August 1, 1999
Letters to the Editor
I wish to relate two articles in the Post: Plans for the Holocaust
Museum Stalled and The Stalinization of the Left, July 31, 1999 to show
the relevance of history to the understanding of today's issues.
From its inception, Communism has been a Fascist ideology. To
illustrate: In this century, during peacetime, Communist dictatorships
killed about 110 million people; 62 million of these in the former Soviet
Union, in the name of the interests of the state. Stalin, now a
convenient synonym for Communist's evils, was but one executioner among
many like the better known Lenin and the lesser known Kaganovych, none of
whom should qualify as anything but killers even to honest
"left-delusionists" as George Jonas correctly calls them.
There were several famines in Ukraine during this century. All
policy driven: to coerce an ethnic group, the Ukrainians, to submit to
Russo Communist imperatives. The most monumental Great Famine of 1932-33
starved 10 million people in order to cleanse the country-side of
Ukrainian landowners and fill the vacuum with non-Ukrainians.
Hitler, who came to history's stage some ten years later adopted the
Fascist/ Communism model, applying the logic that if 10 million
Ukrainians can be eliminated in the interest of the state, then why not
6 million Jews? Unlike the Communists, Hitler made two key mistakes: he
failed to camouflage Fascism in liberal terms and he lost the War.
Unchecked and unrepentent, the Communist are still in the mass
destruction business. Witness the richness of today's ex Eastern
European elite and the arrogant political moves of a Milosovic at the
expense of the people.
That was history. Now to today's issue.
The proposed Canadian Genocide Museum is not about ethnic rivalry.
about making the point that under certain circumstances, when absolute
power or mass hysteria win the day, the dark side of humanity surfaces
and people die in the millions. Over and over again: the Cultural
Revolution, the Killing Fields, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Armenia,
Despite humanity's aversion to atrocities and declarations of "never
again", genocide (10 million dead is more convincing that UN's
bureaucratic definition of the term based on political imperatives) is
not an aberration, a one-time phenomenon.
The purpose of a Canadian memorial to mass destruction is to continue
teaching the lesson" never again". Because history repeats itself and we
humans area repeat offenders. The inclusion of repeat cases of crimes
against humanity strengthens the message.
The Jewish holocaust is a well known case. The Jewish people have
achieved universal success in ensuring that their grief is recognized and
honoured. Others continue to strive to make known the loss, the grief of
the less known holocausts , equally wicked and painful. Perhaps their
grief is even greater; it is augmented by the absence of acknowledgment
Canada's Genocide Museum, or however it might be called, should be
Canadian in spirit and execution. It should be devoted to the universal
respect for the sanctity of life and other human rights and based on the
principles of inclusion.
With warm regards,
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
National Committee for the Commemoration of the Soviet Ukrainian Famine
Ukrainian Canadian Congress