The Journal of HistoryFall 2010TABLE OF CONTENTS


The Foreign Office and the Famine: British Documents on Ukraine and the Great Famine of 1932-1933

By Marco Carynnyk, Lubomyr Y. Luciuk, Bohdan S. Kordan, and the Limestone Press

Addendum to the minutes of Politburo [meeting] No. 93.


In view of the shameful collapse of grain collection in the more remote regions of Ukraine, the Council of People's Commissars and the Central Committee call upon the oblast executive committees and the oblast [party] committees as well as the raion executive committees and the raion [party] committees:  to break up the sabotage of grain collection, which has been organized by kulak and counterrevolutionary elements; to liquidate the resistance of some of the rural communists, who in fact have become the leaders of the sabotage; to eliminate the passivity and complacency toward the saboteurs, incompatible with being a party member; and to ensure, with maximum speed, full, and absolute compliance with the plan for grain collection.

The Council of People's Commissars and the Central Committee resolve:

To place the following villages on the black list for overt disruption of the grain collection plan and for malicious sabotage, organized by kulak and counterrevolutionary elements:

     1. village of Verbka in Pavlograd raion, Dnepropetrovsk oblast.


     5. village of Sviatotroitskoe in Troitsk raion, Odessa oblast.

     6. village of Peski in Bashtan raion, Odessa oblast.

     The following measures should be undertaken with respect to these villages :

1.      Immediate cessation of delivery of goods, complete suspension of cooperative and state trade in the villages, and removal of all available goods from cooperative and state stores.

2.      Full prohibition of collective farm trade for both collective farms

3.      and collective farmers, and for private farmers.

4.      Cessation of any sort of credit and demand for early repayment

5.      of credit and other financial obligations.

6.      Investigation and purge of all sorts of foreign and hostile elements

7.       from cooperative and state institutions, to be carried out by

8.      organs of the Workers and Peasants Inspectorate.

9.      Investigation and purge of collective farms in these villages,

10.    with removal of counterrevolutionary elements and organizers of

11.    grain collection disruption.

The Council of People's Commissars and the Central Committee call upon all collective and private farmers who are honest and dedicated to Soviet rule to organize all their efforts for a merciless struggle against kulaks and their accomplices in order to:  defeat in their villages the kulak sabotage of grain collection; fulfill honestly and conscientiously their grain collection obligations to the Soviet authorities; and strengthen collective farms.




6 December 1932.

In 1932-33  MILLIONS of Ukrainians died in the Largest Genocide-Famine of the 20th century. This Famine was ‘not’ caused by a natural calamity such as drought or epidemic or pestilence. It was ‘not’ the result of devastation or privation caused by a cataclysmic event such as war.

The Famine in Ukraine was engineered, orchestrated, and directed from the Kremlin. It was implemented by Stalin and his Bolshevik-Marxist Esau-Edomite & Khazar mixed Jewish-Comrades in order to complete Ukraine's subjugation to Moscow.

Editor's note: Stalin was a Jew. See

Starvation became the tool and the Ukrainian farmers became the main victims. (Although there were some Polish, Galician, Lithuanians, Russian-peasants, etc., totaling about 3.5 - 5 million of these people also).  

This Evil Genocide had a double motive. “First,” it was necessary to destroy the Ukrainian farmers because they formed 80 per cent of the Republic's population and were, therefore, the backbone of the intelligentsia-led national revival. “Second,” the Ukrainian farmers stood in the way of the unbridled exploitation of agriculture which the regime intended to carry out for the sake of rapid industrialization.

"The nationality problem is by its essence a farmer problem," Stalin wrote.

Arrests, show trials, executions, and deportations to Siberian Gulags/Prisons destroyed the Ukrainian intelligentsia, while the Ukrainian "kurkuli" or successful farmers were dispossessed and deported in cattle cars to Russia. Having thus eliminated the country's national and social elites, the Bolshevik-regime could now more easily force the leaderless farmer masses into the collective farms.

