|Ukrainian Weekly Article - 2003
|CHICAGOLAND UKRAINIANS COMMEMORATE THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF
THE UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE FAMINE OF 1932-1933
By Katya Mischenko-Mycyk, Ukrainian Genocide Famine Foundation
Chicago, Illinois, Monday, September 22, 2003
Chicago, Illinois - This year marks the 70th anniversary of Stalin's deliberate starvation of as many as 10 million
Ukrainians during the years of 1932-33. The Chicago based Ukrainian Genocide Famine Foundation organized a
weekend's worth of programs to both remember those who perished during the Genocide Famine and to educate
the public about the tragic events of 1932-33 which were hidden from the worlds eyes.
On Saturday, September 20th, the Foundation arranged an educational program that attracted approximately 300
Ukrainian Saturday school children from St. Volodymyr's Ukrainian School, Ridna Shkola at St. Nicholas Cathedral,
and Ridna Shkola at CYM Palatine.
The program, which took place in the auditorium of St. Volodymyr and Olga's Ukrainian Catholic Church, consisted
of a lecture and screening of the 1984 documentary film "Harvest of Despair".
Prior to the screening, Lida Tkachuk, Co-Secretary of the Ukrainian Genocide Famine Foundation welcomed the
Ukrainian school students to the screening and introduced guest speakers Laryssa Tschaikowsky and Mathew
Marciniak. Ms. Tschaikowsky and Mr. Marciniak presented a brief historic overview of the events that caused the
Genocide Famine to occur.
For many of the children in attendance, this was their first exposure to the Genocide Famine. Andrea Sajewych, a
seventh grader at Ridna Shkola at St. Nicholas Cathedral, said that after watching the film "Harvest of Despair" she
believes that American schools should be required to teach students about the Ukrainian Genocide Famine to
make sure that it never happens again.
Miss Sajewych said that the 10 million victims of the Genocide Famine "never got a proper burial and they at least
deserve some (type of) remembrance" from the Ukrainian community.
Following the screening, students were taken to the Ukrainian National Museum to view a new and permanent
exhibit documenting the Genocide Famine of 1932-1933. The exhibit includes recently declassified KGB
photographs and documents providing evidence that the Soviet leadership in Moscow deliberately orchestrated the
Genocide Famine as a means to break the Ukrainian nation.
Official documents recording the number of deaths per village and cases of cannibalism are also included in the
exhibit. Documents were secured with the help of Ukrainian Consulate General Borys Bazylevsky.
Roman Krutsyk of the Kyiv based Ukrainian "Memorial" Foundation contributed many photographs and documents
to the exhibit. In addition to the archival display, the Ukrainian National Museum is displaying a rarely seen
Genocide Famine painting by Canadian artist Kurylak. The painting, which depicts a scene of famine ravaged Kyiv,
is now on permanent loan to the Museum from the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.
On Sunday, the 21st of September, an estimated 1,000 people congregated at St. Andrew's Ukrainian Orthodox
Church in Bloomingdale, Illinois for an ecumenical memorial service for the millions of Ukrainians who perished
during the Genocide Famine of 1932-33. The memorial service was lead by clergy from the Chicagoland Ukrainian
A solemn procession made it's way from the church to the Genocide Famine monument at the base of the St.
Andrews cemetery where approximately 40 Genocide Famine survivors were seated. The CYM female youth choir
group "Vinok" beautifully sang both the Ukrainian and American national anthems.
Nicholas Mischenko, President of the Ukrainian Genocide Famine Foundation, began the program expressing that
he had planned to greet the Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox and Catholic Churches. The Bishops did not attend
the ecumenical memorial service - they were "occupied". Mr. Mischenko thanked all those in attendance for coming
together as one unified community to remember our Ukrainian brothers and sisters who perished in the Genocide
Master of Ceremonies, Tamara Kuzyk-Storrie introduced Republican Illinois State Representative Paul D.
Froehlich. Representative Froehlich pledged to work on behalf of the Ukrainian American community to see to it
that Illinois schools are required to teach students about the Ukrainian Genocide Famine of 1932-33 just as they
are required by law to teach about the Jewish Holocaust. Chicago-based Ukrainian Consulate General Borys
Bazylevskyi urged all those present to never forget the tragedy of the century.
Hollywood Trident Foundation co-founder Peter Borisow gave the keynote address. Mr. Borisow's parents were the
sole survivors from their respective families of the Genocide Famine of 1932-33 and the purges that followed.
Mr. Borisow's speech was well received by the crowd of Ukrainian Americans that encompassed all social and
religious groups - Catholics, Orthodox, CYMivtsi, Plastuny, Odumivtsi, new immigrants, old immigrants, and those
who were born here in the United States.
Mr. Borisow stressed that it is imperative for the future of the Ukrainian nation that the Ukrainian American
community come together as a united front - not Catholics versus Orthodox, Plast against CYM, new immigrants
versus old immigrants.
According to Mr. Borisow, the continual division of our Ukrainian community by religion, social groups, and
immigrant waves is only another tactic to keep us squabbling and unable to focus on what is really going on.
To quote Mr. Borisow, "Russia's hope is that consumed in our little squabbles, we won't even notice that Russia is
taking over everything in Ukraine and soon there will be nothing left to fight for. We see this every day in our own
communities as well as in Ukraine". Russia is slowly forcing its yoke back onto the Ukrainian nation - economically,
politically, and socially.
The crowd cheered when Mr. Borisow said that the Ukrainian American community must demand that President
Bush tell Russian President Putin "Ukrainians have suffered enough! Keep your hands off Ukraine! Ukraine must
The speeches were concluded with the annual presentation of the memorial ribbons. Each year, representatives of
the numerous Chicagoland Ukrainian organizations pay their respects to the 10 million victims of the Genocide
Famine by adorning two wreaths with black ribbons.
More than 70 organizations included all of the Chicagoland churches along with their respective sisterhoods and
brotherhoods, the local Ukrainian schools, professional organizations and social groups, financial institutions and
non-profit organizations. Following the memorial services a luncheon and theatrical presentation took place in the
St. Andrews auditorium.
Mrs. Marika Klimchuk, radio host on Chicago's "Ukrainian Wave" radio program on AM 1240 presented a moving
speech that drew on the documented facts and witness accounts of the Ukrainian Genocide Famine.
Many of the audience members were moved to tears by the afternoon's performance of "Tears of the Virgin Mary".
Members of the Lviv Regional Theater Group in the name of Yurij Drohobycha performed the powerful drama.
The play portrays the plight and terror that engulfed a peasant family during the Genocide Famine of 1932 to
1933. "Tears of the Virgin Mary" is a Ukrainian adaptation of the novel "Mariya" by Ulas Samchuk. Samchuk was
born in 1905 in the Volynia region of Ukraine. He later moved to Canada.
Published in the Ukrainian Weekly
Designed and Maintained by Ukrainian Genocide Famine Foundation - USA, Inc.