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
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
No. 44 November 30 1999, The Day