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12.02.2010

Unique book on Holodomor presented in Warsaw

   

At the Polish Institute of National Remembrance a presentation took place on Tuesday of a book in English entitled «HOLODOMOR. The Great Famine in Ukraine 1932-1933». This is the seventh volume from the Institute’s series “Poland and Ukraine in the 1930s and 1940s”. The staff of the Institute of National Remembrance see this publication as unique and would like to present it in Western Europe and the USA.
The new volume contains over 230 previously unpublished archival documents: material from Polish Intelligence, the police and local administration in pre-War Poland. There are also letters from diplomats about Holodomor, directives and interrogation protocols.
Specialists believe that the documents reflect the real situation in Ukraine during Holodomor and give the reader some idea of the real scale of the tragedy of the Ukrainian people.
Most of the documents in the book are published for the first time.
The book’s author, Dr Jerzy Bednarek, from the Institute of National Remembrance, explained to Radio Svoboda why the book is unique
“The published documents come from the Soviet OGPU then later the NKVD. An interesting point here is that many archival documents pertain to agent information about the work of foreign diplomatic offices working on the territory engulfed by famine. The Soviet security service watched carefully to make sure that no information about the famine reached the West. To some extent they succeeded. The documents are direct proof that the Soviet authorities tried at all cost to keep information about Holodomor secret”.
Lech Kachynsky, Poland’s President writes in the foreword that “the published archival documents show that Holodomor must be called genocide of the Ukrainian people. Holodomor will remain an unprecedented tragedy in the history of Ukraine and of Europe.”
Dr Bednarek is convinced that the English language publication has immeasurable significance for ensuring that truthful information about Holodomor as genocide against the Ukrainian people perpetrated by the communist regime becomes more widespread.
He adds that the international community needs a clear signal to ensure that such a crime can never be repeated.
“The book will be presented first in April in the European Parliament, then similar events will take place in Germany, then in London. We also want to present the book about Holodomor in the USA. During a recent visit to Washington by members of the Institute of National Remembrance, representatives of the US Administration asked on several occasions about the book. A certain number have been issued to the Ukrainian Embassy in the USA. There is thus interest in the book in the USA”.
Work on the many volume series “Poland and Ukraine in the 1930s and 1940s” has been carried out over several years jointly by the SBU [Security Service of Ukraine] Central Archive, the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, the Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration and the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Political and Ethno-national Research.

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