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Friday, April 15, 2016

The Manitoba Children's Museum: A Funtastic Family Destination!

By Ihor Cap
Few museums are open to children year round. The Manitoba Children's Museum is the fifth such museum in Canada and the first of its kind in Western Canada. The Museum is a registered, charitable, not-for-profit 4,000-square foot space complex located in the historic Forks area in downtown Winnipeg. Government funding only represents 16% of the yearly budget. Linda Isitt and her friends first entertained the concept of a museum for kids back in 1982.  It was incorporated as a charitable organization a year later. Linda became its Executive Director. The Museum first opened its doors to a wide-eyed audience of 65,000 in 1986. Today, some 130,000 children and families visit the Children's Museum every year. That's well over 2.5 million visitors since 1986. As well, over 115,000 underprivileged children came through these Museum doors at no cost to them whatsoever. The very generous individual donors, corporations and businesses and fund raising events that finance the Museum's Free Access Program, make this possible. Each year the funds provide some 5000 kids from the Winnipeg School Division with free programming.
It is a "hands-on" museum for children between 2 to 13 years old. The children come to understand themselves and their worlds around them through an interactive learning environment.  The museum environment features several permanent exhibits, display areas and multi-purpose rooms that can host everything from award presentations, family reunions, and press conferences to traveling exhibitions. The Museum hosts a whopping 600+ birthday parties a year!
Old Manitoba Children's Museum Slide Show

Old Manitoba Children's Museum Video
Many exciting events and exhibits take place at the Museum yearly.   This year, our 5-year old son had the pleasure of discovering two far away fascinating cultures of China and India as part of the Tigers and Dragons traveling Exhibit.  Mom explored the galleries together with us because the museum offers free admission to all moms on Mother's Day.  We also spent a little time at the special guided crafts table. Every Monday, children get to hear stories read aloud to them in the TV studio. Unfortunately, we missed story time because we came on Sunday.  Children dress up as an astronaut and prepare to explore the heavens above as their space rocket is about to take off in the safety of the Museum's environment. They can learn the many components of the huge and authentic 1910 Canadian National passenger train that resides in the Museum's premises or they can pretend to be a forest critter and learn about other animals of the forest. Alternatively, they can choose to slide down the 17-foot tree trunk and climb the beaver dam. The kids just loved to touch and feel everything they can get their hands on. In fact, they are encouraged to do so. There are troughs filled with pebbles and running water to run your fingers through, cars to sit in, cranes to maneuver, fairy tale characters walking about and many more kid worthy surprises that will guarantee one "fantastic" day at the Forks!
Author: Ihor Cap, Ph.D.
Manitoba Children's NEWSeum. April 2008.
Manitoba Children's Museum. History. Exhibits. Sheet.
Facility Rentals. Unique Spaces for unique Events. Manitoba Children's Museum Brochure.
Birthday Parties. Parties are a piece of cake at Manitoba Children's Museum. Brochure
This article was first published  Jun 12, 2009 in

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Veselka Ukrainian Festival in Teulon Manitoba

By Ihor Cap

It  happens  every  year  since 1989, and this year was no different. They come from all over. They come  for the food, they come to buy souvenirs and gifts, they come to watch the children, teens and young  adults perform on stage, and they watch the awards ceremonies with nail biting interest, but mostly they  come to have fun!  Where?  They all come to the Veselka Ukrainian Festival in Teulon Manitoba. Hundreds upon hundreds of Ukrainian dancers make there way up onto the stage in front of an  audience of eager parents, guests and festival visitors. Over 500 dancers graced the stage at the  Teulon-Rockwood Arena to do their “gig” and compete with other 4 to 26+ year olds in their age  category. Then, they waited for the final decisions of expert adjudicators’ and announcements in front of  an appreciable audience to learn what awards they are going to take with them back home. 
7-year old Julia Armstrong 
with Selkirk Zorya

This dance competition is not like other dance competitions. There is no prompting whatsoever from instructors or audience members. Breaking the rules can lead to disqualification. Everyone is a medal winner though. All participating dancers receive an assigned mark with a corresponding medal: bronze, silver or a gold depending how well they performed in their age category. It’s a win–win situation for everyone.  There is plenty of applause and cheering from the audience. There are many smiles on the dancers’ faces when they receive their medals. There are also parents once again reassuring their siblings that working just a little harder at their technique may just bring them that much-desired gold medal next year. The whole scenario repeats itself with a different set of performers and groups the second day.  Sixteen dance clubs in all!
Ukrainian Dance has long been a popular form of dancing in Canada, but nowhere is this pursuit more apparent than it is than on the Canadian Prairies. It is a tradition that continues with each successive generation. You do not have to be Ukrainian to learn or appreciate Ukrainian folk dancing. It’s an art form that is loved by people everywhere. So treat yourself to one of the many Ukrainian Folk Festivals in the Canadian wheat belt. Meet Ukrainian dancers from all across the country. Join a dance club. Then prepare to meet the other participants at the amateur dance competitions in May at the Veselka Ukrainian Festival. Festival organizers say that it is bound to leave you feeling a “little more Ukrainian”.! 

5 year old Symon Cap with Vesna Ukrainian Dance School

  1. Saturday, May 23, 2009 a small portion of the participating Veselka Ukrainian Festival Dancers

What to See and Do in Teulon & District
Teulon and District Museum
Teulon Golf & Country Club
Teulon Curling Club
Teulon Veselka Ukrainian Dance Club
Veselka Ukrainian Festival end of May
Teulon & District Agricultural Society Fair in mid August
Teulon Tractor Pull in August
Pumpkin fest end of September
Teulon Green Acres Campground
Teulon-Rockwood Green Acres Park
Teulon’s Castle Sign (the only castle in the Interlake region)
Norris Lake Provincial Park nearby (10 minute drive)
Narcisse Wildlife Management Area (northwest of Teulon, take Hwy 17 to see the red-sided garter snakes that come to mate here)

Oak Hammock Marsh (southeast of Teulon, a nature viewing eco-reserve), and Winnipeg (a 30 minute drive from Manitoba's capital city)

History/Heritage of Teulon

According to the Town of Teulon Brochure (incorporated 1919), Teulon and District Museum pamphlet, the official Town website (, and Wikipedia, we learn that:
·        Rev. A.J. Hunter, a Presbyterian Church minister, developed a medical mission to serve Ukrainian pioneers settling the Interlake region in the early 1900’s.

