Holodomor Memorial Day 2024

A downloadable educational pamphlet with teaching resources to use for Holodomor Memorial Day

Holodomor Memorial Day is commemorated each year on the fourth Friday of November in schools as a Day of Remembrance when we remember the millions of Ukrainians who were starved to death in Ukraine in 1932 and 1933, many of whom were children.

Through Acts of Parliament, the Government of Canada recognizes The Holodomor as an act of genocide. Together with the descendants of survivors living in Canada, let us remember the victims of the Holodomor.

Holodomor Memorial Day 2024

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Holodomor Memorial Day

In my view, the best thing you could do to commemorate the victims of the famine is to build a society where this could never happen again.

Holodomor Memorial Day in Schools: the 4th Friday of November

On the 29 May of 2008, the Parliament of Canada unanimously passed an “Act to Establish a Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day and to Recognize the Ukrainian Famine 1932-1933 as an Act of Genocide.” As a result of the advocacy of the Holodomor Education Team (UCC-Toronto) and later the National Holodomor Education Committee (NHEC), in 2008, the Toronto District School Board passed a resolution to hold an annual Holodomor Memorial Day in schools on the fourth Friday of November. Since then, other school boards across the country have followed suit. Each year for this event, the National Holodomor Education Committee (NHEC) and increasingly HREC Education, prepare an information pamphlet to help educators commemorate this day in their schools.


In Schools, Holodomor Memorial Day Is November 22 (4th Friday Of November)

Worldwide, Holodomor Memorial Day Is November 23 (4th Saturday Of November)

Basic Facts About The Holodomor

28,000people died per day at the height of the Holodomor in June of 1933

31percent were children under the age of 10

  • Stalin issued a series of policies targeting the population of Ukraine which led to genocide by starvation in Ukraine.
  • The Holodomor occurred in a time of peace, not as a result of war or natural disaster.
  • Food was used as a weapon.
  • Wheat and other grains were confiscated from farmers by the Communist government. Some of it was sold for export to fund Stalin’s Five-Year Plan.
  • 1/3 of all villages in Ukraine were blacklisted, blockaded and the people were left to starve to death.
  • Millions of innocent people died.

  • 28,000 people died per day at the height of the Holodomor in June of 1933.
  • 31% of those who died were children under the age of 10.
  • Additionally, the cultural, religious and political leadership of Ukraine was largely destroyed during the 1930s.
  • The Holodomor was denied, covered up and ignored by the world for over five decades.
  • The Government of Canada officially recognized the Holodomor as genocide in May 2008.

* according to the latest research

Produced by the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium at CIUS–University of Alberta, and the National Holodomor Education Committee of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

The Toronto District School Board has prepared two teaching units on the Holodomor for the World History and World Politics Grade 12 courses (2009). It is available to school boards upon request.

Memorial Day Announcement

What happens when food is taken away and used as a weapon against the very people who grew it?

Food is an essential human right that is part of our right to life. It sustains and nourishes our bodies and minds, unites families and communities, and is part of our cultural identity and celebrations.

In 1932-33, Joseph Stalin, the leader of the former Soviet Union, imposed policies that led to the confiscation of livestock and crops grown by farmers in Ukraine. His government officials searched homes for hidden food, seized private property, forbade citizens to leave their villages to find food, and closed the borders of Ukraine to prevent people from searching for food elsewhere. This resulted in a human-made famine, a genocide of the Ukrainian people by starvation, known as the Holodomor. Food was used as a weapon to starve the farmers into submission under Stalin’s dictatorial rule.

The Holodomor genocide has been denied, covered-up and ignored for decades, and the archival records remained closed to researchers for many years. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the facts of this historical injustice and genocide were brought to light and the Holodomor is now recognized as one of nine genocides by the Canadian Government.

