Starvation in Europe’s Breadbasket: The Ukrainian Mass Murder

People talk about “the holocaust” as if there had been only one this century, and that one unique in human history. But what of the one inflicted by Josef “Stalin” Djugashvili on Ukraine?


Although Ukraine’s holocaust by famine resulted in the deaths of many more people than were ever attributed to Adolf Hitler in the “official” holocaust, and although it happened only a few years earlier, few now living have any perception of it. That’s understandable, as only one “holocaust” is taught in our schools and constantly featured in the media.


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[Add. Image] Bodies of the victims of Holodomor

Could this be because those media are heavily influenced by people who have much to gain by promoting one while drawing a blackout curtain across the other? Is it merely by accident that obsessive promotion of the one would be diminished by extensive disclosure of the horrors and dimensions of the other?

Whatever the reasons for this disparity, surely it is time to right the balance. What historian Alfred Lilienthal labeled 20 years ago as “Holocaustamania” still continues in a torrent of books, movies and all manner of media drum-beating; leading some Israelis offended by this exploitation to quip, “There’s no business like Shoah-business.” No such exposure has occurred relative to the Ukraine’s holocaust, although that tragedy is well documented.

Harvard historian James E. Mace was being conservative when he wrote in Famine in Ukraine — 1932-33. [1]

The Ukrainian famine was a deliberate act of genocide.


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[Add. Image] James Mace (1952 – 2004). For decades the information about Holodomor was a tightly guarded secret, but the truth began gradually to emerge, and after Ukraine’s independence, some documents that were unearthed from the KGB archives threw more light on the tragedy of 1932–1933 in Ukraine. One of the first to start the search for the truth about the famine was a US citizen, the late professor James Mace.


Marco Carynnyk, writing in the same book under the heading Blind Eye to Murder wrote:

The victims of the famine in Ukraine were consigned to their slow and agonizing deaths … where once again democratic governments maintained ‘normal relations’ and cooperated in suppressing news about a genocide.

Yet, only the “official” holocaust has been globally recognized, Carynnyk adding that the other has been;

met by some with a conspiracy of silence that is little short of criminal.

Wasyl Hryshko’s The Ukrainian Holocaust of 1933 [2] was published in 1983, and Miron Dolot’sExecution by Hunger: The Hidden Holocaust [3] in 1985. The latter stated:

History has not recorded another such crime as the famine perpetrated against an entire nation, nor one ever carried out in such a cold-blooded manner.


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[Image] This emaciated Ukrainian boy appears to be begging for the most basic mortal necessity-food. A Communist party functionary wrote:“Starvation had wiped every trace of youth from their faces, turning them into tortured gargoyles.”The author Arthur Koestler observed that party-controlled Ukrainian newspapers ran pictures of healthy smiling children while “skeletons tottered in the streets.


That Dolot was not exaggerating is made horribly clear in the definitive work on this tragedy, Robert Conquest’s The Harvest of Sorrow, [4] published in 1986. Yet none of these well documented accounts seem to have had much effect on public consciousness anywhere. How quickly the world forgets victims of even the most colossal evildoing when those aware of it lack the means to gain public awareness. On an individual basis, perhaps the best remedy would be to ask of anyone bringing up “the holocaust”:

Which one are you referring to?

Only a great novelist could make those murdered millions rise and walk before us, make us feel the shame and despair of people deliberately reduced to feeding on grass and tree bark, on diseased horses and dead humans, even the bodies of their own children. Vasilli Grossman’sForever Flowing goes some way toward that. Others can only recite the bare facts of what happened, and who was responsible.

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[Add. Image} Vasilli Grossman’s Forever Flowing


The first thing to be grasped about the Ukrainian holocaust — the greatest single crime of our century — is that it arose within a system which was profoundly evil. Whoever doubts that need only consult Stalin’s Secret War [5] by Nikolai Tolstoy, to whom any writer on this subject must be deeply indebted. For the sheer magnitude of its crimes against humanity, nothing in history can match those of the Bolshevik regime.