·        Rev. A.J. Hunter is also the founder of the local Boys and Girls Homes boarding house where immigrant children could stay while they attended school.
·        Today, Dr. Hunter’s residence forms part of the larger Teulon and District Museum which consists of a one-room country school, a Ukrainian log house with outdoor bake oven, John Marko’s Shoe Repair Shop, a large machine shed with agricultural implements and a refurbished 1922 Model T Ford, a Ukrainian Catholic church with original contents from the 1920s, a Doll House with over 350 collectible dolls, and a railway caboose from the C.P.R. and C.N.R. rail lines.
·        Charles C. Castle affectionately named the town after his wife’s maiden name of “Teulon”. 
·        As of January 2008, Teulon’s population stands at 1124.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Why they do not want to see us, or History on the service of an imperial policy

Once Empress Catherine II felt she was sitting firmly on the Russian throne, she immediately instructed Prince Viazemsky to take a number of certain steps to force Ukrainians “to get Russified in a delicate way” as soon as possible. Just a hundred years later Russia’s interior minister Valuyev considered it necessary to persuade the entire world that “there were not, are not and cannot be” any Ukrainians.

I recalled this when I read the book The 1932-1933 Famine: a Tragedy of the Russi­an Count­ry­side by the Penza-based professor of history Viktor Kondrashin, which was recently published in Moscow. This author, who decided to study the 1932-1933 famine in the Volga, Don and Kuban regions, failed to see there the Ukrainians who were the main grain-growing trail-blazers at least in the two last areas: “The Russians, Mord­vins, Tatars, Ingushes, and other peoples lived then and are living now in the above-mentioned regions of Russia. At the same time, this study puts emphasis on the Russian population of the Volga, Don and Kuban areas because, historically, it was they who were involved in grain production and, therefore, became the primary object of Stalin’s forced collectivization” (p. 51 in Russian).
Why Kondrashin wants to convince the readers that there were no Ukrainians in these regions from the very beginning of cultivation and farming and does not consider them “historically involved in grain production” becomes clear from the panegyric that the author dedicates to himself in his own book: “V. V. Kondrashin actively opposes in the media and scholarly publications, including foreign ones, the idea of Ukrainian historians and politicians about ‘genocide of the Ukrainian people by the 1932-1933 Holodomor.’ He concludes in his publication on this matter that the 1932-1933 famine is a common tragedy of all the USSR peoples and this tragedy should unite, not disunite, the peoples” (p. 29, Russ.).
Given this self-assessment of the author, it is small wonder why he did not consider it necessary to mention Ukrainians among the main agricultural ethnoses in the Volga, Don and Kuban regions. But they really lived there. According to the 1926 census, Ukrainians prevailed, for example, in all the 40 Kuban villages (stanitsas) founded by the first Zaporozhian Cossack resettlers in the late 18th century: Ba­tu­ryn­ska (5,034 Ukrainians out of the total 7,086 residents), Be­re­zanska (9,297 and 10,443, respectively), Briukhovetska (9,698 and 12,466), Vasiurynska (9,142 and 10,443), Vyshestebliivska (2,400 and 3,251), Dinska (10, 316 and 12,525), Diadkivska (6,665 and 7,324), Ivanivska (12,983 and 14,209), Irkliivska (5,884 and 6,473), Kanivska (13,878 and 17,248), Kal­ni­bo­lotska (8,606 and 10,998), Katerynynska (11,824 and 13,391), Kisliakivska (11, 416 and 13, 112), Konelivska (7,824 and 8,7121), Korenivska (9,313 and 15,548), Krylivska (8,146 and 9,427), Kushchivska (9,364 and 11,865), Medvedivska (15,222 and 18,146), Ne­za­ma­ivska (10,150 and 12,133), Pa­sh­kiv­ska (14,166 and 18,000), Pereyaslavska (7,552 and 8,781), Plastunivska (10,528 and 12,375), Platnyrivska (11,628 and 13,925), Poltavska (10,985 and 14,306), Po­po­vychivska (7,762 and 10,715), Rogivska (10,806 and 12,475), Sergiivska (4,127 and 4,714), Sta­ro­de­re­vian­kivska (6,529 and 7,230), Sta­ro­dzhe­reliivska (5,158 and 5,413), Starokorsunska (10,477 and 12,273), Staroleushkivska (5,857 and 6,521), Staromenska (19,736 and 22,604), Sta­­ro­my­sha­stivska (8,171 and 9,826), Sta­ro­nyzh­chestebliivska (11,356 and 12,273), Starotytarivska (8,552 and 9,536), Staro­shcher­bynivska (14,453 and 17,001), Ty­ma­shevska (8,961 and 12,112), Umanska (17,008 and 20,727), and Shkurynska (8,864 and 9,749).
On the whole, there were 915,450 Ukrainians in Kuban and 3,106,852 in the Northern Cau­ca­sus. So  we find it difficult to understand the famine in these villages as a tragedy of “the Russian countryside” alone. All the more so that Kondrashin names such Kuban districts as Yeysky, Kanovsky, Kjorenivskt, Kra­sno­darsky, Staromensky and Kur­sav­sky in the Stavropol region as ones that make part of the “especially affected” areas of the Northern Caucasus.
Of course, this is also presented as a tragedy of the Russian countryside. However, the 1926 census recorded 74,037 Uk­rai­nians and 23,568 Russians in Yesky district; 45,451 and 8,130, respectively, in Kanivsky; 76,422 and 36,939 in Ko­re­niv­sky; 103,8312 and 18,086 in Kraskodarsky; 65,488 and 9,583 in Staromensky; and 57,665 and 8,767 in Kursavsky district. After all, we are also not indifferent to the destiny of the 35,115 Ukrainians in the Kondrashin-quoted Armavisrsky district and the 11,514 in Kurganinsky district, where the Russians numerically prevailed at the time.
Similar facts of ethnic Uk­rai­nian enclaves during the 1932-1933 Holodomor can also be traced in the Don and Volga regions. In the latter, there were 49 percent of our  thnos in Kapustin Yar district, 51.9 in Yelansky, 69.3 in Kotovsky, 72.4 in Kranoyarsky, 74.9 in Pokrovsky, 79.3 in Samiylivsky, 81 in Mykolayivsky, and almost 90 in Vladirirsky district. According to the 1926 census, the Lower Volga region alone was populated by 600,000 people who continued to identify themselves as Ukrainians. Some of them did not even speak Russian, which is proved by the following fact: failure to meet the planned targets of grain harvest in 1929 in Dubynsky district was explained by the fact that “Ukrainian slogans on grain procurement were apprehended in the district executive committee, and Russian-language placards were sent to the Uk­rai­nians.” As for the Ukrainian population in the Don region, there was also a large number of areas, where our people made up the absolute majority. This was   specially the case in some Taganrog districts. And the 1932-1933 Holodomor took a heavy toll of all these Ukrainians.
But we should admit that the Kuban Ukrainians were the first to suffer from this horror. And we cannot  help recalling the village of Poltavska whose population favored the development of their native culture and where there was the first All-Russian Ukrainian Teacher-Training School. Its population was the first to be deported to the north, its houses were given to Red Army Cossack veterans, and it was renamed Krasnoarmeyska so that nothing betrayed its Ukrainian origin. The second Ukrainian village in Kuban that suffered the same tragedy was Umanska. After the deportation, it was renamed Leningradska.
