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But millions did, starved to death by Soviets
Mr. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
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"Candle of Memory," a new monument, but no historical center, research facilities, library, or museum yet
By Svitlana Korenovska and Morgan Williams, for the Action Ukraine Report (AUR)
Action Ukraine Report, Washington, D.C., Sunday, November 9, 2008 
The Ukrayinska Pravda, in Ukrainian, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sept. 23, 2008
Action Ukraine Report (AUR), in English, Sunday, November 9, 2008
Is the Holodomor Memorial a new experiment on the historical image of Ukraine’s capital?
By Oleh Hrechukh, The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, September 2, 2008
Studying it takes a cultured and tactful approach, New Documentary: Landscape After The Famine
By Ihor Siundiukov, The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Nov 4, 2008
Kyiv urges the EU to back its efforts to persuade the UN to recognise the famine of 1932-33 as a crime against humanity
By Rikard Jozwiak, European Voice, Brussels, Belgium, Mon, Nov 3, 2008 
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Speech by Hayrettin Gülecyüz, Former Senior Editor of Radio Liberty, Tatar-Bashkir Language Service
English translation, Mehmet Fatih Gülecyüz
Given at Kolping Academy, Munich, Germany, November 2007
Richard Rousseau, The Georgian Times, Tbilisi, Georgia, Monday, November 3, 2008 
Commemorative personalised stamp and souvenir envelope, 75th Holodomor Anniversary
George Fedyk, Ukrainian Collectibles Society of Australia, Woodville SA, Australia, Wed, Nov 5, 2008
"Breaking The Silence On the Unknown Genocide"
By Maria Kulczycky, 75th Anniversary Ukrainian Genocide-Holodomor Commemoration Committee
Chicago, Illinois, Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Exhibition features thirty-eight Holodomor artworks by Ukrainian artists
Ukrainian National Museum, Chicago, Illinois, Monday, October 27, 2008

Walter Vasilaky, Chair Information Technology Committee
Shevchenko Scientific Society, New York, New York, Wed, November 5, 2008
The Culminating Event in Australia, Saturday, November 29, 2008
Ukraine Remembers - The World Acknowledges
Stefan Romaniw, The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations
North Melbourne, Australia, Friday, November 7, 2008

Tribute to the victims of the Holodomor, Washington, D.C.
Roksolyana Horbova, UMANA-DC, Wash, D.C., Monday, November 3, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008, New York City, Food Drive and Commemoration Service
Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), New York, NY, Fri, Nov 7, 2008
Concert commemorated 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian famine-genocide..."HOLODOMOR".
By John Pidkowich, Montreal, Canada, Friday, November 7, 2008
Saturday, Nov 22 at 3 pm at the Shirlington Library, Arlington, VA
By Chrystia Sonevytsky, Arlington, Virginia, Friday, November 7, 2008  
Sunday, November 9, Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, Penn State Campus
Michael M. Naydan, Penn State, Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Bobby Leigh, Director, Los Angeles, California, Saturday, November 8, 2008

Untruths tarnish Holodomor tragedy in Ukraine
Commentary and Analysis: By John-Paul Himka
BRAMA (USA), UNIAN and Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, 2008
Analysis & Commentary: David Mittell, Providence Journal, Providence, RI, July 16, 2008
"Candle of Memory," a new monument, but no historical center, research facilities, library, museum yet

By Svitlana Korenovska and Morgan Williams, for the Action Ukraine Report (AUR)
Action Ukraine Report, Washington, D.C., Sunday, November 9, 2008 
KYIV - The year 2008 has been recognized by the government of Ukraine as the "Holodomor Victims’ Remembrance Year," and marks the 75th commemoration of the nation’s great tragedy in 1932-1933 when Ukrainians suffered under a massive Soviet induced deliberate starvation, in which millions died in a genocide against the Ukrainian people. 
The long awaited Holodomor project, announced many times over the past several years ago by Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko to build a world-class Holodomor Memorial Historical Complex in Kyiv, is finally beginning with the construction of a metal, glass, granite and concrete monument on the slopes of the Dnieper River not far from the world famous, UNESCO world heritage site - Kyiv Pechersk Lavra.
The commemorative monument, the "Candle of Memory," dedicated to the victims of the tragedy, is to be opened on Saturday, November 22. Ironically, in building the memorial to the victims of the Soviet artificially made famine, the creators of the monument cannot be rid of the infamous Soviet legacy of building grandeur structures “to the date”.
The construction work started way behind a normal schedule and now barely stops these days, going on around the clock. The construction site of the monument, now filled with bricks, wood, trucks and concrete, had barely finished the foundation of the monument when we visited it three weeks ago.
The whole memorial project was envisioned to be done in two stages. After much debate about which stage should come first (1) the "Candle of Memory" monument and its adjacent area is now under construction as has been stated.
(2) The second stage of construction foresees the creation of the world-class historical complex including a large museum, research center for scholars, library, archival space, office space, exhibition space and electronic databases attesting to the tragedy of the Ukrainian nation. 
Many Ukrainian and international leaders strongly urged the government to build the historical complex first and the new monument second. These leaders felt the historical complex was needed most at this time.  A new monument could wait till later.  But their urgent pleas over several years to the leaders of the Ukrainian government fell on some deaf ears.
The Ukrainian National Institute of Memory has announced another international contest for the best project draft of the future museum and historical complex. The completion of the complex, which now does not exist even on the blueprints, will be the final touch of the ambitious construction project of the Holodomor memorial. 
The realization of the project is managed by the Institute of National Memory that is not only distributing budget funds but also envisioning the idea behind the whole memorial complex. “The role of the institute is more ideological,” says Oleksander Ivankiv, first deputy head of the Institute of National Memory, “we are forming the vision of how the memorial should look like.”
The creative team headed by the artist Anatoliy Haidamaka, whose design for the Memorial won a national competition, and the chief architect of the monument Yuriy Kovalev are in charge of the monuments appearance.
Representatives of the presidential administration and Kyiv municipal administration are taking part in project discussions. The creative and construction team has been working 24/7 during the last four months in order to finish the monument by the opening date of Saturday, November 22.
The creators and ideologists of the memorial face not only time constraints but also lack of money. The initial allocation for the project of 80 million UAH  budget money are running out and the current estimate for the completion of the project comes to near 133 million UAH. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the estimate but the new budget has approval has not yet been passed.
“We came to the edge when the funds are almost exhausted and we have to find the solution,” says Mr. Ivankiv, “The ideas [for a monument] are very ambitious, and when we explain to the foreigners what we want to do and in what time limits, nobody believes it is possible. But Ukrainians are that kind of people who can surpass themselves.”
The initial concept of the whole memorial complex foresaw the building of a 26-metres bell tower and black granite road down the hill that was going to lead to the man-made lake and the historical complex dedicated to the victims of Holodomor.
During the initial discussions and project evaluations, the bell-tower as the central element of the structure was rejected in favor of the candle-like monument. ”A  bell tower is connected to the idea of the Christ, but the Holodomor took the lives of many people, not only Christians,” says Igor Yukhnovsky, acting as the Head of the Institute of National Memory.
The finally approved monument design, an artistically stylized candle-like structure, will still visually remind one of a bell tower but instead of the cross there will be a candle “flame” at the top.

A sculpture composition of kneeling angels will be placed on both sides of the passage way going up to the memorial from Mazepa Street (former Sichnevogo Povstannya Street), and the passage way itself will be paved in black granite. The passage way will lead to the square, on which a sculptural composition representing the wheels of history will be placed, and to the Candle of Memory monument itself.
Behind the monument there will be the symbolical wall, a sculptural composition representing the black wooden planks with the carved names of the villages suffered from the Holodomor and quotes from the survivor’s recollections about the tragedy.
Many Ukrainian and international leaders strongly urged the Ukrainian government to design the new Holodomor monument to depict two main elements:
(1) the honor and remember the millions who died, the victims who were starved to death, and also
(2) make a strong statement against those who caused the tragedy, about the political leaders who were out of control and the Soviet political and governmental system that together caused millions to die such an inhuman and unnecessary death.  The best monuments in the world about such tragedies do both, they do not leave out a statement about those who caused of the crime.
But once again the strong request by many international leaders, over the past few years, fell on some strangely deaf ears within the Ukrainian leadership.  Holodomor monuments and commemorations in the past, especially in Ukraine, have focused mainly on the millions of victims and not also on the Soviet leaders and the Soviet style government that caused the deaths. 
Many leaders and other citizens in Ukraine have been very hesitant to make statements about those who caused the crime, about the system that caused the crime, hesitate to speak out, to tell the truth.  From what can been seen so far in the design of the new monument it will focus mainly on the victims, not on the cause.
Once again it seems some elements in the Ukraine government have prevailed and Ukraine is not building a monument that stands clearly as a strong and enduring symbol against the leaders and government that caused one of major tragedies of history. 
The new Holodomor monument, at least what can been seen at this time from the photographs, does not appear to be one that will make one remember, with strong feelings, the millions who died, and also make one remember, with the appropriate opposite feelings, the people and government that murdered by starvation millions of Ukrainians.
Only time and people's response will tell whether the new monument has the potential to be recognized on a world-class scale with the best such monuments around the world that depict the worst crimes against humanity.

The monument commemorating the victims of Holodomor is being built not far from Kyiv Pechersk Lavra near Park Slavy. There is still some controversy about the height of the monument. From the initially mentioned 26 meters, the monument will rise to about 35 meters tall. This means the monument will be higher than the height of the nearby monument of Glory, a 27-metre stele in Park Slavy, dedicated to the eternal glory of the World War II soldiers.

The place was chosen deliberately because of its large size, otherwise difficult to find in the central part of the city, and the closeness the Park Slavy where Kyivans commemorate the veterans and the fallen in the World War II, another tragedy that took lives of tens millions of Ukrainians. 
However the placement of the memorial in the park zone not far from the Lavra immediately raised the wave of questions and concerned about the effect on the existing landscape and especially the famous cityscape views with the golden domed monasteries seen from the left bank of the Dnieper River and admired by the locals and visitors alike.
The creators of the monument claim that the natural beauty of the hills will only gain from the current reconstruction of the area and the park zone beloved by Kyivans will not be harmed. There is still a widespread concern that the monument’s height might block views of the Lavra but officials say that the height of the monument cannot be higher that the Lavra churches’ domes. 
One of the initiatives of the Institute of National Memory was the creation of the so called “Hall of Memory”, a hall beneath the monument. Until the actual historical complex is built, the hall will provide visitors with the information about the Holodomor. 
To the opening ceremony the Institute of Memory plans to create 5-15 minutes documentary that will be projected on the walls of the hall. After the museum completion, the hall will host an electronic database, where every visitor will be able to find information on Ukrainians who perished in the Holodomor. 
Oleksander Ivankiv underlines that the new monument will not compete with the existing modest sculpture that has already become the symbol of the nation’s tragedy and located near the St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral
“This idea is more monumental,” says Mr. Ivankiv, “But it is not the “wall of tears”. Through the commemoration of the innocently perished, we also want to show the immortality of the nation. The fact that despite all tortures and tragedies, the nation had survived and now has its own State.”
PHOTOGRAPH: Stage one of the project: the monument to the Holodomor victims in Kyiv. [Photograph at]
PHOTOGRAPH: Stage one of the project: (inside view) with names of the Holodomor victims inscribed on the walls. [Photograph at]
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
The Ukrayinska Pravda, in Ukrainian, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sept. 23, 2008
Action Ukraine Report (AUR), in English, Sunday, November 9, 2008

KYIV - The Holodomor issue became a top priority one during President Yushchenko’s first term in office. Unfortunately, the noble goal of commemorating the victims of the horrendous famine who died 75 years ago very often outweighed for the president the concern for living Ukrainians.

