Facts About the 1933 Famine-Genocide in Soviet Occupied
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:
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 1931 harvest was 18.3 million tons
The 1932 harvest was 14.6 million tons
The 1933 harvest was 22.3 million tons
The 1934 harvest was 12.3 million tons
The highest death rates were in the
grain growing provinces of Poltava, Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad and Odessa:
usually 20-25%, 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
An unpublished decree signed by Molotov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
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
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% of Ukrainian intellectuals were
liquidated because they refused to collaborate in the extermination of
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%.
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
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.
of Sorrow. Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine. Edmonton: University
of Alberta Press, 1986.
by Hunger: The Hidden Holocaust. New York: W. W. Norton, 1985.
in Ukraine 1932-1933
Roman Serbyn and Bohdan Kravchenko. Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian