As we gather here to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the Ukrainian Genocide Famine, we must recognize a man who made it his life’s work to be the voice of the 10 million Ukrainians
who perished during Stalin’s Genocide Famine against Ukraine. Without a doubt this one man contributed more to raising international awareness of the Ukrainian Genocide Famine than
any single researcher, historian or journalist in the world. The man I speak of is the late Dr. James E. Mace.
Dr. Mace was born in 1952 in the State of Oklahoma. His heritage was that of Native American Indian. Yet over the course of his life he planted his roots in Ukraine, mastering the Ukrainian
language, adopting Ukraine as his homeland, and treating the Ukrainian people as his own brothers and sisters under God.
Dr. Mace developed his interest in Ukraine during early 1980’s while he was a post doctoral fellow at the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. His research at the Institute
focused on the Soviet Ukraine during the period of 1918 to 1933.
Engrossed by Ukraine’s tragic suffering during that period, Dr. Mace began to focus his research on the 2 most devastating years of Ukraine’s history: 1932 and 1933. His following studies
focused in-depth on the Famine of 1932-33.
As a result of his vast research on the Ukrainian Famine, in 1986, Dr. Mace became the staff director of the United States Commission on the Ukraine Famine. His Commission generated
the first oral history project of its kind, documenting over 2000 pages of eyewitness accounts from hundreds of Famine survivors. The Commission published a 524 page report to the
United States Congress which decisively proclaimed in its findings that the Famine of 1932-33 was an act of Genocide committed by Stalin and those around him against the Ukrainian
In 1987, Dr. Mace found and disclosed compelling evidence which supported the theory that the New York Times, Walter Duranty and the Soviet Government were cooperating in an effort
to censor information about the atrocities occurring in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. He was the first person on record to cite the declassified US State Department document which linked
the New York Times to the Soviet Government, and in essence to the Soviet cover-up of the Ukrainian Genocide Famine.
In 1990, Dr. Mace moved to Kyiv and continued his work on the Genocide Famine. He shared his knowledge and understanding of Ukraine’s past and current history with his students at
the Kyiv Mohyla Academy National University where he was a highly regarded professor. He challenged the mindset of the Ukrainian public through his thought provoking and critical
editorials for the Ukrainian newspaper “The Day”.
And when asked why he had bothered to come to Ukraine – Dr. Mace simply replied “Your Dead Have Called Me”. He felt he had a moral obligation to be the voice for the millions who
died in the genocide against Ukraine.
Dr. Mace brought the Genocide Famine to a new level of national awareness in Ukraine. Not only did he successfully persuade the Ukrainian Government to officially recognize that a
Famine occurred in Ukraine, but he was critical in persuading the Ukrainian Government to declare that it was an intentional act of Genocide by Stalin and his Administration. And it was Dr.
Mace who successfully led the fight to have a permanent memorial to the victims of the Genocide Famine built in Kyiv.
Dr. Mace was pleased last year to hear that members of the US Senate had introduced a Resolution with the potential to stimulate the United States to recognize the Famine of 1932-33 as
an act of Genocide. Sadly, five months ago, with the Senate Resolution 202 still in committee, Dr. Mace passed in his adopted homeland of Ukraine. He died an untimely death at the age
I ask you to join me in a moment of silence and reflection on all that Dr. Mace – Ukraine’s crusader for truth – did to honor the victims of the Genocide Famine.
- OBSERVATION OF A MOMENT OF SILENCE -
Dr. Mace’s work is far from complete – There are still many in the world who continue to deny the Ukrainian Genocide Famine occurred and there are even more who have never heard of
it. There are still those in the media who continue to walk in the footsteps of Walter Duranty and the New York Times, by obstructing the truth about the Genocide Famine from reaching the
When was the last time you read about the Ukrainian Genocide Famine or its survivors in the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, or even Newsweek? When do you ever turn on the
news and see a story about the legacy of our survivors? It’s amazing, because what happened to the Ukrainian nation in 1932 and 33 is undeniably the deadliest act of Genocide in modern
history. 10 million Ukrainians died because Stalin deemed their Ukrainian nationalism to be an obstacle to his Soviet collectivization campaign. Yet apparently this kind of genocide is not
worthy of media coverage.
I ask you today – Is it worthy?
Because if we agree that the Ukrainian Genocide is worthy of coverage then we must commit ourselves to following in Dr. Mace’s footsteps and becoming crusaders for the truth. We must
commit ourselves to educating the world about the Genocide which claimed our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.
Behind me stands a sign – “Sin of the Century” – the real sin of this century is for us, who have a voice, to turn our backs on the millions whose voices were muffled by Stalin’s genocide. It’s
our legacy, to make their voices heard, today – tomorrow – 100 years from now.
There are over 100,000 Ukrainian-Americans living in Chicagoland. And look around…how many of us are here today? How many of us actually care about the Ukrainian Genocide?