The commitment demonstrated by the president in making his case for the 1932-1933 Holodomor recognition, if applied to Ukraine’s modern problems,
could have gotten off the ground the reforms promised by Yushchenko in 2004.

However, setting priorities on his agenda was Yushchenko’s own decision.

To complete his Holodomor awareness campaign, he initiated construction in Kyiv of a large memorial to remember the victims of the tragedy of the
Holodomor. It was clear from the start that the size of the memorial will be grandiose. However, its true dimensions are beginning to sink in only now.

The Ukrayinska Pravda laid its hands on a positive project evaluation report by a state agency. The evaluation report concerns merely the design of the
“Memorial Complex to Commemorate the Holodomor Victims in Ukraine.”
The report contains the project’s total estimated cost – 748.853 million hryvnia or $160 million.  This amount is needed to build a monument to the
Holodomor victims and a museum.

Positive project evaluation report by the Ministry of Regional Development and Construction of Ukraine. [Below: translation of this document’s major
items][Copy of document at:]
July 14, 2008
by the state evaluation agency of the design project “Memorial Complex to Holodomors Victims in Ukraine in the area of the Dniprovsky Uzvoz St., Park
Way, Eternal Glory park and walls of the National Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery in the Pechersk rayon of Kyiv located in 15-A Ivan Mazepa St.

Following the examination of design materials and the cost sheet amounting to 748,853,000 hryvnia, the agency considers that the project materials
comply with the law and can be recommended for coordination with other agencies. The project basic technical and economic characteristics include:

Land site area                                          6 hectares
Area size                                                 6,156 square
Amount of construction works             101,774 cubic meters
Area to be covered with asphalt              5,650 square meters
Area to be cobbled                                11,200 square meters
Area to be covered with lawn               32,640 square meters
Open-air parking lot for 80 cars
Open-air parking lot for 15 busses
Number of new jobs created                        60
There is no doubt that the capital of Ukraine must have a worthy memorial. However, many doubts are raised by how the project is to be implemented.
749 million hryvnia is over $150 million, a sufficient amount to build a project of European significance.
However, in line with the Ukrainian tradition, the project may end in the construction of yet another provincial memorial.

The notice on the fence circling the site specifying details of the memorial construction: deadlines, location, contractor, sources of funding.
[Photograph at]

As evidenced by similar museums abroad, there is no need to build a pompous and very costly museum to commemorate the tragic pages of history. On the
contrary, such museums should best mirror the setting of the period.

One of Berlin’s most popular museums is the Checkpoint Charlie museum featuring Berlin divided in two parts by the Berlin wall. The museum was
originally located in an apartment close to the former border checkpoint between the Soviet and US sectors of the city.

On the other hand, to grab the attention, a memorial commemorating a tragedy may have an unorthodox look in the architectural sense.

In 2001, the Jewish Museum to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust was opened. It was designed by the renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. Costing about $54 million, the museum became a landmark architectural site of Berlin. Yet, the Jewish Museum is three times cheaper than the projected
memorial to the Holodomor victims in Kyiv.


The Kyiv’s analog in Jerusalem, the memorial to the Holocaust victims, was also built at a lesser cost, with the state of Israel allocating only $20
million to the final cost of $100 million of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority. The remainder was covered by
private donations, with Ukraine’s tycoons Viktor Pinchuk, Ihor Kolomojsky, and Hennadij Boholiubov being among its donors.

Other than being a museum, the Kyiv memorial can become an architectural attraction. The modern world knows many examples when a productive idea led to amazing results that changed the image a whole city, not only the adjacent area of its specific location

A vivid example is the construction of the Gugenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.The Basque government allocated 100 million euro for the project. Despite protests from the nationalist organizations, the project was implemented.

This architectural masterpiece by Frank Gehry made headlines worldwide. Incidentally, the museum was built in the area formerly occupied by industrial companies and docks. Now this area has become a hotbed of modern architecture with a 1-km long embankment, modern buildings, new bridges and roads.

The Bilbao museum caused the so-called Gugenheim effect when the construction of a certain building sparked off massive construction in the adjacent area.
This is what an architectural masterpiece could have been done in Kyiv, too. The $160 million that the Kyiv Holodomor memorial will cost is enough to hire a world renowned architect and to build an unorthodox memorial complex.
Sadly, there’s no one who can make this case in Ukraine. For the authorities, it is easier to go with the presidential flow.

The authors of the project selected a well-developed area of Kyiv on the Pechersk hills between the Alley of Honor and the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra
Monastery. Meanwhile, there are lots of sites in the capital where the construction of the memorial could give a boost to the development of adjacent territory.

The memorial is to be built in two stages. The first stage is the memorial monument, the second is the museum located down the hill below the monument.
A large share of funding will be spent to reinforce the land to prevent sliding.

The construction of the Holodomor monument is in its final stage. The monument will be in the shape of a candle positioned next to the monument to
the Unknown Soldier. All the area has a traditional look, adding up to what may be described as Ukrainian post Soviet monumentalism.

PHOTOGRAPH: Stage one of the project: the monument to the Holodomor victims in Kyiv. [Photograph at]

PHOTOGRAPH: Stage one of the project: (inside view) with names of the Holodomor victims inscribed on the walls. [Photograph at]

The monument’s author is Anatolij Hajdamaka. He admitted, though that, if the project had been designed by a world-known architect, the authorities
wouldn’t have been able to dictate the details of the monument design, as was the case with him.

“I do not know how much of my original design is left in the project, probably, 30 percent,” says Hajdamaka who was Yushchenko’s adviser and now
sits on the pro-Yushchenko Our Ukraine party board.

 “I won’t claim I’m the author of the Holodomor monument. Perhaps, my share in it is a mere 30 percent. The project is a mish-mash of various ideas
whose authors are unknown. The president also expressed his ideas,” Hajdamaka admitted in the interview with The Ukrayinska Pravda.

Hajdamaka stressed he refused to get paid for the project.

In contrast, the architect recalled his work building a memorial in Alushta, Crimea to those who sank in the sea. The project was funded by Russian Duma
deputy Aleksandr Lebedev. “It was strange that the client didn’t offer any changes in the monument,” Hajdamaka said in surprise. “I had his complete
trust. Never before had I been trusted so much.”

Link to article:
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Is the Holodomor Memorial a new experiment on the historical image of Ukraine’s capital?

By Oleh Hrechukh, The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, September 2, 2008

The tragedy of the Holodomor has been the subject of long-standing and broad discussions in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government declared 2008 the Holodomor Victims’ Remembrance Year. Clearly, every tragedy that has befallen humankind needs to be understood by succeeding generations.
That is why people construct memorial complexes and establish research centers and museums. These institutions should not only host exhibits that attest to horrific times; the buildings themselves need to make a fitting aesthetic impression on visitors with their unique imagery and spatial and structural organization.

This article is not about establishing new aspects of historical truth. Rather, it deals with a project that was scheduled to be completed this fall, but for various reasons is being delayed.
The December 2002 order of the President of Ukraine and two of his edicts issued in Novembers 2005 and October 2006 envisaged the construction in Kyiv of a memorial complex to commemorate the victims of the Holodomor. The first stage of the project requires financing to the tune of at least 80 million hryvnias.

At this juncture, it would not be remiss to look at a couple of examples of recently inaugurated memorials dedicated to horrific events that took place during the 20th century: Peter Eisenman’s Berlin Holocaust Memorial and Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum in Berlin.

The Holocaust Memorial in downtown Berlin, near the Brandenburg Gate, occupies over two hectares of land. After 17 years of debates it was finally opened on May 10, 2005. The architectural design was selected from more than 500 proposals submitted from all over the world.
The final design is an almost square 150 x 150-meter area divided into 2,711 gray concrete parallelepipeds of different heights without inscriptions; a proposal to inscribe the names of the six million victims was turned down. Between these concrete blocks in the shape of a square net are aisles for visitors. The ground slopes from the edges towards the center, while the blocks rise in height so that visitors no longer see a way out-they are disoriented by the uniform slabs of concrete.

During the construction it was revealed that the supplier of the anti-vandal coating also produced Zyklon B, a gas used by the Nazis for the gas chambers, and company’s services were rejected. The location of the memorial itself has a dark past: the Nazi propaganda department headed by Goebbels was located here in 1937, and Hitler’s bunker, where he shot himself, was nearby.

The proposal to build an underground information center under the memorial was also rejected. The monument was criticized by those who believed it should also be dedicated to other victims of the Nazis. Some critics said that this kind of minimalism could not adequately convey all the horror of the Holocaust.

“I don’t want people to leave this place with a clean conscience,” said architect Peter Eisenman. At the opening ceremony he declared: “We have not solved all the problems — architecture is not a panacea against evil. We know that not everyone who is present here will be pleased, but this was not our goal.” Every day the memorial receives over 2,000 visitors.

The Germans and the Dutch have different approaches to building Holocaust museums. In Germany they erect gigantic structures made of concrete and steel in order to convey the idea of countless victims and to impress visitors. Dutch architects prefer glossy marble and glass surfaces in contrast to the smooth gray concrete used by the Germans.

Twelve years after the first competition the Jewish Museum was opened in Berlin.

Daniel Libeskind’s design for the museum was effective, and the facade made of nothing but steel was well received by the public. The museum does not have any right angles. In order to view the exhibition, visitors have to walk back and forth along the hallway several times, which leaves them with the impression of confusion and psychological and physical fatigue.

For two years the museum did not host any exhibits, but every year its attractive structure was a drawing card for 350,000 tourists who visited its empty rooms. The internal structure of the museum, according to many critics, is not suited to traditional exhibitions: it disorients visitors.
This is more of an architectural memorial than a museum. The museum has several small, closed inner courts lit only from above. In one of them, called Fallen Leaves, iron masks of agony lie scattered on the floor. When visitors step on them, a terrible noise of rusty iron is created, which evokes associations with the cries of victims.

The unique forms of these two constructions, the materials with which they were constructed, and the absence of pomp all contribute to the symbolic expression of tragedy by capturing eternal unrest and the feeling of hopelessness. These visual symbols are examples of ultramodern architecture based on 3D computer design. Each visitor can clearly identify the era in which these two museums were built.
Two extremely difficult tasks were solved here: an innovative approach to design and the discovery of a clear and understandable image of the tragedy. This was achieved through regularly-held international competitions and the systematic processing of the results by architects, artists, museum curators, and other professionals.

Meanwhile, what is happening in Ukraine? The memorial was scheduled to open in 2003, the 70th anniversary of the Holodomor. The Verkhovna Rada ruled that it should be located in the Pechersk district near the Arsenalna metro station, and next to a building housing the commandant’s office. Unfortunately, the competition did not produce any results. Instead, an infamous high-rise was erected on that site.

The next all-Ukrainian open competition for the design of the State Historical Memorial Complex dedicated to the victims of the Holodomor, political repressions, and forced deportations was announced in 2003. The future memorial was moved to one bank of the Dnipro River, between the monument to the founders of Kyiv and Paton Bridge. No winners were announced.
The best designers were invited to take part in the next round of the competition, but the location shifted once again-this time to the park near St. Nicholas’s Golden-Domed Cathedral, on Volodymyr Hill, close to the monument to St. Volodymyr. In early 2005 two brothers, Roman and Dmytro Seliuk, were declared the winners of the competition, and the main financial rewards plus bonuses were awarded.

