The word Holodomor (Ukrainian: Голодомор) is the name given to the genocide of the Ukrainian people around the years 1932-1933. The name literally means "death by hunger". Holodomor was a man-made famine carried out by Stalin and the Soviets to intentionally destroy the nationalistic Ukrainian people who posed a threat to the Soviet Union. The Soviets forcibly collectivized almost all of the Ukrainian farms in the "breadbasket of the world" and stole the peasant’s food, thereby creating a devastating famine.
The results of Holodomor were horrific. Between 9 and 13 million people were starved to death. In the years 1932-1933, over 9 million people were killed, which is over 25,000 a day, 1000 an hour, and 17 a minute. Many of these victims were children. The total number of casualties surpassed those of World War One. Cannibalism was reported across the country.
Cover-up and "Controversy"
Holodomor was forcefully covered up by both the Soviet authorities and by various Soviet sympathizers in the West. At the time the genocide was committed, the Soviet authorities tried to keep any mention of it from coming out from behind the Iron Curtain. Soviet historians tried to erase all evidence of this tragedy. They were aided by Western journalists like Walter Duranty of the New York Times, who not only helped conceal all evidence of Holodomor, but also called other journalists who reported on it liars. The Soviets managed to cover this up until Ukraine’s independence in 1991. Official Soviet documents recently declassified revealed that the genocide was indeed intended to target the Ukrainian people. To this day there are still Stalinists and Russophiles who attempt to deny Holodomor was genocide, despite the fact that the governments of over 10 nations have officially recognized it as genocide. These countries are: U.S.A., Canada, Estonia, Argentina, Australia, Italy, Hungary, Lithuania, Georgia, Poland, and Ukraine itself . In 2003, the 70th anniversary of the famine, Soviet sympathizers in the UN said the famine "ranks with the worst atrocities of our time" but did not use the word genocide. Russia still refuses to admit that it committed genocide. In 2003 the Russian ambassador to Ukraine, Viktor Chernomyrdin, said "We're not going to apologise... there is nobody to apologise to." The Russians were, however, well aware of what was really going on. One of Stalin's lieutenants claimed in 1933 that the genocide was working. He said it showed the peasants "who is the master here. It cost millions of lives, but the collective farm system is here to stay." In 1988, the U. S. Commission on the Ukraine Famine reported to Congress, confirming that genocide was committed.
Memorials and Remembrances
The fourth Sunday of November is officially Holodomor Remembrance Day. President Victor Yushchenko has proposed a bill in Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, to criminalize denial of Holodomor There are many memorials for Holodomor victims throughout North America and Ukraine, the most famous being in Kyiv(Kiev).