Very often we attend an interesting presentation, then leave and no one mentions the value and the importance of the information. I attended this presentation about Holodomor in Brooklyn, N.Y. Some of the high points of the presentation in my opinion were explaining the cause of death of the people that had starved during “Holodomor”.
One would assume hunger. But Mr. Ivanushchenko showed that small children after an autopsy were diagnosed with “ death due to old age”. At first this seemed to be made up but it turned out to be true. Because of malnutrition, their bodies had aged at an extraordinary rate and this happens when there is hunger. The bodies are smaller than normal, there is protein deficiency and all these conditions were recorded. There were no births recorded only deaths at the time.
TB was also one of the medical symptoms recorded, as well as 200 others. This was definitely a genocide in both categories affecting nationality and social class, why social class because all the dead were farmers or (khliboroby as they are called in Ukrainian). From 1929 to 1946 the death tolls decreased because there were less people from year to year. In the whole of the USSR 47% of those who starved to death were Ukrainians. The speaker went on to give statistics about the daily losses and they were enormously abnormal. The children who died were very swollen and most of them died in their own homes. They were ages 1, 2 , 3 , and 5 . This age group was very prevalent. The older ones tried to migrate from the villages to the towns. Along the way there were many bodies and carcasses. There were simply too many to bury, for the weak who were left.
There are records of concentration camps in 1919-20. This was an invention by the Soviet Russians. Many people were sent to these camps and perished there. At the same time between 1919 and 1923 106 uprisings against the Russians were recorded. They were on foot and on horse and those that partook were the remnants of the UNR Army (Army of the Ukrainian National Republic). They had organized long before the great Famine (holodomor) and SVU the Union for Freeing Ukraine an organization of that time. It is important to note that there was an armed struggle in the defense of Ukraine and the people suffering.
At this point the speaker showed a short video with the singer Bilozir singing a song dedicted to the Holodomor to Skoryk’s beautiful composition “Melodia”. In addition he explained that the people in SUMY where he is from, live about 40 km from the Russian border. When Petlura left, they had nothing and no one to lean on. 92% of the Ukrainians in Sumy speak Russian but they have a strong Ukrainian awareness. They are Ukrainian in spirit and in their hearts. Because of their proximity to Russia they strongly support their sports teams and their churches. Many try to influence them to turn to Russia but the people of Sumy simply do not want to.
In conclusion. This is a brief summary of the information we received at the presentation. The speaker Mr. Ivanushchenko was not only very knowledgeable, but able to condense a large amount of information into a brief lecture and power point presentation. He spoke slowly and to the point. His Ukrainian is impeccable and the audience responded with praise. If Mr. Ivanushchenko speaks in your city, I highly recommend that you attend.
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