However, articles criticizing the monument’s impact on the Kyiv landscape sparked a furor, this being one of the reasons why the monument was never built. In the spring of 2006 a new competition was launched ( and the monument’s projected location was moved-again. This time, the Memorial of Sorrow was slated to rise on the slopes of the Dnipro River near Slava Park and Kalynovy Hai, the latter of which was opened by President Yushchenko.

Fourteen teams participated in the new competition. Their designs were displayed at the Artists’ Union of Ukraine and are posted on the private Web site

After the lengthy rigmarole to choose the best design, the winner was finally announced. This was the team headed by People’s Artist of Ukraine Anatolii Haidamaka, who is known for his design of Kalynovy Hai near the Dnipro River and the Holodomor Memorial in the village of Khoruzhivka. The award-winning design was divided into two structures: a memorial and a museum.

According to the latest information, an international competition has been announced for the design of the Holodomor mu­seum, and the results will be announced on Nov. 25, the same day that the first stage of the construction will be launched and the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor will be marked.
However, this writer has failed to find any information on the Holodomor Mu­seum in Ukraine on leading foreign sites that disseminate in­formation on architectural events worldwide. Information on the conditions and terms of this competition is not accessible in Ukraine either.

The first stage of the construction will comprise the above-ground building of the memorial, the entrance square with a memorial block, a sculpture featuring several angels, the main alley, a square with the wheels of history, a sculpture of a girl clutching some ears of grain, the underground Hall of Memory with additional rooms, and a parking lot for 35 cars carved out of the park’s sidewalk along Ivan Mazepa Street, across from the entrance to the memorial.
For a number of organizational reasons, the construction was significantly delayed and is now proceeding in the all-hands-on-deck fashion at the site located between the 12th-century Savior’s Church in Berest and the Unknown Soldier Memorial, next to a bastion of a citadel that is part of a 13th-century Kyivan fortress.

The site undoubtedly has exceptional municipal, historical, architectural, archeological, and landscape-recreational value. The uniquely beautiful Slava Park, designed by the architect Avraam Miletsky in the 1970s, attracts thousands of Kyivites and guests of Ukraine’s capital every day. Official delegations come here to lay flowers on special days, and newlyweds come here to be photographed.

Although the Holodomor Memorial was evaluated by specialists on many occasions, some fundamental decisions with regard to the project raise doubts-in particular, its location in Kyiv.
Even now the pile-driving machines are projecting upward on the construction site located in the protected area of the park, an outstanding specimen of landscape architecture. They are 31 meters high, about as high as the memorial itself, and they partially block the best view of the Kyivan Cave Monastery.

Leased by the Kyiv City Council to the developer in 2007, this land is a complete cityscape ensemble. It can be seen from numerous public places, squares, and promenades on both banks of the Dnipro.
According to UNESCO’s recommendations on the comprehensive preservation of historical monuments (the Kyivan Cave Monastery is a UNESCO world heritage site) this land was classified as a buffer zone of the architectural preserve. Placing a new structure in this area requires an extremely well thought-out decision with respect to preserving the visual characteristics of the existing cityscape ensemble.
It is also known that the initial version of the memorial, which was declared the winner, was changed in the past two years. The current version still has its sculptural character, but is now clearly identified with a church candle, which looks like an excessively literal image of memory and sorrow.
If we consider its colossal size (30 meters is more than enough for a candle), we may well ask: will this building dovetail with the existing ensemble where the scale of images and proportions of the buildings are vastly different?

There is no exact information on access ways for transport and pedestrians. During visits of high-ranking officials Mazepa Street will be blocked off, but it is not clear how the underground structures will be made accessible. The Mystetsky Arsenal, a cultural, artistic, and museum complex, is rising up next to the future Holodomor Memorial. Its museum alone may require 750 parking spaces, as well as room for buses and TV broadcast vans.
The Mystetsky Arsenal will also feature a 1,700-seat concert hall, a museum of contemporary art, a three-cinema movie theater, a restoration center, a delivery center, art studios, an administration building, and a 270-room hotel complete with luxury suites. Altogether this will require over 1,000 parking spaces.

The design for the Holodomor Memorial was executed by Proektni Systemy, Ltd., a company indirectly linked to Andrii Myrhorodsky, a member of the governors’ board of the XXI Stolittia Company (
On its official Web site ( and in the Euro-2012 city preparation program the company has announced that in 2008 it will launch the construction of the Posolsky dvir hotel and cultural complex, with 300 rooms on the site of the famous Lavra gallery, near the Kyivan Cave Monastery, the Savior’s Church in Berest (where ancient frescoes are being destroyed) and 100 meters away from the future Holodomor memorial. 

Therefore, privately owned development companies are building not only the Holodomor Memorial but also public, cultural, research, commercial, and residential buildings spread over 160,000 square meters (all part of the complex Mystetsky Arsenal), as well as hotels, residential buildings, and office buildings in the buffer zone around a UNESCO world heritage monument.
One is naturally led to wonder: when will a comprehensive program for developing the entire territory of the buffer zone be developed and approved at the state level?

It is not clear how the future Holodomor Memorial will function in its location next to a wall of the Kyiv Fortress citadel, given such high construction density and numerous unresolved problems related to traffic routes and engineering infrastructure.
The vague, illusory, and subjective criteria that are being used to evaluate the impact on the surrounding landscape and historical monuments (and these are known only to the initiated) leave a lot of room for abuse.

Despite the prolonged twists and turns of the process of selecting the location for the Holodomor Museum and deciding on its outward appearance and symbolic character, a transparent and consistent discussion about this memorial has yet to take place. It appears that the tradition of dedicating newly erected monuments to landmark anniversaries has stood in the way of careful decision-making.

What is happening now on the hills of Kyiv — the rushed nature of the construction — will aggravate the problem of preserving the city’s architectural heritage and its inimitable landscapes.
Under these circumstances, rather than generating awareness of our people’s tragedy, the Holodomor Memorial will spark misgivings concerning the need to preserve centuries-old historical ensembles and distrust of the Ukrainian and international legislation that is supposed to protect them.
LINK: with photos.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Studying it takes a cultured and tactful approach, New Documentary: Landscape After The Famine

By Ihor Siundiukov, The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Nov 4, 2008

This year’s international Mo­lodist Film Festival included the hors concours program “Do­cu­mentaries on the Holodomor.” The Day’s journalists were invited to the screening of one of them, "Peizazh pislia moru (Landscape after the Famine)."
This documentary features the noted Ho­lo­do­mor researcher James Mace, who collaborated with this newspaper from 1997 until 2004. The invitations read that the film includes “excerpts from the diary of Professor James Mace of Harvard University.”

The narrator of the film, Bohdan Stupka, reads the most important and emotional passages from Dr. Mace’s articles that were carried by The Day and later included in the book "Day and Eternity of James Mace" (2005) and "James Mace: Your Dead Chose Me" (2008), both part of The Day‘s Library Series.

Work on the Holodomor requires a tactful approach. The same is true of the launch of this production. But this approach was overlooked, as the screening of documentary, which was attended by Hanna Chmil, head of the State Cinematography Service, was preceded by a commercial that struck a discordant note.

Although the mind is normally programmed to erase memories of catastrophes of biblical scope, which claim millions of lives and threaten the existence of survivors, we, Ukrainians, should realize that we will have to make a Herculean effort to grasp what happened to our land and our forefathers (and to us and our souls) during that accursed period of 1932-33, the years of the Great Famine.

What does it mean to grasp? First of all, it means to understand the socioeconomic, psychological, and even genetic consequences of that genocidal terror by famine, which was planned and carried out by the totalitarian Stalinist regime.
The detailed study of these consequences will convince any unbiased individual that it was undeniably an act of genocide, a deliberate act — not the result of “poor harvest yields,” the “summing up of the class struggle,” etc.

This process of understanding what happened — and it is obvious that this will take years — shows that the potential of documentaries is not being fully realized. This is unfortunate, because artistically presented historical events, facts, and documents can produce a tangible impression on film audiences.
Let us hope (with a feeling of restrained optimism) that the ice has been broken here, as evidenced by "Landscape after the Famine" (dir. Yurii Teresh­chenko; script by Olha Unhurian, Taras Unhurian, and Yurii Te­reshchenko; music by Viktor Krysko) which had its premiere on Oct. 24.

The creators of this documentary note that their film is “an attempt to trace the phenomenon of a postgenocidal society by using the example of a contemporary Ukrainian village.”
It is largely based on the works of the outstanding scholar, historian, journalist, and civic activist James Mace, who coined the phrase “postgenocidal society.” What makes this documentary distinctive is that the filmmakers did not try to recount the Holodomor tragedy, but to show its reverberations in our time.
The documentary focuses on Velyka Fosnia, a village in Zhytomyr oblast. The ruthlessly accurate analysis of the lives of its residents is impressive: whereas during the Holodomor its people were dying of starvation, today they are being killed by alcohol.

In 1933, 64 out of 86 village homesteads were wiped out during the Great Famine. In 2007 there were 92 deaths compared to 25 childbirths: a dozen stores and kiosks in the village sell alcohol.
We see a story unfolding about peasants, “masters of the land” — people who didn’t have to be told how to work their plots of land — who were physically destroyed 75 years ago. Equally horrifying is the fact that these people were educated and the bearers of Ukrainian national memory and consciousness.

The story is recounted by a resident of Mala Fosnia named Yakiv Hryshchuk, who is a civic activist and Holodomor researcher. Unfortunately, the filmmakers did not entirely succeed in overcoming the temptation to create a “mosaic” pattern, so the film occasionally displays a certain amount of confusion.

James Mace believed that Ukrainian society will not be able to evolve as long as the heavy burden of the unatoned criminal past hangs over it, because such unbelievably heinous crimes as the Holodomor penetrate the nation’s subconscious through fear. You hear these words during the documentary.
There is only one conclusion: the truth about the Holodomor and its consequences has to be conveyed to the people. This requires a cultured and tactful approach. The documentary "Peizazh pislia moru" is a landmark on this road.

Tereshchenko’s other film, Zhyvi (The Living) will premiere in Kyiv on Nov. 22.

COMMENTS ----------

Yevhen SVERSTIUK, public figure:
Clearly, recognition of the Holodomor as an act of genocide is the restoration of the truth that was concealed from the Ukrainians. There are many such hidden truths. In fact, the Holodomor is our most painful issue, but it is by no means an image of Ukraine’s past. In this documentary we see only alcoholics and other degraded individuals.
Of course, an act of genocide damages a nation at its roots, but it doesn’t destroy it. There was also a famine after the Second World War, but our nation survived. This is what we should ponder. I understand that truthful scenes are shown from the life of the Ukrainian countryside and that they are typical, in a sense. However, things that are typical are not an arithmetical average. Such scenes are characteristic of Belarus and Russia.

