Remembering the Victims of Holodomor 1932-1933


To my dear fellow citizens, bound through blood and flesh with the Victims of Holodomor,

Our planet has made another turn and brought us once more to autumn, to that time which for farmers was always the time for new harvest and new confidence in the future.

For those whom we remember today, the autumn of 1932 became an abyss of bitter despair and hopelessness. And the land which could have fed millions became the last shelter for the remains of those bent and contorted through hunger.

Eternal Memory to them, Eternal Salvation!  May they be satiated with the bread of life, thanks to which they will never go hungry. May they drink of the heavenly water, after which they will never again know thirst!

Our faith has given us confidence that human suffering is wiped from the souls of those innocent victims, and God’s justice is restored.

While for us, those who remain in the valley of sorrow, bitter questions still provide no rest. For us, it seems, we could never understand why they endured such terrible suffering.  And they were sinned against doubly since their tragedy was concealed, sometimes even denied, with some of their descendents even claiming that it didn’t happen.

What do the innocent victims expect from us today?

Some will probably say “Just retribution”. Yet we all understand that none of those who ordered the crime of Holodomor, or those who carried it out are now alive.

And do we really believe that the souls of the victims, like spectres from a horror film, will not rest until they see their tormenters in hell? It would be hard to imagine that the martyrs of Holodomor, now with their Heavenly Father, need our vengeful rage.

Someone else may wish to clarify that “condemnation is needed of a criminal system”. There I agree totally, since I see myself that nostalgic portraits of the bloody leader appeared merely because the crimes of communism were not condemned or repented over.

Thus, today, on the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Holodomor, we must say without qualification that any nostalgia games with the terrible totalitarian ideological past – in the first instance fascism and communism show disrespect for the suffering of their victims and set the path to new crimes. Before communism, together with its twin brother, Nazism, is condemned with an official verdict, let it be condemned by our reason and in our hearts. We need condemnation of the communist system not in order to justify the past, what was lost will never be returned. We need it to protect our future so that the Satanic past does not find fertile ground in it once again.

However what should we condemn in communism so that its metastases do not torment us and the souls of the victims can feel that their sacrifice was not in vain? What must we wrench from our souls to stop carrying the sin of communism?

We must first of all beware of simplification. Yes, the communist henchmen, like those of Nazism, had names, nationality, party tickets. They had mothers whose milk they dishonoured, wives and children of whose love they were unworthy.

Yet it is one thing to punish the culprits of communism, and another to overcome the malignant tumour which has settled in us.  Conquering communism is no witch hunt in which the hunter takes the role of the righteous.

Let us look critically at ourselves. Can those who freely or not supported this system stand judge? Can those truly overcome the sin of communism who even having “clean biographies”, nonetheless carry the seed of the communist sin in them?

Bolshevism began with the desire to protect the rights of ordinary people and to prevent injustice against them. It began with righteous wrath, elicited both by the harm committed by the rich, and by the impunity of criminals. However in order to achieve their fine aims, the Bolsheviks offered, it seemed, “simple recipes”, revoked property rights, redistributed what had been pillaged, answered violence with violence, rejected God’s commandments as outmoded “priests’ stories”.

Myroslav Marynovych goes on to stress that people took part in creating the communist system as they saw the destruction of the old to be justified.

He suggests that the present reality demonstrates that the illusions which, promising liberation, in fact led to the tragedies of the Gulag and Holodomor, have not been overcome. The harm done now by the nouveau riche is again extreme, making revolt seem justified and inevitable. As a result, the only ideological germs are spreading within us once again.

Therefore, he warns, anybody who promises that by disrespecting God’s commandments today, they can create justice on earth tomorrow  is in fact deceiving people.

The only revolt which is pleasing to God is that of the individual against his willingness to collaborate with evil.

Our earthly task, he says, must be to not only pray to God for the souls of those innocent victims of Holodomor, but also to do all that we can and must to avert any new suffering for those alive today.

“We honour the victims of Holodomor only when we do not allow ourselves to create hell in our country”.

Slightly abridged from the original address here

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