By Robert Conquest, Senior research fellow and scholar-curator
of the Russian and Commonwealth of Independent States Collection,
Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, California
Conference Sponsored by The Committee on Conscience,
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C., Nov 7, 1995
HOST LYDIA PERRY:
Tonight's program is the third of an eight part series: Genocide and Mass
Murder in the Twentieth Century, An Historical Perspective. Tonight's talk,
Ukraine 1933: The Terror Famine, will be addressed by Dr. Robert Conquest.
It is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Conquest, senior research fellow and
scholar-curator of the Russian CIS Collection at the Hoover Institution,
Stanford University. He has published works on Soviet history and
international affairs including The Harvest of Sorrow, Soviet
Collectivization of Agriculture, and The Terror Famine.
(Click on image to enlarge it)
He will discuss the Soviet man-made famine of 1932 to 1933 during which six
to seven million people perished as a result of what Andrei Sakharov called
Stalin's Ukrainiaphobia. He will take questions following the presentation.
SPEAKER ROBERT CONQUEST:
The Holocaust Museum is being very generous and deeply humane in offering
this series and the first thing to say, I think, is that the Jewish
Holocaust was indeed unique as the only serious attempt to actually destroy
an entire genetic or ethnic or religious group as done by the Nazis. But, of
course, there are other massacres and they are criminal and they can be
called 'genocide' depending on the definition.
There is a connection, an important one, between the Jewish and the
Ukrainian massacres and that is in the person of Vasily Grossman, the Jewish
Soviet author who was joint editor of the Soviet edition of the Black Book
on Nazi crimes which didn't appear in the Soviet Union and was suppressed as
being politically undesirable in the 1940's. It only came out a couple of
years ago in Russian in Moscow. Grossman, whose mother died in the Nazi
camps, was himself from Ukraine, a Jewish family in Berdichev, and his
account of the Terror Famine and the collectivization which preceded it in a
chapter in his book Forever Flowing, which is available in English in
America, is, I think, the most clear and moving that has ever been written.
He puts it in fictional form and I shall be quoting it several times.
Grossman would have been arrested in '53 if Stalin had lived another few
months. He was down for being purged in the antisemitic terror of that time.
And he died in the '60s, having written his master work, .Life and Fate,
about a later period, 1942 on, in which he directly compares the Nazi and
Communist systems and gives moving accounts from the Nazi camps and from
over the whole broad canvas of the war and the terrors in both countries.
He died believing that this book had been suppressed, that the KGB had got
the only copy, and he died rather miserably thinking perhaps both his books
but certainly his big one had fallen into the hands of the secret police and
would never be seen again. By a stroke of luck a microfilm copy was brought
out by the writer Voinovich and so it is available in the West. But it's sad
to think of his testimony to both Jewish and Ukrainian sufferings and that
he did not survive to see himself justified and I'd like to dedicate this
talk to his memory.
As Lydia Perry said, in the winter of 1932-1933, particularly in March '33,
some seven million people are estimated to have died. (We'll go into the
figures later. It's very difficult in all these genocidal cases to be
absolutely exact.) Of these 7 million-odd 85 percent about were Ukrainian
and almost all were peasants.
Now, how did this come about? To put it in its broadest form, the free
peasantry, the individual peasant, were always thought by the communists to
be incompatible with their idea of socialism. That goes right through the
communist experience. And the Ukrainian national feeling was felt by Stalin
to be incompatible in the long run with the unity of the Soviet Union. They
were both right.
The free peasantry was indeed incompatible with their idea of socialism and,
as you know, in the long run Ukrainian national feeling and other national
feelings were indeed incompatible with the unity of the then Soviet Union,
which is no longer, of course, a unity. Now, we want to deal separately to
some extent with the matter of the peasantry against which the regime from
the start was arrayed and of the Ukrainian nationality, which there was an
earlier attempt to make use of which we'll come to later.
