Ukraine: Holodomor, Gulag, Crimes of Communism, Genocide
DATE:  Sunday, April 26, 2009, Washington, D.C.
FIVE ARTICLES -------------------------
University of Melbourne Round table on the Ukrainian Holodomor and Genocide
Stefan Romaniw, President, Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO)
Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, March 21, 2009
"Why Did He Destroy Us? Stalin and the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932–33"
The Day Weekly Digest in English, #9, Kyiv, Ukraine Tuesday, 24 March, 2009

Lecture by Hiroaki Kuromiya, Professor of History, University of Indiana
Stanford University, Thursday, May 7, 2009, 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.
Stanford University, Stanford, California,  Thursday, April 23, 2009
The building where over 700 children starved to death in 1932–33 is still there
By Olha Bohlevska, Zaporizhia, The Day Weekly Digest in English
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, February 3, 2009

By Alina Popkova, The Day Weekly Digest in English #12, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, 14 April 2009
University of Melbourne Round table on the Ukrainian Holodomor and Genocide
Stefan Romaniw, President
Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO)
Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, March 21, 2009
- The 1932-33 Holodomor in Ukraine was a dark episode in world history and major crime against mankind. The archives are now open and the facts readily available. So why the need to continue to conduct roundtables such as the one held at University of Melbourne on Saturday March 21, 2009 , titled 'The scale and causes of the 1931-33 famine and whether the Holodomor should be classified as a genocide’?
The round table discussion was strongly negotiated by the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) with the organisers of an International Conference on Famine. The AFUO insisted that if the Ukrainian Famine was to be discussed it needed to be done in balanced way.
The moderator was Professor Cormac O’ Grada from University College Dublin. Four academics stood before the audience putting forward their respective positions followed by question time.

The fact that there are newly accessible archives available and thousands of eyewitness survivor accounts of the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932-33 seemed to impact little on the presentations by Professor Stephen Wheatcroft - the University of Melbourne and Professor Viktor Kondrashin, Penza Russia.  Only archives sourced from the Russian Federation seemed worth serious consideration.
Whilst trying to convince the audience they were not taking a Russian Federation position but an alternative position to Ukraine’s, Profs. Wheatcroft and Kondarshin were very much sending messages very similar to those of the Russian Federation. 
In tandum they voiced the position that there is no evidence of Genocide. Holodomor was economically based, others suffered not only Ukrainians, assistance was provided to the starving by Government, and definitely no evidence that it was an attempt to eradicate Ukrainian nationalism...
 Stanislav Kulchytskyj, a Ukrainian historian from Kyiv and Roman Serbyn International historian from Montreal Canada presented the Ukrainian perspective.
Kulchytskyj took the position that there are two diverse positions taken by Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine argues  the intent of the terror Famine  that Ukraine was targeted by Stalin. Russia takes an economic position of bad planning the results which affected not only Ukrainians  .He argued that evidence and eyewitness accounts are on the public record and they need to be studied by all.
Prof Serbyn strongly argued that Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jew who coined the term Genocide, himself in an address in 1953 in the US acknowledged that the   Holodomor was indeed Genocide. Serbyn listed the evidence that pointed to Genocide yet the Russian Federation continues to do everything possible internationally to down play this fact. The disinformation train continues to run.
Both Kulchytskyj and Serbyn alluded to the fact the archives of Ukraine are open and on the public record. Kondrashin tried to argue that the same applied to Russia.  Questions from floor tested Kondrashin on archives and it was obvious that his vision of open archives was a different definition to most. Some examples were provided, but he skirted around the responses
Fact 1.  – Archives relating to Ukrainian Catholic Church in the former Soviet Union were falsified and the fact proved a number of times

Fact 2.  - Ukraine Security Service Archives (SBU) are open and the Unclassified Memories of 1932-33 are now on public display. . Recent requests from the SBU to the Russian Service to do likewise have fallen on deaf ears.
Whilst claiming not to get politically involved, Wheatcroft screamed at the audience, ‘Look at this!’ holding up the Holodomor Brochure prepared by Ukraine – stating something to the effect, ‘It says 6-10 million, when your own Institute of Demography says 3.5 million perished. This in unhelpful propaganda!’
As a scholar, he overlooked the basics - The source of statement   –  A Joint Statement signed by 65 member states adopted at the 58th UN Assembly  on November 7  2003. not Ukraine. But why let facts get in the way of a good story?