But what James Mace describes as a postgenocidal society has a far deeper significance. This postgenocidal motif is present in some comments in the film. There was nothing like this in the Ukrainian countryside before the revolution or after the abolition of serfdom.
One could describe Mace as the carrier of a consistent and honest idea. This should have been the leitmotif of the documentary. You know, I wanted my son-in-law to come from Berlin to see it, but he couldn’t. I’m not sorry he didn’t.
Stanislav KULCHYTSKY, deputy director of the Institute of Ukrainian
History at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine:
In January 2008 I took part in an international conference in Warsaw about the burial sites of the victims of the Second World War and mass repressions. The European countries, unlike Ukraine, are paying serious attention to this issue.
Watching the documentary, I was interested to see individuals who have dedicated their lives to establishing the truth about the victims of the famine; they are researching information in the archives about people who starved to death and erecting monuments. This is moving.
This documentary has two interwoven lines: the first, what James accomplished by revealing the truth about the Holodomor to the international community, and the second, the efforts of local Holodomor researchers. I wouldn’t call this documentary a work of art, but it has informative value. Also, there were a lot of commercials before the screening, which run counter to the key idea of the documentary.

Natalia DZIUBENKO-MACE, writer and widow of James Mace:
I was impressed by the scenes filmed in the Ukrainian countryside. Now and then I visit my native village in Lviv oblast. Rushing past the dilapidated fences, I tell myself that the old people who live behind them will be helped by their children. But it turns out that we have a great many orphan parents, figuratively and literally.
According to this documentary, we won’t have a dignified old age. As for the problems raised in this film, obviously a couple of phrases about an act of genocide or postgenocidal society don’t suffice. This subject is much more complicated.

Why is Ukraine making every effort to have the Holodomor of 1932-33 recognized as an act of genocide by the international community? Because it was a deliberate act aimed at murdering an entire nation. James summed up its consequences in his concept of postgenocidal society. This postgenocidal nature is what is paralyzing our political, economic, and educational life, and ultimately -our morals and ethics.
The documentary Svicha Dzheimsa Meisa (James Mace’s Candle) came out last year, and I should point out that it has more to say about him than this one. Few people are aware that there are two other documentaries about James. But a penetrating philosophical documentary about him has yet to be made.

Bohdan STUPKA, artistic director of the Ivan Franko Theater:
"I never met James Mace, but since I was always a regular reader of The Day, I read every article by him with avid interest. He chose the right words to convey the pain in the hearts of Ukrainians, raising questions about the totalitarian Stalinist regime and the Soviet genocide against the Ukrainian nation.
The Holodomor was kept secret for many years in the former USSR. Even today a number of people who are still poisoned by Soviet propaganda refuse to grasp what is glaringly obvious and they see black as white.

Mace was among the first to raise the alarm by telling the world the truth about this horrific tragedy that swept over Ukraine like a deadly hurricane, killing millions. Reading Mace’s articles, I found myself thinking that he was compelling us, Ukrainians, to respect our history, our grandfathers, and our grandfathers, even though he was born across the ocean. He had no genetic memory of the famine. He was not a Ukrainian.
He was a typical American, who found out about Ukraine when he was doing his graduate work at the University of Michigan. When he began studying Soviet history, he read mountains of documents and in the process became interested in what was then the little-explored topic of the genocide in Ukraine.

I learned all this from Mace’s feature articles. I remember starting to follow everything he wrote and looking forward to reading his latest article. This foreigner was more of a Ukrainian than many of those who beat their breasts and call themselves patriots. When Yurii Tereshchenko invited me to narrate excerpts from Mace’s articles for his documentary, I agreed instantly.
I believe that historians as well as artists must have their say about the Holodomor. This topic must be approached very cautiously, without any flag-waving, with a great deal of respect for all those people whom the Bolshevik commissars killed by starvation for the sake of that “shining communist morrow.”
On Oct. 28, the Small Stage of the Ivan Franko Theater premiered the one-man play Holodnyi hrikh (The Sin of Hunger), directed by Oleksandr Bilozub and based on Vasyl Stefanyk’s short story “Novyna” (The News). I think the young actor Oleksandr Formanchuk very ably conveys the nuances of the plot while recounting those terrible times.
On Nov. 23, the Ivan Franko Theater will stage a sequel to the genocide theme by staging Bozha slioza (God’s Tear) written by Mykola (Nikolai) Kosmin, a Ukrainian playwright who lives in Moscow.
The play tells the story of a man and a woman who lived through the ordeal of the Holodomor. The play is directed by Valentyn Kozmenko-Delinde, who is also the set designer.
It stars Les Serdiuk and Liubov Kubiuk, and in the mass scenes the audience will see my third-year students at the Karpenko-Kary National University of Theater, Cinema, and Television. We dedicate both these productions to the victims of the Holodomor.”

Compiled by Tetiana POLISHCHUK and Nadia TYSIACHNA, The Day
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U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC):
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business relations & investment since 1995.
Kyiv urges the EU to back its efforts to persuade the UN to recognise
the famine of 1932-33 as a crime against humanity
By Rikard Jozwiak, European Voice, Brussels, Belgium, Mon, Nov 3, 2008 

Ukraine has welcomed the European Parliament's recognition of the Soviet-era famines as a “crime against the Ukrainian people and against humanity”, calling it “a very important act of solidarity”.

Speaking to European Voice, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodomyr Ogryzko described the man-made famine – increasingly referred to by the Ukrainian term holodomor – as “a tragedy for mankind”, not just for Ukrainians, and said that Ukraine now hopes that EU states will support Ukraine in its efforts to convince the UN General Assembly to accept that the holodomor was ‘a crime against humanity' or a ‘genocide'.

The Ukrainian parliament decided two years ago that Josef Stalin's enforced collectivisation of Ukraine's farms and the resulting famine in 1932-33, which the Ukrainian government believes left 10 million people dead, amounted to ‘genocide'.

It is OK for the time being to call it crime against humanity

The European Parliament stopped short of using the term in its resolution, which it passed on 23 October, but Ogryzko believes that will change. “It is OK for the time being to call it crime against humanity. That is the first step,” he said.
“The second step, to call the holodomor ‘genocide' will come in the future. With information and knowledge about the event it will become evident for everyone.”

Ukraine has twice sought to raise the issue at the UN, but its efforts were blocked on both occasions by Russia. “I don't understand Russia's position,” Ogryzko said. Ukraine's effort to gain fuller recognition of the nature of the holodomor “is not against Russia. It is really against the communist regime in the Soviet Union at the time,” he said.

In Ukraine itself, the authorities have sought to raise public awareness of the episode in Soviet Ukraine's history, by making all documents available and by collecting together eye-witness accounts.
It is about to step up its efforts by unveiling a new monument in Kyiv to commemorate the holodomor on 22 November, at the start of an international conference on collectivisation and the famine in the Ukrainian capital. The Ukrainian authorities have invited a number of heads of state to attend. That will be followed in a few years time by a museum dedicated to the famine.

“We want to prevent something similar to holodomor happening in the future,” Ogryzko said. “It could be repeated.”
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 5, 2008

KYIV - The Communist Party of Ukraine should apologize for the totalitarian Stalinist regime that caused the Famine of 1932-1933 in the country, the head of the department for international law at the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, Myroslava Antonovych, said at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday.

"The Communist Party of Ukraine has by no means apologized for this crime. They [the communists] have neither apportioned nor recognized any blame. … They should condemn the crimes committed by them [the Communist Party of the Soviet Union], including the crime of the famine," she said.
A number of events dedicated to marking the 75th anniversary of the Famine of 1932-1933 will be held in Kyiv on November 22.
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Speech by Hayrettin Gülecyüz, Former Senior Editor of Radio Liberty, Tatar-Bashkir Language Service
English translation, Mehmet Fatih Gülecyüz
Given at Kolping Academy, Munich, Germany, November 2007
The date is the middle of August, 1929. The weather is very hot and sunny. The incident takes place in a vast and deserted area in the Soviet Union where the big Open-Air Congress of the Soviet Communist Party is to be held. The delegates from all of the regions of the Soviet Union wait for the party*s chief comrade Josef Vissarionovich Stalin to give them a lesson about socialism.

Finally at noon, comrade Stalin arrives and begins his lesson. He begins:  “Very honoured comrades, now I will teach you what socialism is and how you must govern the people.”

 Then Stalin orders to a man beside him: "Bring me a live chicken. Fast! “

The man immediately brings Stalin a chicken which was kept thirsty and famished. Then Stalin starts plucking hand full of feathers while the chicken squawks and flutters in pain until completely bald and bleeding.

Stalin releases the chicken. The poor creature meanders under the glistening sun for minutes in search of shade until it finds cooling spot under the vast shadow of Stalin and his greatcoat. Under the shadow of the man who ruthlessly pulled out every single feather of its body. Now, where Stalin goes, the poor chicken follows him. Some minutes pass until the chicken faints of thirst and collapses to the ground.

Stalin orders to the man beside him: "Bring me a cup of water, immediately! “

The man brings Stalin a cup of water and offers it to the thirsty chicken. The chicken drinks the water and slowly rises to its feet and it starts to run around again. Then some minutes pass again. This time the chicken is hungry because it hasn’t eaten anything for five hours.
This time Stalin orders to the man beside him again: "Bring me some wheat! “

The man brings Stalin immediately some wheat. Stalin offers the wheat with his hands to the chicken and the chicken eats them with big appetite.
Stalin speaks to his delegates:

“Do you understand what I am trying to point out? What does this signify?”

Nobody answers of the delegates. Then Stalin explains his actions:

“The chicken here stands for the people of the Soviet Union. The feathers of the chicken represent the belongings and goods of the people. In the Soviet Union we must first find socialism, then communism. As you all know, all people must be equal in our society. We cannot permit some people to be rich and others to be poor in our land.
The first step to equality is to confiscate all the belongings and goods of our people and then to monopolise them. Our first party chief comrade Vladimir Ilyich Lenin has done a lot of this in our country. He began confiscating the homes and the industry in our land, but due to his early death, the monopolisation could not be completed. Now we must continue his work. We must monopolise the whole agriculture of the Soviet Union! This represents the last few of feathers of the chicken.

With this action, we will have another advantage: to make our people become obedient to our orders. Weaken them by taking their belongings and making them dependent on us. With the monopolisation of agriculture, all the forces will be in our hands. We will be the only one to nourish them and without our help, they’ll starve.

Now all of you, very honoured comrades, go back to your native countries and confiscate the remainder of the goods from your people. Deport all the landlords to Siberia where they all shall work to death. If they shall resist your orders, you kill them all!”

All the delegates go back in their native country and carry out Stalin's orders. That is “compulsive collectivisation”, the seizure of all belongings and goods of the people by force, especially in the agricultural area.

During the collectivisation, at least 4 million people were either killed or were deported to Siberia. After the collectivisation the kolkhozes and sovkhozes were founded in the Soviet Union. The kolkhozes are huge collective agricultural areas belonging to the municipal governments and the sovkhozes, belonging to the central government.

The compulsive collectivisation has made the agriculture of the Soviet Union unproductive. The agricultural production has decreased from year to year. Even in the first and second year of the collectivisation, a big famine has spread across in the Soviet Union. At that time, the population in the Ukraine sank to approximately 5-7 million and in Kazakhstan around 1, 5 million due to hunger.

There were a lot of reasons for the famine.
[1] First, the Soviet government had confiscated all agricultural products.
[2] Second, the new owners of the arable lands were unqualified in agriculture.
[3] Third, the state monopolisation of all the belongings of the people had made them “the slaves of the government “.

