May 12, 2008 "The Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine" To Be Discussed at Library of Congress on May 30
Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Jurij Dobczansky (202) 707-3080
For more than 50 years, survivors of the famine in Ukraine remained silent for fear of reprisals. Scholars were forbidden to discuss it. Access to government archives was restricted. Even now, on the 75th anniversary, the Great Famine is relatively unknown despite startling revelations from archives and numerous eyewitness accounts. Up to 10 million people – at least three million children – were starved to death through confiscation of grain harvests and other foodstuffs. Borders were sealed, travel was restricted and anyone caught concealing food was executed. As more documentary evidence is revealed and analyzed, scholars are discovering the magnitude of the crime and the Soviet government’s policy of cover-up and denial. Stanislav Kulchytsky, a professor of Ukrainian history, will speak on “The Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine: Case of Genocide,” at noon on Friday, May 30, in the European Reading Room, on the second floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, First Street and Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. The program, sponsored by the European Division and the Library of Congress Professional Association’s Ukrainian Language Table in cooperation with the Embassy of Ukraine, is free and open to the public; tickets are not required. According to Kulchytsky, the U.S. Commission on the Ukraine Famine, established in 1985, successfully recreated the events of 1932-1933. Under the direction of the late historian James E. Mace, the commission published several volumes of eyewitness testimony. The commission called the 1932-1933 famine an act of genocide and presented its findings to Congress in April 1988. These publications had a profound effect on Kulchytsky and other historians in Ukraine. Kulchytsky is deputy director of the Institute of History at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Kyiv. His degrees include a doctorate in history from Odessa University. He has written more than 40 books and hundreds of articles. A reader’s guide to selected resources on the famine of 1932-1933 in the collections of the Library of Congress will be available at the event. For more information about the Library’s European Division and its reading room, visit www.loc.gov/rr/european/. Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with more than 138 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. As the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity, the Library is a symbol of democracy and the principles on which this nation was founded. Today the Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site, in its 22 reading rooms on Capitol Hill, and through its award-winning Web site at www.loc.gov.