HOLODOMOR 1933: Light a candle in your window


History of Ukraine, International, Ukraine

Source: DEN
Translated by: Christine Chraibi
James E. Mace (February 18, 1952 – May 3, 2004) was an American historian, professor, and researcher of the Holodomor. In 1982, at an international conference on the Holocaust and genocide Mace stated: “In order to centralize the power in the hands of Stalin, what was needed was to destroy the Ukrainian peasant, the Ukrainian intellectuals, the Ukrainian language, Ukrainian understanding of their history and to destroy Ukraine as such. This was simply calculated and primitive: No people, as a result no country, and the result – no problem.”

Professor Mace wrote the following article for DEN newspaper on February 18, 20013:

I was allotted five minutes to explain the famine of 1933 in Ukraine before the American Commission on Holodomor. There was clearly not enough time to say much, except that we had done everything we could. Ukraine, with a few exceptions such as Communist leader Petro Symonenko, generally reached the same conclusion, namely that Ukrainians had been victims of genocide in the 1930s, and were psychologically so mutilated and scarred that many weaknesses and failures of the Ukrainian government can be explained by these horrifying years.

As a foreigner, I don’t feel very comfortable giving political advice… even when I hear some Communists shouting that I should go back to my Indians. However, I’ve learned one thing during the years spent studying this tragedy, although I’m not sure that it’s correctly understood. As a person who’s tried vainly to establish an institute for the study of genocide ten years ago, I truly welcome the recent initiative of some Ukrainian politicians who created the Institute for the Study of the Holodomor.

I also commend Communist deputy Borys Oliynyk who recently called for a public declaration of all the perpetrators and victims (which is easier said than done!), and I fully support the project for a monument to the victims of Holodomor, largely overdue, in my opinion.

Finally, I would also like to suggest an action of national memory that could be observed by everyone: on the national day of remembrance commemorating the victims of 1933 (the fourth Saturday in November), given that every Ukrainian, almost every family lost a loved one, I would ask everyone to light a candle in memory of the dead. It would be a fitting response to Oleksandr Bykovets, a priest in America, when he pondered over the suffering endured by Ukraine over the years:

 “… All were willing to sacrifice themselves; they knew that they’d be destroyed today or tomorrow, but they were concerned about one thing – Will the world know about it?… And the second question, more spiritual – Will anyone pray for all who perished?”

Even seven decades later, a candle that flickers in the window seems to be a worthy answer!

Holodomor memorial. The Holodomor/????????? was a man-made famine in the Ukrainian SSR between 1932 and 1933. During the famine, 2.4 - 7.5 millions of Ukrainians died of starvation.

Holodomor Memorial in Kyiv




Source: DEN
Translated by: Christine Chraibi

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