T h e U k r a i n i a n M u s e u m
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Holodomor: Genocide by Famine is a special exhibition comprised of selected panels from a larger exhibition by the same name that was shown at The Ukrainian Museum in 2008. The exhibition details the horrors and magnitude of the Holodomor the little-known Ukrainian genocide that resulted in the death of millions. It will be on view November 11-25, 2012.
The Holodomor (literally, murder by starvation) took place in 1932-1933, less than twenty years after Ukraine was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union. Determined to drive all Ukrainian farmers onto collective farms, to crush the burgeoning national revival, and to forestall any calls for Ukraine's independence, the brutal Communist regime of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin embarked on a campaign to starve the Ukrainian people into submission.
The Soviet government confiscated all the grain produced by Ukrainian farmers, withheld other foodstuffs, executed anyone trying to obtain food, and punished those who attempted to flee. As a result, in the land called the Breadbasket of Europe, millions of men, women, and children were starved to death.
Despite the magnitude of the atrocity, the Soviet regime, behind its Iron Curtain, denied the existence of the Holodomor for decades, denouncing any reports as "anti-Soviet propaganda." It was not until the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the subsequent establishment of an independent Ukraine that the contents of many sealed government archives were uncovered, exposing a wealth of gruesome information.
Image: A starving girl in Kharkiv, then-capital of Ukraine, 1933. At least 3 million of the Holodomor victims were children. Photo by Winnerberger, Institute of Ukrainian History, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
Film in conjunction with the exhibition
The Living (Zhyvi)
The title of the film refers to the people who, as children, lived through the horrors of the Holodomor. Many of them are only now beginning to talk about what they experienced – how all their families' possessions were taken away, how entire villages were dying, and how they managed to survive. Among the narrators is Viktor Yushchenko, president of Ukraine, whose mother was a Holodomor survivor. In one scene, he is shown at the burial site of Holodomor victims in his native village of Khuruzhivka in the Sumy oblast.
The Living also recounts the story of Gareth Jones, the British investigative journalist whose reports on the Holodomor were largely ignored in the West.
The Living is on continuous play in the Museum lobby for the duration of the 2012 special exhibition Holodomor: Genocide by Famine.
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