Incidentally, we could not find similar Kremlin instructions with respect to Rus­sia’s non-black-soil area  which also failed to meet the grain procurement targets. Indeed, this did not repeat on a mass scale in Soviet Ukraine because in many cases there was nobody to deport: entire villages had died out. There are documents that prove that a great number of Russians and Be­la­ru­sians were brought to hundreds of the famine-ravaged Ukrainian villages. As for the “black boards,” they were introduced not only in Kuban, Don, the Central Black Soil Region, the Volga basin and the Ukrainian SSR but also in Northern Ka­zakh­stan on the republican leadership’s initiative. But if we look at the list of the villages that suffered this kind of punishment, we will see at once that they were predominantly populated with Ukrainian peasants. For example, such villages in Ust-Ka­me­nogorsk or Fedorivsky districts were mostly Ukrainian because the Uk­rai­ni­ans were the principal grain producers in this region. For instance, the 1926 census sho­wed that out of the 28,302 residents of the Fe­dorivsky district 25,408 were Uk­rai­nians.
When you read the Penza historian Kondrashin’s book, you can see clearly that he tries, above all, to  serve the current political interests of Russia, which consist in the refusal to recognize the 1932-1933 Ho­lo­do­mor as genocide of the Ukrainian people: “We do not support the opinion of Ukrainian po­liticians and historians about the national genocide in Ukraine by means of the 1932-1933 famine. Nor do we agree with their definition of ‘holodonmor’ as an action organized by the Stalinist regime in order to exterminate millions of Ukrainian residents... We do not share the Ukrainian side’s position because no documents have been found, which would say that Stalin’s regime intended to eliminate the Ukrainian people.”
This raises a question to Kondrashin: and what about the directive documents on stopping the Ukrainization in the areas densely populated by Ukrainians (nothing of the kind was done against other nations in 1932-1933)? Do they not prove that Stalin’s regime aimed to exterminate, at least spiritually, millions of Ukrainians? And the fact that the 1939 census showed that the Uk­rainian population of what is now Krasnodar Territory had diminished by 1,437,151 people in comparison to 1926? Does it not make the historian Kondrashin think that there was a carefully-orchestrated strike against the Ukrainian nation? And the VKP Central Com­mit­tee and USSR Council of People’s Commissars resolution of January 22, 1933, on forbidding only Ukrainian and Kuban peasants to go to other regions in search of bread?
Does this not prove that Ukrainians were deliberately left to starve to death? Then how should we interpret the following comment of Kon­dra­shin: “What can be called direct organization of the famine are draconian directives of Stalin-Molotov on the prevention of spontaneous migration of peasants, which kept them locked in the starving villages and doomed them to death by starvation. It is for this reason that the 1932-1933 famine can be considered a manmade famine, and this famine is one of the gravest crimes of Stalin” (p. 376, Russ.).
In our opinion, only after reading a large number of documents that prove the genocide of Uk­rai­nians could Kondrashin write, perhaps subconsciously, the following: “The famine helped Stalin liquidate what he considered a potential opposition to his regime in Ukraine, which could become political, rather than cultural, and rely on the peasantry. There are some facts that prove this, including those in the third volume of the documentary collection Tragedy of the Soviet Countryside devoted to the  holodomor, which describes the activities of GPU organs in the Ukrainian countryside” (p. 242, Russ.). Pressing the argument of the absence of concrete documents on pre-planned extermination of Ukrainians, Kondrashin refers us to the International Commission of Jurists which allegedly concluded that “it is not in a position to confirm the existence of a premeditated plan to organize famine in Ukraine in order to ensure the success of Moscow’s policies” (p. 18, Russ.). Unfortunately, Kondrashin did not quote the next lines of this documents, which say: “Ho­we­ver, most of the commission members believe that even if the Soviet authorities did not actually plan the famine, they apparently took advantage of this famine to force [the populace] to accept the policy they resisted.”
Besides, the International Com­mis­sion of Jurists with the Swedish professor Jacob Sundberg at the head (and without a single Ukrainian, incidentally) also made this conclusion: “Although there is no direct evidence that the 1932-1933 famine was systemically masterminded to break the Ukrainian nation once and for all, most of the commission members believe that Soviet officials deliberately used this famine to pursue their policy of denationalizing Ukraine.”
It should be stressed that Prof. Kondrashin hushes up the fact that the Soviet government furnished no archival documents to this commission and refused altogether to cooperate with it, organizing protest letters against its activities on the part of communist historians. Nor does the monograph’s author cites the commission’s findings that show, on the basis of open censuses in 1926 and 1939, certain demographic changes in the USSR population. The truth is that while the population increased by 16 percent in the USSR, by 28 percent in the Russian Federation, by 11.2 percent in Belarus over the aforesaid period, it dropped by 9.9 percent in the Ukrainian SSR. This provided ample grounds for well-known jurists in various countries to recognize the 1932-1933 Holodomor as a deliberate strike on Ukrainians.
We cannot bypass one more cardinal question that Kondrashin touched upon in his book. Admitting that “the mindless collectivization and excessive state procurement targets ruined Ka­zakh animal and land husbanders, caused a mass-scale migration to China and the famine-related death of hundreds of thousands of Kazakhstan residents,” this author claims: “at the same time, Kazakh academics did not follow in the footsteps of their Ukrainian colleagues and are treating the 1932-1933 tragedy in line with the approaches of Russian re­sear­chers” (p. 27, Russ.). At the same time, Kondrashin himself points out that Kazakhs were allowed to settle and set up collective farms, say, in the Volga region during the Holodomor. For example, there were 81 economic entities with 391 people in Sorochinsky district, Middle Volga region (p. 188, Russ.). In other words, Kazakhs were not forbidden to look for food outside their republic. This is proved, incidentally, by dozens of archival materials found in Kazakhstan. It is only with respect to the famine-stricken Ukrainian population that the regime would issue draconian, to quote Kondrashin, directives that deprived it of a possibility to flee from death to the neighboring regions.
Prof. Kondrashin tries to persuade us several times that no concrete documents have been found. But this is not a sound argument because Moscow also tried to persuade us 20 years ago that there were no secret supplements to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact on dividing the spheres of influence in Europe, signed in the Kremlin on August 23, 1939. Then these documents were found. It is quite obvious that Nikita Khrushchev’s announcement at the CPSU 20th Congress that Stalin intended to deport all Ukrainians to Siberia will also find documentary proof some day. After all, why do Kondrashin and other Russian historians not ascribe to this kind of documents Stalin’s telegram to CK KP(b)U Mendel Khatayevich, dated November 8, 1932, saying that “the Politburo is now considering the question of how to bring the Ukrainian peasant down to his knees?” Russian authors keep saying that the Holodomor tragedy should unite, not disunite, peoples. But this will only occur when they abandon the hard ideological line and admit historical realities.
Author: Volodymyr Serhiichuk is professor and Doctor of History
The Day, Issue #40, Tuesday, 16 December 2008