Collectivization was largely completed in Soviet Ukraine by the time the Famine began to be implemented. In 1932 there was enough grain harvested to adequately feed the population. However, Moscow imposed Draconian grain quotas on Ukraine which resulted in genocide.

Zealous Communist League members and armed troops were dispatched into Ukraine from Russia to guard the fields and warehouses. The troops entered every household, tore up floorboards in their search for buried grain, and confiscated whatever foodstuffs they came across. Resisting farmers were arrested and shot or exiled to Siberia. Theft of food and the farmer's lands, now became Socialist State property, warranted a minimum of five years of imprisonment, or just as often, execution. Anyone caught picking up a few stalks of wheat risked being executed on the spot. The regime even went so far as to forbid people from naming the cause from which they were dying.

The word "holod" (famine or hunger) was decreed a "counter-revolutionary rumor."

In December of 1932 the internal passport system was introduced and the Ukrainian-Russian border was sealed to prevent Ukrainians from escaping the genocidal famine.

"Food is a weapon," said Maxim Litvinov, the Bolshevik-Soviet Edomite/Khazar Jewish Commissar of Foreign Affairs.

The breadbasket of Europe became one vast graveyard.

As Victor Kravchenko, a former Soviet trade official put it, "on the battlefield men die quickly, they fight back, they are sustained by fellowship and a sense of duty." In Bolshevik-Soviet Ukraine, he observed, people were "dying in solitude by slow degrees, dying hideously .... trapped and left to starve, each in his home, by a political decision made in a far-off capital around conference and banquet tables... The most terrifying sights were the little children with skeleton limbs dangling from balloon-like abdomens. Starvation had wiped every trace of youth from their faces, turning them into tortured gargoyles... Everywhere we found men and women lying prone, their faces and bellies bloated, their eyes utterly expressionless."

Untold suffering and agony prevailed, along with typhus and scurvy. Corpses piled up grotesquely next to streets, roadways, and fields, for the living no longer had the strength to bury the dead.

While the Famine was raging, Stalin was exporting Ukrainian grain to the West. When international relief organizations offered to assist the starving, the offer was rejected by the Bolshevik Edomite/Khazar Soviet Government on the grounds that there was no famine in Ukraine and hence no need to aid its victims!

Editor's note: Does this rejection remind you of another rejection that has been exposed in this very edition? Yes. The rejection of the invention by Branko Babic for the Gulf of Mexico oil explosion.

Many Jewish reporters in the West, particularly those who supported the Communist line and put their hopes in the Soviet Utopia, gladly accepted this Soviet disinformation and the reports of mass starvation were dismissed as scare stories. In 1932 it was counter for Western politics to acknowledge this Genocide, since negotiations were underway to accept the Soviet Union into the League of Nations.

Numerous historians and commentators have called this Famine-Genocide an unprecedented tragedy in modern history.

Even today, the Famine-Genocide remains one of the least understood events of this century; it has almost totally disappeared from the public consciousness. The victims deserve a place in history and in our memory. Canada became home to many famine survivors after the Second World War, and although this generation is passing away, their children still carry the memory of their parents' nightmare.

Awareness of this tragedy must not be limited to the Ukrainian community; the Famine Victims deserve to be REMEMBERED and to be Honored, along with victims of other Genocides, in a Canadian Museum of Genocide.

Famine-Genocide Commemorative Committee
Ukrainian Canadian Congress
Toronto Branch
© November 2002


British Diplomatic Reports on the Ukrainian Famine

Document #22 (5 March 1933): Correspondents forbidden to visit Ukraine

Conditions in Kuban have been described to me by recent English visitors as appalling and as resembling an armed camp in a desert - no work, no grain, no cattle, no draught horses, only idle peasants or soldiers. Another correspondent who had visited Kuban was strongly dissuaded from visiting Ukraine where conditions are apparently as bad although apathy is greater. In fact all correspondents have now been "advised" by the press department of Commissariat for Foreign Affairs to remain in Moscow.

