Ukrainians remember the victims of the Great Famine-Genocide of 1932-33
Over the weekend, Ukrainians across the globe commemorated and honored the memories of the millions of victims of Stalin’s artificially created Genocide-Famine of the years 1932-33. In solemn ceremonies from Kyiv to cities across Australia, Canada and the United States, Ukrainians lit candles and held memorial church services for the souls of those who died in those horrible years.
In Kyiv, in the area between the two great cathedrals of St. Sophia and St. Michael’s, the event was marked by the lighting of 33,000 candles, representing the number of people who died every day at the height of the famine in the spring of 1933. It had long been a dream of Ukraine’s President Yushchenko to hold such a ceremony, as previous administrations, which were still under the sway of Moscow, marked the occasion with only perfunctory ceremonies.
Ukrainians call the genocidal famine “Holodomor”, which means “murder by famine”. At precisely 4 p.m. on Saturday, a national moment of silence was observed followed by the lighting of the candles.
I would like to honor the memories of those who died by publishing my own translation of my mother’s short memoir of those years. It is her testament to what she saw and experienced -- the death not only of millions of people, but of an entire way of life.