There are various interpretations on figures and there needs to be more clarity –But the question needs to be asked - Do we base the case of Genocide on differing numbers or even on Kondrashin’s attempt to show that it’s not Genocide because of a photo that was allegedly from 1921 and attributed to 1932-33?
Roman Serbyn responded well – Stop playing numbers game – 1, 2, and 5. 10 million is not the issue - the issue is Genocide.
There were different levels of questions. Some appropriate and some less appropriate considering the academic nature of the event.
However one thing was obvious - Most answers to questions from the floor to Prof Wheatcroft and Kondrashin were selective in their responses. If in their opinion it wasn’t worth a response, a snigger and smile was all that was received.
The question was asked after the event- Is it worth having these events? No one convinces anyone as the speakers and audience are polarised? These events are important. It is the academic level that the research of archives takes place  and the analysis and interpretation of evidence occurs.
The Holodomor issue is not about apportioning blame on Russians. This point has been   made by the President of Ukraine, by the Ukrainian World Congress and by the AFUO – it’s about identifying and condemning the system and the individuals responsible.

Stalin and the Communist Regime perpetrated grave crimes against humanity. Millions died, Ukrainians, Russians and others – But the intent was not to eradicate the Russian people, but the Ukrainian people.
Kulchytskyj and Serbyn spoke of the mass arrests, murders and killing of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, the blockades and bans on travel and movement in Ukraine in search of food, the mass stripping of not only grain but other foodstuffs. These facts cannot be denied. The protocols instructing horrendous acts at the time are on his public record. This is evidence.

There must be academic dialogue that searches for ongoing pathways and roadmaps leading to recognition of the Holodomor as Genocide. The demand by academics for all archives of the former USSR relating to the period be opened must continue.
Sound debate must not be derailed by red herrings, as Prof Serbyn calls them such as issues on numbers that deflect from the issue.
The AFUO will endeavour to keep the dialogue going, whether as part of the Project being conducted by the University of Melbourne with the involvement of local and overseas academics or in other forums.
If we all come to the table with an open mind and take all the facts into account, then collectively we will find the truth  that will expose the Soviet propaganda  and disinformation. We collectively will help mankind in the future.

It  will ensure that those inhumane acts of Stalin are not allowed to be repeated. that the lies by Duranty in the NY Times and his attempt to hide the truth and to discredit Gareth Jones will be judged for what they are.
Events such as Saturday’s Roundtable should encourage us to soul search and  strive to ensure that the truth is at the forefront. As Kulchytskyj says in the Foreword of the Bibliography on Holodomor I already knew how Ukrainians died, but I did not why they died.
This is the essence of Genocide, the Intent? – The how has been answered and the intent has been established – The archives, the protocols , the Book of Memory are all reputable sources to seek valid confirmation– But only for those who genuinely want an answer.
On Sunday March 22, 2009 the conversation continued at the Ukrainian Community Centre. AFUO Chairman Stefan Romaniw introduced Prof Kulchytskyj, Prof Serbyn, Dr.Valerij Vaseliev a young historian and Lesa Morgan from Perth who  presented on their work.

Lesa Morgan also prepared a very interesting exhibition. Much is being done in many areas with more required. Vibrant discussion from floor was managed by Association of Ukrainians in Victoria’s Vice President Michael Moravski.