A Day in Sorrento, Italy

By Ihor Cap, Ph.D.
“The origin of the name Sorrento-Surrentum - is poetically dated back to the Sirens who, legend has it, lived in the rocks of the gulf, from where they tried in vain to ensnare Ulysses with their deadly song” (Kina Italia, undated, p. 5). The song of the Sirens may not have ensnared Ulysses, but it had no trouble luring us there.  We took the train to Sorrento from Naples and we we’re glad we came. In fact, we survived it without any deadly consequences.
It’s a charming town of about 17,000 inhabitants situated on the cliffs that rise straight from the sea.  It is one pure delight to spend your day walking about Sorrento. There are many beautiful monuments, churches and museums to see, and several nice restaurants to delight your palate. Most of our souvenirs were purchased right in this very same town. Sorrento’s shops and boutiques are attractive and difficult to resist. Perhaps that is what was meant by the alluring “deadly song” of the Sirens.  We could not help but make several stops to stores along our walk about the city.  We purchased some “must have” colorful large kerchiefs, and some pretty hand-painted wine accessories with matching tea plates depicting various scenes of Sorrento.  Some of these were meant for our friends back home.  You also have to try the celebrated tasty lemon liquer 'Limoncello'. It is produced from the aromatic citrus gardens located on the Sorrentinian Peninsula and is undoubtedly enjoyed along with the magnificent Sorrento sunsets.
When we were done shopping, we then proceeded to make our way to the other end of this sea side city to the ledge-like terrace from which you could look down over the port to witness one of the most unexpected and breathtaking views of the two Marinas below.   Just like in the movies you might say. From here you can have an impressive view of the beach dwellers sunbathing in the white sands and blue waters and watch the cruise ships come and go or simply enjoy the surroundings while overlooking the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius in the distance.
The surroundings may induce you to make your way downwards to the beach mainly via the stairs and passage-ways that are carved into the cliff-framed beach and lifts.  However, our time was short and we decided to walk back again through Sorrento’s picturesque streets once more and stop for some tasty ice cream at a local parlor. What a way to finish a day!
Author: Ihor Cap

Sorrento Italy Slide Show (50 pictures)

 Sorrento, Italy (Video)

Guide to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. (undated). Published by Kina Italia. Layout and printing: Kina Italia/Eurografica - Italy. ISBN 88-8180-025-X.
Internet Reading Resources about Sorrento

Monday, April 11, 2016

Funny Signs Manitoba

Welcome to the Funny Signs Manitoba Webpage!
Compiled by EzReklama

Have you come across a funny, weird, confusing or just plain silly sign somewhere in Friendly Manitoba? Of course you did! Share your funny sign with our site visitors. We all need a good chuckle once in a while. Email it our way with the author’s (photographer’s) complete name, address, city/town your photo was taken, and if you like, a caption of your own for the photo. Got a better photo caption for the images already published on this website. Send it in. We may even publish it! Photos change every 5 seconds. Enjoy!

 Photos by Ihor Cap for EzReklama. Reprinted with permission.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Ukrainian Famine – A Nation Still Hungers for the Truth

By Christina Lidia Dykun
One of the greatest hidden tragedies of the Twentieth Century, on a scale comparable to that of the Holocaust, is the Soviet sponsored famine that ravaged Ukraine in 1932-33. Canada, unlike other countries, has officially recognized the ‘Holodomor’ (‘Great Famine’) as genocide in 2008, only two years after Ukraine. This year’s commemoration coincides with the 75th Anniversary of the Holodomor, with November 22nd dedicated as the International Holodomor Memorial Day. This day is a progressive step for civil liberties, as years of Russian and international denials have concealed this event from the public eye. Decades of history censored and rewritten by Soviet intelligentsia has also minimized the gravity of this Holodomor. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Bloc and the restoration of an independent Ukraine 17 years ago, progressive steps towards understanding this dark chapter of Ukrainian history have commenced. Today, universal acknowledgement of this genocide is necessary in cementing the forgotten history of the Ukrainian people.
The Famine of 1932-33 was by no means a naturally occurring event. Instead, it was the primary result of ruthless Communist policy and Russian disdain for Ukrainian citizenry. Stalin not only planned the famine beforehand, but continued to implement the policy of collectivization, using famine as a tool in eliminating the regime’s greatest enemy – the peasant. However, the quotas were so unrealistic that starvation was inevitable. Peasants who did not look as though they were starving were viewed suspiciously by officials. In January 1933, Stalin ordered grain collection to be further accelerated. Ukrainian peasants were reduced to eating pets, rats, bark, leaves, and garbage. Incredibly, Stalin denied the existence of famine and prevented any foreign humanitarian aid to this region until 1934. By that time it was too late. Whole villages had died out, turning fertile fields into barren wastelands.
There is some uncertainty as to how many Ukrainians died, due to inconsistent Soviet records. One thing is for certain – it was many millions. Modest figures declare anywhere from 3 to 6 million people died, while other projections estimate at least 7.5 million died, and information received from official Soviet sources place the number between 10 and 15 million. The actual mortality rate is difficult to confirm, due to terrible record keeping, with many buried in mass unmarked graves.
There are still some historians who reject the application of genocide to the Ukrainian famine, instead viewing it as a tragic result of Soviet policy. Similar to the agreement upon 6 million for the Jewish Holocaust, the focus on the Holodomor tends to revolve around the agreement upon a number. However, establishing a number is of little significance when some biased individuals out rightly deny the Holodomor. The Soviet Union initially kept the famine hidden, since their leaders feared that negative publicity would hurt their world stature. Although some Western newspapers reported the tremendous extent of suffering and death in Ukraine, most media sources dismissed these accounts. Walter Duranty, the Moscow-based reporter for The New York Times, even won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for positive descriptions of Soviet life in the Ukraine - now accepted as politically motivated fabrications.
As growing numbers of governments have accepted the presence of this genocide, the Ukrainian past is becoming better understood. A proponent for this cause, such as York University’s Professor Orest Subtelny (a Ukrainian Canadian historian) has not only considerably furthered the field through research, but whose publications have allowed for the widespread dissemination of information on the topic of the Holodomor. His book “Ukraine: A History,” published in English in 1988, has found great popularity in Ukraine since 1991, with over one million copies in circulation. Other outlets, such as cinema productions, are proactive vehicles of education. Very few documentaries exist – the first being released in Canada in 1983, during the 50th Anniversary of the Holodomor. Today, a Hollywood production of the documentary “Holodomor: Ukraine’s Genocide of 1932-33,” with Bobby Leigh (best known for his work with Neil Young, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Aerosmith, and Kiss) as director, Marta Tomkiw as producer, and Nestor Popowych as executive producer, has already garnered considerable hype. With the movie’s short form already introduced at the Cannes Film Festival, and West Hollywood International Film Festival, it is set to debut in its entirety in Kyiv this month [November 2008].
The turbulent history of the Ukrainian nation should undoubtedly be acknowledged by all, especially in the wake of the 75th Anniversary of the Holodomor. A voice must be given to those millions forgotten by the world, who perished, and whose personal stories were silenced for decades. It is in the fields of Ukraine where Europe’s breadbasket is found, and it is in the same fields where millions of Ukrainians now rest. The Flag of Ukraine – with its brilliant blue of the surrounding sky, and the golden yellow of the bountiful wheat fields below, should remain an epitaph for the triumph and will of a people, who overcame adversity, and found freedom. Their story must be told.
Author: Christina Lidia Dykun
Source: Ukrainian Echo, Vol. 21 No 4 March 31, 2009
Avatar Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