N.B. The description of the conditions then prevailing in the Kuban Territory also applied to Ukraine. At the time of the Famine, the majority of the inhabitants of Kuban were ethnic Ukrainians.

Document #26 (9 April 1933): Letters from Ukraine on the famine

4. Letters have been addressed to the Embassy begging for England's help against the present regime. One of these, from Ukraine, states that the Communist administration has ruined the working people and has reduced them to starvation, barbarity, and even cannibalism. After the words "England, save us who are dying of hunger; help us to get rid of the EVIL Bolsheviks," the letter is signed by "The Committee of One Hundred," and a postscript adds: "Oh, Mr. Ambassador! We cannot express in a letter all our misery; we are being forced to cannibalism by our Workers' Government of Desperates; save us!"

8. Reports indicate that nowhere is the situation worse than in Ukraine, where the only hope of the desperate population seems to lie in the rumour of a contemplated annexationist coup on the part of Poland.

Document #50 (September 26, 1933): Walter Duranty of the New York Times on the Famine in North Caucasus and Ukraine.

Walter Duranty, the Moscow correspondent of the New York Times, returned to Moscow a few days ago after a ten day trip in the North Caucasus and Ukraine in company with Mr. Richardson of the Associated Press. Mr. Duranty has given to a member of my staff the following account of the impressions gathered during his trip...

5. According to Mr. Duranty, the population of the North Caucasus and the Lower Volga has decreased in the past year by 3 million, and the population of Ukraine by 4-5 million...

7. From Rostov Mr. Duranty went to Kharkov, and on the way he noticed that large quantities of grain were in evidence at the railway stations, of which a large portion was lying in the open air. Conditions in Kharkov were worse than in Rostov. There was less to eat, and the people had evidently been on very short commons. There was a dearth of cattle and poultry. Supervision over visitors was also stricter in Kharkov. During the year the death rate in Kharkov was, he thought, not more than 10 per cent above the normal. Numerous peasants, however, who had come into the town had died off like flies...

10. ...Ukraine had been bled white...

12. At Kharkov Mr. Duranty saw the Polish consul, who told him the following story: “A Communist friend employed in the Control Commission was surprised at not getting reports from a certain locality. He went out to see for himself, and on arrival he found the village completely deserted. Most of the houses were standing empty, while others contained only corpses. The consul also mentioned that during the early part of the spring, stones were thrown at any car passing through a village, it being supposed that any such car must be an official one...."

13. Mr. Duranty thinks it quite possible that as many as 10 to 12 million people may have died directly or indirectly from lack of food in the Soviet Union during the past year....

Star reporter for the New York Times, Walter Duranty, conveyed the information contained in document #50 to a British diplomat off the record. Officially he wrote the following: "And here are the facts... there is no actual starvation or death from starvation, but there is widespread mortality from disease due to malnutrition... These conditions are bad but there is no famine." New York Times, 31 March 1933, p.13.

For his reporting from the Soviet Union, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.  As yet, it has not been revoked.

1. Censuses

In late 1932 - precisely when the genocidal famine struck - the Central Statistical Bureau in Moscow ceased to publish demographic data.

The 1937 census was given top priority. The census director, I. Kravel, was awarded the Order of Lenin for his meticulous work. After the results of the 1937 census were submitted to the Government, the census was declared "subversive," its materials destroyed and the top census officials were shot for not finding enough people.

2. Harvest and Climatic Conditions

The "natural disaster" excuse to cover up the 1933 Famine-Genocide does not hold water. It was not caused by some natural calamity or crop failure:

   1. The 1931 harvest was 18.3 million tons of grain.
2. The 1932 harvest was 14.6 million tons of grain.
3. The 1933 harvest was 22.3 million tons of grain.
4. The 1934 harvest was 12.3 million tons of grain.

In 1934 during the poorest harvest - a mere 12.3 - there was no massive famine because Stalin reduced the grain requisition quotas and even released grain from existing "state stockpiles" to feed the population.

