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Securing the future and liberating the past: a reflection on "The Trauma of Communism"

Volodymyr Turchynovskyy

Dean of the Social Sciences Faculty in UCU, Director of the IIECI

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Volodymyr Turchynovskyy is dean of the social sciences faculty and director of the International Institute for Ethics and Contemporary Issues at Ukrainian Catholic University. He was a visiting scholar at the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 2006-07 and in 2019-20. Turchynovskyy delivered the following remarks at the launch of The Trauma of Communism on December 1, 2022. Published by Ukrainian Catholic University Press, The Trauma of Communism is edited by Clemens Sedmak, director of the Nanovic Institute and professor of social ethics, and A. James McAdams, William M. Scholl Professor of International Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. The publication is

the fruit of the Catholic Universities Partnership, a long-standing collaboration between five universities from Central and Eastern Europe, Ukrainian Cetholic University, and the Nanovic Institute at the University of Notre Dame.

Every year on the fourth Saturday of November, Ukraine commemorates the victims of the Holodomor, the man-made famine organized by the Soviet authorities which killed millions in 1932-1933. This year, the commemoration fell on November 26. In the preceding days, the parliaments of Ireland, Moldova, and Romania recognized Holodomor as a genocide of the Ukrainian people. On November 30, Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, passed a resolution recognizing this starvation of millions of Ukrainians as a crime against humanity, a genocide.

These important statements have been made in the context of the present-day genocidal war launched by Russia against Ukraine with the clear-cut intention of depopulating Ukraine. The aggressors hope to achieve this by either erasing and annihilating Ukrainian towns and villages, deporting Ukrainian citizens — particularly children — from Ukraine’s occupied territory to Russia, or forcing Ukrainians to flee their county in search of survival and safety.

Ukrainians commemorate at the Bitter Memory of Childhood monument, outside the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide in 2019. and Wikimedia Commons, CC by 4.0.