Lemkin on the Genocide against the Ukrainians

Professor Roman Serbyn, of the Universite de Quebec http://www.infoukes.com/lists/politics/2008/10/0012.html

These are the reproduced excerpts from “Soviet Genocide in Ukraine”, the last chapter of a monumental History of Genocide, written in the 1950s by the Jewish-Polish scholar, Raphael Lemkin. Unfortunately, the monograph has not yet been published and the chapter on Ukraine is known only to a few Lemkin scholars. The whole chapter (12 double-spaced pages) on Ukraine will soon be published in the original English language in the USA.

It should be noted that Lemkin, who developed the concept and coined the term “genocide” , applies it to the destruction on the Ukrainian nation and not just Ukrainian peasants and farmers. Lemkin speaks of:

a) the decimation of the Ukrainian national political, cultural elites,

b) the destruction of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church,

c) the starvation of the Ukrainian farming population,

d) its replacement with non-Ukrainian population from the RSFSR as integral components of the same genocidal process. The only dimension that is missing in Lemkin’s excellent analysis is the destruction of the 8,000,000 ethnic Ukrainians living on the eve of the genocide in the Russian Republic (RSFSR).

As Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora commemorates in November 2008 the 75 th anniversary of the Genocide against the Ukrainians, it should be inspired by the all-encompassing approach to the analysis of the great Ukrainian catastrophe by the father of the concept of genocide and the man who did the most to have it enshrined in the United nations Convention of 1948. Lemkin’s perception of the Ukrainian genocide as a solid recommendation to the UN Assembly to finally recognize the Ukrainian tragedy for what it was , a case of genocide , the destruction of a nation.

United Nations Convention of Genocide

Act 2. In the present convention, genocide means any of the following acts

committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such:

  • Killing members of a group;
  • Causing bodily or mental harm to members of the group; · Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  • Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.