Monday, July 22, 2013

Ukraine and Amish connection

By Yuriy Zaliznyak (2013 SUSI Scholar from Ukraine)

When we were going to visit the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin, Ohio I had no idea what kind of surprise was waiting for me. On a broad wall mural I saw a magnificent history of unique Christian community and a painful part of my country’s history was carefully detailed. You can see the image of the violent terror of the Red Communist army against Ukraine’s inhabitants, when all the food was taken from the successful farmers. That Bolshevik’s initiative to break the nation took six to twelve million lives. Russia still denies the nature of Holodomor in 1932-33, and not all the documents on that period are revealed by Russian special archives – that is why the precise numbers of those killed are still unknown. But this picture by a German-American artist provides us with a food for thought about the methods of Russian empire building, Slavonic origins of Russian and Ukrainian “brotherhood” and real love – given to us by God.

Milton Wood, the tour guide of the Center told me more about the author of the painting and the relations that Ukraine and unique Christian communities had in the past:
So Ukrainians have to be grateful to Amish & Mennonite community in USA and especially in Ohio for that colorful explanation of our history. Because we do not want to be called a country with an unpredictable past!

Thank you, SUSI 2013 for that experience!

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