After this measure nobody worked voluntarily, but under the compulsion of the Soviet government. Of course, this has reduced the agricultural production very much.
Before the October Revolution, the Ukraine was the granary not only to Russia but also for large parts of Europe. After the compulsive collectivisation, the Ukraine itself became a land of hungry people.

Before the compulsive collectivisation the people of Kazakhstan were mostly nomads. They were especially sheep breeders and were dependent on the meat, milk and milk products. During of the collectivisation the sheep of the Kazakhs were also confiscated by the Soviet government and these nomads forced to live in the cities or villages. This leads to the death of at least 1, 5 million Kazakhs due to hunger. 
During the Famine of 1921/1922, 1931-1933 and the mass repression from 1937-1938, the population of Kazakhstan decreased by approximately 3 million. Over 400.000 ethnic Kazakhs were forced to leave their country. They emigrated to Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Mongolia and China.[1]
While millions of people were fighting against starvation in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, Stalin sold 1, 7 million tons of grain and hundred thousand tons of sheep meat which he confiscated from those countries, to the Western markets earning large amounts of money.[2]
He spent this income on the military industry and for the production of weapons. Thus the Soviet industry was built on the lives of millions of innocent people. The compulsive collectivisation was the cause of at least 12 million deaths in the Soviet Union.

After the Soviet Union, the compulsive collectivisation was also executed in other countries of the Warsaw Pact and in China. But the result was always same. Millions of people in these countries died of hunger. The main cause of these deaths was the ideological fanaticism. The humanity has suffered from the fanaticism (for example, political, ideological, racist or religious fanaticism) a lot.

The Ukranian population refers to these deaths by Stalin against Humanity and the Ukranian people as “holodomor” and emphasizes that these terrible actions shall not be forgotten and repeated.
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NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

Richard Rousseau, The Georgian Times, Tbilisi, Georgia, Monday, November 3, 2008 

Between 1932 and 1933, between three and five million people died of starvation at the hands of the Soviet regime, according to Ukrainian historians. The European Parliamentarians agreed on October 22 to describe it as “an appalling crime against the Ukrainian people, and against humanity.”

Macabre stories circulate in Ukraine of the Great Famine that hit the country in the early 1930s: families decimated in a matter of days, peasants fleeing to the cities, killed at close range by the Red Army ... That happened in the early years of the forced collectivization of the Soviet countryside when crops were poor and the available wheat was requisitioned by Soviet authorities. Throughout the USSR, farmers by millions died of hunger.

In Ukraine, the death toll reached monstrous proportions. Holodomor (famine-genocide in Ukrainian), a planned massacre of hunger, killed between three and five million people in less than two years. For contemporary Ukrainians, this is nothing less than a genocide cleverly organized and initiated by Stalin and his satraps to quell Ukrainian peasants’ nationalism and rebellion against Soviet power.
For Stanislav Kulchitsky, a reputed Ukrainian historian and leading expert on the Holodomor, the events of 1932-1933 are “only the tip of the iceberg of Stalin’s actions to weaken the Ukrainian nation and force it to adopt the Soviet lifestyle.” Indeed, ten years earlier Soviet authorities took upon themselves the cynical and cruel task of liquidating the Ukrainian intelligentsia, at that time struggling for independence, by dint of massive deportations.

Russian historians reject this analysis. They recall that apart from the Ukrainians, millions of Caucasians, Kazakhs and Russians themselves died of hunger in other regions of former Soviet territory. The Russian Government, which declines to use the term “genocide” to characterize the 1930s incidents, however, agrees that Ukraine was the main victim of the collectivization drive, but neither more nor less than other Soviet nations. “It is true that the Ukrainian famine is similar to other famines in Russia or Kazakhstan during the same period,” admits Kulchitsky.
“But in Ukraine, the policy went much further and it became a very covert and specific operation of terror by bringing famine to the people.” The Ukrainian historian claims that official documents point to Stalin’s premeditated attempt at quickly bringing to a halt Ukrainian disobedience in the winter of 1932.
Archives reveal that Stalin signed a special law for Ukraine, which ordered the systematic requisition of foodstuffs in nearly all Ukrainian towns and villages. Not only wheat was requisitioned, as in previous years, but a long list of fruits and vegetables… And all the foodstuffs that remained.

Since the downfall of the Soviet regime, a large segment of the Ukrainian intelligentsia fights for recognition by the international community of the 1932-33 famine as a deliberate act of genocide and an anti-Ukrainian policy. “The problem is that very quickly Holodomor has been politicized by the Ukrainian authorities,” argues Stanislav Kulchitsky.
“At the time of the USSR, the accusation of genocide against the Soviet Union was made by the Ukrainian diaspora in North America. Today things have changed and it is contemporary and independent Ukraine which wants to settle accounts with Russia.” Ukrainians and Russians are currently engaged in a real war of archives. “There is still a lot of work to do since many people are still not convinced that a genocide was perpetuated in 1932-3,” admits Kulchitsky. “Half of the Ukrainian population itself does not accept the internationally-recognized definition of genocide.”

However, the large collections of testimonies of survivors, the translation of some archival documents in English and, in particular, Ukrainians’ hooted activism, President Viktor Yushchenko taking the lead, have tipped the balance.
A month ago [date is not correct, AUR Editor], the US House of Representatives passed resolution H.R. 562 to “authorize the Government of Ukraine to establish a memorial on Federal land in the District of Columbia to honor the victims of the manmade famine that occurred in Ukraine in 1932-1933.” However, it stopped short of calling the famine a genocide. No doubt, many American legislators must have been influenced in their vote by the August Georgia-Russia war.

The European Parliament, after much procrastination, has also voted for a resolution on October 22 on the commemoration of the Holodomor, the artificial famine in Ukraine in 1932-1933, which describes that tragedy as “cynically and cruelly planned by Stalin’s regime in order to force through the Soviet Union’s policy of collectivization of agriculture against the will of the rural population in Ukraine.”
While one Ukrainian news headline called the resolution the “late triumph of the Holodomor’s victims,” Russian newspapers underlined that the word genocide does not appear in the text of resolution, judged too controversial by European deputies. This is one of the many “soft powers” that has the EU in its resistance to Russia’s resurgence and new assertiveness…
The European Parliament’s resolution on the Holodomor begs the question of whether Russia has come to terms with its bloody and inglorious past. If the answer is no, it could dramatically affect Russia’s future.
In the cases of Japan, Germany and Italy in World War II, by their defeat they were compelled to face directly their national complicity in bringing such tragedy to the world. The United States has gone through the process many times, as it is the nature of a free society, with free and varied sources of information, to be more openly introspective and self-critical. Slavery and the genocide of the natives are America’s greatest sins. Without facing and admitting these wrongs, America could not reaffirm its moral goals.
In Russia’s case, many changes under President Putin’s administration, a strong opponent of any form of acknowledgement, conspire against such an introspective return to the 20th century. As things are in Putin’s Russia, there are still dominant forces at the very core of political institutions that resist any attempt to see the truth in the mirror.
Maybe Russia’s greatest misfortune during the period of Communist decay under Gorbachev was not to be conquered. For it would not have been a conquest of the Russian people, but the elimination, root and branch, of the brutal Soviet Russian oppression. With such a conquest, Russians would have had no choice but to face their past, as Germany did after the fall of the Nazi regime.
Russian intellectuals know that truth. But the masses do not, and the leadership draws its power from that ignorance. Has Russia come to terms with its past? The answer to this heavy question is clearly ‘no.’
Unless Russia counters the judgment of history, there is a strong probability it will find itself last among nations for another century. It will find the true greatness of its people only after it is freed from its past. The time of introspection and grief is still before the Russian people, and this passage holds the key to a moral future.
As long as the Russian Government and society suppress the truth, an approach that only recognizes lies will harm Russia in its relations with its Western neighbours and the European Union and damage relations within the CIS.
NOTE: Richard Rousseau is Assistant Professor and Director of the Masters Programme in International Relations ([email protected]) at the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics & Strategic Research (KIMEP)
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Commemorative personalised stamp and souvenir envelope, 75th Holodomor Anniversary
George Fedyk, Ukrainian Collectibles Society of Australia, Woodville SA, Australia, Wed, Nov 5, 2008
GREETING FRIENDS, attached to this e-mail and below is notice of an upcoming philatelic issue from Australia that commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor. If interested in ordering items, please advise me as soon as possible – first in, first served.
If you personally are not interested I would appreciate it if you could send this to people on your mailing list. Please take note of the release date and ordering details.

WOODVILLE SA, AUSTRALIA - A rare philatelic issue is being released in Australia to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor, the great artificial famine in Ukraine 1932-1933.

The Ukrainian Collectibles Society (UCS) Australian chapter of the Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society (UPNS) and the Australian Federation of
Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO), under the chairmanship of Mr Stefan Romaniw, chair of the International Holodomor Committee of the Ukrainian
World Congress, have teamed together to issue a commemorative Personalised Stamp and souvenir envelope to mark the 75th Holodomor anniversary.

The Australian release date is 17 November 2008. Orders can only be placed through the UCS. Please note that Australia Post only issues Personalised Stamps in "peel and stick" format, not gummed. The personalised label in fact forms part of the stamp giving a single unit.
There will be two denominations 55 cent for domestic mail and $2.05 for international mail. Each denomination has a different base stamp design. A very limited number of international stamps will be made available.
All prices are in Australian currency and international orders will be converted on the day of receipt of an order. The commemorative envelope is C6 size (160 mm x 115 mm) and in full colour.

All orders should be submitted by email or telephone to George Fedyk. It is highly recommended to place orders at the earliest opportunity due to limited stocks. Please submit your personal details, quantities and method of payment. Addressed and posted FDC are only available if ordered by 15 November 2008.

Domestic 55-cent price per single stamp $1.50 (eg/ 4 stamps = $6.00)
price per special corner block of 3 $5.00 (limit of one per person)
price per sheet of 20 $30.00
International $2.05 price per single stamp $3.00 (limit of two per person)
Domestic 55-cent price per FDC $2.50
International $2.05 price per FDC $4.00
(FDCs can be either posted direct to your address or sent mint in a separate envelope)
(Domestic FDC cannot be posted to overseas destinations)
Blank un-serviced envelopes price per envelope $1.00

Postage and handling costs are subject to your total order and you will be notified as soon as possible. There is no charge for posting FDC direct to you. Additional postage charges only apply for mint stamps, mint FDC and blank envelopes which will be posted approximately two weeks after the release date.

1. Paypal transfer account: [email protected]  (please include a notation with your name)
2. funds transfer (Dnister Ukrainian Credit Coop) BSB: 704-235; account: 02800283
(please include a notation with your name for identification)
3. cheque or money order payable to: Ukrainian Collectibles Society
(posted to: Ukrainian Collectibles Society, PO Box 466, Woodville SA 5011 AUSTRALIA)

ENQUIRES: George Fedyk M 0412 702 234
(UPNS Vice President) H 08 8445 9825 (international: +61 8 8445 9825)
Email [email protected]
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"Breaking The Silence On the Unknown Genocide"
By Maria Kulczycky, 75th Anniversary Ukrainian Genocide-Holodomor Commemoration Committee
Chicago, Illinois, Wednesday, September 17, 2008

CHICAGO - A capacity crowd braved heavy rain and flooding to participate in a two-day commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Holodomor, the Ukrainian genocide, in Chicago on September 12 and 13.