Prof Kulchytskyj and Dr Vasilev have now left and Prof Serbyn is visiting our communities in Adelaide and Sydney. The AFUO thanks all four presenters and also acknowledges the support of the  Ukraine Studies Foundation in Australia (FUSA) for funding Prof. Serbyn’s visit.
"Why Did He Destroy Us? Stalin and the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932–33"

The Day Weekly Digest in English, #9, Kyiv, Ukraine Tuesday, 24 March, 2009

The Armenian Nairi Publishing House is soon to publish Stanislav Kulchytsky’s "Why Did He Destroy Us? Stalin and the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932–33," which is part of The Day’s Library Series, on the initiative Oleksandr Bozhko, a translator, writer, journalist, and Ukraine’s Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Armenia.

Bozhko plans to hold a joint Armenian-Ukrainian conference in the Institute of History at Armenia’s Academy of Sciences that will be dedicated to the launch of the book. At the conference historians from both countries will share their experience in studying controversial pages of history — both nations have gone through difficult experiences and suffered the genocidal atrocities.

In what follows we offer for your attention Stanislav Kulchytsky’s complete letter addressed to the Armenian reader.

Dear friends,

I have been very pleasantly surprised to learn that my book "Why Did He Destroy Us? Stalin and the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932–33" has already been translated into Armenian. Anyone whose book is being published in a foreign country would be happy to receive suchlike news. However, in this case it is not about the author’s ambitions.

In 2008 my book was translated into Romanian, which also made me happy, although in a different way. When Oleksandr Bozhko, Ukraine’s ambassador to Armenia, told me in a telephone conversation about this news, he added: it would be great if this book began with your address to the Armenian reader, especially considering your ethnic roots. He had paid attention to the brief biographical information placed at the end of the Ukrainian version: my mother’s name is Maria Karapetivna — Maria is an international name, whereas only an Armenian can have this patronymic name.

Oleksandr Bozhko, a writer, journalist, and translator from Armenian, who became Ukraine’s Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Armenia after we regained independence, has asked me to write a foreword for you. So I would like to tell you about myself, the topic of this book, and the book itself.

I belong to the fully official category of citizens, called “children of the war,” who even enjoy certain minor material privileges. At the same time, I can say I belong to the unofficial, albeit quite real, category of “children of the empire.”

For several centuries my ancestors on the mother’s side lived close to the border of the Ottoman Empire, in the Armenian colony of Akerman (now Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky, Odesa oblast). They preserved their religion and, owing to my grandmother Zartar’s efforts, I was baptized in the Armenian Apostolic church unbeknownst to my ideologically-minded parents, who studied in the Odesa Institute for Water Transport Engineers.

In 1905 my mother’s parents left Akerman and moved to Odesa. They moved into an old house on Tyraspolska St., where my uncle Illia was born in 1905 (he was killed near Sevastopol in 1942), followed by my mother in 1910. This is also where I spent my childhood and teenage years.

In my office I keep a portrait of my grandfather painted in oil by a fairly skillful painter back in Akerman. He died a few years before I was born and I know little about him. He worked as a typesetter in a small printing shop, and his April 1933 death certificate identified the cause as lead poisoning.

Now I know that people died of starvation not only in the countryside, but also in cities. Most vulnerable were those who worked in not-so-important enterprises, for example, in printing shops, because they were cut off from the centralized food supply system. After studying many hundreds of testimonies, I now know that the registering clerks tried hard to make up causes of death that were not linked to the famine.

I remember the horror with which my grandmother spoke of 1933, never explaining why she was so afraid. In Stalin times it was forbidden to speak about the famine; any mention of this subject was qualified as anti-Soviet propaganda. In subsequent decades, up until 1987, the famine was a taboo. So what kind of death did my grandmother Karapet meet?

In those distant times when my ancestors on the mother’s side left Armenia, my forefathers on the father’s side left the Ukrainian village of Kulchytsi near Sambir and moved to some place in ethnic Poland. I only know that one of them, who had been totally Polonized, participated in the Polish rebellion of 1830 and was exiled to the Caucasus. After many decades his family moved to Odesa, where my father Vladyslav was born. Judging from his name, and my own, too, the memory of the Polish roots was kept in the family; however, it was completely Russified.

