November 24, 2015

Saskatchewan Remembers Holodomor

Today, Saskatchewan-Ukraine Relations Legislative Secretary Ken Krawetz helped light a memorial candle at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building to remember the millions of victims of Holodomor, a man-made famine that devastated Ukraine in the 1930s.

“Holodomor is an important historic event that I hope all Saskatchewan residents take a moment to reflect upon,” Krawetz said.  “I also encourage everyone to visit the Bitter Memories of Childhood statue, which serves as a permanent reminder of this tragedy and can be seen on the grounds of Wascana Centre in our provincial capital.  People needlessly suffered and perished in Ukraine during this terrible time in our world’s history.  Let us never forget this horrific event so that it may never be repeated.”

Today’s service with Krawetz and members of the Ukrainian community occurred during National Holodomor Awareness Week, which happens in 2015 from November 23 to 29 with International Holodomor Memorial Day on Saturday, November 28.

Holodomor, which means “extermination by hunger” in Ukrainian, is regarded by historians as a deliberate campaign of terror perpetuated by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and claimed the lives of seven to 10 million people from 1932 to 1933.

In May, an exact copy of the Bitter Memories of Childhood bronze statue by sculptor Petro Drozdowsky was dedicated in Regina and is located east of the Legislative Building along Lakeshore Drive, close to Avenue B.  This project of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Regina Branch features a peasant girl holding a wheat sheaf and serves as a reminder of the famine’s devastation and its impact on children.  The original is near the entrance of the National Holodomor Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan was the first jurisdiction in North America to recognize this genocide with the passing of The Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day Act in 2008.