Printed Postcard, Early 1940's Europe
There is a unity between the two points, however, in that Stalin wrote, as
the party's expert on nationalities before he came to power, that the
national question is in its essence a question of the peasantry. And in a
way he was quite right. If you read about Eastern European history, for
example, in Ann Applebaum's new book, you'll see how these new nationalities
arose in Eastern Europe on the basis of, first of all, some intellectuals
getting together with peasants who'd only thought of themselves as speaking
a language or a dialect or coming from a certain area, but were thus
gradually permeated by the "national" feeling based on the language they
were actually using.
I want to go into the Ukrainian aspect later and deal first of all very
briefly with the peasantry. The Bolsheviks started forming their impressions
of what Russia should be like in the 1890's before the Bolshevik party
formed and the early Leninists saw the peasantry as an individual class who
could be used against the bourgeoisie but who were in the long run
incompatible with socialism and you'll find a complete misunderstanding of
what peasant life was like, what peasant feeling was like in this single
word which Lenin and others more or less coined in the 1890s, "kulak." Now,
"kulak" in those days, as used by the peasants, meaning fist, did not mean
any peasant at all. It meant local moneylenders of whom there was one every
two or three villages, perhaps.
When peasants were told that rich peasants were kulaks they answered no,
they are just rich peasants. Lenin took this term of abuse and used it to
say there is a class struggle in the villages between the richer peasant and
the poor peasants. Of course, there was always minor friction between rich
and poor, but the rich peasants were not all that rich and they were often
the cousins of the poor peasants anyway.
But it became a dogma of the communists that in the countryside as well as
in the towns the class struggle could be inflamed. And when they came to
power in 1917-1918 they only had to legitimize the peasants' seizure of the
land from the 200,000-odd landlords. That increased the peasants' share of
the acreage to a very high proportion, around 90-something percent.
There were still about two million peasants who had an average of about
seventy acres. That's to say -- small landlords you might almost call them.
They were not regarded by the peasants themselves as landlords but they
could be branded as rich peasants. They were all removed by the communists
one way or another over 1917-18, 1919 at the latest.
The communists then, as you know, attempted, as Lenin put it, to bring in
socialism straight away by what he described as a method of forcible
requisition of the grain from the peasants to the amount needed for the
This didn't work for several reasons, as you can imagine, and it resulted in
peasant rebellion all over Russia, all over Ukraine, over the whole
territory. Moscow, as one favored historian put it, was surrounded by a ring
of peasant rebellion. We look at the Civil War, which was going on at the
same time. That was quite small stuff in comparison -- it was more crucial
in that if the White armies had captured Moscow that would have been a
political decision, but these White armies never amounted to even 100,000
men, whereas the peasant rebellions went into millions and lasted much
"Nobody Wanted to Die"
Poster by Chervotkyn, 1989
(Click on image to enlarge it)
It's still difficult to say how many people perished in those rebellions,
but there were five million fewer men than women in the census of 1926 and
if you leave out the two million who died in World War I that still leaves
the Civil War and the peasants rebellion's three million men.
The famine of 1921 that inevitably followed was another matter; men and
women died. It was the result of the requisitions, the faulty agricultural
policy of the Lenin government, but it wasn't actually done on purpose. It
was crazy but it hadn't got the mens rea of merely wishing to kill people.
It was simply due to the total ignorance of economics and agrarian matters
that marked the Communists. They thought they could get the product and they
couldn't and, of course, although five million died in this famine many
millions more were saved by American famine aid, which probably made a
difference by another five or six million, saved five or six million lives.
Well, when all these disasters struck, the communist regime was on the point
of disintegration marked particularly by the Kronstadt naval rebellion, in
which, as Trotsky said, "the middle peasants spoke to us with naval guns,"
and one of their demands was that the persecution of the countryside should
cease. And Lenin saw it was impossible to go on like this. Right almost to
the last he said any free trade in grain will mean bringing back the
bourgeoisie and the landlords. But he finally saw that if he didn't give way
on that the regime was bound to fall one way or another. And he brought in
the temporary New Economic Policy, which allowed free trade, reasonably
free, in grain.
