Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Monument a Day #21 - Holodomor Victims Memorial 1932-1933

Holodomor Victims Memorial 1932-1933
Bila Tserkva Holodomor Victims Memorial

This is the city memorial for all of those who suffered and died during the genocide famine imposed by the Soviets in the winter of 1932-1933 known as Holodomor. You can see my past post about Holodomor by clicking HERE.

This is what Nadia Shulha who lived in the village of Zhovtneve about 40km from Bila Tserkva remembers about Holodomor:

"When they milled the grain, they first prepared seed for the spring planting, then set aside some for the cattle. Then they said that the machine broke, and they collected the sheaves. We went to collect the grain stalks. I went too, although I was little. The brigadier rode in on a horse and said we weren’t allowed to collect the stalks, that they were going to plow the field, and we couldn’t collect the stalks, because the tractor was coming, and collecting stalks was prohibited. So we had to stand aside. The same thing happened with the potatoes. When they dug up the potatoes, the tractors came right away to plow the field, so that people wouldn’t collect the potatoes that were left. I know this well.

I remember this because I myself went to collect these stalks. But the winter came and there was nothing left. You know, they say that you should forget these things. But you can’t forget something like this. The words of my little sister who was one year old, they’ll never leave me, “Mamo, Mamo.” But my mother had nothing to give her. I’ll never forget these words.

[My mother and father] went to Voronezh [in the Russian SFSR]. You had to go through Kyiv to get to Voronezh. [In Voronezh] they were able to trade some things for some grain and bread, and were returning home. In Kyiv there was an old and a new railroad station. You couldn’t get into the new station without a ticket, and tickets were sold only in the morning. There were hundreds of people there, not only my mother and father, and they had to wait near the old station. Just before they could go buy tickets, the police came, lined the people up, and took everything away. They could only keep one loaf of bread each. And you couldn’t say a word because they could kill you. I remember how my parents were crying when they came back. By the time they returned, two of my sisters had died. I know that they died, but where they died, in the house, or on the road, that I don’t know. I just know that they died. I know how they buried my father after he died. My father got an infection in the spring, and died. My mother’s sister, her husband and their three middle children died. In the neighboring house, the entire family died. Only the owls in the attic were left. Our other neighbors had three children, and only one girl survived. I always said the human heart is so small, but can endure so much."

Holodomor Victims Memorial 1932-1933

This memorial is located at: 49°48'11.54"N 30° 7'23.83"E

This is my final post on the monuments of Bila Tserkva. I hope you have enjoyed learning about Ukraine and our city, Bila Tserkva.

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