The highest death rates were in the grain growing provinces of Poltava, Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad, and Odessa: usually 20-25 per cent, although higher in many villages.

3. Laws and Decrees

The 7 August 1932 law drafted by Joseph Stalin on the protection of the socialist property stipulated the death penalty for "theft of socialist property." Ukrainian villagers were executed by firing squads for theft of a sack of wheat and in some cases even for two sheaves of corn or a husk of grain.

The 6 December 1932 decree stipulated a complete blockade of villages for allegedly sabotaging the grain procurement campaign - de facto sentencing their Ukrainian inhabitants to execution by starvation.

An unpublished decree signed by Molotov encouraged Russian peasants to settle into the empty or half-empty villages of "the free lands of Ukraine" [and North Caucasus also inhabited by Ukrainians and likewise devastated by the famine].

4. Means of Implementing Forced Collectivization and Draconian Grain Requisition Quotas

    * The All-Union Peoples Commissariat of Agriculture in Moscow initially mobilized some of its most reliable ‘25-thousanders' -Party members, majority of them Russians - and sent them to Ukraine to organize collective farms.
* Further ‘thousanders,' the army, the secret police [GPU], the militia and armed brigades were sent into Ukrainian villages to force the farmers into collective farms and to supervise the Draconian grain expropriation and eventually the entire output of butter, corn, sugar beet, etc.
* Local granaries in Ukraine held large stockpiles of ‘state reserves' for emergencies, such as war, but the raging famine did not qualify as an emergency.

5. Geography of the Famine

    * The 1933 Famine-Genocide was geographically focused for political ends. It stopped precisely at the Ukrainian-Russian ethnographic border.
* The borders of Ukraine were strictly patrolled by the military to prevent starving Ukrainians from crossing into Russia in search of bread.
* For example: The Kharkiv Province on the Ukrainian side was devastated while the contiguous Belgorod Province on the Russian side with similar climatic conditions and demographic profiles showed no evidence of starvation or any unusual mortality.
* Armed GPU officers were also stationed to prevent starving Ukrainians from entering the zone near the Polish and Romanian borders. Those who tried to cross the Dnister River into Romania were shot.

6. Exports

The Soviet regime dumped 1.7 million tons of grain on the Western markets at the height of the Famine. It exported nearly a quarter of a ton of grain for every Ukrainian who starved to death.

7. Victims and Losses

    * At the height of the Famine Ukrainian villagers were dying at the rate of 25,000 per day or 1,000 per hour or 17 per minute.
* By comparison the Allied soldiers died at the rate of 6,000 per day during the Battle of Verdun.
* Among the children one in three perished as a consequence of collectivization and the famine.
* According to dissident Soviet demographer M. Maksudov, "no fewer than three million children born between 1932-1933 died of hunger."
* 80 per cent of Ukrainian intellectuals were liquidated because they refused to collaborate in the extermination of their countrymen.
* Out of about 240 Ukrainian authors, 200 were liquidated or disappeared. Out of about 84 linguists 62 perished.
* The Ukrainian population may have been reduced by as much as 25 per cent. 

8. Western Press Coverage

    * Foreign correspondents were "advised" by the press department of the Soviet Commissariat for Foreign Affairs to remain in Moscow and were de facto barred from visiting Ukraine.
* Not a single Western newspaper or press agency protested publicly against the unprecedented confining of its correspondents in Moscow or bothered to investigate the reason for this extraordinary measure.
* The majority of reporters feared losing their journalistic privileges and toed the line.
* The only correspondents permitted into Ukraine were the likes of Walter Duranty of the New York Times who reported that there was no famine except for some "partial crop failures."
* Star reporter Walter Duranty of the New York Times set the tone for most of the Western press coverage with authoritative denials of starvation and referred to the Famine as the "alleged ‘man-made' famine of 1933."
* However, according to British Diplomatic Reports, Duranty off the record, conceded that "as many as 10 million" may have perished.
* For his reporting Walter Duranty received the Pulitzer Prize for journalism. To this date the New York Times refuses to revoke the prize and still lists Duranty among its Pulitzer winners.