The Other Shakespeare

Thomas Middleton is rediscovered as the Bard's genuine peer.

Gary Taylor's eureka moment came inside a rare books room in a library at Oxford in 1985.
Reading a passage from a play written nearly four centuries earlier by a little-known contemporary of Shakespeare's, Taylor found himself laughing out loud.
"And I started wondering," he remembers. "Why isn't this stuff better known? I have a Ph.D. in English literature—why have I never read all this? Why haven't I been told about all these characters?"
And so it was that an idea was born. At the time Taylor, now the George Edgar Matthew Professor of English at Florida State, was working with another Shakespeare scholar at Oxford to publish a new volume of the collected works of Shakespeare. But suddenly, Taylor knew what his next project would be. He was compelled to introduce the world to this devilishly clever writer whose name, for reasons he couldn't grasp, was all but forgotten.
Taylor didn't realize the full significance of his find back then, but he soon learned that Shakespeare had a genuine peer—a contemporary whose works at the time were just as popular and who also was every bit as prolific and witty as the Bard himself.
Taylor had found Thomas Middleton, the figure he likes to call "our other Shakespeare." With the 2007 release of the first-ever single-volume collection of Middleton's entire canon—at least what has been found—along with a volume of commentary, Taylor has taken the first major step toward reacquainting the world with the man who rivaled the most celebrated talent in English letters.

Curtains Rise on New Entertainment
Middleton's story starts in London where he was born in 1580, just as the city was about to embark on what Taylor calls "an incredible flowering of playwriting" that lasted about 40 years.
The best-known name from that era was, of course, William Shakespeare, who produced his plays from about 1590 to 1613, but there were many others, including Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, and John Fletcher. By the early part of the 1600s, London had around 20 professional playwrights—men who made their living writing plays—as well as a great many nonprofessionals who wrote plays but who either supported themselves with another job or were independently wealthy. At this time London was a city of only about 200,000 people, so the number—and the quality—of the playwrights was in retrospect quite astonishing, said Taylor.
Taylor ascribes this flowering to the creation of a new "niche." In evolutionary biology, when a new ecological niche appears, a number of new species develop to fill that niche, and the same thing happened in London in the late 1500s. For the first time London had enough people to support a regular theater business. The city had recently doubled in size, as people flocked to it from the countryside, and these people had little entertainment—no newspapers, no books or magazines, and certainly no television or Internet. To meet this need for entertainment, the idea of a commercial theater grew up. In the past, entertainers had offered their performances in public and hoped that people liked it enough to pay them. "Now people were coming into a building to be entertained," Taylor said. "They were paying in advance without knowing whether they'd like it or not. This was a completely new approach to commercial entertainment."
The popularity of the theaters grew quickly. By the early 1600s, London had three or four theaters operating six days a week. A play would generally be performed once or at most a few times, and the theater would then offer something else, which led to a "ferocious demand for new plays," Taylor said. For the first time in history it became possible to make a living writing plays, and so it was that the profession of playwright appeared.
With so much work available, London developed a high concentration of talented playwrights who lived and worked in a relatively small area. These writers knew each other and were constantly learning from one another, each seeing what worked—and what didn't—in the others' work and using that knowledge to improve their own writing. They also collaborated regularly, and many of the plays of that time were the product of two or more authors, Taylor said.
It was just such a collaboration that led Taylor to his eureka moment.

Unearthing Middleton

Taylor had come to England's Cambridge University (from U. Kansas) in pursuit of a doctorate in English. His first job found him working at Oxford University Press as one of two general editors on a massive new collected works of Shakespeare. He was something of a prodigy, landing the plum job straight out of graduate school and, eight years later, publishing the master work when he was still just 33.
In 1984, as he was tying up some loose ends for the collected works, he tackled one of the long-standing mysteries about Shakespeare's plays: Was Measure for Measure written completely by the Bard, or were pieces of it written by someone else? The only surviving version of the play contained a song written by someone else, prompting scholars to wonder if the play had been modified after Shakespeare's death. Looking into it further, Taylor and his co-editor were convinced that, like Macbeth, Measure for Measure had indeed been revised by someone after Shakespeare died. The question then was who.
There were only three possible candidates, Taylor said, and if the question came up today, deciding among them would be a relatively simple manner. Because the works of Shakespeare and other writers of the era are now available on literature databases, one can do computer searches to look for similarities in wording and determine the most likely author of a particular passage. But such databases were not available in 1984, which left Taylor and his collaborators with the task of doing the same sort of analysis by hand. They memorized the bits in question from Measure for Measure and set out to read everything they could find from the three candidates in hopes of discovering passages that were similar to those in Shakespeare's play.
By 1985, the evidence was overwhelming that Thomas Middleton, one of Shakespeare's peers in the London writing community, had rewritten parts of Measure for Measure after Shakespeare's death. Mystery solved. Taylor documented his discovery, and he moved on to other tasks necessary for finishing the book.
But he couldn't forget Middleton. Reading everything he could find by Middleton in the rare books room of the Oxford library had been a revelation. He had read a couple of his plays in graduate school, but he had never realized just how much Middleton had written or just how good it was. It was passages from Middleton's plays that had him laughing out loud. "These plays were fabulous." But if the only way to read all this Middleton was to find a well-stocked rare books library and camp out there, few were likely to share his experience, Taylor realized. Shakespeare's collected works had been available in a single edition since the First Folio was published in 1623. Jonson, Fletcher and other London writers of the era had had collected works published, but not Middleton. Taylor decided that this was an oversight that needed correcting, and even before the new collected works of Shakespeare was published in 1986, he had a contract with Oxford University Press to publish a parallel volume of the collected works of Thomas Middleton.
The project would take him 22 years and a team of 74 contributors from 12 countries to complete, but in late 2007, the Oxford press released the 2,018-page, seven-pound Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works. Taylor's co-editor for this mammoth work was John Lavignino, a lecturer in the Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London.

