Friday, November 27, 2009
Statement by the President on Ukrainian Holodomor Remembrance Day
Seventy six years ago, millions of innocent Ukrainians – men, women, and children – starved to death as a result of the deliberate policies of the regime of Joseph Stalin. Tomorrow, we join together, Ukrainian-Americans and all Americans, to commemorate these tragic events and to honor the many victims.
From 1932 to 1933, the Ukrainian people suffered horribly during what has become known as the Holodomor – “death by hunger” – due to the Stalin regime’s seizure of crops and farms across Ukraine. Ukraine had once been a breadbasket of Europe. Ukrainians could have fed themselves and saved millions of lives, had they been allowed to do so. As we remember this calamity, we pay respect to millions of victims who showed tremendous strength and courage. The Ukrainian people overcame the horror of the great famine and have gone on to build a free and democratic country.
Remembering the victims of the man-made catastrophe of Holodomor provides us an opportunity to reflect upon the plight of all those who have suffered the consequences of extremism and tyranny around the world. We hope that the remembrance of Holodomor will help prevent such tragedy in the future.