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Statements on Holodomor Memorial Day

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Ukrainian Canadian Congress

The statement below was released by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress on November 24. 

On Saturday, November 25, Canada commemorates Holodomor Memorial Day. In 1932-1933, millions of Ukrainians – children, women and men – were murdered by the Soviet regime of Joseph Stalin.

The Ukrainian nation was condemned to death by starvation because of the Ukrainian people’s aspiration for independence and their desire to maintain their culture and traditions and speak their language.

In 1932-1933, the borders of Ukraine were sealed, all grain and food was confiscated, and the Ukrainian people starved. Those who resisted were executed or sent to hard labor in the Gulag. To break the resistance of the Ukrainian people to Soviet rule, the totalitarian Communist regime turned food into a weapon. In one of history’s greatest crimes, the Soviet regime committed genocide against a nation of grain growers who sought to live free on their own land.

Despite the Soviet attempts to destroy the Ukrainian nation, the Ukrainian people persevered and, decades later, won their independence.

Today that independence is again under threat from Russia’s tyranny. The people of Ukraine are once more forced to defend their homeland against Russian imperialism. In Ukraine’s east, Russia wages a brutal war of aggression, seeking again to subjugate Ukraine to Moscow’s rule. A generation of Ukrainians again takes up arms in courageous defense of their freedom and right to self-determination. With God’s help, they will be victorious.

On Holodomor Memorial Day, we gather in our communities to pay tribute to the memory of the millions of innocent victims of the Holodomor Famine Genocide 1932-1933. We honor the survivors of the Holodomor, whose courage in sharing their story has educated the world about this genocide. We strengthen our commitment to ensuring that crimes such as the Holodomor never happen again. And we pray that peace soon returns to Ukraine.

May the memory of the victims be eternal!

Ukrainian World Congress

The statement below by the Ukrainian World Congress was released on November 22.

On Saturday, November 25, 2017, the international community will unite with Ukrainians worldwide in remembrance of the victims of the 1932-1933 Holodomor, the Famine-Genocide that left a nation scarred but not defeated in its determination to live in dignity and freedom.

As we mark the 84th anniversary of this genocide, we also begin a yearlong commemoration leading to the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor that will culminate in November 2018.

In describing the horrors of the Holodomor in her recently published “Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine,” Anne Applebaum describes the brigades who came house to house to search for and confiscate food from the starving: “With each passing day, demands became angrier, the language ruder: Why haven’t you disappeared yet? Why haven’t you dropped dead yet? Why are you alive at all?”

Despite the decades-long efforts by Communist authorities to eradicate the Ukrainian people, and attempts by other contemporary forces to disinform and erase from human memory the crimes of the Holodomor, today the truth of the Holodomor is well documented, and with continued education and discussion will contribute to a better understanding of both the past and the present.

Ukrainians remain united in the fight against the hybrid war of the Russian Federation, which continues its efforts to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and discredit the nation in the eyes of the world. It is the obligation of every individual living in the free world to heed the lessons of the Holodomor not only in support of the Ukrainian people, but in defense of the principles of truth, democracy and fundamental human rights.

The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) and the 20-million strong Ukrainian diaspora call upon the international community to strengthen its efforts to further raise international awareness of the Holodomor and promote the recognition of the Holodomor as an act of genocide by the governments of all countries and the United Nations.

The UWC also appeals to all descendants of victims of the Holodomor to become the voice of family members who can no longer speak for themselves. We need to pray for the victims of the Holodomor, light the candle of remembrance and share the story that will both strengthen a nation and enlighten the world.

Throughout 2018 the UWC, together with its member organizations, will be launching a series of initiatives to amplify the message and brighten the beacon of hope for all peoples who remain oppressed and constantly vigilant of the fragility of freedom.

On Saturday, November 25, 2017, International Holodomor Memorial Day, let us remember every child and woman and man that senselessly perished during this genocide.

May our memory of the victims of the Holodomor remain eternal.

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