I know that my ancestors on the father’s side took great pains to conceal their noble descent and Polish roots. When I was about to get a passport, I wanted to be registered as a Pole. My mother got very scared and obtained some papers that said that my father was Russian.

Concurrently with the Holodomor, Stalin’s henchmen Pavel Postyshev and Vsevolod Balytsky organized the destruction of Ukrainian and Polish intelligentsia charging it with involvement in the imaginary counterrevolutionary organizations — the Ukrainian Military Organization and the Polish Military Organization. They also deported dozens of thousands of Poles from border regions of Ukraine to Kazakhstan.

My mother and I were “family members of an enemy of the people,” because my father was repressed in 1937, the year when I was born. I received my passport in the same year that Stalin died, and then the designation “enemy of the people” still carried its full weight. Now I can picture how horrified my mother was when I wanted to become officially registered as a Pole.

A few words on the topic of the book are in place. The Holodomor in Soviet Ukraine and the Kuban, which was Ukrainian-speaking at the time, is an episode of the all-Union famine of 1932–33. However, this episode is special in that it was not so much about people starving to death as about murder by famine. If millions, rather than individuals, are killed, this murder is called genocide.

Naturally, just like many of my compatriots, I knew about the existence of the famine, which was not acknowledged by the state. However, I did not know in what way it was different from the all-Union famine. Nor was I aware of the causes of this latter famine. I simply could not fathom that the accusations of an engineered famine made against the Soviet authorities could be true. I saw the surrounding world the way I was taught in the Soviet school. I was unable to absorb the experiences of my family’s two previous generations as they kept silent in order to safeguard my peace and their safety.

Many remember that in the late 1980s the Soviet Union, the “country with the unpredictable past,” shocked the world with its recent history as it was revealed. Then the mass media was killing, on a daily basis, people’s faith that our past was not so bad after all. It is only in recent years that we have seen collections of top-secret documents that show the overpowering pictures of millions of starving children, women, and elderly people in the throes of death.

Working with top-secret documents in the archives, I naively thought that I knew everything about the interwar period in Soviet history. I wrote and defended my 1976 thesis on this era, specifically on Soviet industrialization. However, when I studied the documents in the “special folder,” to which I gained access in the mid-1980s, this turned my worldview upside down. Without losing the spiritual connection with the Russian people and their culture and without forgetting about my Armenian and Polish roots, I had, for the first time, an acute sense of belonging to the long-suffering Ukrainian people.

Together with this feeling came the realization of my terrible guilt: as a member of a group of lectors commissioned by the CC Communist Party of Ukraine, I had toured all oblasts telling about the achievements of the Soviet state. Since then, for a quarter of a century now, I have had only one goal: to understand what have happened to all of us since 1917 and share this understanding with others.

Let me also say a few words about the book. It is an attempt to show what really happened in 1933 and also explain why it happened. It is made up of articles that were carried by the Kyiv-based newspaper Den’. This daily is intended for the serious reader and is published in Ukrainian and Russian, while the most interesting articles are included in The Day, its weekly English-language digest. The newspaper has a website and pays close attention to historical topics. Larysa Ivshyna, the editor in chief, has been publishing thematically arranged collections of articles on burning issues in Ukrainian history in book format.

In closing I would like to touch upon the discussions among Ukrainian and Russian politicians concerning the Holodomor’s qualification as genocide. I am sure that these discussions arose only because both sides are viewing the Holodomor through the customary lens of the Holocaust or the Armenian genocide.

I have the Polish translation (published in Krakow in 2005) of a wonderful book by the French scholar Ive Ternon Armenians. The Story of Forgotten Genocide. I have read a lot on the Ukrainian Holocaust, i.e., the death of 1,500,000 Jews in Nazi-occupied Ukraine. I witnessed certain outward signs of this Holocaust in Odesa, and these childhood memories have forever become engraved on my memory. Finally, there is the Holodomor, which I have been studying for a quarter of a century now.

