On 19 January 2018, during the Hour of Questions to the Government at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Minister of Culture Yevhen Nyschuk told about the condition of commemorative events preparation for the 85th anniversary of the 1932–33 Holodomor in Ukraine — genocide of the Ukrainian people.
“Today it comes to one of the most tragic pages of our history, as this year we are commemorating victims of totalitarianism — of man-made famine, victims of the “hunger war” against the Ukrainian people, — the Minister opened his speech. — The Government takes responsibility to assert the truth, which means to proclaim for the world: the 1932–33 Holodomor in Ukraine was a genocide against the Ukrainian people.”
Yevhen Nyschuk dwelled on the current stage of preparations for the 85th anniversary of the 1932–33 Holodomor in Ukraine. Thus, on Monday, Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman and Chief of Staff of the President of Ukraine Ihor Rainin co-chaired a meeting of the Steering Committee for preparing for and holding events on the 85th anniversary of the 1932–33 Holodomor in Ukraine, genocide of the Ukrainian people. At the meeting they emphasised importance and priority of a worthy commemoration of the 85th anniversary of the 1932–33 Holodomor in Ukraine at a high national level.
“Many speeches have stressed that this topic allegedly paled into insignificance, but during the Revolution of Dignity we proclaimed as one of the accusations of the rogue Yanukovych government his suppression of the very notion of genocide to please the tyrant from Russia. In November 2016, President Petro Poroshenko brought the topic up to date by a Decree as regards worthy commemoration of this date, which is so dear to every Ukrainian,” — he noticed.
The Minister of Culture underlined completion of construction of the National Museum ‘Holodomor Victims’ Memorial’ and commissioning of the Museum phase II as a priority task and a matter of honour for the Ukrainian State together with other solemn measures to immortalise the most dreadful and deadly tragedy of the Ukrainian people. Thanks to a decision by Verkhovna Rada deputies, 323 million hryvnias were put into the State Budget for 2018 to create the second phase of the National Museum ‘Holodomor Victims’ Memorial’.
“It’s not only the building. A modern museum is a new form of delivering information and historical truth, however bitter it be. Realising mistakes and negative experience is key to a sound society and a road to future not around the bush but by a beaten, streamlined path. It is necessary to speak out loud of the psychological traumas the Ukrainian nation sustained from hunger torments, of the human codes that were broken and of how fear, one of the most potent means of enslavement, was germinating in the society. It is necessary to reproduce the complete, unexpurgated and unsilenced picture of the villainy of the Communist regime and its accessories, national mankurts,” — emphasised Yevhen Nyschuk.
“So, our plans are to create an exhibit replete with state-of-the-art equipment and “museum of the future” technology. Everyone visiting this museum, even in online tours, will not be able to treat a bread crumb with disrespect. Stories of immense power, whose degree of tragedy, Shakespeare didn’t even dream of, will have emotional impact on the future generations. This will be a nation-wide day-to-day lesson of history and ethics. A lesson of national memory.”
The Minister of Culture told about invigoration of the efforts by the National Museum ‘Holodomor Victims’ Memorial in interaction with the Ukrainian Cultural Fundation and the Ukrainian Book Institute in the field of global information work to spread true testimonies of the horrible crime against the Ukrainian people. In particular, this includes calls of several competitions for grant programmes to create, translate and publish books in various languages and promote them. And also numerous popular initiatives to immortalise the memory of this terrible tragedy.
He also invited youth, activists and volunteers to get intensively engaged in ethnographic expeditions and search for those who bear family memory, who bear the memory of evil times, folk songs and bygone, since these pages of immaterial culture too are important for the successors. “Such expeditions can be accomplished within higher school syllabus,” — Yevhen Nyschuk added.
The Minister separately touched upon the subject of arranging and conducting an International Academic Conference with the objective of raising the Holodomor-genocide topic globally, involving leading historians, publicists and bloggers.
“I’m sure, there will be no argument at this Forum because new and new generations of intellectuals and experts who shape public attitudes understand: it’s not possible to silence down or distort the truth about the 1930-ies’ events in Ukraine. For this constitutes a danger for other people. Russia, which is restoring memory about tyrants at the level of State leadership, propagates totalitarianism values, imposes end-to-end censorship, has invaded Ukraine and is really pursuing annexationist policy — poses a growing trans-border danger,” — he said.
The Minister also announced holding a competition for the best scenario idea for a new feature film about the 1932–33 Holodomor in Ukraine, whose creation was initiated by the Prime Minister of Ukraine during the Steering Committee meeting, and also the next step — public pitching for the film production.
“I’m sure that new feature films, documentaries, book publishing, electronic portals and websites will help adopt decisions in support of Ukraine in the topic of recognition of the Holodomor as genocide and in the topic of protection of our independence and sovereignty. Thus, art and culture fulfil one of their most important functions: to protect Man and exal humanism and truth,” — he said.