Marsha Skrypuch's Interest in the Topic
(June 16, 2013)
Marsha Skrypuch here, author of three novels set during the Armenian Genocide (The Hunger, Nobody's Child, Daughter of War), two chapter books about the Georgetown Boys (Aram's Choice and Call Me Aram) as well as author of two books set during the internment of Ukrainians in WWI (Silver Threads, Prisoners in the Promised Land).
My own Ukrainian grandfather was interned as an enemy alien in WWI and this topic is of deep interest to me.
I am in the midst of writing a novel about the Kapuskasing internees.
My novel will clearly show who actually was interned and why their relationship to the Armenians of Brantford was so close.
I take exception to the slam on the Ukrainian Canadian community. Those who ask for tolerance should also demonstrate it. Shed light, not heat.
Clarification and Friendship
(Marsha Skrypuch, June 30, 2013)
The person buried in 1912 in Brantford's Mount Hope was listed in the local newspaper of the time as "Ahemed Osmon". Since he died in 1912, he certainly wasn't interned in 1914. So who this particular sojourner was isn't the point. One person buried in Kapuskasing was Alex Hassan--from the Ottoman Empire but definitely not a Turkish name.
I would urge you to encourage members of interned groups to offer their services to the endowment board. There is still a vacancy. Other reps don't appoint. That's not the way a government-mandated board works. The reason there are many Ukrainians on the board is because most of the people interned were Ukrainian. Out of 8,000 interned, more than 5,000 were Ukrainian. There were fewer than 200 Ottoman citizens interned.
I am relieved that the "pet project" was not the Holodomor. Of all the injustices I've written about, I've only received hate mail and death threats for writing about one--the Holodomor. The Holodomor denial machine is alive and well, alas. I have never received death threats or hate mail for writing about the Armenian Genocide, although my books have been "challenged" by Turkish groups-- i.e. a legal process to have them pulled from schools. The challenges were not successful.
Ukrainians and Armenians should be working together for recognition of their eerily parallel histories. Please know that I am a true friend of the Armenian community.