A Misleading Memory
Using The Holodomor to Vilify Socialism
This paper explores the way that the Holodomor – the famine-genocide that took place from 1932-1933 in Soviet Ukraine under Stalin’s rule – is remembered in contemporary contexts. It analyzes how the opposing systems of capitalism and socialism are portrayed through this memory to answer the question: how has the dominant memory of the Holodomor been used to invalidate or vilify the idea of socialism? The paper draws on the empirical example of University of Alberta lecturer Dougal MacDonald’s denial of the Holodomor in November 2019, specifically through a discussion of the reactions to this statement. It discusses the concept of historical denialism and draws on the comments of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in response to MacDonald, arguing that his comments grouped all communists and socialists with Holodomor deniers. Finally, the paper draws on how the memory of the Holodomor is used in international relations, concluding that it has become a ‘living’ history and a constant reminder of the supposed dangers of communism in any form as the villain is no longer Stalin’s regime, but the entire ideology.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Nancy Skorobohach
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