In Canada, we remember the Holodomor on two days in the school year. On April 16th, we observe Holodomor Remembrance Day in Schools during April Genocide Month. In November, we commemorate Holodomor Memorial Day on the fourth Friday during Holodomor Education Week. These are days we learn about the Holodomor genocide and remember the millions of victims who died. We also honour the strength, determination, and resilience of the people of Ukraine who managed to survive.

In 2024, food is once more being used as a weapon against the peoples of Ukraine and other countries. Learning about the Holodomor empowers us with knowledge about the past and helps us respond to the war in Ukraine today with understanding. With this knowledge and understanding we can build our future global communities with compassion and hope. Let’s remember the people of Ukraine who were starved to death during the Holodomor, and the survivors whose children again fight for their identity and right to exist as a nation today.

Pamela Clark is an educator with the Calgary Board of Education in Alberta, Canada, and the 2024 recipient of the HREC Educator Award for Holodomor Lesson Plan Development.

Educational Resources


Holodomor: Voices of Survivors

A 30 minute DVD with firsthand accounts of 25 Canadian survivors who tell their stories as children during the Holodomor.
Contact: office@ucrdc.org

The Soviet Story

The first 11 minutes are an excellent introduction to the Holodomor.

Hunger For Truth: The Rhea Clyman Story

The Canadian journalist and eyewitness of the Holodomor in Ukraine was amongst the first to write about it.


Genocide Revealed

This award-winning documentary features personal and historical archival information on the Holodomor. Educational versions are available on DVD in 26 & 52 minute segments.
Contact: yurij@yluhovy.com

Harvest of Despair

This award-winning documentary provides background information with media coverage from the 1930s.
Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre 416-966-1819, office@ucrdc.org, www.ucrdc.org/Films.html

Stalin’s Secret Genocide

Provides reflections from Holodomor researchers on various aspects of the story in a 15 minute overview.


Bitter Harvest

A feature film presenting life in Ukraine before and during the Holodomor through the life of two young adults.


Mr. Jones

Welsh journalist Gareth Jones risks his life to expose the truth about the devastating famine in Soviet Ukraine in the early 1930s.


Holodomor Research & Education Consortium (HREC)

Teaching materials, lesson plans and other resources and educational materials. HREC Education is an Accepted Educational Partner of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB)

Ukrainian Canadian Research & Documentation Centre (UCRDC)

Share the Story: Short excerpts of 80 Canadian survivors of the Holodomor.
And 21 Canadian children of survivors: ucrdc.org/cohs 

Edmonton Catholic School District

Lesson plans and suggested activities for all grades.


Connecticut Holodomor Committee


“Exposing the Ukrainian Holodomor–How starvation was used as a political weapon”

Unit 2, Chapter 5

“How A Grain of Wheat Linked Two Worlds” Unit of study



To visit, view exhibits and hear survivor testimonies, book speakers and workshops, contact:

Holodomor Research & Education Consortium (HREC) at CIUS, University of Alberta 

Conducts teacher training sessions, workshops, class visits and presentations, with educational materials.

Website: education.holodomor.ca
Phone: 416 923 4732
Email: hreced@ualberta.ca

Ukrainian Canadian Research & Documentation Centre (UDRDC)

Conducts class visits and presentations featuring testimonies of survivors and their children, shows documentary ÿlms and exhibits photos and posters.

Website: www.ucrdc.org
Phone: 416 966 1819
Email: office@ucrdc.org

Both are located at: 620 Spadina Avenue, 2nd Floor Toronto, ON M5S 2H4

HREC’s Top Picks of Resources


The Historian’s Craft Lesson on Human Rights and the Holodomor

The Historian's Craft Lesson on Human Rights and the Holodomor

by V. Kuryliw, Edmonton: CIUS Press, 2024

A sample lesson which engages students in actively analysing and synthesizing a variety of resources utilizing interactive methodologies.
Purchase the book

Holodomor In Ukraine,
The Genocidal Famine: 1932-1933

Holodomor In Ukraine, The Genocidal Famine: 1932-1933

by V. Kuryliw, Edmonton: CIUS Press, 2018

Teaching materials, lesson plans and assignments with straightforward, sensible and basic information about the Famine. The book is accessible, instantly useable and packed with ideas and photocopiable resources.
Contact: hreced@ualberta.ca

Red Famine: Stalin’s War On Ukraine

by A. Applebaum, NY: Doubleday Books, 2017 An authoritative book on the Ukrainian genocide based on the most recent research.