Organized by the 75th Anniversary Ukrainian Genocide-Holodomor Commemoration Committee-Chicago, an umbrella committee of the city’s Ukrainian churches, community organizations and cultural institutions, the event was one of several planned and presented this year to mark the solemn milestone of a great Ukrainian national tragedy.

Titled “Breaking the Silence on the Unknown Genocide,” the commemoration was launched with a candlelight ceremony and presentation of awards.  The next day, academics, experts and eyewitnesses participated in a full-day conference.  Both days, visitors were able to peruse an exhibition of historic materials.  And each day, participants viewed a preview screening of a full-length Hollywood documentary currently in production.

“Our varied, substantive, and engaging program was designed with our next generation and non-Ukrainian audiences in mind,” observed Nestor Popowych, chairman of the Commemoration Committee.  “We saw the need to make our case to those not familiar with the genocide, for whom it is an unknown genocide.”

 The commemoration was held at the Cervantes Institute, a cultural outreach venue funded by the government of Spain, located in the heart of Chicago.  A wide information net was cast to capture a broad audience and to raise attention of the general public to this issue.
National Public Radio aired two programs about Holodomor on its respected Worldview show, just prior to the event.  The host, Jerome McDonnell, interviewed Detroit Archbishop Alexander Bykowetz, a Holodomor eyewitness and a speaker at the conference, as well as Professor Lubomyr Luciuk and film director Bobby Leigh.  The informative, engaging interviews are available for listeners in the program’s archives on the web (

The event also generated stories in the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Journal.  The coverage contained lengthy descriptions of Holodomor and graphic survivor testimony, indicating the powerful hold the story can have on those who encounter it for the first time.  Chicago’s Ukrainian radio, television and newspaper media provided wide coverage, as well.

Conference speakers focused on secret materials corroborating the genocide that were released only recently from Soviet archives.  The new information, and growing international interest, warrants increased advocacy, the speakers challenged.  
“It’s time for us to assert that the Holodomor was a genocide,” noted Luciuk, professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston.  But this should be done in a widely-based, collective effort to be effective, he advised.

As an example of successful initiatives by the diaspora that made an impact, he cited the campaign to recall the Pulitzer Prize awarded to New York Times reporter Walter Duranty.

“It’s time for acknowledgement, atonement and redress,” Luciuk told the conference audience.  He praised the law passed by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada to declare the Holodomor a genocide, but noted that more was warranted.   Further steps should include the demand of reparations from Russia and bringing the perpetrators to trial.   

Volodymyr Chumachenko explained that the intentional Soviet cover-up of the tragedy kept the world in the dark.  A Ukrainian-educated professor now teaching at the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana, he cited examples of the policies of distortion and lying from several contemporary history texts.    In addition, the central archival documents relating to that period were classified top secret and access to local archives was controlled. 
Nigel Colley, the grand-nephew of Gareth Jones, the young Welsh journalist who wrote eyewitness accounts of Holodomor based on his travels through Eastern Ukraine in early 1933, showed conference attendees excerpts from letters and diary entries written by Jones.  Jones’ articles were published in the U.S. by the Hearst newspapers, as well as in Wales and England.

“His stories sealed his fate and he became the man who knew too much,” said Colley.  Jones was banned from entering the Soviet Union, and evidence points to a role by Soviet agents in his untimely death a few years later ( 

The screening of a short preview of the upcoming documentary, “Holodomor-Ukraine’s Genocide 1932-33,” was followed by a discussion with the director, Bobby Leigh, and the producer, Marta Tomkiw.  They described the process for identifying and interviewing eyewitnesses, academics and government officials throughout the U.S. and Canada and in Ukraine.  The Ukrainian version of the film is scheduled to premier in Kyiv in November ( [Movie premier has now been delayed until 2009..AUR Editor]

A compelling feature of the commemoration was the poster-exhibit created by the Ukraine 3000 International Charitable Foundation which is being shown in cities around the world in conjunction with the 75th anniversary. 
The posters were supplemented by display cases filled with newspaper clippings, period photographs, eyewitness accounts and archival materials provided by the Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago and several individuals in the Chicagoland area.

 The conference and exhibits drew the attention of students of the Ukrainian schools in Chicago, as well.  They were actively engaged in all conference activities and visibly absorbed by the presentations.

“The central focus of the commemoration was the panel of academics and experts who provided substance and insights.  And it was enhanced by using a venue that is accessible to a larger public,” observed Vera Eliashevsky and Marta Farion, co-chairs of the commemoration. 
Eliashevsky heads the Chicago-Kyiv Sister Cities project and Farion heads the Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation.  They organized and produced the commemoration with an 18-member Exhibition and Conference Committee, supplemented by a cadre of 15 university students and volunteers.
At the awards ceremony, individuals who contributed to the awareness about Holodomor over many years were recognized.   Nicholas Mischenko, Ivanna Gorchynsky and Myron Kuropas were honored for their work within the Ukrainian community.  James Mace was honored in memoriam.

Five Illinois legislators also were recognized: Governor Rod Blagojevich, State Senators Jacqueline Collins and Ira Silverstein and State Representatives John Fritchey and Paul Froehlich.  All had supported the Illinois law, passed in 2005, that requires the teaching of all genocides in secondary schools in the state, including Holodomor.  Thus far, Illinois is the only state with such a law.

The 75th Anniversary Committee was initiated by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, Illinois branch and the Ukrainian Genocide-Famine Foundation, whose heads, Paul Bandriwsky and Nicholas Mischenko, respectively, served as vice-chairmen of the committee.

The commemorative event was made possible by the continued generous financial contributions of The Heritage Foundation of First Security Federal Savings Bank and Selfreliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union.
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U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business & investment relations since 1995. 
Exhibition features thirty-eight Holodomor artworks by Ukrainian artists
“They put a gun to your head and made you swear you would bring in grain the next day.
Everyone cried. There was nothing left to bring!” Hanna Ikasivna Cherniuk, Holodomor survivor
Ukrainian National Museum, Chicago, Illinois, Monday, October 27, 2008
CHICAGO - “Our Daily Bread”, an exhibition of artworks commemorating the Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide, opened Friday, October 24th at the Ukrainian National Museum, 2249 West Superior, in Chicago. Several hundred people attended the opening of the Holodomor exhibition.
“Our Daily Bread” officially opened at 6:30 PM with a program that featured a short video by Ukrainian singer Oksana Bilozir and an opening statement by the granddaughter of a Holodomor survivor, Ms. Oryna Hrushetsky-Schiffman. 
In 1932 and 1933, between seven and 10 million Ukrainians were deliberately starved to death during the “Holodomor” - or death by starvation. This genocide was masterminded by Joseph Stalin and his inner circle, and was carried out by Soviets who confiscated every last bit of food from Ukrainian peasants who were resistant to collective farming - and who represented the backbone of the Ukrainian people.
This year, 2008, marks the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor, and the government of Ukraine as well as Ukrainians around the world have been organizing events in an effort to expose and publicize this crime against humanity while there are still survivors young enough to recall its horrors.
In Chicago, the latest event commemorating the Holodomor is an exhibition at the Ukrainian National Museum which opened Friday, October 24th. “Our Daily Bread” and features 38 artworks that are part of the “Holodomor: Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists” collection. 
The founder and trustee of the unique collection, U.S. businessman Morgan Williams, gathered the over 350 original Holodomor artworks in the collection during the last 11 years in Ukraine.  Williams is director, government affairs, Washington, D.C., for the SigmaBleyzer private equity investment group and serves as president of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC).
Most of the artworks were created after 1988, when Ukrainians were finally free to evoke the suffering and horrors of the Holodomor in the last days of the USSR, right before Ukraine declared independence in 1991. Before 1988 no one was allowed to talk about this tragedy let alone express themselves through artwork or writings.  Many Ukrainian artists may very well have only learned of the Holodomor at that time, after decades of extreme Soviet suppression of the atrocities.
The government of Ukraine has officially declared the Holodomor a genocide against the Ukrainian people and is asking the United Nations to do so as well. Just this past September, the United States House of Representatives passed a Resolution condemning the Holodomor and the former Soviet government’s deliberate confiscation of grain harvests, which resulted in the starvation of millions of Ukrainian men, women, and children.
It was a devastating chapter of Stalin’s reign of terror that wiped out one quarter of the peasantry - and later included the intelligentsia and other leaders of Ukrainian society who were shot and exiled by the hundreds of thousands in an attempt to destroy the Ukrainian nation. And it was carried out at a time when Ukraine, then officially the Ukrainian SSR, had one of the richest farmlands in the world - “the breadbasket of Europe.” 
The exhibition also includes a room depicting what life was like in Ukraine prior to enforced collectivization—as well as an evocative walk-through installation depicting the horrors of the Holodomor.
The "Our Daily Bread" Holodomor exhibition is on view through Sunday, November 30, 2008. The Museum hours are Thursday to Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm.  The Ukrainian National Museum is located at 2249 West Superior Street in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood. Call 312-421-8020 or visit the Museum's website, for more information.
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Walter Vasilaky, Chair Information Technology Committee
Shevchenko Scientific Society, New York, New York, Wed, November 5, 2008

NEW YORK  - Dear Mr. Williams, You may be interested or perhaps others would be interested to view archives related to the Holodomor on the Shevchenko Scientific Society website.
To find the Holodomor archives one can to go => Library Catalog & Archives => View Archives or go to
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The Culminating Event in Australia, Saturday, November 29, 2008
Ukraine Remembers - The World Acknowledges
Stefan Romaniw, The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations
North Melbourne, Australia, Friday, November 7, 2008
NORTH MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - You are invited to attend THE CULMINATING EVENT IN AUSTRALIA to commemorate the 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOLODOMOR 1932-1933, FAMINE IN UKRAINE sponsored by The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations and the Association of Ukrainians in Victoria.
The event will be held Saturday, November 29, 2008, at 12:00 P.M. in the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral SS Peter and Paul, 35 Canning Street, North Melbourne.
(1) Ecumenical Service to Remember the 7 - 10 million people who perished, Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral SS Peter and Paul, 35 Canning Street, North Melbourne.
(2) A tribute to the late Steve Waldon the Age journalist who died tragically on 27.10.2008 and was a great contributor to raising awareness about the Holodomor.
(3) Opening of International Exhibition about the Holodomor Execution by Hunger.
(4) Presentation of the International Remembrance Torch on its return to Australia after visiting 34 countries.
(5) Exhibition of the works of students from Ukrainian Community Schools in Victoria dedicated to the millions who perished in the Holodomor.
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Tribute to the victims of the Holodomor, Washington, D.C., Fri, Nov 14
Roksolyana Horbova, UMANA-DC, Wash, D.C., Monday, November 3, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In tribute to the victims of the Holodomor, the program “Ukraine in the Global Food Economy” is being presented by the District of Columbia Chapters of the: Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA); Ukrainian Engineers’ Society of America (UESA); Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (UMANA); and cosponsored by The Washington Group (TWG). (See a presentation about the event and the invite which are found in the two attachments.)


TIME: Friday, November 14, 2008, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., including lectures and refreshments.

