Victims of Genocidal Famine in Ukraine Remembered

 – 25/11/14

The walls of the 19th century St. Patrick Cathedral in New York, NY were filled with several thousands of people and solemn chanting of a Memorial service, honoring the memory of about 10 million people, the victims of the artificially created Genocide-Famine in Ukraine of 1932-1933.

On Saturday, November 22, 2014, the Ukrainian community, under the leadership of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) held its now annual requiem service to commemorate the 81st Anniversary of Ukraine’s Genocide of 1932-1933, known in Ukrainian as the Holodomor. The clergy and hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox and Catholic Churches (His Eminence Metropolitan Antony of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and His Grace Bishop Paul Chomytsky of Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stanford, CT) led this year’s Memorial Pahankhyda for the repose of the souls of the millions of innocent victims of the Ukrainian Genocide of 1932-1933.

Following the requiem service, representatives from the United States government were offered an opportunity to deliver remarks.  Among the speakers were His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, the Ruling Hierarch of the Eastern Eparchy and Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, Tamara Gallo Olexy, president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, His Grace Bishop Paul Chomytsky, Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stanford, CT, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United Nations Yuriy Sergeyev and Consul General of Ukraine in NY Igor Sybiga to name a few.  A statement President Obama in remembrance of the 81st anniversary of the Holodomor was also read. The Dumka Choir, under the direction of maestro Vasyl Hrechynsky chanted solemn responses to a Memorial Panakhyda for the Famine victims.

The Genocide of 1932-1933 is one of the darkest pages in the history of the Ukrainian nation.  Up to 10 million innocent victims were starved to death through a deliberate Soviet policy aimed at crushing the nationally conscious Ukrainian peasantry.  The Ukrainian Genocide ranks among the worst cases of man’s inhumanity towards man and is perhaps the most extreme example of the use of food as a weapon.

Earlier in the month, the Permanent Conference of Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Beyond the Borders of Ukraine issued a Statement on the Occasion of the 81st Anniversary of the Genocidal Famine in Ukraine.

Photos by Irene Rejent Saviano