Turning the pages back...

August 6, 1960

An editorial featured in The Weekly on August 6, 1960, commented on how pro-Russian sentiment in both the Republican and Democratic parties had stymied support for captive non-Russian nations, such as Ukraine.

It all began when an editorial was written two weeks earlier about the Democratic National Convention, mainly concerning the party platform on "The Communist World." The Democrats spoke of captive non-Russian nations, enumerating nine so-called satellites and East Germany. However, what were referred to as "other captive nations," presumably in the USSR, were not even named. This partly showed the pro-Russian sentiment that ran rampant among most Americans at this time.

After it became apparent that Democrats would do nothing for the benefit of the enslaved nations under Russian rule, Ukrainians thought that perhaps the Republican Party would come through. However, it did not.

On the Republican side, only eight lines were dedicated to the satellite nations and East Germany - plus a reference to "other once-free nations" - so it became apparent that the GOP was no more concerned with countries under rule in the USSR than the Democrats were. Though its five-page report on U.S. foreign policy stated that the Republican Party was committed to freedom, not one specific word was written in the report about non-Russian captive nations within the USSR.

The Weekly's editorial noted that back in 1952 the Republicans had adopted a "policy of liberation," which excited millions of Americans, as well as oppressed peoples behind the Iron Curtain. There was actually hope that Ukraine and other captive nations would be freed. However, by 1956 the phrase "policy of liberation" could neither be heard nor found anywhere, the editorial pointed out.

Another glimmer of hope appeared when the U.S. Congress passed the "Captive Nations Week Resolution" in 1959, which underscored that, historically, Americans shared with captive nations the love of freedom. After signing the resolution into law, President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated that all captive nations aspiring for freedom have the support of the American government and the American people.

A year later, the failure of the Democratic and Republican parties to adopt any resolution to help captive non-Russian nations gave Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev more satisfaction and an even greater sense of power, the editorial argued.

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, it went on to note, was doing all that it could to spread the word concerning captive nations and how the U.S. must help them. UCCA representatives appeared before both the Republican and the Democratic conventions, explaining the dire situation of the Ukrainian people in hopes of finding support for Ukraine and other enslaved non-Russian nations.

The Weekly concluded its commentary by urging the Ukrainian community, and other Americans to whom the plight of the captive nations was dear, to redouble their efforts as "the battle for freedom of all the peoples and nations is only in its nascent stage."

Source: "Republicans and Enslaved Nationals"(Editorial), The Ukrainian Weekly, August 6, 1960.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, August 3, 2003, No. 31, Vol. LXXI

| Home Page |