The communist regime had retreated to lick its wounds but had retained power
and retained control over industry, and so far, had made a temporary halt in
the attempt to control the countryside.
Now, if we turn to the nationality side a fairly similar move took place at
this time. There were three attempts to impose Bolshevik rule on Ukraine. At
first there was Lenin's idea that Ukraine was not a separate nation. In fact
one of the leading secret police chiefs shot people in the streets of Kiev
for speaking Ukrainian. But by the third time it had become obvious to Lenin
and his whole group that it was necessary to make some sort of compromise.
The whole country was against the takeover and the only way of softening it
was to incorporate Ukrainian culture, to try and turn it into a socialist
version of Ukrainian culture.
Ukraine had had its own culture and its own church and everything until the
Russian annexation at the end of the 18th century, after which such
institutions were suppressed. The language was suppressed as a literary
form. You weren't allowed to print in Ukrainian by the last half of the
century, and it looked as though, and Lenin believed, that Ukrainian had
become simply a peasant dialect of Russian.
And then came this resurgence of the Ukrainian nation, pretty much
paralleling other resurgences which were taking place on the Balkans and
elsewhere, and by the time of the revolution the Ukrainian nation had
re-emerged. And Lenin and the Bolsheviks of the '20s were finally forced to
see this, and they thought, we can make peace with the Ukrainian nation on
the principle that they accept communist rule. And they even allowed members
of the old Ukrainian independent government, which had flourished in the
Civil War period, to come back and take places in new administration, which
was not done in Russia, for example. Of course, Ukraine regaining its
nationality did not prove an easy morsel.
So we approach 1929 on both fronts, as it were, with a certain element of
peace. A retreat had been made both as against the peasantry and as against
the nationalities. But in '29-'30 the questions rose again, first with the
peasantry, can the regime call itself socialist if we do not destroy or
reduce the last hostile class, the last class incompatible with the idea of
the socialist method?
Stalin and his party wanted to create a state in which everything is run by
the party: partly on socialist principles, partly, I think, just control for
its own sake. What they ended up with was control both of the individual and
of the crop, when they collectivized.
Collectivization in 1929-1931 had two aspects. First of all, there was the
dekulakization, the deportation not only from Ukraine but from the whole
Soviet Union of those who were now kulaks. By this time these were people
with three cows and twenty acres.
They were in no real sense an exploiting class. But they were denounced as
an exploiting class. They were denounced as Grossman says in terms of witch
hunting and demoniac possession, of hysteria that prevailed through the
party, partly, I think, because Stalin and the leadership felt that
collectivization could not be carried out unless the peasant leadership, the
strong men of the village, were crushed.
And the deportation of the "kulaks," which affected Ukraine more than most
other parts, was a very brutal act. We still don't know the figures on this
exactly but at any rate a minimum of five million were deported from their
homes and sent to the Arctic and some of them escaped and others died and
others survived for the time being. Well, naturally they were sent to places
which hadn't been farmed before because they weren't very farmable and the
deportees were stuck on the Tundra. They started dying by the tens of
This was an extremely brutal operation carried out by communists from the
towns called twenty-five thousanders who were sent to run the villages. I've
got a quotation from Grossman about the kulaks and about the atmosphere in
the villages at this time. He said, "They would threaten people, calling
small children kulak bastards, screaming blood suckers. They sold themselves
on the idea that the kulaks were pariahs, vermin. They wouldn't sit down at
a parasite's table. The kulak child was loathsome, the young kulak girl
lower than a louse. They looked on the kulaks as cattle, swine, loathsome,
repulsive. They had no soul. They stank. They all had venereal diseases.
They're enemies of the people. There was no pity for them. They're not human
beings. What were they -- vermin."
Grossman goes on to make the analogy with the Nazis and the Jews. He said,
"Who thought up the word 'kulak'? What torture was meted out to them? In
order to massacre them it was necessary to proclaim kulaks are not human
beings just as the Germans proclaim the Jews are not human beings; thus, did
Lenin and Stalin proclaim kulaks are not human beings."