A number of intrepid reporters, such as William Henry Chamberlin, Harry Lang, Malcolm Muggeridge, and Thomas Walker ignored the ban and reported on the Famine, substantiating their reports with photographs.

9. Collusion by Western Governments

Available archival evidence (such as reports sent in diplomatic pouches as well as coverage on the press by a few honest and courageous reporters who managed to penetrate into starving Ukraine) indicates that several Western governments (especially Great Britain, Canada, and the United States) were well informed about the Famine-Genocide in Ukraine but chose to adopt a policy on non-interference in the internal affairs of a foreign sovereign state. Ironically, the United States recognized the Soviet Union in November, 1933.

Offers to aid the starving by numerous charitable organizations such as the International Red Cross, Save the Children Fund, the Vienna-based Interconfessional Relief Council, and Ukrainian organizations in the West and Western Ukraine (occupied by Poland) were discouraged or blocked by their Governments.

10. Findings and Conclusions

The U.S. Congress 1988 Commission on the Ukraine famine in its "Investigation of the Ukraine Famine of 1932-1933" concluded that: JOSEPH STALIN AND THOSE AROUND HIM COMMITTED GENOCIDE AGAINST UKRAINIANS IN 1932-1933.

Sources consulted:

Conquest, Robert

The Harvest of Sorrow. Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1986.

Dolot, Miron

Execution by Hunger: The Hidden Holocaust. New York: W. W. Norton, 1985.

Famine in Ukraine 1932-1933 Edited by Roman Serbyn and Bohdan Kravchenko. Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1986.

Quotes About the 1933 Famine-Genocide in Soviet-Occupied Ukraine

"Food is a weapon."
Maxim Litvinov - Soviet Commissar of Foreign Affairs

"As many as 7+ million Ukrainians were starved in Soviet Socialist dictator Joseph Stalin's artificial, forced famine in Ukraine in 1932 and 1933. This is approximately the total population of Manitoba, Newfoundland, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island." Inky Mark, M. P. Dauphin - Swan River House of Commons 2 June 1998

Sir Winston Churchill to Joseph Stalin:
"... Have the stresses of the war been as bad to you personally as carrying through the policy of the Collective Farms?"

"Oh, no, the Collective Farm policy was a terrible struggle... Ten million [he said, holding up his hands]. It was fearful. Four years it lasted. It was absolutely necessary..." Winston Churchill, Memoirs of the Second World War. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1959 p. 633

"...A famine that came about without drought and without war." Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

"This was the first instance of a peacetime genocide in history. It took the extraordinary form of an artificial famine deliberately created by the ruling powers. The savage combination of words for the designation of a crime - an artificial deliberately planned famine - is still incredible to many people throughout the world, but indicates the uniqueness of the tragedy of 1933, which is unparalleled, for a time of peace, in the number of victims it claimed.' Wasyl Hryshko - Survivor The Ukrainian Holocaust, 1933

"Moscow employed the famine as a political weapon against the Ukrainians in the years 1932-1933. The famine was in its entirety artificially induced and organized."
F. M. Pigido - (an economist who lived and worked in Ukraine during the Famine of 1932-1933) Investigation of Communist Takeover and Occupation of the Non-Russian Nations of the U.S.S.R. p. 35

"I can't give an exact figure because no one was keeping count. All we knew was that people were dying in enormous numbers." Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev

"Farmers present by themselves the basic force of the national movement. Without farmers there can be no strong national movement. This is what we mean when we say that the nationalist question is, actually, the farmers' question." Joseph Stalin, Marxist and the National-Colonial Question

"Famine was quite deliberately employed as an instrument of national policy, as the last means of breaking the resistance of the peasantry to the new system where they are divorced from personal ownership of the land and obligated to work on the conditions which the state may demand from them... This famine may fairly be called political because it was not the result of any overwhelming natural catastrophe or such complete exhaustions of the country's resources in foreign and civil wars..." William Henry Chamberlin - (Correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor), Russia's Iron Age p.82

