Child Victim of Famine
Holodomor Facts and History:
The following is a chronology of events that led to the “Holodomor”Holodomor: approximate pronunciation: huh luh duh more
The Holodomor refers most specifically to the brutal artificial famine imposed on the Ukrainian people in 1932-33 by Stalin’s regime.
In its broadest sense, it refers to the Ukrainian genocide that began in 1929 with the massive waves of deadly deportations of Ukraine’s prospering peasant farmers as well as the deportations and executions of Ukraine’s religious, academic and cultural leaders, culminating in the devastating forced famine that killed millions more innocent men, women and children.
The genocide in fact continued for several more years with the further destruction of Ukraine’s political leadership, the resettlement of Ukraine’s depopulated areas with other ethnic groups, the blatant public denial of famine, and the prosecution of those who dared to speak of it publicly.
The Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin take power in Russia.
The Soviet Union is formed with Ukraine becoming one of the republics.
After Lenin’s death, Joseph Stalin, one of the worst dictators in human history ascends to power.
Stalin introduces a program of agricultural collectivization that forces peasants/farmers to give up their private land and livestock, and join state owned, factory-like collective farms. Stalin decides that collective farms would not only feed the industrial workers in the cities but would also provide a substantial amount of grain to be sold abroad, with the money used to finance his industrialization plans.
A policy of enforcement is applied, using regular troops and secret police. Many Ukrainian peasants/farmers, known for their independence, still refuse to join the collective farms. Stalin decides to “liquidate them as a class” and accuses Ukrainians of “bourgeois nationalism.”
Hundreds of thousands are expropriated, dragged from their homes, packed into freight trains, and shipped to Siberia where they are left, often without food or shelter. In the end, 1,000,000 Ukrainian peasants are seized and more than 850,000 deported to the frozen tundras of Siberia, where many perished.
The Soviet government increases Ukraine's production quotas by 44%, ensuring that they could not be met. Starvation becomes widespread. Secret decrees are implemented that allow arrest or execution of any starving peasant found taking as little as a few stalks of wheat or a potato from the fields he worked. By decree, discriminatory voucher systems are implemented, and military blockades are erected around Ukrainian villages preventing the transport of food into the villages and the hungry from leaving in search of food. Brigades of young activists from other Soviet regions are brought in to confiscate hidden grain, and eventually all foodstuffs from the peasants’ homes. Stalin states of Ukraine that “the national question is in essence a rural question” and he and his henchmen determine to “teach a lesson through famine” and ultimately, to deal a “crushing blow” to the backbone of Ukraine, its rural population.
Ukrainians are dying at the rate of 25,000 a day, more than half were children. In the end, up to 10 million starve to death. Stalin denies to the world that there is any famine in Ukraine, and prevents international aid from entering the country.
Corpses of Famine Victims on the streets.
Uncovering the Truth:
“Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda. There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition.”
(as reported by the New York Times correspondent and Pulitzer-prize winner Walter Duranty)
Denial of the famine by Soviet authorities was echoed at the time of the famine by some prominent Western journalists, like Walter Duranty. It was the official policy of the Soviet Union to deny the existence of a famine and thus to refuse any outside assistance. Anyone claiming that there was in fact a famine was accused of spreading anti-Soviet propaganda. Inside the Soviet Union, a person could be arrested for even using the word ‘famine’ or ‘hunger’ or ‘starvation’ in a sentence.
Outside the Soviet Union, governments of the West adopted a passive attitude toward the famine, although most of them had become aware of the true suffering in Ukraine through confidential diplomatic channels.
In November 1933, the United States, under its new president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, even chose to formally recognized Stalin’s Communist government and also negotiated a sweeping new trade agreement. The following year, the pattern of denial in the West culminated with the admission of the Soviet Union into the League of Nations. Stalin’s Five Year Plan for the modernization of the Soviet Union depended largely on the purchase of massive amounts of manufactured goods and technology from Western nations. Those nations were unwilling to disrupt lucrative trade agreements with the Soviet Union in order to pursue the matter of the famine.
It was kept out of official history until 1991, when the country of 47 million finally won its independence.
Today it is recognized as genocide by less than two dozen countries out of 196. The famine is now the focus of books, exhibitions and documentaries marking the 75th anniversary of the tragedy.
Ukraine’s government is asking the United Nations to recognize the disaster as an act of genocide, worsening already frosty relations with Russia, which says the famine resulted from drought. Russian nationalists vandalized an exhibit at the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow in November. While the Russian government didn’t condone the attack, it called Ukraine’s depiction of the famine a “one-sided falsification of history.’’
In recent years then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko had ordered the release of old KGB records on the Famine. With this information it has become very apparent that this Famine was a deliberate act of Genocide, a method to ethnically cleanse Ukrainians from the territories of Ukraine and parts of Russia. At first only several thousand documents were released. Recently another batch of 25,000 documents is being declassified.
As more documents are released this event in Ukrainian history has taken on a very ominous tone. On November 28th 2006, the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament of Ukraine) had passed a decree defining the Holodomor as a deliberate Act of Genocide.