Middleton the Man

One of Taylor's first tasks was to develop a biography of Middleton. Who was this person, and what were his influences? By collecting existing information and uncovering some new details about Middleton's life, Taylor was able to sketch out a reasonably detailed picture of his life.
Middleton was born in London in April 1580. His father, William Middleton, was a prosperous businessman who died when Thomas was five. His mother, Anne, quickly remarried, and Thomas's stepfather was soon trying to get his hands on his stepchildren's inheritance. For much of the next 15 years Thomas watched his mother fight with his stepfather over these funds both in and out of court. Meanwhile he was receiving the literature-heavy education of a London grammar school, reading and writing in several languages. Afterward he spent several terms at Queen's College at Oxford, but he left before graduating.
With little left of his inheritance, Middleton had to find a way to support himself, and he explored a number of approaches, most of them related to writing. Early on he wrote and published three long poems, none of which was particularly successful, but one did have the distinction of being publicly burned because it had offended the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London. Middleton was only 19 at the time, and this willingness to tweak religious, political, and other sensitivities would be a hallmark of his writing throughout his career.
Middleton found more success with the publications known as Renaissance pamphlets. These were somewhat lengthy documents—generally about the size of a long magazine article today—that could be on any subject, fiction or nonfiction, written in prose or a mixture of prose and poetry. They were sold unbound—binding was extra, performed by a separate guild—and, in an era with no newspapers, no magazines, no novels, they were the main way the public satisfied its appetite for the latest writings. Middleton's pamphlets, which tended to be what Taylor describes at "experimental fiction," earned him a decent living and today are seen as some of the best examples of the genre from that time.
Middleton was even better known during his day as the writer of many so-called "Lord Mayor" shows. These were Renaissance-era London's version of the Super Bowl halftime show—large public spectacles held once a year and performed in front of stadium-size audiences. The shows were produced to mark the introduction of a new lord mayor for the city of London. Middleton, Taylor said, was considered to be his era's best writer of these pageants.
Middleton was a songwriter and choreographer as well. He wrote the most popular theatrical song of that period and two of his dances were among the most popular of the era.
But more than anything else, Middleton built a reputation as a dramatist. Between 1603 and 1624 Middleton wrote or co-wrote more than 30 plays that survive today and that can be definitively attributed to him. A number of his plays have been lost, Taylor said, including several whose titles survive but nothing else, and attribution has been a problem on a number of plays.
Perhaps the best example, Taylor found, is The Revenger's Tragedy, which for 200 years was recognized as one of the finest tragedies of that era but whose authorship was uncertain. It was only in the 1970s that experts in the field came to agree that the play was Middleton's. In his work preparing Middleton's collected works, Taylor had to address a number of such issues. He solidified the case for Middleton being an author of a tragedy called The Bloody Banquet, for example, and showed that another play was not his work.

The Bard's Peer

Having studied Middleton's plays exhaustively, Taylor revealed a list of characteristics that sets Middleton apart from every other playwright from that era besides Shakespeare.
Middleton and Shakespeare are the only playwrights from that day who wrote plays that are still considered masterpieces in each of the four major genres: comedy, tragedy, history, and tragicomedy. When The English Treasury of Wit and Language, a compilation of popular quotations from English plays, was published in 1655, Middleton and Shakespeare had far more quotations than any other writer; depending on how the quotations are counted, either Middleton slightly edges out Shakespeare, or vice versa.
And it was Middleton who wrote the all-time, number-one hit play of the era, A Game at Chess. That number-one status is based on a variety of measures, Taylor explains: The play had the longest initial run, it generated more contemporary comment, it was the first play to be published with an engraved title page (an option usually considered too expensive for a play), and it has far more surviving manuscripts than any other play from that time, indicating that interest in the play was particularly high at the time that it was being performed. There are certainly some measures by which Shakespeare beats out Middleton-no Middleton play got printed as many times as Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1, for example-but together the two men stood by themselves atop the Renaissance-era playwriting heap.

Different Takes on Life & Sex

Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works contains poems, pamphlets, pageants, and the 35 plays that Middleton is known to have written or co-written. The volume finally makes it possible to properly assess Middleton and, in particular, to see how he compares with Shakespeare, Taylor said.
What is known beyond any doubt about the two is that they collaborated on at least one play (Timon of Athens). Despite that, the research shows that Middleton and Shakespeare shared far more differences than similarities—in just about everything.
Shakespeare liked to write about royalty and heroic figures—think of the various historical kings (John, Richard II and III, Henry IV, V, VI, and VIII), of King Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Anthony and Cleopatra. Middleton, by contrast, focused mainly on the middle class and the working class. "His characters have jobs, and they worry where the money is coming from," Taylor said. "They are closer to the contemporary reader's experience of the world."
Similarly, Shakespeare liked to write "big roles for big characters," he said. Shakespeare's company featured the actor Richard Burbage, a major star of the time, and Shakespeare wrote many of his trademark soliloquies for him. "Middleton's plays are much more about people in groups and how people interact with each other," said Taylor. Instead of soliloquies, Middleton's calling card was his asides, where a character spoke his thoughts aloud for the audience to hear. Middleton was also far more interested than Shakespeare in religious, political, and cultural issues.
But perhaps the most obvious difference to anyone who reads a few plays by each of the writers is how they handle love and sex. "Shakespeare is interested in women who are virgins and in falling in love and first relationships," Taylor said. Think of Romeo and Juliet or even The Taming of the Shrew. Middleton's plays involve characters who have moved well past those first innocent moments.
"Middleton was very interested in sex," Taylor explained. "Any kind of sex you can think of—and some you might prefer not to think about—you can find in Middleton. But it's never just sex." Middleton liked to examine how sex interacts with all the other aspects of human life—political, economic, psychological, and religious. "He saw sex as central to human experience." For example, in The Changeling, a woman uses the promise of sex to convince an admirer to kill her fiancé so that she is free to marry the man she loves. In A Trick to Catch the Old One, a young man deep in debt conspires with his ex-mistress to use her wiles (and sex) to trick an old moneylender into paying off the man's debts.
Shakespeare's plays did have plenty of sexual slang and innuendo, Taylor notes, but Middleton was much more explicit and used a variety of tricks to get as close as possible to actually portraying sex onstage. In The Changeling, the stage instructions call for the main female lead, Beatrice, to drop her glove and her admirer, De Flores, to pick it up after she has gone and thrust his fingers into it. "It's like watching sex," Taylor quipped. In another Middleton play, A Mad World, My Masters, the audience can hear two lovers having sex just offstage.

