Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Ты Всегда Рядом 1945" (You Are Always With Me)

I cannot speak highly enough of this masterpiece of performance art: Kseniya Simonova--an illustrator in sand--turns her art into a memoriam to those lost in Ukraine during the Great Patriotic War.

It is through the gift of the Internet that such as this becomes known to us. God bless Kseniya Simonova (her first name means "Princess", btw).

P.S. Note that far, far more Ukrainians died in the war than all Americans and British who died.


Let us never forget. Не забувати!


Many remember the losses during the 1930s under Stalin, during the artificial famine of 1932-1933. And yes, that was indeed a massive crime.

But we must not forget that the Nazis also butchered an unbelievable number of Ukranians, a number that may have actually exceeded Stalin's butcher bill.

There were indeed millions who died in the holodomor, the Ukranian famine of 1932-33. From Wikipedia:

The Holodomor (Ukrainian: Голодомор; translation: death by starvation) refers to the famine of 1932–1933 in the Ukrainian SSR during which millions of people were starved to death due to Soviet policies. There were no natural causes for starvation and in fact, Ukraine - unlike other Soviet Republics - enjoyed a bumper wheat crop in 1932. The Holodomor is considered one of the greatest calamities to affect the Ukrainian nation in modern history. Millions of inhabitants of Ukraine died of starvation in an unprecedented peacetime catastrophe. Estimates on the total number of casualties within Soviet Ukraine range mostly from 2.6 million to 10 million.

And yes. When the Nazis arrived they were indeed greeted with salt and bread. And the Germans threw the salt and bread onto the ground (this happened numerous times). As horrible as Stalin's famine was, the Nazis were either equally bad, or more likely, even worse.

The following was from an article I found through Google from the Ukranian History Institute, published in 2004. Translated by yours truly (good to know I still have the chops! :0)). The article lacks ideological phrasology so I have to assume that it's safely post-Soviet.

Demographic losses of Ukraine in the xxth century. Stanislav KUL'CHITSKIY

WEEKLY MIRROR / PEOPLE #39 514 2-8 October 2004

The Ukrainian History Institute, together with many qualified academics, including a number of foreign students of the subject, have been laboring since 1998 on creating an encyclopedia of history on the subject .... here we have the initial results of the study on this subject...

The numbers of casualties in the Second World War in the USSR has been revised many times (the latest estimates are on the order of 26.6 million people). It is difficult to draw national figures from this larger number; however, a statistical study on population numbers in general can be carried out with this in view. An estimate of the populations indicates that the population of the Ukrainian SSR fell from 41,657,000 in June 1941 to 27,328,000 at the beginning of 1945. It is therefore estimated that on the order of 14,275,000 people were lost in Ukrain in that period.

Among the above numbers we also note that some 1.6 million Ukrainians died while serving in the Soviet Army during the war.

The Russians overplayed casualties from the Germans, yes, and underreported those dead by famine under Stalin.

But this is history: 14 million Ukrainians dead in WWII is 1 in 3.

That's Black Death kind of numbers.

Не забувати, indeed.

(FWIW: I'm something like 1/16th or 1/8th Polish, the rest Irish-German-English. I think. I have no ax to grind, as such, on this subject.)

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Keep it clean for gene.