That's Grossman's account of the feel in the villages at that time and, of
course, those who were deported were not only the more prosperous. There was
a category called sub-kulak under which anybody could be counted in as a
kulak and be deported.
Priests counted as exploiters on the grounds that they didn't work in the
field -- but the party officials who were doing the same sort of thing did
not count as exploiters. This was a huge part of the collectivization, which
as you know took place January 1930. By March 1930 a very high proportion,
in particularly in Ukraine and the south, had been collectivized. That is to
say the peasant had lost his land. He'd lost control of the crop. The crop
henceforth went into the barns which were under the control of the communist
appointee and watch towers were set up in the fields over the main grain
This didn't work. Within three months, according to figures published in
Stalin's time, 26,000,000 cows were slaughtered by the peasant rather than
let them be taken over by the state. The then commissar for agriculture,
Chernov, said that for once in their wretched lives the Russian peasantry
has eaten all the meat it wanted, a rather sour comment, and that applied to
sheep as well. This is something like 42 percent of the total cattle in the
Soviet Union and, as I said, that's the official figure at the time. It's
probably higher still.
The horses were not eaten but let go wild. Their hides were sold for leather
and so on and so on. And so by March 1930 the countryside was in a state of
total disaster and at this point they retreated to Moscow again. The
government allowed the collective farmers, the peasants, to leave. They
almost entirely left the collective farms, but over the next few years, the
next year in fact, different pressures were applied.
The peasants who had left the farms were not given their own land back. They
were given marshes and such. Taxes were put upon them. They were gradually
put under stronger pressure and more people who went into the cities were
forced back into the collective farms over a period of about a year and a
half. And, of course, many more of them were now discovered to have been
kulaks. There were two other waves of deportation to the North.
So that's the situation which faces us on the run-up, as it were, to the
famine. You may say, was there any resistance? The answer is yes, there were
many risings, a great deal of fighting, and there was a great deal of
resistance from within the communist party from the local level. They didn't
want to see their villages ruined. They were expelled in a big way.
There is now a lot more information coming out about the number of
rebellions which turns out to be a good deal higher than I suggested in my
book on the subject, and there were in addition these curious "women's
rebellions," where the women would go and prevent the communists carrying
out certain measures. It was very difficult to get Russian soldiers or
police to beat up women in those days. They learned how to later but those
days they still had remnants of bourgeois feeling.
But you also found not only the lower level party but some of the higher
level becoming much agitated by what they had to do. Isaac Deutscher, who
was traveling in the Ukraine at the time, was sitting next to a senior
secret police officer who broke down and said, "I was an old Bolshevik. I
fought in the Civil War but did I do that so that I could surround villages
with machine guns and shoot down peasantry? Oh, no, no, no," he cried, and
that was a feeling among much of the party. So the decent members of the
party were getting thrown out, usually purged later, and the others, not
unnaturally, became worse.
One of the stated aims of the collectivization was the destruction of
Ukrainian nationalism's social base, individual land holdings, and that was
one of the lessons Stalin took from the collectivization struggle, that he
was having a great deal of trouble in Ukraine and Kuban, the other side of
the Sea of Azov, which was also in those days Ukrainian-speaking, and to
some extent on the Don and the lower Volga.
Andrei Sakharov spoke of Stalin's Ukrainiaphobia and Khrushchev says the
same thing. Khrushchev says, you may remember, that after the second war
Stalin wanted to deport all the Ukrainians like he had the Chechens, but
there were just too many of them. I don't know why that should have
inhibited him but apparently it did.
