Province holds special service for Holodomor at Legislative Building

The Saskatchewan Legislative Building was home to a special service to commemorate the millions who died during the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine.

The service was held in solidarity with Holodomor Memorial Week. A memorial candle will remain lit throughout the week to represent unity with those around the world, marking the Holodomor genocide.

Holodomor means “extermination by hunger” in the Ukrainian language. In 1932 and 1933, the Soviet Union’s management of agricultural crop production in Ukraine led to a man-made famine, resulting 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.

Elena Krueger, the president of the Saskatchewan Provincial Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, said with Ukrainians again under attack, it’s even more important to remember the Holodomor.

“It is important that we continue to remember those who died in the Holodomor, honour the descendants of the survivors and recognize the truth-tellers who worked to alert the world of this crime against humanity.”

Kruger said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to a repeat of what happened 90 years ago.

“Grain from the bread basket of Europe is once again being kept from those who need it People in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and their global partners to whom they export that grain and other food resources.”

Terry Dennis, Legislative Secretary responsible for Saskatchewan-Ukraine Relations, said what happened long ago shouldn’t be forgotten.

“We remember, and we join with our fellow citizens of Ukrainian heritage in Saskatchewan to ensure those who suffered and those who perished in those terrible years will be forever in our memory.”

Dennis, Kruger, and others travelled from the Legislature to lay flowers at the “Bitter Memories of Childhood” stature.

The statue was done by sculptor Preto Drozdowsky and was officially dedicated on the grounds of Wascana Centre and serves as a permanent reminder of the tragedy.

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