News

November 23, 2019

University Participates in All-Ukrainian "Light Up a Candle" Action


Every year, on the fourth Saturday of November, Ukraine commemorates millions of victims of Holodomor — the tragic events of 1921–1922, 1932–1933 and 1946–1947 years, forever imprinted in minds of the Ukrainian people as the worst pages of their history.

Karazin University representatives joined in commemorative events: the University History Museum hosted a requiem meeting with the participation of the University President, Vil Bakirov, deans, faculty members and students.

Massimo Capaccioli, Karazin University Doctor Honoris Causa, Italian astrophysicist, Professor of the University of Naples Federico II, also participated in the event.

"Today, throughout the country, in big and small cities, villages people light up candles commemorating those who died an awful death during Holodomor. For a long time, it was not reported or mentioned anywhere. It was a secret. When archives were opened and documents and testimonies of the famine survivors were published, frankly speaking, all this was hard to take. For this is such a terrifying, deep, infernal tragedy. And we gather today and light up candles to commemorate those who died, in such a way making our contribution, albeit a small one, to prevent it from happening again," said Vil Bakirov.

The Associate Professor of the Department of History of Ukraine of the School of History Denys Zhuravlev shared his thoughts as to why these terrible events could have happened. The researcher said that the reason and essence of the forced famines was, among other things, fear of the government which did not know how to subdue the peasantry. Therefore, the Bolsheviks decided to destroy the lower level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, where the limit of physical survival lies, and to intimidate the peasants with the impossibility to eat.

He brought up the issue of psychotrauma — a fear of recurrence of such events inherited by all the succeeding generations, which affects their actions and defines the behavior of the whole nation. Denys Zhuravlev stressed that it is important not to repress or forget the traumatic experience, but to speak about it, remember, empathize with those who died or survived.

Dean of the School of Physics and Technology, Ihor Hirka, shared his memories of how Holodomor affected his family.

At the end of the event, those present participated in the All-Ukrainian “Light Up a Candle” Action, observing a minute of silence in memory of Holodomor victims and lighting up candles in the University’s windows.

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