So we come into 1932. And it shows how broad and ghastly some of these
things are, when just as a footnote, almost, to put in the Kazakh famine of
early '32. In fact more Kazakhs in proportion died than in any of the other
of these events, certainly a million, probably more like a million and a
This was again not a planned operation, not as far as we know intended to
kill these Kazakhs. They were nomads driving their herds and on purely
dogmatic, doctrinal grounds, Moscow tried to settle them down into villages,
agricultural villages. Well, in their area you can't carry out agriculture
and they were settled with nothing to eat, no way of growing anything, and
they died, as I say, by the million. And that was a piece of criminal lunacy
rather than a more planned effort: a thing one can only refer to in passing
in the midst of other events.
Then in late '32 you get the beginning of the terror-famine proper. The crop
was not good but it wasn't disastrous. Stalin transferred the highest
proportion of requisition to Ukraine and the Kuban, and the lower Volga, and
it's been estimated that if he had spread it levelly over the Soviet Union
there would have been enough crop to prevent any famine anywhere. They were
living in misery, of course, the peasantry everywhere, but there was not the
question of mass starvation until it was artificially imposed on Ukraine and
And in the middle of 1932 the Ukrainian Communist leadership said the plan
is impossible. And there was a great deal of negotiation. Everybody
complained, not only the Ukrainian leadership, the communist leadership, but
also the economists concerned and all the people on the actual farms. And
Stalin then said it is your duty. You are members of the parties. Do what
you are told.
And they went and proceeded to do what they were told. By October or
November the grain had all been gone. There wasn't any left. They'd asked
for more grain than existed. There was already starvation in
October-November and, again, there was some attempt to prevent the
implementation of the plans. Stalin then reinforced the secret police
service in the Ukraine, replaced many of the top party and police officials,
purged about half of the district party secretaries, and insisted on more
At this point you get these scenes in the villages where "brigades," as they
were called, would come around with probes on shafts of steel plunging them
into the floors of all the village houses and the roofs trying to find the
alleged hidden grain, the grain that had allegedly been stolen by the
peasantry. The argument was that the peasantry had the grain and that they
were activated by nationalism and by being kulaks into keeping it. By this
time there was no grain left.
This went on over the period until April or May. No food was left in the
villages at all and some whole districts were blockaded officially. It was
published. No help of any sort should go into them, no goods of any sort,
until they produced grain they didn't have. And meanwhile the rural
population starved and I don't want to labor the human side of it because I
think you all have some notion of these families dying one by one and
attempting to swarm away.
There is said to have been up to three million people on the move trying to
find better places. They were blockaded from going to the North. They
weren't allowed into Russia proper when there was more food. They weren't
allowed into the cities, where there was a little food. Some of them still
got through to Kiev and other cities and they could be seen crawling on the
roads dying with their babies in their arms and so on. Grossman says only
one in a thousand managed to get to Kiev and even there they "found no
salvation." This was a very horrible type of death. Grossman adds, "When
they couldn't get anything they'd crawl back to their houses and that means
that starvation has won."
He has some interesting things to say about other points. Every village had,
as in the Black Death, carts sent around for the dead every morning and
there were various attempts to get food. People in the Catholic villages,
and there weren't many of those, would dig up the bodies of their former
landlords and find rings on them, for example. There are hundreds of little
stories like that. And by about February all the cats and dogs had been
eaten and they were living on nettles and sorrel and things like that which
don't provide much nutriment.
There was cannibalism. This was partly cannibalism in families, partly
criminals kidnapping children, selling their bodies and so on. Again, I
don't want to go into the ghastly detail but merely to say what sort of
thing that was happening. But I can't forebear to read one of Grossman's
points where he is saying that it had very different effects on different
people. He says in the houses sometimes hatred would prevail, but sometimes
they remained loving. He said people noticed that when there was hate people
died more quickly, yet love, for that matter saved no one from later dying.
I wanted to go into the question of the figures. It's not very easy to get
the figures for the famine as such but it is fairly easy to get the figures
for the number who died prematurely between 1930 and 1937, that's to say
including the dead of the kulak deportations. And that is fairly easy
because we know the census taken in 1937 which was suppressed at the time,
and the census board shot as spies for allegedly reducing the population of
the Soviet Union.
