The Department of History hosted the “Hunger for Truth: Illuminating the Hidden History of the Holodomor” symposium Oct. 5 and 6 in the Henry Madden Library, marking the 84th anniversary of the Holodomor — the Ukrainian famine-genocide.
The word “Holodomor” comes from two Ukrainian root words: “Holod” meaning “hunger” and “moryty” meaning “to exterminate” or “starve to death.”
In 1932, Joseph Stalin created a law for the misappropriation of collective farm property, under penalty of death or 10 years of imprisonment, which led to mass arrests and executions in the Ukraine, said Dr. Victoria Malko, Fresno State history professor.
“The symposium was designed to enlighten people about the Ukrainian genocide, perpetrated by the communist regime in 1932-1933, and to help high school teachers, college and university faculty develop curricula for teaching the subject,” said Malko.
The symposium opened with a poster exhibition entitled “History Lessons: The Holodomor of 1932-1933.” The two-day program included lectures, discussions, documentary and motion picture screenings, poetry reading and musical performances about the Holodomor. Renowned speakers from the United States, Canada and Ukraine shared their stories and research findings. History teachers also had the chance to attend a master class “Teaching the Holodomor in the 21st Century: Teaching Critical and Historical Thinking Skills.” The symposium concluded with a minute of silence and a commemorative song performed by Ivanna Taratula-Filipenko.
Several students, community members, faculty and staff attended the symposium.
“That I had never heard about the Holodomor in my entire life just goes to show how far people have gone to cover it up,” said Anayeli Hernandez Rojas, a biology sophomore at Fresno State who attended the symposium. “Having gone to these presentations, I am thankful that I was able to learn about this injustice that happened to millions of innocent people because of an evil government.”
See the timeline of the events held during the symposium.