The Most Important Facts About Holodomor
Today, I tell you about one of the worst famines of the 20th century and the most brutal and horrible period in the Ukrainian history, namely: The Holodomor. It is not widely known about even though it was completely man made. It occurred in the Ukraine in 1932-33 and resulted in the deaths of millions of people.
The cause of the Holodomor was the failed collectivization attempts by the Soviet Union under the brutal Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. The Ukraine at the time was a part of the Soviet Union and Stalin wanted to force Ukraine’s farmers to give up their private farms and work on state-owned socialist collectives. Outrageous food quotas were assigned to the farms in order for the government to have sufficient food for the cities and to sell overseas. Anyone who resisted was shipped to Siberia where over 800,000 died in the arctic region.
For those who remained in the Ukraine cruel and unreasonable demands meant that taking even a few crumbs of food otherwise intended for the state could result in execution. Blockades were built around farms to prevent peasants from escaping and secret police were used to neutralize resistance. In some cases just referring to the famine in any way was grounds for arrest and severe punishment. By 1933 the death rate in the Ukraine reached 25,000 per day.
At the time the Western media did little to draw attention to the genocidal famines in the Ukraine. Even prominent journalistic experts like the Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Walter Duranty played down or ignored what was happening. The Soviet Union was using much of the money it got from the sale of the food confiscated in the Ukraine to buy industrial products abroad, creating a desire not to disrupt these lucrative business deals by focusing on the famine. As a result the death of over ten million people went largely unrecognized until 1991, when the Ukraine was finally liberated by the fall of the Soviet Union.
Since then Ukraine’s government has repeatedly tried to gain international recognition of the Holodomor and it’s millions of victims. The release in recent years of old Soviet records has helped to raise awareness of the Holodomor, although only a few dozen of the 196 nations on Earth have officially acknowledged it as a purposeful act of genocide. By comparison, Hitler’s genocide in the 1930’s resulted in six million deaths, which is four million less than in the Holdomor, yet the Nazi Holocaust is far better known.
In order to help ensure that similar tragedies never occur again it is necessary for people to become aware of what happened in the Ukraine during the Holodomor years. Only through education and awareness can the victims be acknowledged and similar tragedies avoided in the future.
Video: Holodomor in Ukraine 1932/33
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