They came to 162,000,000, for the whole Soviet Union, and it should have
been about 178 or 179. It was a deficit of about 15, 16 million according to
some Soviet scholars. That doesn't mean all deaths because it includes the
unborn. Naturally, there was a great falling off in the birth rate. When
people are starving they're not producing children, though there are certain
complications there because the Soviet method of counting births and deaths
was never very full and they weren't registering in the famine areas. They
didn't register between October 1932 until probably the spring of the next
year and the child who was born and died didn't count to have been born or
died so that adjusts the figures a bit.
Nevertheless, working on figures of other similar periods when the birth
rates went down for similar reasons we can probably reckon that about 4
million of this figure account for unborn children. So we come to a figure
of something like 11 million perished in between '30 and '37 in the villages
or in exile in the North or in the labor camps and so on.
The probability that 7 million of those were accounted for by the famine is
really due to deducting figures of the presumed deaths in the Kazakh region
and in the deportation regions at about 4 million so we get a probable
figure of 7 million. That's usually divided as 5 million in Ukraine, a
million in the Kuban, then also Ukraine even though at this time they
suppressed the Ukrainian language and turned the Ukrainian schools into
Russian schools in the Kuban. And another million elsewhere, mostly in the
lower Volga, which was also under similar pressures, not so great. Of these
7 million dead it is reckoned that about 3 million were children.
The other result of the famine and the collectivization was, as Bukharin, a
leading communist, put it, it resulted in a further brutalization of the
party. And as Pasternak put it, collectivization was a failure as well as a
mistake. To conceal the failure people had to be cured by every means of
terrorism of the habit of thinking and judging for themselves and forced to
see what did not exist, to assert the very opposite of what their eyes told
them, and hence, he says, the extreme viciousness of the terror of 1937-1939
Now, this suppression of the truth, I think, is the crucial point in what
led to what the Soviet Union ended up as for the last 50 years. There were
two Soviet Unions, the real one, wonderful figures, wonderful population,
wonderful production, happiness, workers waving banners, and the other one,
the misery and terror. And when you come to the famine it was actually
illegal to talk about it, to use the word "famine" or "starvation" even in
the famine areas. Anybody who said that was accused of spreading Hitler's
propaganda. People who were actually seeing people dying and said they're
starving, were arrested.
This was reported on the spot by Arthur Keestler in Kharkov at the time. A
blanket of silence was over the country. And of course, this also affected
the image aboard. Not only the Soviet press but Soviet diplomacy denied that
there was any famine at all. They didn't say that it was an accidental
famine. They said it hadn't happened. Some correspondents, Western
correspondents, gave very good reports. The truth was available. But others
were twisted or bribed and reported that there wasn't a famine or not much
of a famine. And there were denunciations of Western newspapers that did
report it, saying that they were trying to distract attention from the
misery of the workers in their own country and so on. And so, as George
Orwell said, some British intellectuals in England, for example, managed to
be unaware of "huge events like the Ukraine famine."
Some academics said I hadn't proved that Stalin was responsible. Well, we
knew that he'd been told about the famine. He'd been told there would be a
famine. He was told there was a famine by many of his leading figures and he
went on extracting the grain. But they say there's no proof that the state
was involved except indirectly.
Well, since I wrote there are several proofs. There's a document recently
published in Russia -- a top secret order to the secret police of the
Ukraine and Kuban on the one hand and the territories north of them on the
other, saying the police are to intercept any peasants that try to go north
for food. And in fact another document shows that over 200,000 peasants were
in fact arrested coming from Ukraine northwards. That's signed by Stalin and
Molotov. It shows clearly the state was involved directly in manipulating
The other thing is that we knew that at the time, though it's variously
estimated, but at least one and a half million tons of grain were exported
to the West to purchase various things. There was also a grain reserve kept
in theory in case of emergencies like war, certainly at least as much again.
You can work out for yourself that this would have saved the lives of
everybody who died over that period.
