and Ukrainians united against the USSR," while another said "Stop KGB infiltration in U.S. courts," a reference to the government's use of Soviet-supplied evidence in denaturalization proceedings against East Europeans suspected of collaborating with the Germans during World War II.

Most, however, dealt with the anniversary of the famine and its 7 million victims, with inscriptions such as "The West must not forget" and "Moscow before tribunal of justice." One group, from Rochester, N.Y., carried three makeshift black coffins inscribed with white lettering which read "7,000,000 Ukrainians murdered."

While the vast majority of the demonstrators were Ukrainian Americans, some from as far away as Chicago, Ohio and upstate New York, there was a large contingent from Canada. A few of the protesters were non-Ukrainians including a Lithuanian mother and daughter who carried a sign, complete with a hammer and sickle, that read "Wanted for murder."

Although the over-all tone of many of the signs was one of anger and outrage, the pervasive mood of the demonstration was one of seriousness and restraint in deference to the somber anniversary of what many demonstrators called the "unknown holocaust." Although there were intermittent chants of "Freedom for Ukraine," most of the demonstrators marched in silence or talked quietly among themselves in keeping with the wishes of rally organizers.

Once assembled at the intersection of K and 16th streets, about one and a half blocks from the Soviet Embassy, the demonstrators presented an impressive sight, with marchers massed against the police line and on K Street on both sides of the intersection. Several, including eyewitnesses who had survived the famine, clustered around reporters and photographers from the news media.

After Mr. Deychakiwsky read the open letter to the Kremlin, rally participants sang the Ukrainian national anthem, "Shche ne vmerla Ukraina," and scores released the black balloons they had been carrying as mournful symbols of the famine and its victims. As the ballons drifted gently into the clear Washington sky, the demonstrators began to disperse, many to get ready for a 3 p.m. memorial concert at the Kennedy Center. Most seemed to conclude that the rally had been orderly, dignified and an unequivocal success.
LINK:; to see a copy of the official poster created for the freedom march click on
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