Despite all the dissimilar features of the first two cases of genocide, they have something in common: they are subsumed under the wider notion of ethnic cleansing. Many of my colleagues put the Holodomor in the same category without giving even a thought to the fact that in this case one would have to explain for the benefit of what people the territory was being cleansed.

Some politicians go even further: whether overwhelmed by emotions or acting in a cold-blooded fashion and pursuing their own end (these are a miserable minority), they identify the people with the political regime and accuse Russians of genocide against Ukrainians. The absurdity of this accusation is
unbearable for those Russians who do not separate Ukrainians from themselves. The voices of the extremists on both sides are heard especially clearly.

After all this, is it possible to reach mutual understanding between historians and politicians in Ukraine and Russia on the nature of the Holodomor?

The Holodomor does not have anything in common with ethnic cleansing. In my book I am trying to prove that millions of lives were sacrificed at the altar of Stalin’s government. The dictator was afraid he would lose his personal power if a social explosion occurred in Ukraine, something similar to the one that took place in the first half of 1930. This kind of explosion was imminent.

The Soviets indeed had the authority of workers and peasants, as they claimed. However, in the conditions of strict government centralization, their spread through all the layers of society caused the party and government nomenklatura, the entire multimillion-strong state party, and the people itself to become a plaything in the hands of the dictator. This is the main conclusion I make in my book.

Kyiv, Feb. 26, 2009
Oleksandr Bozhko, Ukraine’s Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Armenia:

“It is very important for us to convey information on Ukraine and the things it lives by to Armenian society, because Armenians have limited opportunities in this respect. They learn about Ukraine primarily through Russian TV channels. Naturally, their perception of Ukraine’s political, economic, and cultural life is somewhat inadequate. The same pertains to the interpretation of our history.

“In Soviet times all the questions linked to the interpretation of history were determined by the center, regardless of whether it was about Armenia or Ukraine. After our nations regained their independence, there was a need to know more about each other, in particular about the tragic pages in the history of both nations, such as the 1915 events in Western Armenia or the Holodomor in Ukraine.

“Working in Armenia, I saw on many occasions that for want of access to objective information, this nation, which is friendly to us, is unable to grasp the scope of our national tragedy and its causes. When Stanislav Kulchytsky’s book, which was prepared for publication by Den’, got into my hands, I immediately thought of publishing it in Armenian.

"Students of history can, of course, learn about the Holodomor at least from the Internet. However, it is important to give the public at large an opportunity to benefit from an unbiased presentation of the facts that were kept hidden from us for so long. This is especially relevant because we lived in one state and are not indifferent to each other as nations.

“I have known Kulchytsky as an authoritative historian for many years. I like his approach to interpreting historical events, especially in the question of the Holodomor, which has drawn the attention of the world community largely owing to his selfless work.

“The acknowledgment of the Holodomor became the subject of persistent ideological and informational struggle. As an ambassador, Ukrainian citizen, and a person who has studied the Ukrainian-Armenian relations for a long time, I was interested in having the book Why Did He Destroy Us? Stalin and the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932–33 published in Armenian.

“The embassy was greatly assisted in this undertaking by the Armenian writer Feliks Bakhchinian. He eagerly accepted the proposal to translate Kulchytsky’s book into Armenian.

“It turned out that the author’s mother, Maria Karapetivna, is a descendant of the Armenians who lived in Southern Ukraine. So it seems logical that the author included an address to the Armenian reader. In this foreword he touches upon the parallels between the tragic events in the history of our nations that should never happen again. This is another goal we are pursuing with this edition. Humankind has gone through many hard experiences, but unfortunately, it has failed to draw lessons from all of them.”

