A Scholarly Conference on Holodomor [Great Famine] was held in Rome

Monday, 25 November 2013, 16:19
An International Conference, “Holodomor -- the 80th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Genocide,” organized by the Christian Association of Ukrainians in Italy in cooperation with Rome City Council, was held on November 21, 2013 at Carroccio Hall in Rome City Hall. The conference was opened by Ukraine’s Ambassador to Italy Yevhen Perelyhin, who presented a historical summary about the Holodomor and informed the public about the Presidential Order on Commemorating the Memory of the Victims of the Holodomor in 2013.

Bishop Dionisii (Liakhovych), Apostolic Visitator for Ukrainians in Italy and Spain  passed on the greeting to the conference members from His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), UGCC Head, and noted that “in remembering those perished during Holodomor, we do not seek revenge but justice and memory so that a similar tragedy does not occur in the future.” Professor Giovanna Brogi, President of Italian Association of Ukrainian Studies, delivered  the welcoming address.

Professor Alberto Basciani, Eastern European University of Rome Tre, described the testimonies of the  Holodomor eyewitnesses, citing archival documents of various governmental organizations in Rumania.  He especially underlined the attempts made by the soviet authorities not to permit Ukrainian migrants  in search of bread to enter Rumania.

Professor Giulia Lama, University of Milan, focused her presentation of Raphael Lemkin, the establisher of the legal term “genocide” and on his recognition of Holodomor as genocide in Ukraine of Ukrainians..

Rev. Dr. Athanasius McVay from Canada, who researched Holodomor in the Vatican Archives described the attempts by the Catholic Church of that time to organize assistance for Ukraine.

Professor Simone Bellezza, University of Trento, dealt in his presentation on the evolution over time of memorials to Holodomor in Ukraine.

The presentation by Ukrainian historian Volodymyr Viatrovych stirred great interest among the Italian public.  He described and analyzed the attempts of the  soviet counter-propaganda and the actions of KGB which were directed at not permitting the truth to be known about the Holodomor.

Tetyana Kuzyk, an additional counselor, greeted the audience from the City Council. 

In conclusion Oleksandr Horodetsky familiarized the  gathered about the letters of the Italian consuls in Ukraine.  He received these documents from Rev. Porfyriy Pidruchnyi, who found them in the archives of the Italian MFA in the seventies of the last century.

A presentation of the film, made in Vicenza,  “Holodomor – an unacknowledged memory” was shown.

In Palazzo Valentini on Thursday at 4 PM, an  exhibit  “Destroyed by Famine: the unknown genocide of Ukrainians” was opened.  It was prepared by  Ukraine-3000, a charitable fund, as part of the series “Lessons of History” (curator Olesia Stasiuk).  In Rome the exhibit’s presentation was organized by the Christian Association of Ukrainians in Italy and the Ukrainian Embassy in Italy.


Christian Association of Ukrainians in Italy, Press Service  


Photos by Volodymyra Borovyk

TAGS: Rome, Holodomor

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