Holodomor “to the dead, living and unborn (words by Taras Shevchenko)

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washington dc union station holodomor dedication november 7, 2015
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Lithuanian Ladies support Ukrainian Holodomor commemoration in Washington DC Nov. 7 2015
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Mrs. Poroshenko Speaking in Washington DC at Holodomor dedication ceremony
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Taras Shevchenko monument dedicated in Washington DC July 1964
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300 year old Kozak flag from Zaporizhzhya
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holodomor dedication union station washington dc 11/7/2015
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5000 people at Union Station honoring those who starved in 1932-33 because of Stalin’s man made famine in Ukraine
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young girls learning about holodomor at union station

Holodomor; Genocide because of a man-made famine
Ukrainians have been immigrating to the United States for over a hundred years. A very determined
group arrived after WWII. They were Europeans without a homeland, because Ukraine had been
consistently occupied for the last 200 years or more, so they arrived in the USA as Poles, Austrians,
Russians, Byelorussians, Hungarians and whatnot.
The group that came from the American DP camps in Germany were convinced that Stalin’s wrath and
genocide tactics would surely destroy Ukraine this time, so their mission was to preserve everything Ukrainian;
the language, the music, the art, the crafts, the traditions, the religion and family ways because the idea
of Ukraine not being was a possibility in their eyes.
They arrived between 1949 and 1964. By 1964 they had raised enough money to build a Shevchenko
monument in Washington DC. Shevchenko to the Ukrainian language is like Shakespeare is to the
English language. This was a writer, a poet, a painter who was persecuted by the Russian Tsars yet wrote
in such away that even today, at a concert in Washington’s Georgetown University Lisner Auditorium,
when the Bandura Chorus sang “the Testament” by Shevchenko 1500 people in the audience stood up
and joined in the singing.
These were people who remembered the Great Famine of Ukraine, as it was called then, and then saw/witnessed
the Stalin purges and executions of the 40’s and they were terrified of what would happen to Ukraine.
They were the builders. In every community of the USA where Ukrainian people lived, there were two
churches, Orthodox and Catholic, and a Ukrainian School, and a Ukrainian national home, for meetings,
dances, dinners and social events. They bought land and built resorts, so that during the summers they
could enjoy and exchange their cultural creativity and vacation together.
After the Shevchenko monument was built and dedicated with Dwight Eisenhower attending, they
raised money for the Ukrainian Studies Chair at Harvard, and then proceeded to have the Great Famine
of the 30’s acknowledged as a genocide and a name was given to this horrendous event, it became
known as the Holodomor. Around 2012 the Ukrainian people realized that 80 years have passed, and
soon there would be no survivors to testify to this event. So a committee was formed to have a
Holodomor monument built in Washington DC in order to commemorate the over 10 million who
starved that year between 1932-33.
At the time the committee did not know that Russia would invade Ukraine in 2014. Ironically almost 80
years after they tried to starve the Bread Basket of Europe , systemically and consistently. They did this
so as to empty the Ukrainian Eastern Provinces. Once this was accomplished Stalin sent in the Russian
delinquents, and unwanted citizens into exile. This newly emptied land was filled up with these strange,
foreign people who were not familiar to Ukrainian ways of farming and cultivating life. They didn’t want
to farm. They began to form gangs and violent communities.
It is in these lands, populated with the descendants of those exiled Russians, who no one wanted, not
the Russians, and not the Ukrainians who were left, that Putin sent in his troops. It is in these lands, that
Ukraine is fighting the Russians This memorial is not only a memorial to the starved and dead of the 1930’s. This memorial is to the
living, the not living, and the not yet born Ukrainians (Taras Shevchenko). It is a memorial to their plight.
Five thousand Ukrainians, and their friends gathered at Union Station in Washington, DC, this past weekend
to dedicate the Holodomor Memorial. Just about 50 years after the Shevchenko dedication. Five
thousand people prayed, held funeral masses, and sang their National Anthem, in the presence of their
church leaders, the first Lady of Ukraine Mrs. Poroshenko, and Representatives Sandy Levin of
Michigan, and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio who spoke live on the screen.
The dedication culminated with a “walk” down the street past the monument to the White House where
people continued to gather and express their sorrow. On Sunday services were held in all the Ukrainian
churches, and in the afternoon there was a wonderful concert. Three generations of Ukrainians,
descendants of immigrants, and new immigrants celebrated their plight in song and art as Ukrainians
know how. They can best express themselves in poetry, music and art. The haunting “Melodia” of
Skoryk a living composer resonated throughout the program.
Halyna Klymuk
Washington DC
November 8, 2015

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h.chomiak@gmail.com

I studied history, grew up bilingually and never had extended family near me and never knew why. So I ventured out all over the world to find them and learn how that came to be. I found out why. During my travels and encounters I have learned about many things and felt it was important to share with all...

One thought on “Holodomor “to the dead, living and unborn (words by Taras Shevchenko)”

  1. Ukraine’s religious leaders spoke of the evil of the holodomor and the destruction of so many lives during the tragic time. Thousands of religious leaders were murdered during the 1930’s and 7,000 churches across Soviet Ukraine were completely destroyed during this time.

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