Lecture by Hiroaki Kuromiya, Professor of History, University of Indiana
Stanford University, Thursday, May 7, 2009, 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.
Stanford University, Stanford, California,  Thursday, April 23, 2009
STANFORD, CA - Stanford Lectures on Ukraine, “The Enigma of the Great Famine of 1932-33”, Thursday, May 7th, 5:15-6:15 pm, Hartley Conference Center, Mitchell Building. Contact:  Lessia Jarboe, [email protected].  Website: Free campus parking after 4 pm. Visit the CREEES website regularly for event and news updates:,
The building where over 700 children starved to death in 1932–33 is still there
By Olha Bohlevska, Zaporizhia, The Day Weekly Digest
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Hard facts have been established, revealing the horrible truth about the death of small inmates of an orphanage in downtown Zaporizhia 75 years ago. The city learned the tragic story after the city council’s commission on toponyms began discussing the possibility of installing a memorial sign dedicated to the inmates of the Children’s Home who died in 1932–33.
The evidence, which was discovered almost accidentally, is hair-raising: over 700 inmates of the orphanage, aged between one day and four years, died within a year and a half. Most often the cause of death, as recorded in the archives, was emaciation, intoxication, gastritis, and others. In fact, the small children died of chronic undernourishment. The horrible specter of the Holodomor caught up with them where they were supposed to be rescued and cared for.
Children’s cases were found in the archives a year ago, long before the official measures regarding the Holodomor, by Anatolii Peniok, an amateur ethnographer and foreman at the Zaporizhstal Steelworks. “We learned about the death of 30 orphanage inmates back in 1993 but were unable to locate the institution, he says, so I decided to find it and started digging up the state archives.”
Leafing through public registry files of what was at the time Stalin district, reading handwritten entries faded with time, Peniok came across a large number of death certificates relating to infants and pointing to the same location: Children’s Home at 7 Rosa Luxembug St., or just a children’s home, without an address but with the same names of the medical staff.
He checked the records from May 21, 1932, through Nov. 30, 1933 and meticulously copied the children’s names, drawing up a list of 755 names. Peniok feels sure that a further study of these documents would reveal quite a few silent tragedies.

I have followed in the footsteps of the above-mentioned foreman and the archivists who were tasked with answering a request from the Zhovtnevy district city state administration, and studied the demographic records. I could not help crying as I turned the pages of archival documents. Not a single day would pass at the orphanage without a small inmate’s death; sometimes five to six deaths were registered within 24 hours. Nine children died on May 21, 1933, when the famine was exacerbated by a measles epidemic.

The names of many children are proof of their status as foundlings (e.g., Yurii Dniprostroi, Ivan Stantsiiny, Mykola Fevralsky, Frosia Yuzhna, Nina Dyspanserna, etc.). After exhausting the list of ordinary names, the orphanage’s personnel turned to those of past celebrities: Bernard Shaw, Anna Akhmetova (sic), Lesia Ukrainka, and so on. Yet children died all the same.

Peniok’s discovery became known to Dr. Fedir Turchenko, who holds a Ph.D. in History and is a member of the Zaporizhia City Council’s commission on toponyms. He was in charge of the Zaporizhia volume of the National Book of Memory: victims of the 1932–33 Holodomor in Ukraine.
He was stunned by the functionaries’ cynicism at the time: “That orphanage was … on Rosa Luxemburg St., where there also was the prosecutor’s office, district council, finance department, and other institutions. The Soviet bureaucrats could not have been ignorant of what was happening in a building they passed by every day on their way to work.”

Referring to official documents, Dr. Turchenko notes that the children’s homes in what is now Zaporizhia oblast and what was then part of Dnipropetrovsk oblast had some 40,000 inmates. Peasant parents would often purposefully abandon their babies in that relatively well-supplied industrial area, hoping the foundlings would be spared death by starvation. Vain hopes.

