The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)


Prof. James Mace, Consultant to The Day
The Day, Kyiv, Ukraine
November 30, 1999


Saturday was Ukraine's day of remembrance of the manmade famine of 1932-1933. What basically happened was this: Stalin clearly wanted to centralize as much power as possible in his own hands, and the relatively autonomous Ukrainian SSR of that time did not suit him at all.

Consequently when, in 1932 it became obvious that the Ukrainian countryside would not be able to provide the amount of grain demanded from it, he insisted the local authorities do so at any price.

At the end of October USSR Prime Minister Molotov took direct control of the grain seizures in Ukraine and on November 18 forced a resolution through the Ukrainian Central Committee that punished peasants without bread with a series of "fines in kind."

In other words, if there was no bread, then the potatoes, beans, livestock, and whatever else was edible could be (and was) seized.

On December 6, villages (within a week 82 whole districts) were blacklisted, that is, blockaded, the stores closed, and all goods carried away.

On December 14, the All-Union Politburo found that the reason the quotas had not been met was because "nationalist" saboteurs had wormed their way into the Party, and the earlier policies favoring Ukrainian culture were halted. A week later even the seed grain was seized.

Finally, on January 24, 1933, Stalin sent to Ukraine a new satrap, Pavel Postyshev, along with "tens of thousands more reliable comrades," who broke Ukrainian Communist self-assertion and began a reign of terror over the Ukrainian intelligentsia.

The precise number of millions who starved to death is a matter of conjecture. Yet one cannot but be amazed that a nation living through such agony would give 37% of their votes to the party that did this to their forebears. Is over a third of an entire country suffering historical amnesia?

No. 44 November 30 1999, The Day