V.I. Lenin (born Ulyanov) had declared at the outset:

The scientific concept of dictatorship means nothing more or less than unrestricted power, resting directly on the use of force. .. Yes, the dictatorship of one party.

For its rule to be absolute, people must be made utterly dependent on the state. Thus, private property was to be abolished, along with religion and nationalism. Only one loyalty was to be permitted — loyalty to the party, which later became loyalty to the perversely deified Stalin.


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{Add. Image] Vilén, Lenin bewigged and clean shaven, Finland, 11 August 1917


All means of coercion toward this end were approved, all objections regarded as treasonous, all decent motives dismissed as “obsolete bourgeois morality.” To these men, human life was nothing but raw material, to be hacked and hammered into whatever shape their ideology might dictate.

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[Image] A Communist “requisition squad” removes grain hidden by Ukrainian peasants desperate to survive. People ate rodents, ants and worms. Robert Conquest estimated in Harvest of Sorrow that five million Ukrainians died. Conquest also noted that forced collectivization killed off some 200,000 Germans of the lower Volga (they had come there due to the encouragement of fellow German Catherine the Great) and that the Cossack regions of the Don and Kuban were totally decimated.


Thus Stalin wrote in 1928 that the purpose of his offensive against farmers throughout the Soviet empire was;

to remold the peasantry, its mentality and production, along collectivist lines.

People who thought those “lines” would have anything to do with shared austerity or the cant about “from each according to his capacity and to each according to his need” were sadly — often fatally — mistaken.

Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn estimates in The Gulag Archipelago [6] that some 60 million died there from 1918 to 1953, at which time this horrific system still held some 10 million in camps ranging across one-sixth of the Earth. It was run by the secret police organization, (known first as Cheka, then GPU, NKVD, MGB and finally KGB). Its founder, Felix Dzershinski, said,

The Cheka is not a court; we stand for organized terror.

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[Add. Image] Felix Dzershinski


Lenin had called for concentration camps as early as 1918, but their great expansion began in 1929. At that time a Turkish Jew and former Black Sea lumber tycoon named Naftaly A. Frenkel dazzled Stalin with a grandiose plan to “build socialism” with slave labor on a starvation diet. His guiding principle:

We have to get everything out of a prisoner in the first three months; after that, we don’t need him any more.

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[Add. Image] Jewish mass murderer, Lt. General Naftaly Aronovich Frenkel, of the murderous NKVD.


Frenkel’s pitch gained him the title “Chief Overseer of the Labor Battle.” Later he was purpose of his offensive against farmers made a general in the NKVD.

To populate a system where the death rate was so high (intentionally so, because Stalin always feared an uprising), a constant supply of fresh victims had to be supplied. Thus millions of loyal Soviet citizens were falsely accused, and an entire national minority sent to join them. Accusations were especially facilitated by Andrei Vyshinsky’s 1937 decree that it wasn’t necessary to prove a person had said or done something “wrong,” but only that he or she might have done it.

As MGB Col. Vladimir Komarov told a victim:

You keep saying that you’re only accused but not convicted. You must understand that this distinction does not exist for us. Everyone’s guilty.

Children were encouraged to denounce their parents; pupils their teachers. Nor were the children spared. They once made up half the Gulag population, it being customary for whole families to be shipped off and worked to death in the Kolyma gold fields or the coal mines of Vokuta. Even 12-year-olds were subject to full penalty, a Ukrainian boy in the Terror Famine getting eight years for having two potatoes in his pocket.

Why hadn’t the Soviet people, including Ukrainians, revolted against this hellish tyranny? Their failure to do so certainly reinforced a negative image of them in the outside world. Yet how could the people rise against Stalin, when most had never known anything but autocracy, and the secret police were everywhere?

Their character is shown in an order sent by NKVD boss Nikolai Yezhov to one of his deputies:

You are charged with the task of eliminating 10,000 enemies of the people. Report results by signal.

Such ruthless repression deprived the people of forming a resistance leadership. What could potential rebels do? People had to keep their heads down. In such a milieu, the safest advice was that which Lazar Moyseyevieh Kaganovieh (aka Kogan) gave to his niece:

Never ask anyone about anything.

