Thursday, January 20, 2011

Symbols of life and death

A friend called me last night, and told me, that, I had to go to St. Vladimir's and photograph the ice cross. The Ukrainian Orthodox follow the Julian calendar, and their Christmas is two weeks later. In the Christmas season, Jesus' baptism in the Jordan, and Epiphany are celebrated. Now is the coldest of winter usually. That water, here, is ice. Water is a mineral, and now it is solid. It can be carved like rock. Now they have a man sized eastern cross, in front of the cathedral church on State Road, in Parma for the passing world to see, and possibly consider. Above the triple portals, there is a mosaic of the initial baptism of the Kievan Rus', this also contrasts with the frozen baptismal water of the cross.

As the waters of baptism gives men new life in Christ. It is not unusual for a graveyard to be next to a church. Next to this one there is a memorial to the millions of fellow Ukrainians that were starved to death by Stalin and his cohorts and minions in 1932-33. The monument cites 7 million. It is not known the correct number, the bosheviki were not counting. In the last generation the term 'Holodomor' has been applied to this man made famine, this death or murder by starvation.

In the years that communism has fallen, more recognition has been seen. This year, the fourth Saturday of November was commemorated amongst Ukrainian populations of the world, including Parma, Ohio.

In Cleveland, and certainly elsewhere, the Irish starvation of the 1840s is publicly remembered. Both times of dying were manufactured. Whether it was mass murder or genocide is a semantic argument, and some object to the naked truth of the words. The potato suffered fungus, but foodstuffs from Ireland were exported ship by shipload. It was not a potato famine that killed a million, it was English and British landlords that starved the Irish. The 4 or 6 or 7 or 12 million Ukrainians and others didn't die from poor harvests of wheat. They died from a confiscation of wheat and other foods, and political repression by the communists. As the anglo-american textbooks misdirected the focus of cause for the Irish starving time (an Gorta Mor/the Great Hunger), so did the communists and economic apologists place the foci on the mistakes of collectivisation.
(Голодомор) The Holodomor memorial is shaped as the trident of St. Michael, the symbol of Ukraine.

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