"... [Our reporting] served Moscow's purpose of smearing the facts out of recognition and declaring a situation which, had we reported simply and clearly, might have worked up enough public opinion abroad to force remedial measures. And every correspondent each in his own measure, was guilty of collaborating in this monstrous hoax on the world." Eugene Lyons - (Moscow United Press correspondent from 1928 to 1934) Assignment in Utopia pp. 572-573

"... On one side, millions of starving peasants, their bodies often swollen from lack of food; on the other, soldiers, members of the GPU carrying out the instructions of the dictatorship of the proletariat. They had gone over the country like a swarm of locusts and taken away everything edible; they had shot or exiled thousands of peasants, sometimes whole villages; they had reduced some of the most fertile land in the world to a melancholy desert." Malcolm Muggeridge - British foreign correspondent, "War on the Peasants," Fortnightly Review, 1 May, 1933

" I saw ravages of the famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine - hordes of families in rags begging at the railway stations, the women lifting up to the compartment windows their starving brats, which, with drumstick limbs, big cadaverous heads and puffed bellies, looked like embryos out of alcohol bottles." Arthur Koestler, The God That Failed p. 68

"The child of a Ukrainian kulak deliberately starved to death by the Stalinist regime is worth no less than a Jewish child in the Warsaw ghetto starved to death by the Nazi regime." Courtois, Stéphane. Le livre noir du communisme: Crimes, terreur et répression.

Editor's note: The only reason any Jews died in incarceration under the Nazis, was because the Jewish leaders of the Allied nations cut off the supply lines with their bombing. Churchill and Roosevelt were both Jews. And so was Truman for that matter.

"And the peasant children! Have you ever seen the newspaper photographs of the children in the German camps? They were just like that, their heads like heavy balls on thin little necks, like storks, and one could see each bone of their arms and legs protruding from beneath the skin, how bones joined, and the entire skeleton was stretched over with skin that was like yellow gauze. And the children's faces were aged, tormented, just as if they were seventy years old. And by the spring they no longer had faces at all. Instead, they had bird-like heads with beaks, or frog heads - thin, wide lips - some of them resembled fish, mouths open. Not human faces!" Vasily Grossman Forever Flowing pp. 156- 157

"Anger lashed my mind as I drove back to the village. Butter sent abroad in the midst of the famine! In London, Berlin, and Paris I could see ... people eating butter stamped with a Soviet trade mark. Driving through the fields, I did not hear the lovely Ukrainian songs so dear to my heart. These people have forgotten how to sing! I could only hear the groans of the dying, and the lip-smacking of the fat foreigners enjoying our butter..." Victor Kravchenko - Former Soviet trade official and defector, I Chose Freedom

" Huge events like the Ukraine famine of 1933, involving the deaths of millions of people, have actually escaped the attention of the majority of English russophiles."
George Orwell - Commenting on the British attitude towards the Russians

"Yet it is well to remember, as Robert Conquest's powerful book obliges us to do, that the forced collectivization of agriculture decreed by the Soviet master and his party likely cost the lives of more people than perished in all countries as a result of the First World War." Prof. Michael Marrus - Review of Robert Conquest's The Harvest of Sorrow : Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine. Globe and Mail December 20, 1986

"Almost single-handedly did Duranty aid and abet one of the world's most prolific mass murderers, knowing all the while what was going on but refraining from saying precisely what he knew to be true. He had swallowed the ends-justifies-the-means-argument hook, line, and sinker. When Stalin's atrocities were brought to light, Duranty loved to repeat ‘you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.' Those few "eggs" were the heads of men, women, and children, and those "few" were merely tens of millions." Mark Y. Herring - Review of S. J. Taylor's Stalin's Apologist: Walter Duranty, the New York Times Man in Moscow, "Contra Mundum" No. 15

"Imagine the Titanic sinking every day for thirteen years! Such were the losses from the 1933 Famine Genocide in Soviet Ukraine." [based on the minimum seven million, now we know it was actually more like Ten Million.] Melanie Bobrowski interviewed on CITY TV, Toronto, Oct. 4, 1998

Findings of the Commission on the Ukraine Famine

Based on testimony heard and staff research, the Commission on the Ukraine Famine makes the following findings:

1.      There is no doubt that large numbers of inhabitants of the Ukrainian SSR and the North Caucasus Territory starved to death in a man-made famine in 1932-1933, caused by the seizure of the 1932 crop by Soviet authorities.

