"You will have significant experiences. I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh your memory of those meaningful and significant things. Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you. Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some may build one upon another until they represent a lifetime of special experience." Gordon B. Hinckley, 2006

Thursday, September 23, 2010

History of the Ukraine


The reign of Stalin.

The last two sites that I want to document seeing while in Ukraine are a little sad in nature.  The first was a museum that we visited on our last day there, dedicated to declaring the truth about the famines of the Ukraine that occurred in the 20's, 30's, and 40's.  The horrible news is that the famine that occurred in the 30's, the famine that killed up to 10 million Ukrainians, was not a true famine.  It was a man-made famine, a plot created by Joseph Stalin to oppress the Ukrainian people into fear and submission.  As we took this tour, and learned of the atrocities created by Stalin as he starved the people unnecessarily, creating a famine that turned brothers and sisters to cannibalism to survive, it was hard to keep a dry eye.  No one was allowed to talk about the famine.  It was illegal, and if overheard even mentioning the famine you would be killed.  

And so the truth remained hidden, until now.  Communist propaganda was aimed at downplaying the famine, saying the deaths were caused by food shortages or drought.  

Ukraine is asking the world to view this famine as genocide, and a memorial is currently being established in Washington D.C.

Such senseless killing.  A people caught in a world of communism and terror, with no hope for so many years.

The other place we visited was a park called Babi Yar.  It was a ravine in Kiev, where over 33,000 Ukrainian Jews were massacred.  When they came upon Babi Yar after the war ended, they found this ravine filled with the bodies of all of the murdered Jews.

They have taken this piece of land, with it's horrifying ugly history, and turned it into something beautiful.  They cleared out the ravine, and it is now a lovely park that stands out as a touching tribute to all who lost their lives in 1941.

And those are just a couple of the reasons why it is such an amazing miracle that these strong, brave people of the Ukraine, who have survived so much under the tyrannic rule of communism, now have their own beautiful temple.

1 comment:

Claudissima said...

Oh, my this is wonderful to read and learn more...so many statues, and they are soo cool....I am struck by the little girl one....