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ALEXANDER ILCHENKO


Date and Place of Birth: 1966 in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada

Date of Interview: October 8, 2015

Place of Interview: Toronto, Ontario

Interviewer: Sophia Isajiw

Length of Interview: 03:12:23 (raw)

Mother (Survivor): Olga Mucha, b. 1923 in Mushyna Hreblya, Novosanzharskyi district, Poltavska oblast, Ukraine




(Excerpt):


I: So how do you feel about Canadian authorities and the Canadian government? Do you trust them?


AI: Um, you know what? We’re in a marketplace of ideas and, like most things, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. We have I think probably now, for a variety of reasons, more political power and consciousness now than we’ve ever had before. Because we were kind of taken for granted. You know, we were given some multiculturalism money and you know, ‘well go off and be kind of culturally quaint for us now.’ Have your varennyki [traditional dumplings], have your cabbage rolls, have your танець [dance], be quaint for us. I think now there is a recognition that we have the ability to be ‘difference makers’ because if we have a national consciousness we can think about things in a way, and we have a uniting idea which is Україна [Ukraine]. Because before it was like: well they’re from Edmonton and they’re from Manitoba, they all have heritage language classes or whatever it’s called but really they’re sort of Canadian. If there is the belief that we have things that we want, and there’s things that we can deliver, then we can get the ability to have our issues looked at and if one of our issues is Україна [Ukraine], then maybe those issues are going to be looked at.





CROSS REFERENCES:


  1. Alexander’s mother, Olga Ilczenko / Mucha / Tkachenko, is interviewed in UCRDC Archive File #537 (audio) by interviewer Mykola Chaban

The interviews can be accessed at the UCRDC. Please contact us at: office@ucrdc.org

excerpt from the Interview with ALEXANDER ILCHENKO
CHILDREN OF HOLODOMOR SURVIVORS SPEAK