Quotations on the Famine/Genocide in Ukraine –

The Holodomor of 1932-1933

prepared by Valentina Kuryliw


“The intrusion of history is not just theoretical. It is also the legacy of being an accomplice or a victim, or just an onlooker. In each case, history entails the uncomfortable presence of earlier unresolved roles.”

Charles S. Maier


"Walter Duranty helped to turn the monster Stalin into a world figure and a hero of the leftistWestern intelligentsia by defending the bloodbath of the Soviet Union from its critics in the now famous: “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.”

Lance Morrow - journalist


"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


“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


“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


“Death solves all problems. No man, no problem.”

Joseph Stalin


“On the battlefield men die quickly, they fight back, they are sustained by fellowship and a sense of duty.” In Soviet Ukraine, people were “dying in solitude by slow degrees, dying hideously ...trapped and left to starve, each in his own home, by a political decision made in a far-away capital around conference 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.”

Victor Kravchenko


“Ukrainian nationalism is our chief danger.”

Soviet writer, Kossier Izvestiia, December 2, 1933.


Sir Winston Churchill to Joseph Stalin:

“...Have the stresses of war been as bad to you personally as carrying through the policy of 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.”

“Ukrainians are an ethos, with their profound religiosity, individualism, tradition of private property, and devotion to their plots of land, were not suited to the construction of communism, and this fact was noted by the high-ranking Soviet officials.”

V. Ovsiienko
(human rights activist in Kharkiv)


"The Stalinist totalitarian regime tried hard to ensure that everyone kept silent about the Holodomor, even people who had survived it, as well as their children and grandchildren; so that no one knew about this genocide abroad, and if they found out about it, they would keep silent.”

"Under the direct leadership and directions of the Central Committee pf the Communist Party and personally of comrade Stalin, we smashed the Ukrainian nationalist counterrevolution."

Pavel Postyshev, 1933


"Nowhere else did repressions, purges, suppressions, and all other kinds of bureaucratic hooliganism in general acquire such horrifying scope as in Ukraine, in the struggle against powerful forces concealed in the Ukrainian masses that desired more freedom and independence."

Leon Trotsky


"I remain convinced that for Stalin to have complete centralized power in his hands, he found it necessary to physically destroy the second-largest Soviet republic, meaning the annihilation of the Ukrainian peasantry, Ukrainian intelligentsia, Ukrainian language, and history as understood by the people; to do away with Ukraine and things Ukrainian as such. The calculation was very simple, very primitive: no people, therefore, no separate country, and thus no problem. Such a policy is Genocide in the classic sense of the word."

James Mace Holodomor Scholar (USA)


“At this point the question of Ukraine is the most important. The situation in Ukraine is very bad. If we don’t take steps now to improve the situation, we may lose Ukraine. The objective should be to transform Ukraine , in the shortest period of time, into a real fortress of the U.S.S.R.”

Stalin’s letter to Lazar Kaganovich, Sept. 11, 1932


“The Terror-Famine of 1932-33 was a dual-purpose by product of collectivization, designed to suppress Ukrainian nationalism and the most important concentration of prosperous peasants at one throw.”

Norman Davies, Europe: A History, Oxford