Genocide of the Ukrainians and achievements of humaneness
Translated from the Greek by Evi Charitidou
In Greece the genocide of the Ukrainians is almost unknown. Holodomor has not been heard not even as a word. Whereas 17 countries have already recognized the genocide of the Ukrainians as a crime against humanity. In a way we could say that as to Greek standards this has been a successful genocide, since society has either forgotten it or is indifferent to it. However, this does not mean that victims and executioners do not exist. This does not mean that innocent people were not murdered and that Just people do not struggle for recognizing the 1932-1933 genocide. The Unquenchable Flame’s message is simple: Ukraine recalls, the world recognizes. And its symbolism is absolutely comprehensible. The Crucified Christ in the Virgin Mary’s heart explains the death’s birth. Wheat cobs refer to the artificial famine. Many of us lack knowledge of what is evident regarding this human tragedy. It does not matter any longer. Now we may learn everything. We have access to that time’s secret archives explaining to us the framework and causes of having scattered testimonies in the past. Oblivion is no longer an option; only indifference is. Evidence exists and proves the horrible fact of that Soviet period. We may now directly face the magnitude of sacrifice and horror of crime. As Greeks we know exactly what the word ‘genocide’ means; because our people has experienced it in its guts and has many times died out of it. There is no need for us to have it explained. We just have to learn Ukraine’s forgotten history. The fact of being unaware cannot surprise us. Genocide’s methodology is comprehensible. It is based on the one hand upon extinguishing humans by transforming them into animals so that animals would devour them and on the other hand on vanishing proof. Thus, survivors find it twice as much difficult to display the tragedy’s seize and without the Justs’ existence they might end up in committing suicide, as Primo Levi did. Not only does the Unquenchable Flame symbolize genocide by fire, but also recognition by light. As Greeks we are not responsible for the Ukrainians’ genocide, but as citizens we are responsible for genocide of memory. The genocide of the Ukrainians touches us through humanity and time. We should not merely learn; what is due is to take action through memory as resistance towards the system of oblivion and in favor of human dignity. Moreover, each genocide is a lesson, and not only for executioners seeking for its efficiency, but also for the Justs fighting for human rights. The genocide of the Ukrainians bears an important contribution. Its ideological background and its geopolitical implications enriched executioners’ tools. And our unawareness cannot remain neutral. It is being inductively charged and turns us into accomplices. By the Unquenchable Flame our memory becomes an achievement of humaneness.