LOCATION: Embassy of Ukraine, 3350 M Street N.W., Washington, DC 20007



(1) ‘Prosperous and Sustainable Ukrainian Agriculture' by Glen Cauffman, Farm Operations and Facilities Management, Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment, University Park, PA


(2) 'Agribusiness Developments in Ukraine' by Volodymyr Konovalchuk, PhD, “Bridges” US - Ukrainian Agribusiness Consulting, Penn State University, University Park, PA, Kyiv, Ukraine


(3) ‘Ukraine’s Agriculture and the Environment’, Professor Christopher R. Kelley, B.A., J.D., LL.M., University of Arkansas School of Law, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 2005 Fulbright Scholar, Kharkiv National Agrarian University & Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs, Kharkiv, Ukraine


RSVP: Oleksandr Mykhalchuk, Embassy of Ukraine to the USA, [email protected] or (202) 349-2977. 

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Saturday, November 15, 2008, New York City, Food Drive and Commemoration Service

Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), New York, NY, Fri, Nov 7, 2008

NEW YORK - In memory of the millions of Ukrainians murdered by starvation during the Holodomor of 1932-1933 the United Ukrainian Organizations of New York (UCCA Branch) is urging the Ukrainian American community to participate in our FOOD DRIVE to feed the hungry of New York City which will take place on Saturday, November 15, 2008 from 9AM until 1PM at DAG HAMMARSKJOLD PLAZA 47th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues), NYC.

Food donated at the Food Drive can include:  dry food, baby food, and all types of canned goods,  as long as they are all within the expiration date
and in the original packaging. A Photo Exhibit Depicting the Holodomor will also be on display at Dag Hammerskjold Plaza during the Food Drive.

At 1:00PM participants will embark on a solemn walk from 47th Street to St. Patrick's Cathedral (5th Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets) to
participate in the 2:00 PM National Observance to Commemorate Ukraine's Genocide of 1932-1933. We ask those in attendance to wear either dark clothes to signify mourning, or Ukrainian national blouses/shirts.

Contact: Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), Tamara Gallo, President, [email protected].
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Concert commemorated 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian famine-genocide..."HOLODOMOR".
By John Pidkowich, Montreal, Canada, Friday, November 7, 2008
MONTREAL - The Counterpoint Chorale, under the artistic direction of William Woloschuk, on Sunday, November 2, 2008 performed a choral repertoire of Ukrainian and other solemn and sacred music to remember the victims of the Holodomor Famine Genocide in Ukraine 1932-33.
As the concert highlight piece, the Chorale performed Mass for the Deceased – Requiem – by Gabriel Faure. The Requiem’s Kyrie, Offertory and Sanctus, was sung in Latin with guest soloist Inga Filippova – soprano, Tanya Navolska – mezzo-soprano, Taras Chmil – tenor, and renown Montreal opera singer, Taras Kulish – bass-baritone.

The Counterpoint Chorale is dedicated to bringing classical choral music from Canada and from around the world to entertain and educate its audiences, offering “Global  Repertoire” – performing choral pieces from different cultures, eras and languages. Counterpoint is dedicated to highlighting Canadian talent – soloists in performances, vocal performance student internships and Canadian composer commissioned works.

In an interview, chorister and Concert Committee volunteer Valentina Kuryliw stated that Counterpoint’s commemoration of the Holodomor 75th Anniversary has appeal to Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians alike. Several choir members are of Ukrainian heritage. 
The Choir’s Executive and Committee appreciated the gravity of the Holodomor and “after one rehearsal, most members stayed to watch the documentary film "Harvest of Despair" and understood the tragic lessons to be learned, not only by the members but by the Chorale’s loyal audience base of about 450 supporters”, said Kuryliw.

In addition to Requiem and to honour the lives lost in this tragic and historical event, which has been keenly felt by Counterpoint Chorale’s Artistic Director and many of the choir members of Ukrainian heritage, the choir performed a diverse selection of choral pieces that offered a mood of respect and reflection.
This included the following works, some of which are Ukrainian in origin: Vladyka neba i zemli by Hulak-Artemovskyj; Agnus Dei by Samuel Barber; Movement II of Sergei Rachmaninov’s Vespers Blagoslovy dushe moju, Gospody; Crossing the Bar by Graeme Morton (conducted by Assistant Conductor Lesia Hrynash Deacon; and Concerto XXXII Skazhy my, Hospody, konchynu moju by Dmytro Bortianskyj.

The Counterpoint Chorale has six years experience performing a range of choral repertoire with relevance to many of Canada’s ethno-cultural communities. Of special interest is the Chorale’s community outreach and grounding. Counterpoint has entered into a collaborative mentorship with the Surrey Place Centre Symphonic Passion Chorus, where the Chorale has the pleasure and privilege to work with a choir of adults with developmental disabilities.

Sudbury, Ontario native and Artistic Director William Woloschuk completed his graduate studies in choral conducting at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. Woloschuk had been the long-time Dean of Music for St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Montreal. He also studied under the tutelage of Maestro Volodymyr Kolesnyk of the Kyiv State Opera, Ukraine.

Counterpoint Chorale’s performance of Faure’s Requiem and other solemn music in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Holodomor Famine Genocide and remembrance of its victims took place at the St. James United Church, 463 rue Ste. Catherine ouest (Metro: McGill.) on Sunday, Nov.2, 2008 at 3 pm. (
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Saturday, Nov 22 at 3 pm at the Shirlington Library, Arlington, VA
By Chrystia Sonevytsky, Arlington, Virginia, Friday, November 7, 2008  
ARLINGTON, VA - The powerful film, "Harvest of Despair" provides rare insight into one of this century's least-known but most vicious genocides. This film documents the Ukrainian terror famine of 1932-33, which caused the deaths of 7,000,000 people.
Using interviews with survivors and scholars to supplement rare photographic evidence, it established that the terror famine was deliberately created by the Soviet Government as part of Stalin's decades-long effort to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry, who resisted the forced collectivization of their lands. Since its original release, it has received many international awards (including an Academy Award nomination).   
There will be a post screening discussion with family members of survivors of the genocide.

The program is presented in partnership with the Arlington Sister City Association..Ivano-Frankivsk Sister City Committee. A candle lighting ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the events will take place following the program on the plaza outside the library.
An Exhibit about the HOLODOMOR will be on view at the Shirlington Library from Nov 3 -through Nov 30, 2008. Please visit: Shirlington Library [Wi-Fi], 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, VA 22206, 703-228-6545
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Sunday, November 9, Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, Penn State Campus

Michael M. Naydan, Penn State, Wednesday, November 5, 2008

UNIVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA - YOU ARE INVITED TO A 75TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION OF THE UKRAINIAN HOLODOMOR-FAMINE OF 1932-1933 Ukrainian Catholic Divine Liturgy of remembrance Sunday November 9 at 1:30 PM celebrated by Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan Soroka of Philadelphia with the Prometheus Male Chorus in the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on the Penn State campus.

Master of Ceremonies, Andrew Leskiw, President of the Penn State Ukrainian Society

Keynote Address, Mr. and Mrs. Alex and Helen Woskob

Readings from Alex Woskob's memoirs on the famine and from Robert Conquest's book "Harvest of Sorrow" by actor Michael P. Bernosky

Reading of poems on the famine by Visiting Fulbright scholar Mariya Tytarenko from Lviv, Ukraine and Prof. Michael Naydan, Woskob Family
Professor of Ukrainian Studies

Keynote Lecture on the famine by Prof. Alexander Motyl (Rutgers University-Newark)

Sponsored by the Penn State Ukrainian Student Association, the Byzantine Campus Ministry, the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and
Literatures, and the Endowment in Ukrainian Studies at Penn State, established by the Woskob Family.

CONTACT: Dr. Michael M. Naydan, Woskob Family Professor in Ukrainian Studies Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, 404 Burrowes Bldg., The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 email:  [email protected], phone: 814-865-1675, fax: 814-863-8882
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Bobby Leigh, Director, Los Angeles, California, Saturday, November 8, 2008

LOS ANGELES - Dear Supporters of the film, on behalf of the entire film team of "HOLODOMOR; Ukraine's Genocide of 1932-33" in both the U.S. and Ukraine, I would like to offer my sincere apologies for having to make the very difficult decision to reschedule our Ukrainian premiere of "HOLODOMOR; Ukraine's Genocide of 1932-33", which was originally scheduled for November 20, 2008 at Kino "Ukraina" in Kyiv, and on November 21, 2008 at the prestigious National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy.

While the majority of the film is complete, we have decided to incorporate newly discovered documents and information which we believe are crucial in telling the story.

We have decided that by stepping back and premiering the film at a later date, this will allow the general public to appreciate the film in the spirit with which it was intended to be viewed and absorbed.

Our film will be ready in 2009 and we will schedule firm premiere dates once our picture is locked - not only for Kyiv, but also for New York , Chicago and Hollywood quickly thereafter as well.

Our film team in the U.S. and Ukraine will be increasing the pace of operations in order to complete the film within this timeframe, and we believe that this film deserves nothing less than 100% perfection in quality and historical accuracy.

In closing, we trust that you will understand this decision and will continue to support this very important project. We will continue to keep you very closely informed - and we cannot wait to see you at the premieres very soon.  Please do take a moment to view our new 30 second trailer which will be airing in Ukraine during the Holodomor commemoration events the week of November 17th.

We truly thank you for your support for this film.


Bobby Leigh, Director-"HOLODOMOR; Ukraine's Genocide of 1932-33"
[email protected];
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Untruths tarnish Holodomor tragedy in Ukraine

Commentary and Analysis: By John-Paul Himka
BRAMA (USA), UNIAN and Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, 2008

Even after I had earned a PhD in history from the University of Michigan and had been working as a researcher at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies for several years, I was extremely naive about how scholars arrived at estimates for major catastrophes on the order of the Holocaust of the Jews or the Holodomor in Ukraine.
When I was a young man, most of what I read suggested that each of these events took about six million lives. I thought that either the murderers kept a tally of their victims or else it was a fairly simple matter of subtracting the results of one census from those of another.

I began to realize the complexity of the issue rather late, in 1980. I was working closely at that time with a scholar from Poland who was a visiting professor at CIUS, Janusz Radziejowski. He was mainly in Edmonton to help prepare the uncensored English version of his book on the Communist Party of Western Ukraine, which the Institute published in 1983.
But one day he said to me that he also had an interest in collectivization in Ukraine and in the great famine of 1932-33 and would like to present a paper based on his research. He wrote it all up, presented it at seminars in Edmonton and Toronto, and then published it in the Fall 1980 issue of the Journal of Ukrainian Studies.

Janusz had demographic training and was used to working with census materials. Therefore, at the end of his paper, he offered a brief estimate of the population losses from collectivization and famine. The conclusion he came to was that there was a "demographic loss of 9,263,000" Ukrainians in the USSR between 1926 and 1939. I was astounded at this high number. I never realized, I said, that the famine killed over 9 million people.
He patiently explained to me that a demographic loss is not the same as the number of persons killed. In addition to the latter, this number includes children not born to those killed, other children not born for other reasons connected to collectivization and famine, and Ukrainians who assimilated to Russian nationality. Given the data available at that time, he doubted that we could sort out how much of this loss was attributable to each category.

My next close encounter with these issues came in 1983-84. I was a Neporany Fellow at CIUS, and my only obligation was to work on my book about Galician villagers and the Ukrainian national movement in the nineteenth century. I would spend every day in an office in the basement of Athabasca Hall poring over my sources and writing my monograph.
In the room next to me was another researcher, also working on a book on the Ukrainian peasantry. This was Alex Babyonyshev, better known under his pseudonym Maksudov. He was a former human-rights activist in the USSR and interested in demographic questions, history, and politics. His book was about collectivization and the famine.