Dramatic Demise

The two playwrights provide very different views of the human experience, Taylor said. Shakespeare was more of the establishment playwright, while Middleton "was pushing the limits from the time he was 19." Indeed, his career was cut short by reactions to the satirical (and enormously popular) A Game at Chess, a thinly veiled attack on Catholicism, the king of Spain, and the king's sympathizers in England.
Using a law that prohibited the portrayal of any modern Christian king on stage, England's Privy Council shut down the theater that was showing the play, fined Middleton and the actors, and forbade any further performance of the work. Middleton never wrote another play, and some have speculated that this was part of his agreement with the council to avoid further punishment. In 1620, Middleton was appointed official chronologer for the City of London, a post he held until his death at age 47 in 1627.
In the following decades, Middleton's plays were performed less and less often. "They were particularly hard to performed less and less often. "They were particularly hard to perform after 1680, when censors became more hostile to sexuality," Taylor said.
The main reason for Middleton's disappearance, however, was something else altogether. When Shakespeare died, he left a very profitable company behind that performed his plays on a regular basis. It was an early case of "artistic branding"—think Walt Disney or Steven Spielberg—and thus it was no accident that 36 of Shakespeare's plays were collected and published in the First Folio (1623) within a decade of his death.
Middleton, by contrast, was a freelancer who wrote for a wide variety of theatrical companies (including Shakespeare's). "Nobody owned him, no one had an economic incentive to invest in him as their flagship writer," Taylor said. Thus Middleton's work was never collected and published in one place like the work of Shakespeare or other contemporaries. Decades or centuries later, when plays from the Renaissance era were performed, they tended to be plays that had been published in big collections and were easily accessible—plays by Shakespeare, Jonson, and Fletcher, but not Middleton.This is the oversight that Taylor hopes to correct 380 years after the fact. "If there had been a Middleton First Folio, English literature could have had a very different history," he said, but better late than never. The publication of Middleton's collected works, along with the accompanying book of commentary, will move Middleton beyond a tiny group of specialists and into the mainstream of English literature, Taylor predicts.
For 20 years now, Taylor has been teaching Middleton and Shakespeare side by side to the students in his English classes. He knows that some students will always prefer Shakespeare; others Middleton. But he's convinced that it is nothing more than historical accident that causes the world's playhouses to regularly put on Julius Caesar or A Midsummer Night's Dream rather than The Revenger's Tragedy or A Chaste Maid in Cheapside.
Will the name Thomas Middleton ever rival that of the storied Bard of Avon? Taylor says that a Middleton revival already is under way, thanks to his and his colleagues' hard work.
"For two years I told my collaborators 'Yes we can!' Now I can finally tell them 'Yes we did!' And I can tell everyone, 'Yes we will! The new edition will change—is already changing—how people think about Middleton, about Shakespeare, about the whole history of English literature."
"But if the only way to read all this Middleton was to find a well-stocked rare books library and camp out there, few were likely to share his experience, Taylor realized."
"Shakespeare is interested in women who are virgins and in falling in love... Middleton's plays involve characters who have moved well past those first innocent moments."

Source: Florida State University Research in Review, Winter 2009



Sosyura "Love
You cannot love other peoples
Unless you love

The mass murder of peoples and of nations that has characterized the advance of the Soviet Union into Europe is not a new feature of their policy of expansionism, it is not an innovation devised simply to bring uniformity out of the diversity of Poles, Hungarians, Balts, Romanians – presently disappearing into the fringes of their empire. Instead, it has been a long-term characteristic even of the internal policy of the Kremlin – one which the present masters had ample precedent for in the operations of Tsarist Russia. It is indeed an indispensable step in the process of "union" that the Soviet leaders fondly hope will produce the "Soviet Man," the "Soviet Nation", and to achieve that goal, that unified nation, the leaders of the Kremlin will gladly destroy the nations and the cultures that have long inhabited Eastern Europe.

What I want to speak about is perhaps the classic example of Soviet genocide, its longest and broadest experiment in Russification – the destruction of the Ukrainian nation. This is, as I have said, only the logical successor of such Tsarist crimes as the drowning of 10,000 Crimean Tatars by order of Catherine the Great, the mass murders of Ivan the Terrible's "SS troops" – the Oprichnina; the extermination of National Polish leaders and Ukrainian Catholics by Nicholas I; and the series of Jewish pogroms that have stained Russian history periodically. And it has had its matches within the
Soviet Union in the annihilation of the Ingerian nation, the Don and Kuban Cossacks, the Crimean Tatar Republics, the Baltic Nations of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Each is a case in the long-term policy of liquidation of non-Russian peoples by the removal of select parts.

Ukraine constitutes a slice of Southeastern USSR equal in area to France and Italy, and inhabited by some 30 million people. Itself the Russian bread basket, geography has made it a strategic key to the oil of the Caucasus and Iran, and to the entire Arab world. In the north, it borders Russia proper. As long as Ukraine retains its national unity, as long as its people continue to think of themselves as Ukrainians and to seek independence, so long Ukraine poses a serious threat to the very heart of Sovietism. It is no wonder that the Communist leaders have attached the greatest importance to the Russification of this independent[-minded] member of their "Union of Republics," have determined to remake it to fit their pattern of one Russian nation. For the Ukrainian is not and has never been, a Russian. His culture, his temperament, his language, his religion – all are different. At the side door to Moscow, he has refused to be collectivized, accepting deportation, even death. And so it is peculiarly important that the Ukrainian be fitted into the procrustean pattern of the ideal Soviet man.

is highly susceptible to racial murder by select parts and so the Communist tactics there have not followed the pattern taken by the German attacks against the Jews. The nation is too populous to be exterminated completely with any efficiency. However, its leadership, religious, intellectual, political, its select and determining parts, are quite small and therefore easily eliminated, and so it is upon these groups particularly that the full force of the Soviet axe has fallen, with its familiar tools of mass murder, deportation and forced labor, exile and starvation.

The attack has manifested a systematic pattern, with the whole process repeated again and again to meet fresh outburst of national spirit. The first blow is aimed at the intelligentsia, the national brain, so as to paralyze the rest of the body. In 1920, 1926 and again in 1930-33, teachers, writers, artists, thinkers, political leaders, were liquidated, imprisoned or deported. According to the Ukrainian Quarterly of Autumn 1948, 51,713 intellectuals were sent to
Siberia in 1931 alone. At least 114 major poets, writers and artists, the most prominent cultural leaders of the nation, have met the same fate. It is conservatively estimated that at least 75 percent of the Ukrainian intellectuals and professional men in Western Ukraine, Carpatho-Ukraine and Bukovina
have been brutally exterminated by the Russians. (Ibid. [Ukrainian Quarterly], Summer 1949).

