At the risk of becoming all Passion and gay marriage, all the time, I have another tidbit about the movie. Recently Mel Gibson did a Reader’s Digest interview with Peggy Noonan in which she asked him to repudiate his father, a Holocaust denier, and state that he believes it happened. He replied that, yes, he does acknowledge it happened. He went on to say that war is horrible and many atrocities occurred during World War II and went on to name a few, including Stalin’s intentional starvation of millions of Ukrainians.
There was much uproar afterward. Some people said he was trying to minimize the Holocaust by comparing it to a natural disaster (which they mistakenly thought the Ukraine famine.) Lost in all the reaction was the response of Ukrainians who are grateful to Gibson for remembering them.
Responding to actor/film maker Mel Gibson’s comments about the Holocaust and the Holodomor, as the genocidal Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Soviet Ukraine is known, Dr. Lubomyr Luciuk, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Canadian community, said: “Mel Gibson seems to have been publicly attacked because he insisted on recalling all of the victims of the Holocaust, Jews and non-Jews alike. He has also been condemned for recalling the many millions of Ukrainians starved to death during the Holodomor. This famine was not the result of natural causes. It was man-made. For anyone to suggest that recalling those murdered during this Soviet crime against humanity somehow detracts from the Holocaust is preposterous. And to belittle the many millions so victimized, as was done by Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, smacks of genocide-denial, or worse. It is, of course, anyone’s right to focus grief on their own community’s woes. But to make false comparisons and suggest that somehow those who died from hunger suffered less than those who died from gas is odious. We hallow the memory of all the murdered millions and we thank Mr Gibson, a good Catholic, for having the courage of his convictions and for championing historical truth.”
There are two sides to every story.