Stefan Romaniv, wfirst vice-president Ukrainian World Congress

26 June 2024

Unexpected and shocking news – on June 26, Stefan Romaniv, first vice-president of the Ukrainian World Congress and head of the International Coordination Committee of the UWC in the case of the Holodomor, passed away. He was 68 years old.

He was born into a family with a Ukrainian father from Ternopil and a German mother from Stuttgart. Even though he lived all his life far from Ukraine, in Melbourne, Australia, he attended a Ukrainian Greek-Catholic church and Ukrainian school since he was a child. Communication in the family and the circle of the Ukrainian community finally formed his identity, and the work of serving Ukraine became the work of his whole life. For ten years – from 2008 to 2018 – Stefan Romaniv was the Secretary General of the Ukrainian World Congress, and from 2018 he was elected the first deputy president of the UWC, was a member of the Board of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (Banderivites), was a member of and headed various Ukrainian communities and organisations. That is, all his conscious life he was concerned with the affairs of Ukrainians and Ukraine, his second Motherland.

He passed away, worrying for its fate: his bright soul flew into eternity in Warsaw, where Stefan Romaniv was on Ukrainian affairs. A few days before that he had been to Lithuania to participate in the World Congress of the Anti-Imperial Block of Peoples.

Stefan Romaniv was a good friend of our museum. Every time he came to Kyiv, he visited the Holodomor Museum (the last time – on Remembrance Day in November of last year), sincerely cheered for its development and worried about the completion of the second phase of the memorial complex.

As the head of the International Coordination Committee of the UWC in the case of the Holodomor, he made efforts to recognise the Holodomor as an act of genocide in the world. “We always talk about the fact that we should learn from history. Why was the Nuremberg Tribunal held after World War II? After all, it was also possible to say: Hitler was bad, Nazism is bad, their actions are terrible, we understand this and live on. But people want to record such crimes in history. And secondly, to call the criminal system to account. Before a million dead, it is our duty to bring it to an end,” he emphasised the importance of recognising and condemning the crimes of communism in an interview with the Censor.NET publication.

Today we lost an outstanding Ukrainian whose powerful and authoritative voice always supported our state. We are deeply saddened by this loss. We express our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr Stefan.

May his soul rest in peace!