JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Copies of an open letter to President Ronald Reagan written sometime last year by 10 Soviet political prisoners have recently reached the West, reported the External Representation of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group. The 10, all prisoners in Camp No. 36, part of a vast penal complex in the northern city of Perm in the Russian SFSR, asked Mr. Reagan to help form an international commission to inspect Soviet labor camps. They said that Soviet abuses of political prisoners are “so widespread that it is no longer merely a question of violations of human rights, but of premeditated inhumanity, of physical and psychological torture, of terrorizing the spirit and exhibiting moral contempt for culture.” The letter was signed by Mykola Rudenko, Oles Shevchenko, Myroslav Marynovych, Viktor Nekipelov, Alexander Ogorodnikov, Henrich Altunian, Antanas Terliatskas, Viktor Niytsoo, Norair Grygorian and Vladimir Balakhonov.
Dissident profile JERSEY CITY, N.J. – When Ukrainian political prisoner Vitaliy Shevchenko was arrested in Kiev almost three years ago, he was charged with, among other offenses, expressing unorthodox opinions in the margins of books by Lenin. In addition to his marginal jottings in two volumes of Lenin’s works, Mr. Shevchenko was forced to account for certain critical remarks made in the 1950s about the 1930s famine in Ukraine resulting from Stalin’s forced collectivization of farming and his attempt to break the national consciousness of the peasantry. Mr. Shevchenko, a 50-year-old graduate of the University of Kiev journalism school, was fired from his job on Soviet Ukrainian radio, it is believed, because of his Ukrainian nationalist sentiments. He wrote for the dissident Ukrainian Herald, an underground newspaper publicizing Ukrainian human-rights issues, which has been suppressed by authorities since its inception in 1970. Mr. Shevchenko was arrested in the Ukrainian capital on April 14, 1980, for circulating samvydav, privately circulated underground publications.
WASHINGTON – A public meeting was held on Sunday, February 27, in the parish center of the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine of the Holy Family to solicit the support of Washington’s Ukrainian community in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the greatest tragedy in Ukrainian history – the Great Famine of 1932-33. This Ukrainian holocaust, created by Soviet authorities, claimed the lives of over 7 million victims.
As a result of the meeting, a special Washington Action Committee was elected in order to facilitate preparation for the solemn national observance of the Great Famine anniversary. The meeting commenced with an invocation by the Rev. Stephen Shawel CSsR, pastor of the Ukrainian Catholic shrine. The meeting was called to order by Ihor Vitkovitsky. The presidium also included Marta Pereyma and Bohdan Kozak, secretary.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. – The financial committee of the National Committee to Commemorate Genocide Victims in Ukraine 1932-33 has announced that $100,000 will be needed to mark the 50th anniversary of the Soviet-made Great Famine in which 7 million Ukrainians perished. This conclusion was reached at a meeting of the committee held on Saturday, March 5, at the main office of the Ukrainian National Association. Present were the chairman of the national committee, Prof. Petro Stecho, financial committee chairman Edward Popil, and George Powstenko, Stephen Procyk and Ulana Diachuk, financial committee members. As reported earlier, the Great Famine commemoration ceremonies will include two main events. The first is scheduled to be held at South Bound Brook, N.J., at St.
CHICAGO – More than 70 white ethnic, Black, Hispanic and Asian ethnic leaders met at a Chicago Ukrainian restaurant recently to commemorate the man-made Great Famine of 1932-33 that took 7 million Ukrainian lives. The multi-etnic coalition met February 15 at Galan’s Ukrainian Cafe in the neighborhood known as the Ukrainian Village on Chicago’s Near Northwest Side. The meeting was organized by the Illinois Consultation on Ethnicity in Education and was moderated by Dr. Myron Kuropas, a consultation founder and supreme vice president of the Ukrainian National Association. “The consultation brings together a diverse group of ethnic leaders who work, in coalitions, to solve problems and support common causes,” said Edwin Cudecki, consultation chairperson and director of the Bureau of Foreign Languages for the Chicago Public Schools. The gathering at Galan’s constituted the largest steering committee meeting in the consultation’s 12-year history.
The horror of millions of people dying of starvation and malnutrition while available food was being exported from Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 will never be forgotten. I am very pleased that The Ukrainian Weekly is devoting a special issue to remembrance of the Great Famine of 50 years ago, so that this tragedy will not be forgotten. – Sen. Charles H. Percy, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, in a letter to John O. Flis, supreme president of the Ukrainian National Association. * * * This year, Ukrainians throughout the world are observing the 50th anniversary of the Great Famine of 1932-33, Stalin’s planned destruction of the Ukrainian nation in which 7 million men, women and children perished. This special issue of The Ukrainian Weekly is dedicated to the solemn anniversary of this Soviet-perpetrated genocide and to the eternal memory of its victims.
We are sending copies of this special issue – which includes a 12-page pull-out section on pages 3-14 – to all U.S. senators and representatives in order to inform them about this holocaust of the Ukrainian nation, and to all Svoboda subscribers in the hope that they will share this special issue with their non-Ukrainian friends and thus make them aware of the Great Famine.
( The Ukrainian Weekly, March 20, 1983, No. 12, Vol. LI)
The following eyewitness account of the Great Famine was given by Ivan Klymko and recorded by Dmytro Solovey in 1949. It was published in “The Golgotha of Ukraine,” a 43-page booklet published in 1953 by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. If I were to merely note here that 60 percent of the populace of the Lukashiv Grange starved to death in 1933, the bare figure itself would not give any idea of what truly transpired.
June 1932 On June 2, 1932, Svoboda reported that, according to Pravda, the official newspaper of the Soviet Communist Party, a large portion of the recently harvested crops had spoiled. Pravda said the reason for the spoilage was disorganization on Soviet grain farms due to lack of skilled laborers responsible for overseeing the delivery of crops. Half a million tons were wasted and a special commission had been appointed to look into the situation, Pravda reported. On June 6, Svoboda reported on news published in a British daily, The Manchester Guardian, which had sent its Moscow correspondent to investigate the food situation throughout the Soviet Union and in Ukraine. After traveling through various cities, towns and villages the correspondent confirmed his hunch that provisions were very low throughout the areas.
(The Ukrainian Weekly, March 20, 1983, No. 12, Vol. LI)
In 1933, Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. Before his death in 1945, some 10 million civilians, including 6 million Jews and 4 million Gypsies, Poles, Ukrainians, Byelorussians and other “untermenschen,” were slaughtered to fulfill a diabolical dream. When World War II ended and the full extent of Hitler’s horrors was finally revealed, the civilized world demanded justice.
(The Ukrainian Weekly, March 20, 1983, No. 12, Vol. LI)
THE GREAT FAMINE IN UKRAINE 1932-33
The following eyewitness accounts were first published in the second volume of “The Black Deeds of the Kremlin: A White Book,” published in 1955 by the Democratic Organization of Ukrainians Formerly Persecuted by the Soviet Regime. The first volume appeared in 1953. In many cases, eyewitnesses used their initials rather than their full names because they feared reprisals against family members still living in Ukraine or Eastern Europe.