Polish citizens awarded for efforts in Holodomor remembrance

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky awarded Agnieszka Holland and Anne Applebaum for their efforts in promoting the memory of the Holodomor.

On November 23, Ukraine celebrates Holodomor Remembrance Day. On Saturday, two Polish citizens were awarded Orders of Princess Olga 3rd class.

Agnieszka Holland is a film director. Her 2018 movie “Mr. Jones” tells the story of a Welsh journalist Gareth Jones who travels to the Soviet Union and uncovers the great famine taking place and is the first westerner to report on the genocide. The film is based on real events.

Anne Applebaum is a journalist and writer, covering mostly foreign policy. She came to Warsaw in 1988 and married a Polish politician Radosław Sikorski, acquiring Polish citizenship. In 2017 she wrote “Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine”, a historical account of the Holodomor.

Holodomor was a planned famine, orchestrated by the Soviet government in Ukraine in 1932 and 1933. It aimed to break the resistance of the population to the communist government and its policies of forced collectivisation. Ukraine was the part of the Soviet Union were the resistance was strongest. It was also the most fertile region of the country.

During the famine, Soviet political police would confiscate food supplies from Ukrainian peasants. People trying to migrate to Russia were stopped and those stealing state-confiscated grain executed. At the same time the Soviet Union was exporting grain to Western Europe.

Estimates of the number of killed vary, from 3,000,000 to 10,000,000. At the same time, a similar famine took place in Kazakhstan, were 1,500,000 to 2,300,000 people were killed.