2.      The victims of the Ukrainian Famine numbered in the millions.

3.      Official Soviet allegations of "kulak sabotage," upon which all "difficulties" were blamed during the Famine, are false.

4.      The Famine was not, as is often alleged, related to drought.

5.      In 1931-1932, the official Soviet response to a drought-induced grain shortage outside Ukraine was to send aid to the areas affected and to make a series of concessions to the peasantry.

6.      In mid-1932, following complaints by officials in the Ukrainian SSR that excessive grain procurements had led to localized outbreaks of famine, Moscow reversed course and took an increasingly hard line toward the peasantry.

7.      The inability of Soviet authorities in Ukraine to meet the grain procurements quota forced them to introduce increasingly severe measures to extract the maximum quantity of grain from the peasants.

8.      In the Fall of 1932, Stalin used the resulting "procurements crisis" in Ukraine as an excuse to tighten his control in Ukraine and to intensify grain seizures further.

9.      The Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933 was caused by the maximum extraction of agricultural produce from the rural population.

10. Officials in charge of grain seizures also lived in fear of punishment.

11. Stalin knew that people were starving to death in Ukraine by late 1932.

12. In January 1933, Stalin used the "laxity" of the Ukrainian authorities in seizing grain to strengthen further his control over the Communist Party of Ukraine and mandated actions which worsened the situation and maximized the loss of life.

13. Postyshev had a dual mandate from Moscow: to intensify the grain seizures (and therefore the Famine) in Ukraine and to eliminate such modest national self-assertion as Ukrainians had hitherto been allowed by the USSR.

14. While famine also took place during the 1932-1933 agricultural year in the Volga Basin and the North Caucasus Territory as a whole, the invasiveness of Stalin's interventions of both the Fall of 1932 and January 1933 in Ukraine are parallelled only in the ethnically Ukrainian Kuban region of the North Caucasus.

15. Attempts were made to prevent the starving from travelling to areas where food was more available.

16. Joseph Stalin and those around him committed genocide against Ukrainians in 1932-1933.

17. The American government had ample and timely information about the Famine but failed to take any steps which might have ameliorated the situation. Instead, the Administration extended diplomatic recognition to the Soviet government in November 1933, immediately after the Famine.

Editor's note: Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in the White House from March 4, 1933.

18. During the Famine certain members of the American press corps cooperated with the Soviet government to deny the existence of the Ukrainian Famine.

19. Recently, scholarship in both the West and, to a lesser extent, the Soviet Union has made substantial progress in dealing with the Famine. Although official Soviet historians and spokesmen have never given a fully accurate or adequate account, significant progress has been made in recent months.

Source: U. S. Commission on the Ukraine Famine, Report to Congress. Adopted by the Commission, April 19, 1988. Submitted to Congress April 22. 1988. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1988. 524p

Famine Testimony of Sviatoslav Karavansky

From my childhood years I remember that from 1929, the beginning of industrialization and collectivization, our family and all of the people of Odessa suffered a great shortage of food. Buttermilk, milk, sugar, and even bread disappeared from the stores. In the period 1929-30 the whole city turned to the rationing system. The entire population lived on rations. The portions that were handed out continued to decrease, and in the winter of 1933 I, as a dependent, received 200 grams (seven ounces) of black bread per day. My mother, brother, and sister received the same ration. Bread was, and still is, the main source of nourishment for the Soviet population. For comparison, let's consider the daily ration of the Soviet soldier. The soldiers of the Bolshevik-Red Army received at that time one kilogram (36 ounces) of bread per day. The entire city of Odessa lived on rations which were insufficient for healthy people, but which kept it from starving. The rural population was not subject to rationing, and it perished. People in the villages could not receive any help from their relatives in towns because the city population was hungry, too.