Turchenko is sure that the Soviet civil servants did not suffer from the famine because they received food from special distribution centers that did not cater to the public at large. Proof of this is an archival directive establishing food rations for the senior officials of the Melitopil district executive committee (the first figure indicates the amount per the head of the family and the second one, per a dependent of up to 14 years of age): 600-800/400 grams of bread and 1.0/0.5 kilogram of cereals were part of the daily rations.
The monthly rations included 3.5 kilograms/500 grams of meat; 1.5 kilogram/400 grams of sugar, etc. It stands to reason that the bureaucrats in Zaporizhia did not have poorer rations than their counterparts in the province.

The street that used to bear the name of Rosa Luxemburg now boasts the name of another revolutionary, Felix Dzerzhinsky. Building No. 7 now accommodates the state treasury department and a veterinary clinic. Historians do not have direct evidence that this building once housed the orphanage, but the probability is very high.
It is an old structure, located at an intersection, just like that Children’s Home in the 1930s. Be that as it may, the initiators of the memorial project believe that the main thing is not the exact address but the memories of innocent children’s souls.

“It would be improper to remind people who work here of the sad events of the past every day,” says Mykhailo Levchenko, a member of the commission on toponyms, “so we agreed on a memorial plaque on the wall joining building No. 7 and the next building.”

The initiative of the city council members and the public has been supported by the experts at the city’s architecture and urban planning directorate. Hopefully, the red tape that started last spring will finally end and memories of the children who happened to be born in that horrible period will not sink into oblivion.

By Alina POPKOVA, The Day Weekly Digest in English #12
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The legislative assembly of Canada’s province Ontario has passed a law by a unanimous vote for the first time in its history. According to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Vasyl Kyrylych, the law established the fourth Saturday in November each year as Holodomor Memorial Day in Ontario to commemorate the genocide by famine that occurred in Ukraine from 1932 to 1933.

The bill was proposed by representatives of all the political parties in Ontario’s parliament: Dave Levac (Liberal Party), Cheri DiNovo (New Democratic Party), and Frank Klees (Progressive Conservative Party). “The memorial day,” Levac said, “will provide an opportunity to reflect on and to educate the public about crimes against humanity that occurred in Ukraine from 1932 to 1933 under the Stalin regime, when as many as 10 million people perished in a man-made famine and genocide. We must speak about these ugly things so they do not repeat in the future.”

He was supported by Cheri DiNovo who noted: “Those who fought long and hard to have Holodomor commemorated deserve the Legislature’s thanks. You are an example to the world, to those who deny oppression and who deny totalitarianism still… A very ugly silence has been broken.”
According to MPP Frank Kless, “a tragedy in which, at its worst, 25,000 people died every single day in a region considered the Soviet Union’s breadbasket, traumatized a nation, leaving its people with deep social, psychological, political scars.” Attending the legislative hearings were A. Danyleiko, Consul-General of Ukraine in Toronto, Archbishop Yurii of Toronto and Eastern Canada, and representatives of Ukrainian civic organizations in Canada.

It will be recalled that on April 6 the genocide of Ukrainians was condemned by the municipality of Santa Susana, Catalonia. The historical fact of the 1932–33 Holodomor has been officially recognized by more than 70 countries. The presidents and heads of government and parliaments of 26 counties called the Holodomor an act of genocide.
Of great political importance was a joint statement on the 70th anniversary of the 1932–33 great famine (Holodomor) in Ukraine adopted, as an official document, by the 58th session of the UN General Assembly. The statement, essentially a declaration, was cosponsored by 36 UN member states. The 1932–1933 events were thus recognized as national tragedy and have been called Holodomor since then at the international level.

Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs, Washington Office,
SigmaBleyzer, Emerging Markets Private Equity Investment Group;
President/CEO, U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Publisher & Editor, Action Ukraine Report (AUR)
Founder/Trustee: Holodomor: Through The Eyes Of Ukrainian Artists
Founder/Trustee: Faces of the Gulag: Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists
1701 K Street, NW, Suite 903, Washington, D.C. 20006
Telephone: 202 437 4707; Fax: 202 223 1224
[email protected]; [email protected];