Ukraine’s ‘forgotten genocide’ comes to life in mobile classroom

From left, Davidson students Andrew Lee, Breanne Townsend, Phoenix Prpick and Keegan Shaw use tablets to work through an activity while on the Holodomor Mobile Classroom on April 24.

From left, Davidson students Andrew Lee, Breanne Townsend, Phoenix Prpick and Keegan Shaw use tablets to work through an activity while on the Holodomor Mobile Classroom on April 24.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — For more than half a century, Soviet officials denied and suppressed the truth about the Holodomor.

As a result, the deliberate, man-made famine that took the lives of millions of Ukrainians in the early 1930s is sometimes called the “Forgotten Genocide.”

Last week, students at Davidson School had the opportunity to learn about the Holodomor in a way they won’t soon forget.

The Holodomor National Awareness Tour brought its mobile classroom to Davidson on April 24. Students in grades 6 through 12 boarded the 40-foot RV in groups, each taking in an hour-long interactive lesson led by facilitator Stephanie Bailey.

The name “Holodomor” — meaning murder by starvation — is used to refer to the intentional death of millions of Ukrainians in 1932 and 1933, carried out by Soviet authorities under orders from Joseph Stalin.

Authorities sought to suppress any movement for independence, first by arresting, deporting and executing many of Ukraine’s cultural, religious and political leaders.

Efforts were also made to collectivize Ukrainian agriculture. Later, high grain quotas were put into effect and crops were confiscated, even seed grain, along with other household staples like potatoes. Much of the confiscated grain was sold on the Western market.

Many of the victims starved slowly to death in their homes. The death toll of the famine is believed to be between 7 million and 10 million.

The fourth Saturday in November is marked internationally as a day of remembrance for Holodomor victims, and is also recognized as such by the Canadian government.

For the full story, please see the May 1 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

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