Roman Serbyn. Holodomor: The Ukrainian Genocide

The first scholar to posit a conceptual framework for analyzing what we now call “the Holodomor” was Raphael Lemkin. A renowned authority on international law, well versed in the Soviet legal system, Lemkin called upon his vast knowledge of the political realities in the Soviet Union to give  a  penetrating  insight  into  the  mechanics  of the Ukrainian tragedy in his essay entitled “Soviet Genocide in the Ukraine.” The paper was written for the 20th anniversary of the Great Famine, commemorated by the Ukrainian community of New York in September 1953. Ten years earlier, Lemkin developed the concept of “genocide,” whose main ideas he later prevailed upon the United Nations to enshrine in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In line with these principles, Lemkin deemed the Ukrainian catastrophe to be “not simply a case of mass murder,” but “a case of genocide, of the destruction, not of individuals only but of a culture and a nation.”

Published by: Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych, 2010

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