In 2008 Ukrainians around the work are marking the 75th anniversary of the Famine of 1932-1933 where 7-10 million innocent Ukrainians – men, women and children perished as a result of the forced attempts by the Soviet regime to collectivize. The fact that the Famine occurred and that 7 – 10 million innocent victims died as a result was denied and covered up by the soviet regime decades. In addition, the truth about the circumstances around the Famine were covered up and hidden from the world, as if this tragedy never happened. These facts, however, can no longer be denied, as they are substantiated by documents in the archival fonds (collections) of the SBU, recently opened and published in a publication called [Uncovered secret memory] Ðîçñåêðå÷åíà ïàì’ÿòü.
The Famine 1932-1933 was genocide carried out against the Ukrainian nation. The purpose of this directed artificially created famine was to destroy the Ukrainian nation or at least to subjugate it. In addition, it is considered a famine-genocide because:
All of these point to the factors that can establish the Famine 1932-1933 as an act of genocide. We should all feel a responsibility to inform the world about the truth surrounding this genocide in the name and memory of the millions of innocent victims. We believe that only the recognition and condemnation of this crime against a nation and humanity is a deterrent of something similar happening again.
- It was artificially created for a specific purpose – as a tool to bring a nation to its knees
- It was planned by the Soviet regime for a very specific purpose on a specific section of population
- It was brutally carried out and as a result 7 – 10 million people starved to death
- There were attempts to hide the fact that the famine even existed or happened.
It is important now that Ukrainian youth understand its role in learning and disseminating the truth about this event which has been denied by the Soviet government. Ukrainian you ought to arm with the facts and truth to spread the word about the genocide so that the there is an understanding of these events so as not to ever allow anyone else to repeat this type of event against any nation in the world again.
There are various sources of information about the Famine genocide – both in print and documentary media here are a few of them:
The President of Ukraine announced the slogan/haslo Ukraine remembers – the world acknowledges as proof that Ukraine – the government and its people will remember this tragedy-genocide. Remembering, Ukrainians will show their respect for those who died a terrible death. It is each one of our duty to work at it so that all governments of the world acknowledge the Famine as genocide and in condemning it ensure that this never repeats itself in any country of the world again.
The World Executive of the Ukrainian Youth Association took the President of Ukraine’s haslo with the intention of ensuring that all Ukrainians where ever they may reside feel included in this haslo and feels the responsibility of disseminating the information about the Famine-genocide and accepted the President’s haslo along with a secondary variation to the theme for 2008 as Ukrainians remember – the world acknowledges – Ukrainians remember – the world acknowledges.
Richnytsi / anniversary dates
In addition to the main anniversary date we have added a list of other dates that can be marked in various ways throughout the year. The vykhovnyky can use these dates to provide the youth members with information about their history throughout the year. This year we have two anniversary events that are made up of several dates. From time to time we come across these types of very important events that are based in a series of dates and we celebrate the culmination point – for example if you see the 90th anniversary “Vyzvol’ni zmahannia 1918 – 1919. You may present the culminating points of this anniversary of the proclamation of an independent state without going into the chronology of events that lead up to the proclamation. A second example for this year is the 360 anniversary of when Bohdan Khmelnytskyj was elected Het’man and started to organize the Kozak state (1648 ).
The dates that relate to these anniversaries span several years and there are a series of events that can be marked and discussed separately or they can be included in one anniversary as we did here. In presenting the fuller context of the chronology of events that lead up to the culmination one gains a better understanding of the actions, the reactions and the highlights that lead up to the anniversary and gives a fuller richer context to the understanding.
History is a series of events that brings one to a point in any given period of time. In a fuller context the vykhovnyky may be able to better outline the history for the junatstvo who will hopefully be able to better appreciate history in its fuller context. One can also understand history as a series of actions and reactions. To understand the anniversaries totally it is better if you put it in context and see what was going on around the actual leading up to the event from all sides and therefore having a better understanding how an event or person influenced the subsequent outcomes or in the end the history or our nation. Ultimately, understanding our history, we learn from it or we destined to continually repeat it.
Head of Vykhovna Rada