So we're still in the position of learning about these economically
disastrous, psychologically disastrous, and humanely disastrous events. I
think that these massacres all differ from each other. This is not the same
as the Holocaust. It's not the same as the Cambodian slaughter. It was done
in a more subtle way and one of the points that I think worth mentioning, as
I said, quite a number of non-Ukrainians died. A percentage of the deaths
were elsewhere and, of course, people in Ukraine who were not Ukrainians.
There were Jewish villages. There were Russian villages. They died, too.
So some argued that Stalin wasn't picking on Ukrainians if he killed some
Russians as well. That reminds me very much of the Doctor's Plot in
1952-1953, when, as you know, Stalin was launching his antisemitic terror
and people said oh, not all the doctors were Jewish. Perfectly true. He
arrested some gentile doctors as well. Stalin was a careful faker. He was
not someone who would make himself look responsible for anything and his
responsibility for the famine is now absolutely clear and I think accepted
by everybody except maybe there are some Stalinists who don't accept it -
though a really logical good Stalinist should, I suppose.
It shows how ruthless he was to obtain what he thought were his ends. And
this is the awful thought that the motivations of the people who carried out
these horrors are even more horrifying in some way than the actual physical
ROBERT CONQUEST BIO:
Robert Conquest is a senior research fellow and scholar-curator of the
Russian and Commonwealth of Independent States Collection at the Hoover
His awards and honors include the Jefferson Lectureship in the Humanities,
the federal government's highest distinction in the field, in 1993; the
Richard Weaver Award for Scholary Letters in 1999; and the Alexis de
Tocqueville Award, 1992.
His major scholarly concern has been with the nature of and relations
between despotic and consensual cultures.
He is the author of seventeen books on Soviet history, politics, and
international affairs, including the classic The Great Terror (Macmillan,
1968). Translations have appeared in more than twenty languages, including
Russian. Other works include the acclaimed Harvest of Sorrow (Oxford
University Press, 1986), which has also appeared in many translations.
Later books are Stalin and the Kirov Murder (Oxford University Press, 1988);
Tyrants and Typewriters (Lexington Books, 1989); The Great Terror: A
Reassessment (Oxford University Press, 1990); and Stalin: Breaker of Nations
(Viking, 1991). His most recent book, Reflections on a Ravaged Century (W.W.
Norton & Company, 1999), analyzes the disasters of our time and looks at
prospects before us.
Conquest has been literary editor of the London Spectator and is a fellow of
the Royal Society of Literature. He has brought out six volumes of poetry
and one of literary criticism, edited the seminal New Lines anthologies
(Macmillan, 1955-63), and published a verse translation of Aleksandr
Solzhenitsyn's epic Prussian Nights (Harvill Press, 1977). He has also
published a science fiction novel and is joint author, with Kingsley Amis,
of another novel. He received the American Academy of Arts and Letters 1997
Award for light verse.
Conquest is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a fellow of the
British Academy, an adjunct fellow of the Center for Strategic and
International Studies, Washington, D.C., and a research associate of Harvard
University's Ukrainian Research Institute. He is a member of the board of
the Institute for European Defense and Strategic Studies.
He is a fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and a member of the
Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies and the American Association for
the Advancement of Slavic Studies.
He has been a research fellow at the London School of Economics, fellow of
the Columbia University Russian Institute, fellow of the Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars, and distinguished visiting scholar at the
Heritage Foundation. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of
Books, the Times Literary Supplement, and other journals.
He served through World War II in the British infantry and thereafter in His
Majesty's Diplomatic Service, being awarded the Order of the British Empire.
In 1996 he was named a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.
Conquest was educated at Winchester College, the University of Grenoble, and
Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was an exhibitioner in modern history and
took his B.A. and M.A. in politics, philosophy, and economics and his D.
Litt. in Soviet history.
link: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford University
The Committee on Conscience, U.S. Holocaust Museum
Washington, D.C.; http://www.ushmm.org/conscience/ [Events, 1995]
FOR PERSONAL AND ACADEMIC USE ONLY