It is a tragic event, which is recognized as a genocide in 16 countries, including Canada. The Holodomor is the forced starvation of Ukraine by the Soviet Union during the early 30’s, which killed upwards of 20 million people. Relatively unknown due to the restriction of information coming from the Soviet Union prior to its fall in 1991, as Cold War-era documents see the public light, more is being learned about the efforts by the Stalin-led regime of the U.S.S.R. to both punish the Ukrainian population for their desires of independence, and attempt to show how the Great Depression had no impact in the Soviet Union.

Saturday, the Holodomor National Awareness Tour comes to Weyburn. The tour, which consists of a mobile classroom, is intended to provide education across the country about the tragic events in 1932-33 in Ukraine. From 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the mobile classroom, and the exhibit, will be set up at the site of the old junior high of 5th Street.

Roma Dzerowicz is the executive director of the Holodomor National Awareness Tour.

“Understanding the Holodomor, let alone learning about an unknown genocide, we can take a voice, and take a stand, against anything that may be happening in Canada itself, or anywhere else in the world,” Dzerowicz explained.

The Holodomor came about as a result of the policies implemented by the Soviet Union, during their efforts to industrialize the nation. To do so, they implemented quotas for grain, which was the primary export of Ukraine. The quotas continually increased, as the Soviets placed more and more grain onto the world market. As a result, the amount farmers in Ukraine were originally allowed to keep for themselves was confiscated. Those who were unable to produce enough grain to meet the quota would pay fines in terms of meat stores and potatoes. Heading into the winter, the starvation began to set in.

Over the course of the next two years, millions starved to death in Ukraine. Estimates range from five million to 20 million perishing as a result of the forced starvation. Those in the West who heard about the famine attributed it to poor growing seasons, with many not understanding the extent until the fall of the Iron Curtain.

When the records became available, more became known about the genocide. The artificially generated famine had two goals.

The first was to punish the Ukrainians, first for their short-lived attempt at independence in 1918 after the Russian Revolutions, and their desires to be independent of the control of Moscow afterward. The second reason was to flood the world market with grain, to further drive down the price while farmers in North America were struggling with the Great Depression, and the Dust Bowl years of the 30’s.

In 2007, Canada became one of the first countries to acknowledge the Holodomor as a genocide, and it is commemorated with memorials in a number of cities. Today, 16 countries officially recognize Holodomor as genocide, while another six see it as a crime against humanity.

Steven Wilson's complete interview with Roma Dzerowicz:

WDHF AGM Welcoming All

The Weyburn & District hospital foundation is welcoming the general public to its annual general meeting tonight. “It’s just a chance to review our previous year’s financial statements. Our year-end…

CMHA Youth Theatre Program Returning This Fall

The Weyburn Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association receives grant funding to help cover the staff wages for its Youth Theatre program. “We have received funding again from Community…

Mayor Reacts To Passage of Bill C-45

The Canadian Senate passing Bill C-45 Tuesday night, paving the way for the completion of the parliamentary process needed for the legalization of cannabis in Canada. The legislation now goes to the…

Cannabis Still Illegal For Time Being, WPS Reminds Residents

With the passage of Bill C-45, many are anticipating the legalization of cannabis in Canada. This doesn't mean people will be able to use cannabis right away, as there are still a few steps to go…

Envision Holds AGM, Says Goodbye to Outgoing Chairperson

Envision and Counselling Support Centre held their 24th Annual General Meeting Tuesday evening in Estevan. "This year has been another year of growth for the organization," shared Outgoing…

Work Bee This Sunday for Therapeutic Animal Park

The Weyburn Therapeutic Animal Park has set a date for a Work Bee this Sunday, June 24. “We’re asking for people to come out,” said volunteer organizer Melanie Ror. “Anybody who wants to volunteer…

Classes Cancelled at St. Mike's Due To Water Main Break

Crews from the City of Weyburn are on the scene of a water main break on Park Avenue this morning. The area was affected by a break yesterday, which resulted in classes being cancelled at St. Michael…

Improved Accessibility at CMHA Weyburn

CMHA Weyburn was able to install a new chairlift at their building this year, after receiving a grant through the Enabling Accessibility Fund. "We received $4600 from the federal government,” said…

Take Your Keys: SGI Sees Increase in Car Thefts

According to SGI, the number of car theft claims reported to them has risen 46% over the last five years. "About five years ago, there were just under 2,000 claims reported to SGI," explained Tyler…

Local Priest Riding to End Stigma around Mental Illness

A local priest is participating in a 100-kilometre bicycle ride this weekend to promote mental health. Reverend Brian Woods leads the All Saints Anglican Church in Weyburn and wants to help end the… is Weyburn's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide