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Just 24 Percent of Americans Have Heard of the “Holodomor,” One of the World’s Most Horrific Genocides 

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Holodomor90 Staff

The 90th Anniversary of the Historic Genocide in 2023 Informs Current Russian Occupation of Ukraine 

Washington, D.C. (Nov. 24, 2023) — A new genocide poll shows that just 24 percent of Americans are aware of the “Holodomor,” one of history’s horrific genocides. Despite nearly two years of war in Ukraine, and the commitment of US military and humanitarian aid, Americans are disturbingly unaware of the history of conflict that pre-dates the current Russian invasion and occupation of Ukraine. Translated from Ukrainian as “death by starvation,” the Holodomor did not appear among the top 20 genocides in history as recognized by poll respondents and it ranked significantly lower than other such atrocities including the relatively well-known Holocaust, and those committed in Darfur, Sudan, Armenia, and against the indigenous people of North America, among others.  

“For 50 years the Soviets hid and denied a genocide that Joseph Stalin perpetrated against Ukrainians in part to stamp out a distinct Ukrainian identity,” said Marta Baziuk, Executive Director of the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC) at the University of Alberta. “The failure to recognize and understand what happened in history leaves us woefully underinformed about the conflict we are seeing unfold in Ukraine today.” 

While the Holodomor was the least known major genocide named in the poll, more than 83 percent of those surveyed believed that genocide is occurring elsewhere in the world now. The current conflict in Israel and Gaza was shown to be top of mind by a wide majority, and the historic Holocaust was very well known by over 83 percent of respondents. In contrast, the current war in Ukraine was not cited by poll respondents until after they were provided a list of genocides at which point 71 percent stated that they were aware of the current and ongoing Russian occupation. 

“Whether it is the Holocaust or the Holodomor or another genocide, the lack of awareness for the history of genocide is troubling,” said Baziuk. “It’s not just cliché to say that ‘history repeats itself.’ That’s why we have to understand the history and context of aggression as we see coming from Putin’s Russia if we ever hope to make the right decisions about how to deal with seemingly intractable conflicts.” 

Other key findings in the genocide poll showed that the Gen X demographic seemed to care about genocide the least (61%), while Gen Z were the most aware (79%), slightly above the survey average (76%). Men (77%) stated they were aware of genocide more frequently than women (68%). Predictably, there was a clear correlation between wealth, education, and recognition of genocides.  

The survey was conducted by the Researchscape International polling agency based in Sarasota, Florida, on behalf of Holodomor90, a group of Ukrainian and anti-genocide organizations working to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the historic genocide. The poll was issued between November 17 and 20, 2023, with 1,112 respondents by U.S. adults aged 18+. The data were weighted to the U.S. population by 9 demographic questions. The credibility interval for questions answered by all respondents was plus or minus 4 percentage points.  

“On Saturday, Nov. 25th the world will recognize the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor,” said Baziuk. “This is known as Holodomor Remembrance Day in Ukraine, and traditionally Ukrainians will light a candle in memory of the lost. This year, the Holodomor90.com campaign is tracking more than 75 events that are being held to raise awareness. This data shows we still have a lot of work to do in the US and around the world.” 

For more information on the genocide poll or to request a copy of the result, please visit Holodomor90.com or email info@holodomor90.com. 

About the Holodomor: 

The Holodomor, which translated from Ukrainian means “death by starvation,” was a man-made famine-genocide that occurred in Ukraine between 1932 and 1933. Millions of Ukrainians perished because of deliberate policies and actions implemented by the regime led by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. The Holodomor stands as a stark reminder of the consequences of totalitarianism and underscores the importance of acknowledging and learning from historical atrocities. More information on the history of the Holodomor, including a database of videos of survivor stories and a photo directory, is available at the HREC website at holodomor.ca.  

About Holodomor90 Awareness: 

The Holodomor90 anti-genocide campaign unites the greater Ukrainian community and organizations from across the world for the genocide’s 90th Holodomor Remembrance Day. Leading groups include the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC) at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, the U.S. Committee for Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide Awareness (the U.S. Holodomor Committee), Razom for Ukraine, Klych, the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC), and Door County Candle Company. The Ukrainian Catholic Churches and the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches have also pledged support along with an array of other organizations and individuals. One mission of the grassroots efforts is to raise awareness and call for official recognition of the man-made famine as genocide. The campaign will culminate with the Ukrainian tradition of lighting memorial candles in homes, churches, and public squares on Holodomor Remembrance Day, Saturday, November 25, 2023

Holodomor90 Media Contact: 

Mark Hazlin, info@holodomor90.com, ph: 202-777-2041 

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