COMMEMORATION OF THE GREAT FAMINE/GENOCIDE IN UKRAINE (1932-1933)

Date: Sunday, November 26, 2006
Memorial service followed by a commemorative concert.
St Sophie Cathedral: 6250 12th Avenue (Rosemont)
Organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Montreal Branch
Info: (514) 593-1000


             Memorial marks Famine of 1932-33.
         Survivors call it a genocide, deliberately
         started by Stalin's agricultural policy
 
               KINDA JAYOUSH
               The Gazette  
              
               Sunday, November 23, 2003

               Vera Wusaty, 73, could not fight back her tears recalling
               the horrible way two of her cousins died in the 1932-1933
               famine in Ukraine.

               "There was absolutely nothing to eat and hundreds of people
               were dying every day," said Wusaty at a memorial held
               yesterday to honour about 7 million Ukrainians who died of
               starvation.

               "The family had three children, but did not have any food. So,
               the parents had to make a decision. They picked one of
               their children and they gave him the small bits of food they
               had and left the other two to die. They had no other choice,"
               she added.

               But the memories of seeing their children die of hunger, haunted
               the parents for the rest of their lives.

               "I never saw them smiling after the death of their children," she
               said at the memorial, which was held at the Ukrainian Youth
               Centre on Beaubien St. E.

               Members of the Ukrainian community lit candles and prayed
               for the victims.

               The memorial was part of activities held in Montreal to
               commemorate what Ukrainians say was one of the worst
               genocides of the 20th century.

               They say the famine was deliberately started by the then
               Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, whose agricultural policy
               stripped farmers of their produce. Details of the tragedy
               remained hidden until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

               Another survivor of the famine, Michael Hayduk, 79,
               said villagers had nothing to eat but the grass.

               "We used to go in the spring and dig for hours, hoping that
                we would find some frozen potatoes. The army left nothing
                in the villages, not even a handful of grain."

               This month, a United Nation's declaration recognized the
               famine as Ukraine's national tragedy. Ukraine has announced
               November as a remembrance month. The Canadian Senate has
               agreed to designate every fourth Saturday in November as a
               day of remembrance.

               Also, to commemorate the famine, Montreal's nine Ukrainian
               churches and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress collected food
               donations, which will be given to Sun Youth tomorrow.

               Ihor Kutash, Montreal congress president, said Ukrainian
               churches here will ring bells today at noon to honour the victims.

               "The lunchtime tolling is symbolic," Kutash said. "We wish to
                remind the people of the sad fact that millions had lost their
                lives because of the lack of food."

               Present at the memorial yesterday was André Desroches,
               Episcopal Vicar for ethnic communities for the Diocese of
               Montreal and Rabbi Elina Bykova of Temple Emanu-El-Beth
               Sholom.

               kjayoush@thegazette.canwest.com

              © Copyright  2003 Montreal Gazette


UCC Montreal Branch, also acting as the UCC Quebec Provincial Council 
Father Ihor Kutash, President 
3244, rue Beaubien est,
Bureau 202,
Montreal, Quebec
H1Y 1H7
E-mail: uccmontreal@yahoo.co.uk


 
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