Ukrainian Famine, one of the worst tragedies of the last century of which the world is just beginning to learn

A system of internal passports prevented Ukrainians from leaving their towns and villages. Thus villagers were not able to cross the border and escape the torment by fleeing to other countries. When news of the Famine reached the Ukrainian Diaspora in the United States and Europe, food supplies were sent to Ukraine to assist the starving people. However all food shipments were denied at the border by Soviet authorities. Following the Soviet Union’s policy of denying any allegations having to do with the Famine, all outside assistance was refused. Even journalists were not allowed in Ukraine, because the Soviet government feared that the media would reveal the perpetrated crimes against the Ukrainian people. When an individual claimed that there was a famine in Ukraine they were considered to be spreading anti-Soviet propaganda. Even stating the words “famine” or “hunger” could cause someone to end up in jail.

All the grain taken from Ukrainian farmers were exported to European countries, and the money generated from these sales, were used to fuel Stalin’s Five Year Plan for the transformation of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union purchased many products and weapons from Western countries. Those western countries in return remained silent in regards to the starving Ukrainians. Grain that was not yet shipped out was reserved in granaries. While the animals that were needed for work on the farms were fed, the people were left to starve. The granaries were guarded to ensure no one would steal grain supplies. Anyone who attempted to do so was shot and killed.

Here is the web site about the famine in Ukraine

It is amazing to me that this is not better known. Nobody teaches it in schools. Nobody holds it up as an example of what can happen when political power is ambitious and absolute.

A lot of people did not, at the time, know about it. Part of that was due to the deceptions practiced by western media people who either sympathized with socialism or found it fed their ambitions and pocketbooks to report a lie. Possibly the worst example was Walter Duranty, a writer for the New York Times who not only whitewashed the famine and the whole Soviet system, but was actually awarded a Pulitzer Prize for it.

But the Ukranian famine was not the only mass starvation of its kind. Another occurred in the Volga region.

I wish to add this.

While Stalin was the demon behind the Ukranian famine, it is wrong to suppose that he was the only one. Lenin was every bit as murderous, though he died before the Ukranian famine. The Volga region famine was Lenin’s, not Stalin’s.

And Lenin is still honored in his temple/tomb in Moscow to this very day. It has seemed to me and to others that Russia will never exorcise itself of its historic demons or purge itself from these events until it buries Lenin in a secret place somewhere out in the taiga and destroys the tomb, replacing it with a memorial to his victims and those of the regime from start to finish.

But Russia is presently ruled by a former KGB colonel.

There is a book available on the subject of the Ukrainian famine.

Robert Conquest is the author.

The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine [Paperback]
Robert Conquest (Author)
4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

Agreed. I know it is not taught in public schools and it certainly wasn’t taught at the college I attended - although the instructors spent time trying to drill in Catholic = Nazi. Those were interesting discussions - nothing ticks a “professor” of more than the simple question “Where did you learn that crock?”

I had never heard of this. Thank you for the history lesson.

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You raise an interesting point here. Ukrainians formed a large part of Operation Barbarossa, Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union. It appears, then, that the Ukrainians were pro-Nazi until, that is, you place it in a wider historical perspective, when it can be seen as the only option available to attempt to throw off the Soviet dominance and the horrors they imposed.

One note, slightly off topic, Gen. George S. Patton hated Stalin as much as he hated Hilter and Patton would have gone after Stalin, if allowed. :knight1:

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Exactly so!! :thumbsup:

The Nazi’s hoped but didn’t plan on the Ukrainians rising up against the Soviet Union when they invaded. No uprising of any measure occurred. The Ukrainians found the German occupiers even more brutal and repressive than their former Soviet masters. The Ukrainians were a defeated people brutalized by both aggressors before during and after WW2.

I read this in my college days and it was (and is) beyond heartbreaking.

And Walter Duranty, I can only hope that you have asked for and received forgiveness for your wicked part in all of it.

I think it’s sad that this is just starting to get noticed. I know a lot of it is simply the fact that the soviets hushed it up, but still how could anyone not know? The Holodomor was such a terrible tragedy.

The press failed because this crime did not fit there image of the USSR as a workers paradise.

The Ukrainians initially welcomed the German armies with bread and salt. A significant number joined the German forces and SS, thinking the Germans were liberators. Of course, that was not Hitler’s intent, which the Ukrainians found out to their sorrow.

Regardless, the Soviet treatment of Ukraine was far worse than that of the Germans. Miles long columns of ordinary Ukrainians retreated with the Germans rather than live under Soviet rule again. As Solzhenitsyn put it (paraphrasing) “…never before in history had a population retreated with an occupying army rather than be liberated by their own countrymen…”

But most didn’t make it, and most who did were turned over to Stalin anyway. Solzhenitsyn chronicles the “Ukrainian wave” into the Gulags after WWII in his “Gulag Archipelago” trilogy. Ukrainian resistance to the Soviets didn’t end for several years after WWII. For a time, the resistance (which the Soviets called “Banderists” after one of their leaders) even had its own border crossings for refugees.

Ukraine has the largest army in Europe outside the Russian Republic, but it’s poorly equipped. In addition, the Soviets put many ethnic Russian “colonists” in Ukraine, who are there still, and are more loyal to Russia than they are to Ukraine. Ukraine’s position vis a vis Russia is still very precarious. At one time, Ukraine tried to join NATO for protection, but was turned down. That should not have happened.

Russia will again try to incorporate Ukraine into a reconstituted state. Guaranteed.

Exactly so. And the left doesn’t want to report it or teach about it to this very day lest people realize just how vicious and totalitarian leftism has been historically, and how base are the motivations of so many of its leaders.

This reminds me a lot of the Arminian genocide perpetrated by the Turks. Except for a small number who managed to escaped the Arminians were wiped from the face of the earth by the Turks and the Turks are still denying it.

The U.S. will not say a word because we need an ally in the Middle East.

Once again politics trumps morality.

The Turkish genocide was, indeed, genocide, and the Turks ought to admit it. But the Armenians were not really wiped from the face of the earth. Lots of Armenians in the U.S.; just about everybody whose name ends with “ian”, like the Kardashians, “Cher” Sarkesian, Ara Parsegian, lots of others. There are others whose names don’t end in “ian”, like Andre Agassi.

Some three million live in the independent state of Armenia, and there are lots of ethnic Armenians in the Russian Republic.

Still, since the Turks appear to have killed some one to one and a half million Armenians, the scope of the genocide was approximately as massive, relatively speaking, as was the Nazi genocide perpetrated on the Jews.

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