Each November, Ukrainians throughout the world commemorate the HOLODOMOR -- the genocidal Famine during which torture and murder by hunger claimed the lives of over 7 million Ukrainian men, women and children. In the winter of 1932-1933, the Soviet government of Joseph Stalin engineered this deliberate and systemic starvation of the Ukrainian rural population to break their spirit of independence, to force them to forfeit their farms, and to murder them by merciless starvation. Armed squads forcibly confiscated all types of grain and eventually took even the last scraps of food. Those accused of "hoarding" just handfuls of cereal or bread were arrested and executed. Deprived of all food and of hope and forbidden to move anywhere in search of sustenance, a quarter of the rural population starved to death. Villages emptied of humans, mothers had no energy to bury their children, and frozen bodies littered the landscape. This tragic chapter of Ukraine's history has remained unknown and unacknowledged. With the opening of once secret Soviet files it is now slowly gaining worldwide recognition. Already the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 356 and the U.S. Senate, with our own Senator George Allen as a co-sponsor, is promoting Senate Resolution 202. Both resolutions declare that the man-made famine was a genocidal tool used for the deliberate destruction of the Ukrainian people.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the HOLODOMOR, the Tidewater Ukrainian Cultural Association held a commemoration on November 21, 2003, with a Memorial Program and Holy Requiem Liturgy. The commemoration was held at the Catholic Church of the Holy Family in Virginia Beach, with the following program:
1:30 PM Reception
2:00 PM "Harvest of Despair" (an award-winning documentary film with footage of the Famine)
3:00 PM Program Speakers and a Bandura Musical Interlude by Dr. Olga Cehelska
3:15 PM Holy Requiem Liturgy and Panakhyda (celebrated by Reverend Taras Lonchyna of the Holy Trinity Particular Ukrainian Catholic Church (Byzantine Rite) in Silver Spring, MD)
As Americans who are proud of our Ukrainian roots and heritage we mourn the death and the suffering of these innocent millions. We have a moral obligation to ensure that their horrific deaths are not forgotten, and that their sacrifices are remembered. Vichnaya Pamyat! Eternal Memory! Further information on the Holodomor can be found at The Ukrainian Weekly Holodomor site. Holodomor Program Committee:
Olena C. Boyko Michael Luciw Wolodymyr Melnitchouk Anna Makhorkina Nadia Hoots Thomas Krop Andy Grynewytsch