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Winnipeg Free Press | 11Apr2013 | Letters to Editor (Have your say)

Denigrating the memory

Re: Discontent remains on CMHR, Holodomor (April 9, 2013; Winnipeg Free Press). No community's suffering should be elevated above all others in a taxpayer-funded national museum. But that is exactly what is happening at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

The Orwellian doublespeak that characterizes the CMHR's pronouncements on this subject is breathtaking, and unacceptable, no less offensive than the placement of the Holodomor exhibit near the CMHR's toilets, in and of itself denigrating to the memory of the many millions lost during this genocide and an insult to the Ukrainian Canadian community.

Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association


Are Canada's leaders -- from government to the museum's board -- complicit in covering up the crimes of communism, which caused some 120 million deaths worldwide since the last century and some 10 million in Ukraine's artificial famine Holodomor alone, by accentuating those of the Nazis? Or are they are ill-advised?

Canada, a global leader in human rights, needs to take the lead in breaking the systemic silencing of Communist crimes against humanity. Highlighting Nazi crimes, which happened some 60 years ago and are no more, encourages today's Communist dictators and others to continue perpetrating them.

To date, the museum seems to prefer tokenism to dealing head-on with such inequality. Fair-minded Canadians must not allow this. It is un-Canadian in spirit and execution.



We are told that human rights will be highlighted and their violations demonstrably exposed on the lower floors of Winnipeg's new national museum. As one ascends, the moral focus will shift to the assumption of individual and communal responsibility for insuring that the horrors witnessed below might never recur.

This emphasis on the common goal of mutual security and protection is the most compelling reason for the CMHR's construction and ought to remain its primary focus.

To better achieve this end, the addition of two seminal words into the museum's name has been suggested -- now to read the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and Responsibilities. The modified perspective the name change offers would direct mutually sustaining ethical norms, lessen the acrimony among this city's vital and integral communities through informed compromise, renew trust and effectively promote the institution's original heroic vision. It's still not too late.