On November 27, Kharkiv residents honored the victims of Holodomor also known as the Terror-Famine and Famine-Genocide.
Commemorative events started in the morning and have taken place during the whole day in various city locations.
In the afternoon, the traditional sacred mourning procession started on Maidan Konstytutsii (Constitution Square) as part of commemorative activities of Holodomor and the political repressions of 1932-1933 victims. Participants marched along Sumska Street to the Cross in Molodizhniy Park (Youth Park), which was installed in 1989 in memory of the victims of the genocide. About 100 people joined the event. They held candle lamps, flowers, bundles of wheat, which they placed at the Cross. Some of them brought family albums with photos of their relatives who died during the Famine. The commemorative ceremonies of the Holodomor victims ended with a minute of silence.
“Bundles of wheat is a reference to Stalin’s resolution ‘On Five Spikelets’ in 1932,” says Alina Kotlyarova from Kharkiv who shares her grandmother’s memories:
“They sentenced to 10 years of prison for five spikelets. That is, people, doomed to death and starvation, could not pick them up even in winter when no one needed them.”
“To survive, 14-year-old Alina Kotlyarova’s grandmother had to work, digging holes in the current Khrustalne in Donbas,” the woman continues.
“My mother was born in 1932 premature because my grandmother had nothing to eat. And we have to honor the memory of those who died of starvation, the worst artificial famine in the world,” Kotlyarova concludes.
At 4 pm, memory candles were lit at the Memorial to Holodomor Victims. It is located on the city’s boundaries, in remembrance of people who were forbidden to cross this border in search of food. Representatives of the city and regional authorities, Kharkiv garrison, MPs, heads of districts and territorial communities, clergy and Kharkiv residents laid flowers at the Memorial.
In the evening, about 30 Kharkiv patriots gathered on Maidan Svobody (Freedom Square) to join the national commemorative “Light a Candle” action. Activists laid out a cross made of candle lamps to remember millions of victims who died during those years. People all over Ukraine put a lit candle on their windowsills, many social media users shared pictures of candles on this day.
The Kharkivites who joined the action are convinced that despite all the trials and tragedies, “the Ukrainian nation is invincible.”
Reference: The Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Holodomor is an annual national Memorial Day, which is held in Ukraine on the fourth Saturday of November since 1998. More than 20 countries including Estonia, Australia, Canada, Hungary, Vatican, Lithuania, Georgia, Poland, Peru, Paraguay, Portugal and the USA recognized the famine of 1932–1933 as the genocide against the Ukrainian nation. According to different sources, the tragedy took the lives from three to ten million people. Most Ukrainians died from starvation in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, Poltava, Sumy and Cherkasy regions.
Text: Natalia Ivanova
Photo: suspilne.media, Mykola Mokh, Kharkiv Regional State Administration