06 November 2015
In commemoration of the 82nd Anniversary of the Holodomor, Congressman Brendan Boyle from Pennsylvania delivered the following remarks on the House Floor on November 5, 2015.
Mr. Speaker, as we near the anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the victims, survivors and families of this tragedy.
During this time, nearly 10 million Ukrainians were killed under the direction of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin who ordered the borders of Ukraine sealed to prevent anyone from escaping the man-made starvation and prevent any international food aid from entering.
Grain harvests were deliberately confiscated so millions of innocent men, women and children starved all to destroy the nationally conscious movement for independence.
In 1985, the United States Commission on the Ukraine Famine formed to expand the world’s knowledge and understanding of the events of this genocide of 1932-1933. They found that the victims were “starved to death in a man-made famine” and that “Joseph Stalin and those around him committed genocide against Ukrainians in 1932-1933”.
And so, today I stand here in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, to remember the suffering experienced under Stalin. I am a proud representative of Pennsylvania’s 13th District where I have many Ukrainian constituents whom I would like to specifically acknowledge.
I commend the Congress when in 2006 legislation was enacted to authorize the construction of a memorial in the District of Columbia to honor the victims of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide. Today, we can see the culmination of this effort with a meaningful memorial by Union Station that I visited earlier today.
Unfortunately, today many people have never heard of Holodomor, despite the 10 million that perished. I call for more efforts to be made like that of the Commission to educate the public on this issue, so everyone understands the events of this genocide. We must learn our history so we do not repeat the mistakes of our past. We must ensure this never happens again – especially at a time where Russia continues to show aggression in Ukraine.