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Province commemorates Holodomor famineFree Access

A young victim of the famine in Ukraine during the 1930s

During a special service at the Legislative Building November 21, Legislative Secretary Responsible for Saskatchewan-Ukrainian Relations Terry Dennis, joined with members of the province’s Ukrainian community to commemorate the millions who died during the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine.

“Holodomor, The Great Famine, is still felt by the Ukrainian community 90 years later,” Dennis said. “We join our Saskatchewan citizens of Ukrainian heritage to remember this dark time and honour those lost.”

The word Holodomor means “extermination by hunger” in the Ukrainian language. The service was held in solidarity with Holodomor Memorial Week; a memorial candle was lit and will remain lit throughout the week to represent unity with those around the world marking the Holodomor genocide.

In 1932 and 1933, the man-made famine engineered by the Soviet government resulted in the deaths of millions of people through starvation and deprivation. Crops were confiscated and regulations were imposed preventing people from leaving their communities in search of food.

‘Bitter Memories of Childhood’ statue in Regina (Wascana Centre photo)

An exact reproduction of the statue, entitled “Bitter Memories of Childhood” by sculptor Preto Drozdowsky, of a young, starving peasant girl clutching a wheat sheaf, was dedicated on the grounds of Wascana Centre. The original statue still stands in the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The statue is located southeast of the Legislative Building on Lakeshore Drive, serving as a permanent reminder of the tragedy.

This year marks the 15th year the Government of Saskatchewan has recognized Holodomor Memorial Week. Saskatchewan was the first jurisdiction in North America to recognize this genocide with the passing of The Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day Act in 2008.

International Holodomor Day is recognized on the fourth Saturday of November and, this year, falls on November 25.