Where are your grandchildren…your children…your sisters…your brothers…your cousins…your aunts and your uncles? Why is this not important to us?
We need to change!
And how can we do this? For once, we have to stop using terms which misrepresent the genocidal nature of the famine and confuse non-Ukrainians. I’m referring to terms that we’re all
THE GREAT FAMINE,
THE TERROR FAMINE
THE BLACK FAMINE,
These terms make no reference to the fact that what happened to our nation was an act of genocide.
And then there are the terms HOLOD and the HOLODMOR – We have used these Ukrainian words loosely when we speak in the English language. These words are foreign to the majority
of the world and aren’t even found in any English Dictionary. Let’s start calling it what it really was. It was GENOCIDE. It was a GENOCIDE FAMINE. This is a term which the world can
16 years ago, Dr. Mace’s and his Congressional Commission gave the US government proof that the Famine that occurred in Ukraine was an act of Genocide, yet 16 years have passed
and our United States Government has sat on that information, unwilling and unmotivated to make an official declaration of Genocide in Ukraine.
Just last week, the United States government declared Genocide in Sudan. President Bush, in a statement on the Genocide in Sudan, said “the world cannot ignore the suffering of more
than 1 million people”. Yet, apparently the world can continue to ignore the suffering of 10 million Ukrainians.
Right now Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, the Chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, continues to stall the United States’ official declaration of Genocide in Ukraine. For
the past 13 months Senate Resolution 202, which would finally put the U.S. Senate on the record declaring the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 an act of Genocide, has been held up in
Senator Lugar’s Committee. Senator Lugar refuses to move the Resolution out of his Foreign Relations Committee and onto the full Senate floor for a vote even though it has support from
the majority of the Committee
The Ukrainian-American community needs to send Senator Lugar a strong message. We need to let him know that the world can no longer ignore the suffering of 10 million Ukrainians and
that he is doing an injustice to the Ukrainian-American people not acting on Resolution 202.
Senator Lugar is just one of the many challenges we face in our quest to educate the world about the Genocide Famine. One of our biggest challenges has been the lack of information
and coverage about Ukraine and Ukrainian history in the text books and in classrooms of K-12.
I can still remember the day my Fourth Grade Social Studies teacher corrected me when I said I was Ukrainian. He told me that Ukraine was not a country – that my family was from the
Soviet Union – and that therefore I was Russian. To this day I can’t blame his ignorance, because the Social Studies textbook confirmed his belief. According to the pages of the text book
there was no country named Ukraine on the map and all the people of the Soviet Republics were Russians.
Fortunately, things have changed in the past few decades and today’s textbooks portray a more accurate depiction of the former Soviet Republics. Ukraine has reappeared on the map.
But what hasn’t changed is that most classrooms still lack is any study of the Ukrainian Genocide.
Across the nation laws require children to learn about the Nazi Holocaust which claimed the lives of 6 million Jews, yet only 2 states – New Jersey and New York – encourage or require
teachers to educate their students about the Ukrainian Genocide.
The Ukrainian Genocide Famine Foundation is not going to wait until there is mandate in place to begin preparing Illinois teachers to teach their students about the Ukrainian Genocide
Famine. We have initiated an accredited seminar program for high school teachers this year so that teachers have the knowledge and tools to begin educating their students about the
Ukrainian Genocide Famine today.
One of those tools is the Internet – unarguably the most accessible and widespread means of mass communication today. To help students, teachers and anyone interested in learning
about the Ukrainian Genocide Famine, the Foundation will be launching a website in the coming months. The website will provide the world with one centralized hub for Genocide Famine
information both in English and Ukrainian and with links to resources and documents.
I urge you to be active in this process of expanding awareness of the Ukrainian Genocide Famine. Write or call Senator Lugar and tell him to stop sitting on Resolution 202. Stop using
vague terms like the “Great Famine” or the “Terror Famine” and call it what it was – Genocide Famine. Support the Ukrainian Genocide Famine Foundation’s education initiatives. Working
together we can honor the memory of the late Dr. James Mace and preserve the memory of those who perished in the Genocide Famine.
In closing I’d like to leave you with an exerpt from an editorial Dr. Mace wrote last October in the Ukrainian newspaper, The Day:
Dr. Mace wrote: “After All, the greatest gift a child can give is to provide something his or her parents can be proud of. Those who have worked so hard for the memory of the millions who
perished in Ukraine have given those who came before them something to be proud of. After all, the memory of what was is the key to creating what will be. May those who came before
look down upon us with some reason for pride. May we look up to them in the hope that we have done something worthwhile”.
Let’s heed Dr. Mace’s words and work together to give those who came before us something to be proud of. Thank you.
©Katya Mischenko-Mycyk 2004
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|Ukrainian Genocide Remembrance Day 2004
Keynote Address of Katya Mischenko-Mycyk
September 19, 2004
|Sponsored by the Ukrainian Genocide Famine Foundation
Bloomingdale, Illinois USA on September 19, 2004