On May 8th, the 75th anniversary of the Victory Day in Europe, the Ukrainian community in South Africa joins the international community in honouring the memory of millions who gave their lives for a free world.
World War II, which had begun in 1939 with the Nazi-Soviet invasion and dismemberment of Poland, became the most brutal war in human history. Its cost is beyond calculation: in Ukraine alone, over 8 million lives were lost, over 2 million people were forcibly deported. Today we pay tribute to millions of Ukrainian men and women who bravely fought in the World War II, among them over 250 000 Ukrainians who served in Polish, French, British, US and Canadian armed forces. We owe them an eternal debt that can never be repaid.
Caught between the totalitarian and murderous empires of Hitler and Stalin, Ukrainian people fought valiantly against both occupying regimes. The end of World War II did not bring peace or freedom to Ukraine. Instead, Stalin’s Soviet Union brought oppression and tyranny to Ukraine, as well as to many other captive nations of Eastern Europe. For over four decades, Ukraine was forced to continue its struggle against the Soviet regime that persecuted and denied the Ukrainian people the fundamental right to live freely.
Please learn more about Ukraine in World War II with a book from Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance Ukraine in World War II
May we always remember the wisdom history teaches to never repeat its tragedies. Never again. Glory to Ukraine!