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22.10.2007

Ternopil Regional Council calls for Remembrance of the Terror

   

The Ternopil Regional Council has issued an appeal to the authorities, civic organizations, political parties, the media, believers of all faiths and all people in the Ternopil region with regard to the seventieth anniversary of the Great Terror of 1937-1938.  We would respectfully extend their appeal to all.

This year marks the seventieth anniversary of the Great Terror of 1937-1938. For very many, especially older people, the words nineteen thirty seven are enough.

1937 refers to the massive scale of repression engulfing all layers of society without exception, from the leaders of the country to the creative intelligentsia, peasants and workers far removed from politics. More than 1.7 million people were arrested on political charges and sent to labour camps, while another 681 thousand 692 people were sentenced without trial and shot.

The repressions of 1937 were especially severe in Ukraine.  After the Civil War and “Red Terror” of 1918-1921, the crushing of peasant uprisings, forced collectivization of the 1930s and the destruction of the Ukrainian countryside through Holodomor of 1932-1933, Stalin’s regime in 1937 attempted to finally deprive Ukraine of a national technical and creative intelligentsia, of any capacity for free thinking and resistance.

On 27 October, and from 1 – 4 November 1937 in the forest clearing in Sandarmokh, a “regular execution place” in the north of Karelia, more than a thousand prisoners of the “Solovky embarkation point” were shot. Among them were many “Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists” -  the creator of the theatre “Berezil” [“March”], Les Kurbas, the poet and professor of Kyiv University  Mykola Zerov, the playwright Mykola Kulish; the former Minister of Education of the Ukrainian People’s Republic [UNR], Anton. Krushelnytsky, the writers Valeryan Pidmohylny, Pavlo Filypovych, Valeryan Polishchuk, Oleksa Slisarenko, Myroslav Irchan, Hryhoriy Elik, Marko Vorony, Myhkailo Kozoriz, Mykhailo Yalovy;  the historians Academician Matviy Yavorsky, Professor Volodymyr Chekhivsky, Professor Serhiy Hrushevsky; the scientists Stepan Rudnytsky, Mykola Pavlushkov, Vasyl Volkov, Petro Bovsunivsky, Mykola Trokhymenko; and many others.

This is the first time that the anniversary of the Great Terror is being marked in Ukraine at State level. On 21 May 2007 President Yushchenko issued Decree No. 431/2007 “On Measures to mark the 70th anniversary of the Great Terror – the mass political repression of 1937-1938”.

In order to honour the memory of the victims of political repression in connection with the 70th anniversary of the Great Terror – the mass political repression of 1937-1938 and in support of public initiative, an implementing the President’s Decree, the Ternopil Regional Council is calling upon all those mentioned above to do the following:

  1. Hold memorial lectures, lessons and other measures during November and December 2007  in educational and cultural institutions aimed at raising awareness about the mass political repression of 1937-1938
  2. Ensure wide coverage in the mass media of the events to mark the 70th anniversary of the Great Terror and to organize related radio and television broadcasts.
  3. Encourage the publication of books, documents and materials on the mass repressions of those years and ensure that these are placed in libraries and educational institutions.
  4. Hold remembrance gatherings, as well as memorial services in places of worship of all faiths, between 27 October and 4 November 2007 on the seventieth anniversary of the mass execution in Stalin’s labour camps.
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