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On September 26, 1998 some 200 students from Ukrainian Saturday schools in Toronto attended a seminar on the 1933 Famine-Genocide in Ukraine at the Ukrainian Canadian Research & Documentation Centre, St. Vladimir's Institute.
The participating survivors were:
Valentyna Podasz, and
Agnes and George Starostenko.
The following are some of their comments expressed to the survivors.
Thank you for coming to talk to us about the 1933 Famine-Genocide in Ukraine. Because of you we have a better understanding of how difficult and painful it must have been for you and other Ukrainians. I shall never forget about this tragedy. We all pray that such a tragedy will never happen again in Ukraine or elsewhere in the world.
Yuri Charko, 11th grade
I sincerely thank you for informing us about the horrible Famine-Genocide of 1933. I know that you suffered greatly, that you lost your father and that it was therefore very difficult for you to talk about it. We are all very grateful. As you shared your experiences with us, tears flowed from my eyes. I hope that I will never have such an experience. But as I was listening to you, I empathized with you and was deeply moved.
Samantha Perrin, 11th grade
It was a memorable Saturday for me, hearing about your terrible experiences during the year of 1933. I would very much like to read your book and learn more about this genocide
I sincerely thank you for coming to the St. Vladimir's Institute and talking to us about your horrible ordeal during the 1933 Famine in Ukraine. I know that it was very painful for you to talk about those times. Thank you for sharing with us your pain and for explaining to us why this genocide occurred.
Oksana Jacyla, 9th grade
My grandfather and grandmother also survived the 1933 Famine-Genocide. Your talk about your experiences helped me to understand better about what really happened in Ukraine.
Adrian M., 10th grade
I was deeply moved by your tragedy. Until now the 1933 Famine-Genocide in Ukraine was for me just something out of history books. I never realized just how awful it was. You made me see the 1933 Famine-Genocide from an entirely different perspective. I learned a great deal from you.
Mishko Reay, 10th grade
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your suffering during the 1933 Famine-Genocide. I learned that people here in Canada and the United States did not know about what was happening in Ukraine and how the press reported that all was well in Ukraine. This was terrible. I think that everyone should learn about the 1933 Famine-Genocide in Ukraine.
Michael Cap, 9th grade
I am very grateful that you came to tell our generation about the most tragic part of our history. The film "Harvest of Despair" was very informative but hearing about your personal experiences, the 1933 Famine-Genocide in Ukraine will forever stay in our minds. We pray that such horrors will never be repeated.
Bozena Hrycyna, 9th grade
I was very deeply moved by your experiences during the 1933 Famine in Ukraine. I had no idea how horrible it was. I know that it was very painful to talk about the Genocide of 1933 which killed your brothers and sisters. Now every time I eat I will be thankful that I have food.