The Holodomor Reader

by B. Klid & A. Motyl, Edmonton: CIUS Press, 2012 A collection of key texts and materials.


Stalin’s Genocides

by N. Naimark, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010

Features the Holodomor and other genocides of the Soviet period.

Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

by T. Snyder, New York: Basic Books, 2010

One major chapter specifically on the Holodomor.

Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine: Documents and Materials

by R. Pyrih, Kyiv: Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Publishing House, 2008

73 archival documents with correspondence about the Holodomor.
Print copies: hreced@ualberta.ca
E-version: education.holodomor.ca/educational- resources-list/pyrih-documents/

HREC Educator Award For Holodomor Lesson Plan Development

HREC Educator Award For Holodomor Lesson Plan DevelopmentThe annual HREC Educator Award for Holodomor Lesson Plan Development is intended to foster the development of innovative, creative and interactive lessons for grades K-12 that develop critical thinking skills while addressing the topic of the Holodomor, and to recognize the outstanding educators who create them. The winning lesson plans will be posted on the HREC Education website.

This year’s applications must be submitted by May 1, 2025.

View further details and download application form.

Toronto Holodomor Memorial

Toronto Holodomor Memorial

Holodomor Memorial Parkette, Exhibition Place

The Bitter Memories of Childhood monument by Ukrainian sculptor Petro Drozdovsky was unveiled in October 2018 for the 85th Commemoration of the Holodomor in Ukraine. The statue depicts the most vulnerable of the Holodomor’s victims and provides an opportunity for student re ̨ection.

Located just inside the Princes’ Gate entrance of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) grounds, the memorial site includes a pathway through a small park leading to 3 millstones, each of which provides QR code information about the Holodomor, and the statue. Students can re ̨ect on the history, survivor testimonials and legacy of the Holodomor.

For more information on this and other monuments, visit: education.holodomor.ca/introduction/holodomor-monuments/

Holodomor Memorial Day Map Holodomor Memorial Day Map closeup

April 16, 2024
Holodomor Remembrance Day In Schools

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress designated April 16 as HOLODOMOR REMEMBRANCE DAY IN SCHOOLS, together with HREC and UCC’s National Holodomor Education Committee (NHEC). Because April 16, 2022 falls on a Saturday, Holodomor Remembrance Day in schools will be held on April 19.

The Holodomor is one of nine global genocides recognized by the Government of Canada and by six of Canada’s provincial legislatures. It was in the Spring of 1933, during the Holodomor’s deadliest year, that the number of deaths escalated significantly.

Every year in April, Ukrainians worldwide traditionally visit cemeteries and remember the dead with special memorial ceremonies held the week after Easter, when victims of the Holodomor are specifically remembered.

Canada has been affected by many genocides and recognizes:
the Armenian Genocide, Ukrainian Holodomor, Jewish Holocaust, the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the Genocide in Bosnia. The Canadian Parliament has also recognized the ongoing genocide being committed against the Yezidi in Syria and Iraq today, the Rohingya
in Myanmar, the Romani during WWII, and currently the Uyghurs in China.

Educators are encouraged to take time in April to remember those who suffered and lost their lives in the Holodomor and other genocides, and to commit to using education to protect and defend human rights and dignity everywhere.

Holodomor in schools

Holodomor Remembrance Day

Kharkiv, Ukraine, 1932-33
Photo: A. Wienerberger, Innitzer Collection


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