Needless to say, two researchers with a basement to themselves and working on related topics entered into intense discussions of their projects. Alex tested every one of his ideas on me and had me read and discuss everything he wrote. For me, it was like a year-long seminar on how collectivization was implemented and on how to arrive at a more accurate estimate of the population losses. I learned that these estimates were much more complex than even Janusz had taught me.
Alex was busy drawing up graphs of the age structure of populations (they look like Christmas trees), examining economic indicators that might help estimate the extent of out-migration from Ukraine in the 1930s, and attacking the problem from numerous other angles. His book was never published in English, but the results of his research appeared in a Russian-language book, Poteri naseleniia SSSR (1989). He estimated that the total demographic loss in Ukraine came to 4.5 million.

Later, in the mid-1990s, I began to work as a side theme on the Holocaust. My readings in this field only reinforced the lessons I had learned earlier on the difficulty of estimating the number of victims when mass murder was involved. It was often helpful to scholars when a particular German unit would report to Berlin that they had dispatched a certain number of Jews in such and such a locality, but generally the picture was extremely fuzzy.

I bring all this up to help explain why I am disturbed by blithe claims I see being made about seven or ten million Ukrainians killed in the famine. I know that President Viktor Yushchenko and his administration are also using the ten million figure. That does not make it correct, however.

It used to be that President Yushchenko relied for advice on historical issues on a professional historian, Stanislav Kulchytsky, but in the past six months or so he seems to have decided to use history as a political tool and, as the saying goes, does not want to be confused by the facts. In Ukraine politicians frequently appeal to identity politics, since symbols are easier to deliver than better health care, education, or civil service.

Dr. Kulchytsky was one of the ideological architects of Yushchenko's campaign to have the Ukrainian famine recognized internationally as a genocide. He devoted a number of publications in 2005 precisely to explaining why the famine fit the definition. These publications appeared in Ukrainian, Russian, and English.
The latter were circulated electronically by The Day in Kyiv as well as by E. Morgan Williams' Action Ukraine Report and Dominque Arel's Ukraine List. (I have reviewed the key text in the Summer 2007 issue of Kritika: Explorations of Russian and Eurasian History.) In the texts of 2005, Kulchytsky stuck to the results of his earlier research on the demographic effects of the famine in Ukraine: that there were 3,238,000 deaths directly attributable to the Holodomor.

Kulchytsky had conducted careful research on the subject and published several works devoted to the demography of the famine, notably Demohrafichni naslidky holodmoru 1933 r. v Ukraini, which came out in 2003. What distinguishes Kulchytsky's research from that of the earlier researchers who gave me my first lessons in famine demographics is that it draws on statistical information that was not available before the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of the archives.

Kulchytsky also drew heavily on recent studies by the Australian historian and demographer Stephen Wheatcroft. Wheatcroft had once produced estimates that were much too low for the losses connected with famine and collectivization, but in the past several years he has corrected his methodological errors and supplemented his sources with formerly inaccessible Soviet documentation. Wheatcroft now estimates that there were 3-3.5 million excess deaths in Ukraine (and about 6-7 million in the USSR as a whole).

Another serious attempt to estimate the losses in Ukraine was conducted by a team of French and Ukrainian demographers (Jacques Vallin, France Mesle, Serguei Adamets, and Serhii Pirozhkov). The results of their research were published in Population Studies, which is a top journal in the field of demography (November 2002).
Here is their conclusion: "The disasters of the decade culminated in the horrific famine of 1933. These events resulted in a dramatic fall in fertility and a rise in mortality. Our estimates suggest that total losses can be put at 4.6 million, 0.9 million of which was due to forced migration, 1 million to a deficit in births, and 2.6 million to exceptional mortality."

So how many people were actually killed by the famine? From 2.5 to 3.5 million. Those who died disproportionately were the rural population (predominantly Ukrainians) and little children. May their memory be eternal.

And let me add: may it be unsullied by falsehood.

I find it disrespectful to the dead that people use their deaths in a ploy to gain the moral capital of victimhood. To this end, they inflate the numbers. Let me just take one symptomatic case. Marta Tomkiw and Bobby Leigh are working on a film about the famine (google holodomorthemovie to see the trailer). The trailer opens with a definition of Holodomor.
There follow the texts cited below:

"The Darfur, Sudan Genocide claimed the lives of 180,000 people in 4 years.
"The Armenian Genocide claimed the lives of 1-1/2 million people from 1915 to 1918.
"The Holocaust claimed the lives of 6-1/2 million people in 9 years.
"They are not forgotten.
"Unfortunately, Holodomor has exceeded these tragedies by claiming the lives of 10 million Ukrainians in only 17 months.
"History knows no other crime of such nature and magnitude."

Here I do not want to single out this particular movie project for criticism. These are views one can easily find in many other Ukrainian representations of the famine, particularly in the North American diaspora. But the trailer formulates them clearly.

The point of these ideas is that the Holodomor is bigger than the others, particularly bigger than the Holocaust. I do not understand why others are not offended by this competition for victimhood, even if the numbers were true, which they are not. I think the discussion of tragedies like these demands a certain moral probity.
Disasters like these should not be taken lightly, manipulated, instrumentalized, or falsified. Moreover, these are not simply deaths, but crimes, murders, violations of the moral order. How much more careful we should be about them, how much more respectful of the truth.

Even if the Holodomor did account for 10 million victims, and even if this competition for the greatest number of victims were perfectly decent, the final claim, about this being the biggest crime in history, would still be incorrect. There was also a famine in China directly attributable to the campaign for the Great Leap Forward.
Again, it is difficult to estimate the number of losses, but Western and Chinese scholars estimate that from 15 to 43 million peasants starved to death in China in 1959-61. (In a forthcoming number of Kritika: Explorations of Russian and Eurasian History, the Viennese scholar Felix Wemheuer will be comparing the famines in Ukraine and China.)

Somehow a gap has opened up between scholarship in Ukrainian studies and popular diaspora notions of history. Here I have attempted to bridge that gap with information about the number of deaths actually attributable to the Holodomor. But I am also raising a moral question about how we should remember our dead.
Many thinkers across the world are increasingly disturbed about what happens to the memorialization of the dead in the context of the nation and the state. I will leave those debates aside. But I think it should be clear to all that the respect and honesty we owe the departed means that we should refrain from using their deaths to gain political popularity in Ukraine or to score points in interethnic rivalry in North America. Above all, we must be careful not to embed their deaths in a falsehood.

NOTE: Dr. John-Paul Himka is a professor at the University of Alberta Department of History and Classics, Alberta, Canada. His areas of expertise are Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Iconography of the Eastern Church, Memory of World War II, and the Holocaust.
FOOTNOTE:  The analysis and commentary article by Dr. John-Paul Himka was published by Brama, Feb 2, 2008, New York, New York,
( The article was also published with similar content in UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine,
February 5, 2008 ( and the Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, May 25, 2008 (
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Analysis & Commentary: By David Mittell, Providence Journal, Providence, RI, July 16, 2008

This is a follow up to my two-part series on the Ukrainian Holodomor, the famine of the early 1930s (Genocide? You Decide, Apr. 23 & 30, 2008). Five
pieces of evidence show that the death of an estimated 7 million was a true genocide:

1) Although at first starvation was caused by the brutal implementation of agricultural collectivization, by the end of 1931, all Soviet Ukraine was targeted as an enemy, and therefore for destruction.

2) In 1932, the distribution of food was cut off by the government. The subsequent harvest was then confiscated and destroyed.

3) When starving people began eating their dogs and cats, these animals were systematically destroyed.

4) Since no village in Ukraine had met its impossible 1931 grain quota, trade in foodstuffs was prohibited throughout the republic.

5) When starving people began wandering the country looking for food, "passportization," confining them to their villages and condemning them to death, was decreed.

Walter Duranty (1884-1957), a native Scotsman, served as Moscow correspondent for The New York Times from 1921 to 1934. In 1931, he wrote 13
laudatory pieces about Stalin's leadership in liberating peasants and workers from centuries of oppression under Czarist rule. For his work he won
the 1932 Pulitzer Prize. The honor has been an affront to Ukrainians for three-quarters of a century, and there has been a long campaign to pressure the Pulitzer Prizes to rescind it.

In 2003, the Pulitzer Prize board reviewed the award. The Times had no objection: its executive editor, Bill Keller, called Duranty's work "pretty dreadful." But on Nov. 21, 2003, the Pulitzer board declined to revoke the award.

It concluded that without actual deception shown, revoking a prize when the principals were dead and unable to respond "would be a momentous step." It
also noted that Duranty's prize was awarded for articles published in 1931 -- before the full onset of the Holodomor, in 1932. Keep that thought.

Many in the Ukrainian diaspora have expressed strong opinions about Duranty's prize without having read the 13 articles for which he received it. I
thought it meet to do so, but on inquiring found that, although the Pulitzer Prizes have published decades of winning entries in book form, in Duranty's case Columbia University, which administers the prizes, honors The New York Times's copyright. (The question of the Pulitzers' current sincerity is not
important enough to deal with here.) But, God bless the Internet, there are copies all over the diaspora!

Eleven of Duranty's articles appeared in The Times as "special cables" between June 14 and June 27, 1931. They were obviously written in advance and prepared to make a splash. Knowing how newspapers play for prizes today, I suppose they could have been prepared to win a Pulitzer. But that's another relatively unimportant question.

With little documentation or specific reporting, Duranty writes of Russia as one who is in the know. He makes sweeping historical pronouncements evoking (or burlesquing) Arnold Toynbee, the grand British historian of epochs and civilizations: "The [Soviet] system on the whole seems to work more smoothly than any organization of a heterogeneous State yet devised by man" (June 26, 1931).

But Duranty's glib style most reminds me of Dr. David Reuben's 1969 "Everything You Wanted to Know about Sex (But were afraid to Ask)," in that
the author knew a lot more about writing a best-seller than he did about his subject matter.

So Duranty. But the word "Ukraine" only appears twice in the 13 articles. The Pulitzer board is correct that the articles for which he won the prize do not directly implicate him in covering up atrocities.

However, in 1932, British journalists Gareth Jones and Malcolm Muggeridge, who had secretly entered Ukraine, began telling the truth about the
Holodomor when its horrors were at their fullest. Their work was an unintentional trap in that it exposed Duranty's mind: He denounced the stories and expressly denied the truth.

On March 31, 1933, Duranty denounced Jones by name in The Times, calling reports of millions threatened with death from starvation "a big scare story. from a British source." But he reportedly later admitted to British diplomat William Stang that 10 million might have died in 1932. Duranty was Stalin's shill. Muggeridge called him "the greatest liar I have met in journalism."

The Pulitzer board's "chronology defense" is misleading because the truth is darker than its 1932 predecessor having been duped by a newspaper that had
been duped by a "liar." The atrocities in Ukraine were being repeated in Kazakhstan, southern Russia and the Volga German Republic. Stalin did everything he could to keep word of the catastrophe from being known in the Soviet Union and, particularly, in the West, with which he desperately needed to establish trade.

Duranty's 1931 cables thus came as a gift outright. They let Stalin know he now had a free hand. It's not that Duranty covered up a genocide, it's that he prepared its way.

The meaning of his Pulitzer Prize is that in its cock-sure 1932 certitudes, American journalism at the highest levels cleared the way for mass murder. For those of us working today this is a profound lesson in the need for self-doubt.

FOOTNOTE: David A. Mittell Jr. is a member of The Journal's editorial board.
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