The province recognized the 85th anniversary of the end of the Holodomor with a commemoration Thursday at the Legislative Building.
The Holodomor, a famine and genocide that killed millions in Ukraine between 1932-33, is of special importance to Manitoba due to the province’s large Ukrainian population.
The province is among the jurisdictions around the world that recognizes the genocide each year on Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day.
“We must continue to honour the memories of the lives so senselessly lost and keep shining a light on this very dark chapter in human history,” said sport, culture and heritage minister Cathy Cox.
“It’s only by remembering the past that we can ensure atrocities such as this are never repeated.”
The commemoration included a gathering at the Bitter Memories of Childhood monument on the Legislative grounds. The statue depicts a starving girl holding five stalks of wheat.
It’s a reference to a Soviet-era law that imposed death or imprisonment on anyone caught taking grain from collective farm fields.
“I remember my mother grinding up dried corn cobs and husks, and using that to make soup broth for her children to survive,” said Winnipegger and Holodomor survivor Luba Semaniuk.
“Even though that was all we had, my mother told me to take some broth over to our neighbours, only to find the mother and her two young sons, dead of starvation.
“These are things that should not be seen or anyone, especially a six-year-old girl.”
A photography exhibit dedicated to the anniversary will be on display at the Legislature until Nov. 27.
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