The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)

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Germans in the Soviet Union Write Their American Relatives (1925-1937)
  

"We'll Meet Again in Heaven: Germans in the Soviet Union
Write Their American Relatives: (1925-1937)"
By Ronald Julius Vossler
North Dacota State University Libraries
Fargo, ND 2001

 

Joshua Vossler, son of Ron Vossler, drew these haunting images in response to learning about the stories of starvation and of the letters written about the horrors of the terror-famine.

"At the heart of this book are two hundred letters, arranged in chronological order over a twelve-year period, and trans- lated from the original German into readable English. These letters were written by ethic German Ukrainians in the USSR (Ukraine) to their relatives in North and South Dakota.

"Ronald Vossler's new book is a valuable collection of primary source material ignored until now by most scholars.

"Spanning the years 1925-1937, events dealt with in these letters are collectivization, dekulakization, exile to labor settlements, and the murder famine (Holodomor) of 1932-1933.

"These letters are not comfortable to read. They depict some of the most horrible suffering inflicted upon one segment of mankind by another in world history. The brutality of the Soviet regime in collectivizing farms, deporting German Ukrainians labeled as 'kulaks" to freezing wastes and forcibly removing every stalk of grain from Ukraine is graphically depicted in these letters.

"The perspective of ethnic Ukrainians on the Holodomor and the events that preceded it has received significant attention from scholars in the last two decades. This book, however, is the first systematic attempt to show these events through the eyes of the large German minority that lived in Ukraine.

In 1932-1933, in the section of the book titled "Crucifixion by Hunger"--the period of Stalin's purposefully created "terror-famine"---letter-writers describe themselves as "swelling up from hunger," eating slaughtered pets, grass, or anything else to keep at bay "the terrible hunger-death which stands black in front of us."

 

That single event, the "terror-famine," according to a wide- range of sources cited by the author, was directly responsible for the deaths of at least six million people, and up to ten million or more, including at least a hundred and fifty thousand ethnic Germans who were living in Ukraine.

It remains one of the world's least known but also one of the worst human rights tragedy of the past century--all of which is chronicled firsthand by the letters in this volume.

"The volume as a whole provides a view of German life in the Soviet Union in the 1920's and 1930's. In doing so it also provides a powerful indictment of the Soviet system." (J. Otto Pohl) (Ronald Vossler)

http://www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/grhc/order/nd_sd/vossler2.html
A short review of the book and complete information on how the book can be ordered.

http://www.nd-humanities.org/html/vossler.html
Twenty-one page essay by Ron Vossler about the personal leters written from Ukraine to the USA and about the new book. Don't miss reading this essay.

http://www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/grhc/media/magazines/articles/vossler2.html
The magazine article. "Pilgrims In the Valley of Tears" by Ron Vossler in 2000. Article tells how Vossler got introduced to the letters and about the first leter that was shown to him by a relative.


"We'll Meet Again in Heaven: Germans in the Soviet Union
Write Their American Relatives: 1925-1937"
Ronald Julius Vossler
Published by the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
North Dakota State University Libraries
Fargo, ND, 2001, 268 pages, softcover


 

 
 

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