COMMEMORATION OF THE GREAT FAMINE/GENOCIDE IN UKRAINE
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
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
"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,"
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
© Copyright 2003 Montreal Gazette
|UCC Montreal Branch, also acting as the
Father Ihor Kutash, President
3244, rue Beaubien est,