Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 25.11.2017
A speech to commemorate Holodomor Memorial Day – by Michael MacKay, 25 November 2017, Ottawa, Canada
The Holodomor was a genocide of the Ukrainian people. In 1932-33, a famine was manufactured by the Russian Bolshevik occupiers of Ukraine. A planned campaign of mass murder was carried out through forced collectivization of farms, setting impossibly high quotas on the delivery of grain, and seizing crops. Food was taken away from starving people. Historian Orest Subtelny wrote that “The central fact about the famine is that it did not have to happen.” The Russian occupation regime systematically confiscated the harvest of 1932 knowing and intending that this would lead to the deaths of millions of Ukrainians. The famine was man-made. The Holodomor was a genocide.
Canada and Ukraine and other countries officially recognize that the Holodomor was a genocide. We remember and we acknowledge the needless deaths of millions of people at the hands of a brutal totalitarian regime of state terror.
Canada has a Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day Act, which sets aside today, the fourth Saturday in November, as a day of remembrance for the victims of this atrocity. In the language of the Act, Canadians recognize that “the Holodomor was deliberately planned and executed by the Soviet regime under Joseph Stalin to systematically destroy the Ukrainian people’s aspirations for a free and independent Ukraine, and subsequently caused the death of millions of Ukrainians in 1932 and 1933.”
In addition to the Law of Ukraine called “On the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine,” Ukraine has a law passed in 2015 condemning the Communist and Nazi regimes, and prohibiting the propaganda of their symbols. As well as declaring the Holodomor to be a genocide of the Ukrainian people, the deNazification/decommunization law recognizes the essentially criminal nature of the Soviet Union totalitarian regime, and puts a stop to the glorification of mass murderers and the incalculable harm they did to the “age-old traditions, spiritual culture and ethnic identity” of the Ukrainian people.
Ukraine remembers and the world acknowledges the Holodomor as a genocide of the Ukrainian people. The response of all of us as we reflect on this man-made famine of 85 years ago is “Never again.” Yet, to our horror, there are signs that it could happen again. Since 2014, Russia has been invading Ukraine, and a brutal foreign occupation regime has fallen over Crimea and parts of Donbas. In Donetsk region, the Russian occupation regime has ordered the seizure of all crops grown by households on so-called “unauthorized” plots of land. This evil plan will likely not be carried out. But it shocks moral conscience that in 2017 the language and the practice of the Holdomor genocide of 1932-33 has returned to Ukraine, and once again its origin is the Russian occupation regime.
Let us honour the memory of the millions of people killed by Stalin’s plan of 1932-33. Let us take away the conviction that such a genocide must never happen again. Therefore, let us act now to stop it from happening again in Ukraine, when there exists the possibility that it might. Never again can we let happen death by hunger as a plan of national extermination. Ukraine remembers and the world acknowledges Holodomor.
Україна та світ пам'ятають та визнають Голодомор, як геноцид українського народу. Згадуючи про цей штучний голод, який стався 85 років тому, наша відповідь одностайна: "Ніколи знову".
Вшануймо пам'ять мільйонів людей, убитих за Сталінським наказом у 1932-1933 роках. Світ має зробити все можливе, аби такий страшний геноцид ніколи не повторився знову. Ми повинні зупинити те, що зараз відбувається в окупованих Московією регіонах Україні, аби уникнути нового такого злочину.
Ніколи знову! Слава Україні!