November 3, 2017

Events inaugurate 85th anniversary of Holodomor

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WASHINGTON – From the fall of 1932 through 1933, the Soviet regime under Joseph Stalin committed two heinous crimes. It deliberately and systematically starved to death 7-10 million Ukrainians and then effectively manipulated the world media to conceal the crime, providing a template for a subterfuge that continues today. In the service of preventing the recurrence of such horrific events, the U.S. Committee for Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide Awareness invites the world community to join in the continuing exposure and commemoration of this man-made famine known as the Holodomor on the occasion of its 85th anniversary.

The Holodomor – “murder by starvation” – was created by confiscating foodstuffs and using blockades to prevent the starving from seeking food elsewhere. Entire villages became silent as children and adults succumbed to hunger. An estimated 15 percent of the population of Ukraine perished for want of food, even as the Soviet Union was exporting confiscated grain. This monstrous crime was orchestrated by Joseph Stalin and his henchmen to break the will of the Ukrainian nation, whose independence of thought and love of liberty posed an existential threat to the development of a collectivist but totalitarian Marxist Utopia. Stalin later remarked that it was “a terrible struggle… Ten million.. fearful… absolutely necessary,” more challenging than the second world war.

The attendant cover-up was achieved by imposing news blockades and suborning all too willing journalists to provide false information in their dispatches, in other words, creating fake news. As facts slowly emerged, the death by famine was recognized as genocide by Raphael Lemkin, the visionary thinker who both coined the term and then developed the Genocide Convention. Over the last half-century, emerging scholarship has prompted 16 countries around the world to formally recognize the Holodomor as genocide.

To this day, Russia, the successor state to the Soviet Union, continues to deny the basic facts and intent of the Holodomor. The strategies employed include the dissemination of false information, disparagement of objective scholarship and the deployment of troll farms on social media.

The yearlong commemoration of the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor will commence with inaugural events in Washington and New York.

Tuesday, November 7, in Washington

• 2 p.m. – Requiem service at the Holodomor Memorial, located at the corner of North Capitol Street and Massachusetts Avenue, NW. Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox clergy will perform a traditional requiem service for the memory of the victims of the Holodomor. Following the religious service, brief comments will be delivered by honored guests.

• 4:30 p.m. – Congressional Briefing, Capitol Visitor Center, Congressional Meeting Room North. The congressional briefing will be an opportunity for experts to provide remarks about the historical, political and social ramifications of the Holodomor. Invited panelists include: Valeriy Chaly, ambassador of Ukraine to the United States; Nigel Colley, grand-nephew of Welsh journalist Gareth Jones, one of the few Western journalists who wrote about the Holodomor in 1932-1933; Andrew Stuttaford, contributing editor to the National Review, who has written extensively on the Holodomor and Russian aggression; Molly McKew, an information warfare expert and specialist on Russia-U.S. relations; and, Ulana Mazurkevich, co-chair of the U.S. Commission on the Ukraine Famine (1985-1990). Members of Congress have also been requested to deliver remarks during the two-hour session.

Saturday, November 18, in New York 

11:30 a.m. – March of Remembrance for the victims of the Holodomor. Beginning at St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church on East Seventh Street between Second and Third avenues, participants will begin a solemn procession to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The march will be led by hierarchy and clergy of the Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The march will proceed north along Third Avenue to 51st Street, then turn west to Fifth Avenue, the location of the cathedral. All participants are requested to wear Ukrainian embroidered blouses and shirts. Along the route, participants in the March of Remembrance will distribute brochures, which include a postcard that can be mailed to The New York Times, requesting them to relinquish Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer Prize.

2 p.m. – Solemn memorial service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox clergy will lead a traditional requiem service for the memory of the victims of the Holodomor. Following the religious service, brief comments will be delivered by honored guests.

“The inaugural events of November 7 and 18 are an effort to tell the story of the Ukrainians who perished during the Genocide of 1932-1933,” stated Michael Sawkiw Jr., chairman of the U.S. Committee for Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide Awareness. “We are planning conferences and exhibits, requesting that governors issue executive proclamations honoring the victims of the Holodomor, and developing curricula for high schools and colleges to educate the American people and the world about the Holodomor.”

For further information, readers may contact the U.S. Holodomor Committee’s Chairman Sawkiw at ukrainegenocide@gmail.com or Executive Secretary Daria Pishko at dapia@aol.com.