The Embassy of Ukraine in cooperation with the Danish-Ukrainian Society

has the pleasure of inviting you to the international seminar on:




Tuesday, December 4, 2007, 15.30-18.30

Cultural Centre Assistens

Kapelvej 4 2200 Copenhagen N


The man-made famine in Ukraine - Holodomor (extermination by famine deriving from holod – “hunger, starvation famine”, and moryty – “to induce suffering, to kill”) was the first obvious case when an inflicted hunger was used by the totalitarian regime as a weapon of political struggle and genocide against its own people.

As a result of the imposed famine at least 7 million people, mainly Ukrainian peasantry in the countryside who opposed the Stalin policy and practice of forced collectivization, were deprived of the most essential human right – the right to life, and were forced to starve to death in the most appalling way. Stalin always believed that the national question was “in essence, a peasant question” and that “the peasantry constitutes the main army of the national movement.” By vanquishing the Ukrainian farmers the Stalin regime wanted to break the Ukrainian national revival that began in 1920s.

The Holodomor took place in a region considered to be the breadbasket of Europe as a result of exorbitant grain quotas imposed on Ukrainians and confiscation of food supplies, in many cases down to the last seed. The Soviet regime deliberately did not take any measures to prevent famine, continued to export large amounts of grain and kept the state strategic food reserves intact. Moreover, it created conditions for Ukrainians that could not support life. The starvation-hit area of Ukraine was isolated by armed units, so that people could not escape to the neighbouring Soviet regions in search of food where it was more readily available. The Soviet regime refused to acknowledge the starvation in Ukraine and turned down the assistance offered by various countries and international relief organizations.

The USSR and Soviet scholars continued to deny the fact of Holodomor. Only in times of Gorbachov’s perestroika some of the archive documents became accessible, thereby making possible the documentation of the premeditated nature of the famine and its harsh enforcement.

Programme of the seminar




Welcome speeches



Uffe Østergaard, professor of European and Danish history at Copenhagen Business School


The International Commission of Inquiry into the 1932-1933 Famine. A look in the rear-view mirror

Jacob W.F.Sundberg, professor of Jurisprudence emeritus at Stockholm Institute of Public and International Law


The massacres in Ukraine 1932-1933 in an international law perspective

Henrik Døcker, Vice-President of The Danish-Ukrainian Society








The studies of Holodomor in Ukraine

Mykhaylo Kirsenko, professor at the Department of European and Euro-Atlantic Policy, Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine


Writing history in the house of the Hanged: dealing with the Holodomor in independent Ukraine

Johan Dietsch, researcher at the Department of History, Lund University




Q&A, discussion


Сlosing remarks

Dr.Uffe Østergaard, professor in European and Danish history in Copenhagen Business School, former head of the Department for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, DIIS.

Dr.Jacob W.F.Sundberg, professor of Jurisprudence emeritus of Stockholm Institute of Public and International Law, Director of Studies, as a member of the International Organizations Expertise Missions in 1988-1990 was the President of International Commission of Inquiry into the 1932-1933 Famine and prepared the Final Report in 1990 to the UN and the Council of Europe. Besides a number of publications in European and American Law Reviews and anthologies, J.W.F.Sundberg wrote several articles on Holodomor: “Ukraine 1933: Come back on the works of the International Commission of Inquiry” published on the site francophone on Ukraine and “Den ukrainska hungersnöden. Historiean om en utredning” published in 10 Juridisk Tidskrift (1999-2000).

Henrik Døcker, journalist specialized in human rights and international law, Vice-President of The Danish-Ukrainian Society. Affiliated with the Danish Institute of Human Rights, has for more than 40 years contributed to Danish daily and periodical press on international affairs, international and humanitarian law, human rights, developing countries, international organizations. He worked for 38 years for the National News Agency Ritzau. Among his books are: “De europæiske enhedsbestræbelser” (“The Endeavours to unite Europe”) and “Menneskeret i Europa” (”Human Rights in Europe – the protective system in Strasbourg”).

Dr.Mykhaylo Kirsenko, professor at the Department of European and Euro-Atlantic Policy at the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine and the Department of History, School of Humanities, National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. He coauthored the books “History of East-Central Europe” (2002) and “Balkan Studies in Soviet Ukraine” (1983), and has more than 160 articles and book chapters published in Ukraine, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, Poland, Russia and Switzerland.

Johan Dietsch, PhD, researcher, Department of History, Lund University, coordinator of studies at the National School for Historical Studies, lecturer at the Department of Central and East European Studies at Lund University and the School of Teacher-Training, Malmö University. Among his publications there are several works on the Holodomor in Ukraine: “Den totalitära terrorn – Sovjetunionens kollaps och omtolkningen av stalinism och nazism” (Totalitarian Terror – The Collapse of the Soviet Union and rethinking Stalinism and Nazism), Making Sense of Suffering: Holocaust and Holodomor in Ukrainian Historical Culture, Lund University 2006 (dissertation), “How the Holocaust Looks Now: International Perspectives”, 2006, “Ukraine and the Ambiguous Europeanisation of the Holocaust: Incorporating the Final Solution in a post-Soviet Historical Culture”, i Klas-Göran Karlsson & Ulf Zander, “The Holocaust – Post-War Battlefields. Genocide as Historical Culture”, Lund: Sekel Bokförlag 2006, ”Holodomor and the Ukrainian Identity of Suffering: The 1932-1933 Ukrainian Famine in Historical Culture”, ”>From Famine to Forgotten Holocaust. The 1932-1933 Famine in Ukrainian Historical Cultures”, Karlsson, Klas-Göran & Zander Ulf (eds) Echoes of the Holocaust. Historical Cultures in Contemporary Europe, Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2003,”Ukrainas postkommunistiska historia – Fast i det förflutna?”, 2002.

Practical Information

The seminar will be held in English.

Participation is free of charge but registration is required by e-mail or by fax 33 16 00 74 not later than November 30, 2007. Please await confirmation for participation.


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