Going along with this attack on the intelligentsia was an offensive against the churches, priests and hierarchy, the "soul" of
Ukraine. Between 1926 and 1932, the Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalous Church, its Metropolitan (Lypkivsky) and 10,000 clergy were liquidated. In 1945, when the Soviets established themselves in Western Ukraine, a similar fate was meted out to the Ukrainian Catholic Church. That Russification was the only issue involved is clearly demonstrated by the fact that before its liquidation, the Church was offered the opportunity to join the Russian Patriarch[ate] at Moscow
, the Kremlin's political tool.

Only two weeks before the
San Francisco conference, on April 11, 1945, a detachment of NKVD troops surrounded the St. George Cathedral in Lviv and arrested Metropolitan Slipyj, 2 bishops, 2 prelates and several priests. All the students in the city's theological seminary were driven from the school, while their professors were told that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church had ceased to exist, that its Metropolitan was arrested and his place was to be take by a Soviet-appointed bishop. These acts were repeated all over Western Ukraine and across the Curzon Line in Poland. At least seven bishops were arrested or were never heard from again. There is no Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church still free in the area. Five hundred clergy who met to protest the action of the Soviets, were shot or arrested. Throughout the entire region, clergy and laity were killed by hundreds, while the number sent to forced labor camps ran into the thousands. Whole villages were depopulated. In the deportation, families were deliberately separated, fathers to Siberia, mothers to the brickworks of Turkestan, and the children to Communist homes to be "educated". For the crime of being Ukrainian, the Church itself was declared a society detrimental to the welfare of the Soviet state, its members were marked down in the Soviet police files as potential "enemies of the people." As a matter of fact, with the exception of 150,000 members in Slovakia
, the Ukrainian Catholic Church has been officially liquidated, its hierarchy imprisoned, its clergy dispersed and deported.

These attacks on the Soul have had and will continue to have a serious effect on the Brain of Ukraine, for it is the families of the clergy that have traditionally supplied a large part of the intellectuals, while the priests themselves have been the leaders of the villages, their wives the heads of the charitable organizations. The religious orders ran schools, took care of much of the organized charities.

The third prong of the Soviet plan was aimed at the farmers, the large mass of independent peasants who are the repository of the tradition, folk lore and music, the national language and literature, the national spirit, of
Ukraine. The weapon used against this body is perhaps the most terrible of all – starvation. Between 1932 and 1933, 5,000,000 Ukrainians starved to death, an inhumanity which the 73rd Congress decried on May 28, 1934. There has been an attempt to dismiss this highpoint of Soviet cruelty as an economic policy connected with the collectivization of the wheatlands and the elimination of the kulaks, the independent farmers that was therefore necessary. The fact is, however, that large-scale farmers in Ukraine were few and far-between. As a Soviet writer Kossior declared in Izvestiia on December 2, 1933, "Ukrainian nationalism is our chief danger," and it was to eliminate that nationalism, to establish the horrifying uniformity of the Soviet state that the Ukrainian peasantry was sacrificed. The method used in this part of the plan was not at all restricted to any particular group. All suffered – men, women, children. The crop that year was ample to feed the people and livestock of Ukraine
, though it had fallen off somewhat from the previous year, a decrease probably due in large measure to the struggle over collectivization. But a famine was necessary for the Soviet[s] and so they got one to order, by plan, through an unusually high grain allotment to the state as taxes. To add to this, thousands of acres of wheat were never harvested, were left to rot in the fields. The rest was sent to government granaries to be stored there until the authorities had decided how to allocate it. Much of this crop, so vital to the lives of the Ukrainian people, ended up as exports for the creation of credits abroad

In the face of famine on the farms, thousands abandoned the rural areas and moved into the towns to beg food. Caught there and sent back to the country, they abandoned their children in the hope that they at least might survive. In this way, 18,000 children were abandoned in Kharkiv alone. Villages of a thousand had a surviving population of a hundred; in others, half the populace was gone, and deaths in these towns ranged from 20 to 30 per day. Cannibalism became commonplace.

As C. Henry Chamberlain, the
correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor, wrote in 1933:

The Communists saw in this apathy and discouragement, sabotage and counter-revolution, and, with the ruthlessness peculiar to self-righteous idealists, they decided to let the famine run its course with the idea that it would teach the peasants a lesson.

Relief was doled out to the collective farms, but on an inadequate scale and so late that many lives had already been lost. The individual peasants were left to shift for themselves; and much higher mortality rate among the individual peasants proved a most potent argument in favor of joining collective farms.

The fourth step in the process consisted in the fragmentation of the Ukrainian people at once by the addition to the
Ukraine of foreign peoples and by the dispersion of the Ukrainians throughout Eastern Europe. In this way, ethnic unity would be destroyed and nationalities mixed. Between 1920 and 1939, the population of Ukraine changed from 80 percent Ukrainian to only 63 percent. In the face of famine and deportation, the Ukrainian population had declined absolutely from 23.2 million to 19.6 million, while the non-Ukrainian population had increased by 5.6 million. When we consider that Ukraine once had the highest rate of population increase in Europe
, around 800,000 per year, it is easy to see that the Russian policy has been accomplished.

These have been the chief steps in the systematic destruction of the Ukrainian nation. Notably, there have been no attempts at complete annihilation, such as was the method of the German attack on the Jews. And yet, if the Soviet program succeeds completely, if the intelligentsia, the priests and the peasants can be eliminated, Ukraine will be as dead as if every Ukrainian were killed, for it will have lost that part of it which has kept and developed its culture, its beliefs, its common ideas, which have guided it and given it a soul, which, in short, made it a nation rather than a mass of people.

The mass, indiscriminate murders have not, however, been lacking – they have simply not been integral parts of the plan, but only chance variations. Thousands have been executed, untold thousands have disappeared into the certain death of Siberian labor camps.

The city of
Vinnitsa might well be called the Ukrainian Dachau. In 91 graves there lie the bodies of 9,432 victims of Soviet tyranny, shot by the NKVD in about 1937 or 1938. Among the gravestones of real cemeteries, in woods, with awful irony, under a dance floor, the bodies lay from 1937 until their discovery by the Germans in 1943. Many of the victims had been reported by the Soviets as exiled to Siberia.

Ukraine has its Lidice too, in the town of Zavadka, destroyed by the Polish satellites of the Kremlin in 1946. Three times, troops of the Polish Second Division attacked the town, killing men, women and children, burning houses and stealing farm animals. During the second raid, the Red commander told what was left of the town's populace: "The same fate will be met by everyone who refuses to go to Ukraine. I therefore order that within three days the village be vacated; otherwise, I shall execute every one of you."

Source: Borys Kushniruk’s Blog in Ukrayinska Pravda,