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Kyiv Post | 24Nov2012 | staff

Thousands take part in Holodomor Remembrance Day march in Kyiv

A march, dedicated to the Holodomor Remembrance Day, is being held in Kyiv on Saturday as thousands of people went from the Arsenalna subway station to the Holodomor Memorial, located in the Park of Glory.

The police blocked the movement of vehicles so that the people could get to the memorial. At least 2,000 people are reported to be participaing in the commemoration ceremonies. 

Most brought candles, pots of grain or wheat cones to lay at the Memorial.

Activists have also been distributing loafs of bread among participants. "In 1932-33 only those who were giving bread were giving the future. This was the only way to survive. Today we share bread to share the memory of genocide. This is how we will not let this crime happen again," said historian Volodymyr Viatrovych. 


Roman Serbyn:  26Nov2012 at 2:32pm
On 20 September 1953, the Ukrainian community in New York commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Great Famine. Ten thousand demonstrators gathered at Washington Square Park, paraded up 5th Avenue, and turned left on 34th St., to proceed to Manhattan Center. Filled to capacity of 3.000, the audience heard a special address by Dr. Raphael Lemkin, the legal expert who coined the term "genocide" and persuaded the United Nations to adopt in 1948 the "Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide."

It was at this commemoration, held in the earshot of the United Nations building, over 60 years ago, that the father of the UN Convention on Genocide, gave us the best conceptualization of the many-vectored genocidal attack on the Ukrainian nation. Lemkin's analysis of the horrendous crime consisted of what he called the four prongs of criminal attack on the Ukrainian nation. In his own words:

1) The first blow was aimed at the intelligentsia, the national brain, so as to paralyze the rest of the body.

2) Going along with this attack on the intelligentsia was an offensive against the Churches, priests and hierarchy, the soul of Ukraine.

3) The third prong of the Soviet plan was aimed at the farmers, the largest mass of independent peasants who are the repository of the tradition, folklore and music, the national language and literature, the national spirit of Ukraine.

4) The fourth step in the process in the fragmentation of the Ukrainian people at once by the addition to Ukraine of foreign peoples and the dispersal of the Ukrainians [...]. In this way, ethnic unity would be destroyed and nationalities mixed.

Ukrainians must remember that while, in terms of human lives lost, the starvation of millions of Ukrainian farmers was the most destructive part of the horrendous crime, the genocide against the Ukrainian nation began and included the elimination of Ukrainian national elites.

Michael Johnson:  26Nov2012 at 8:31am
Excuse my harsh words. Watching Russia trying to freeze out the people of Ukraine showed me the spirit of Lenin and Stalin still are alive and well in Russia.

This is an old story. A nation becomes independent but the old power structure remains in power. These despots learn to say the correct things while they screw the nation and its people.

Richard Denson:  25Nov2012 at 9:29am
Yes Michael, I also was completely blown away to discover this horrific part of Ukrainian history which as an American was newly discovered history to me. I was also at the Memorial on its inaugural opening and first memorial service dedicated to the tragic memory of the past. I am forever humbled and touched by the experience. The world in greater form needs to be aware of this tragedy to help Ukrainians continue healing and preventing this from ever happening to others in the world by brutal dictators again.

Steve Huff:  26Nov2012 at 10:39am
I posted a quick response below about Lenin. Many people in Ukraine and Russia believe that Lenin was the "good" communist. It is taught this way in American Universities. I was taught this in Europe. But in truth, Stalin was a good student of Lenin. Lenin's first "pogrom" (assault) in 1918 was against the "kulaks", or "Kurkurl" in Ukrainian. He told the CHECKA [CHEKA] to execute them because the farmers were selling food and making a profit. In fact kulak means "tight-fisted". He said to "execute them before the peasants, and torture them in such a way that the peasants lose their faith in God and turn their eyes to government for mercy!" The order still exists today in archives.

Then the food production went down. He decided that the solution was less mouths. Orphans were competing for food with families. He knew no one would defend them. He ordered 300,000 Jewish orphans executed, then more than 1,000,000 of all races. His fourth "pogrom" was against 500,000 adult Jews and Tatar. The last executions were against almost 8 million citizens of Russia and Ukraine. He gave 200 grams of wheat for each citizen executed by the CHEKA. This encouraged them to do their work. Each Oblast had a quota. Each Raion had a quota. Khrushchev even asked for an increase in his quota's for the his Donetsk Oblast (State) so he would hear less complaining and have more food in his district. I have photos of the children stacked like cord-wood in the streets of Dnepropetrovsk from these years of 1919-22. In all of Ukraine, the bodies were stacked in the streets, hauled to farm fields by horse cart. They were buried 2 feet deep, and even today, these fields are not farmed. The fields appear like ocean waves, mounds standing still in the breeze, waiting for justice or a marker. There are no monuments, just 10 million mounds in the earth.
Yes, that is the first time I ever spelled it wrong. No sleep! Thanks! It is an acronym, CHEKA, but in truth it is only a "Ch" sound and a "Ka" sound in the Russian abreviation; ~ ЧК ~ They were an emergency cavalry police. It might surprise you that 82% were Jewish as were most of the leaders of both the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks. I did not know this about the CHEKA until my last trip to Melitopol.
Please note Steve Olivo corrected my spelling. I screwed up CHEKA like it was a word instead of an acronym. The secret police went through many phases, just stamped by different leaders and chiefs. The NKVD was probably the next most significant forerunner to the KGB. Now they have a different name in Russia, SVR and FSB as two departments, one foreign and one internal. Regardless of name, they are all villains.

Michael Johnson:  25Nov2012 at 9:50am
This is what makes this tragedy so compelling. There was this mass murder using the most cruel way to kill, starvation. That was hidden from most of the world and hidden from even people in Ukraine. Millions were murdered.

Add to Holodomor, the forced relocation of the people of Ukraine. The goal of the Soviet Union was to remove Ukraine from the map.

I was talking to Russians here. They try to hold on to Russian Culture. Their children are very much American. Russians sure as hell don't dictate the official use of Russian over English.