Holodomor Web Project Carries on Memory of Forced Famine

A new electronic project about the Ukrainian Holodomor will allow anyone to contribute. The project will allow people to add their own family stories about the famine to an online database, which is accessible to everyone. UATV has the details.

Ukraine is creating a database to store information about the Holodomor, the famine in 1932 to 1933 that killed almost 4 million Ukrainians. The database will be able to store photos, video, audio, as well as documents and primary sources. Everyone will be able to create a page for their own family and contribute to the project.

Mass grave near Kharkiv, 1933

Mathematics teacher Vira Annusova collected stories about the Ukrainian Holodomor in the Luhansk region. She managed to collect over 5 hundred pieces of evidence of the genocide from the combat area in eastern Ukraine. Memories of the forced collectivization, confiscation and Russification during the 1930ies have been kept for a long time by the residents of her native Baranykivka village.

Vira Annusova, Holodomor Evidence Collector

He comes out with a handful of his teeth — and tells the family — I’m not Rybalko anymore, but I’m Rybaltsov. I’m going to sign up for the collective farm.

Annusova, herself displaced by the fighting in eastern Ukraine against Russian hybrid forces, will see her stories form the core of the new database. While the database is currently under construction, the records, documents, photos and video evidence will be made available to everyone over the interview.

Liudmyla Hrynevych, Project Coordinator

We dream that every single one of you can turn to the “Family stories” section. So that someone can type the names of his/her parents and grandfathers or great-grandfathers in the search system and find their own family page.
National Museum “Memorial to Holodomor Victims”, Kyiv

The electronic database will help with studying the Holodomor issue in schools and universities. The primary sources gathered will serve to make the information feel alive and relatable. However, collecting the stories is also running up against the clock, as the number of living witnesses to the tragedy decreases every year.

Volodymyr Viatrovych, Director of the Institute of National Remembrance

This is about a small number of people. If we are talking about witnesses — at that time they have been 7 and 8-year-old children in 1933. Now, these people are over 90 years old.

The project “Holodomor: Family Stories” is planned to be launched at the end of 2017.

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