Editor's note: Wall Street fell on October 29, 1929 which resulted in the Great Depression and rationing.

It should be mentioned that the closing of churches preceded the Great Famine. So, the organizer of the famine took into consideration the major role played by the Church in dealing with national disasters like the famine. It is known that during the famine of 1921 in Ukraine churches aided the starving people. During 1932-33, the churches did not function, and the clergy were sent to labor camps, which, in reality, were death camps.

Our family lived in downtown Odessa, and I attended school there. I never saw starving people downtown, but many of the latter were seen on the outskirts of the city. Odessa was a port where foreign sailors and businessmen could always be found, so the authorities took measures not to allow hungry peasants to reach the downtown area. But everyone in Odessa knew that there was a horrible shortage of food in the villages. People swelled from hunger and died. In the school which I attended from September 1932 to May 1933, the teacher told us that the kulaks (or kurkuls) were responsible for all the temporary difficulties of the Soviet socialist economy.

My father was employed in the Odessa shipyard, and I heard from adults that a lot of foreign ships in the docks were waiting their turn to be loaded with grain from Odessa grain elevators. My parents wondered how it was possible that such great quantities of food were being exported while the village population was starving. To ask questions about this was dangerous. If a child asked about these things in school, the teachers assumed that he had been taught by his parents, who were thus placed in danger. So, my parents were very careful about telling me not to ask any questions in school, and not to reveal anywhere what was discussed in the family.

The entire population was terrorized by the arrests and trials which culminated in 1932-33. In those years so-called "torgsins" were opened in Odessa. In "torgsins" anyone could buy for gold and foreign currency all the food that otherwise was distributed through the rationing system. Many people who had small golden crosses or wedding rings brought them to "torgsins." Once my mother went to a "torgsin" as well. She brought back a loaf of black bread, turning the day into a holiday for the entire family. There were rumors in Odessa that people were being arrested for selling human sausage in the market place. There was a saying that the sausages "had been shot." Such accounts were not published in the newspapers, which only praised the wisdom of the party and the great leader, Stalin.

In 1934 my father, as a shipyard employee, got a free ticket for an Odessa-Batumi cruise on the Black Sea. Traveling to Batumi on the liner, he observed that a large number of Ukrainian peasants had migrated to Georgia where there was no food shortage and no famine.

The famine in Ukraine was over, but those who survived fled from Ukraine. I know that in the local schools in the village of Rossosha near Proskurov (now Khmelnytsky) there was no first year class for the 1940-41 school year because the birth rate in 1933 had been zero. In 1953-54 the Soviet Navy also experienced shortages of healthy servicemen because of the zero birthrate in 1933 in Ukraine. The requirements for the service in the navy were reduced because otherwise it was impossible to recruit the necessary number of sailors. I received this information from a navy officer who had served a 10-year term in Mordovia. In 1970 my wife and I met a woman in the village of Tarussa (Kaluga region) who spoke with a strong Ukrainian accent. She told us that she was born near Kiev. In 1933 she had fled from her native village because of the famine and had found shelter in Tarussa where she later married and settled down, thereby escaping death while her entire family died of starvation.

Since the revolution, the majority of the Ukrainian population has felt hostility toward the Soviet occupation. The artificial famine deepened the hostility. It is believed that half of the entire prison population in the gulag was composed of Ukrainians. The memory of the famine was especially vivid for the Ukrainian dissidents of the 1960s and '70s. The founder of the Ukrainian Helsinki Monitoring Group, Mykola Rudenko, wrote a poem about the famine titled "The Cross." References to the famine are present in the works of the late Vasyl Stus, Oles Berdnyk and others.

Congressional Testimony presented before the United States Ukraine Famine Commission in Washington D. C., October 8, 1986

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