The few centers of rebellion — notably some Ukrainian villages in the Great Famine — were wiped out.

It must also be noted that the lives of millions of people had undergone a huge dislocation, leaving them even more powerless to rebel. As we read in Red Empire [7] by Hughes and Welfare:

Every industrial revolution requires a massive shift of population from the country to the towns. … Seventeen million people made that journey in the years of Stalin’s Five Year Plan. Illiterate, wretched, hungry, pushed around by a new ruling elite which despised them, these peasant hordes became the new working class of Russia.

The Terror Famine of 1932-33 was not the first. Ukraine has always struggled for independence from its enormous and aggressive neighbor. That struggle became especially fierce after the Red Revolution, when Ukraine’s declaration of statehood triggered a Bolshevik invasion costing some four million lives. Not only was Ukraine “the bread basket of Europe,” but a region of prosperous and pious farming communities. The southern Ukraine in particular exemplified those three things the Bolsheviks had sworn to abolish-private property, religion and nationalism.


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[Image] One of the watch towers built in fields throughout Ukraine farm regions during Stalin’s starvation holocaust. Party activists, such as the Young Pioneers seen in this photo, kept on the lookout for “snippers”; people attempting to gather ears of corn. Any peasant caught with stored grain was treated as a kulak. This meant the family would be shot or deported to slavery in Siberia.


After the massacre of Ukrainian leaders ordered by Lenin — who in 1918 offered his thugs a cash bounty for every landowner and priest they hanged — the 1921-22 famine caused by grain exportation killed millions more. Leon Trotsky was then heading the Red Army, with Gen. R.P. Eideman as his grain-grabbing deputy. Said Trotsky:

That rich granary is ours!


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[Add. Image] Map (click to enlarge) of the Holodomor Famine Genocide Area in Ukraine and Kuban (gray area).  Black border is the current borders of Ukraine. Yellow border was the Ethnographic border in 1930.


The brutal means used to secure it — along with an anti-nationalist campaign which saw Ukrainians shot dead on the street merely for speaking their own language — caused such a drop in production that famine appeared in other parts of the Red empire. Fearing a general loss of control, the Bolsheviks had to invite foreign aid relief. Even then they insisted, through spokesman Maxim Maximovieh Litvinov, that food relief go only to other parts of the empire, not Ukraine.

In fact, Isidor Larin of Gosplan (a “Five Year Plan” commission) was still pushing for more seizures when transports were leaving points only 20 miles away from starving villages. Yet, Litvinov told the world that the USSR was again exporting grain.

The Soviet government was actually holding its own starving citizens as hostages to be ransomed for foreign aid.” [8]

This duplicity was neatly illustrated by the spectacle of two ships berthed side-by-side in Murmansk — an American unloading grain for relief and a Soviet loading grain for sale in Hamburg, Germany.

Lenin had to make a tactical retreat. Temporarily abandoning Marxist dogma, his New Economic Plan encouraged Ukrainian culture while fostering the growth of an allegedly independent Communist Party of Ukraine.

Production duly improved. But by 1928 — with Lenin dead and his own position secure — Stalin canceled the NEP. He launched a Five Year Plan of industrialization, to be financed by exports. A principal export was grain. Since Bolshevik theory held that its production — along with political control of the peasantry — could best be increased by forced collectivization, the facade of Ukrainian independence collapsed.

Collectivization” meant herding all agricultural workers into a kolkhoz or collective farming complex, where the state would own everything and tell them what to do.


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[Image] Hollow-eyed peasants “vote” to join a collective farm; the alternative a virtual death sentence of ten years in Siberian concentration camps. Brian Moynahan wrote in The Russian Century:

Two million kulaks were dumped in ‘special settlements’ on a 400-mile stretch between Gryazovets and Archangel … At Yemetsk, there was a vast camp of families that had been separated from their fathers. Thirty-two thousand lived in 97 barracks, with no medical care.

Stalin’s first and terribly consequential step toward it was to get rid of independent farmers. This category came to include even the smallest of small holders, such as those who owned more than one cow, or had hired others to work for them.

See the following:  Stalin was a Rothschild….[PDF]

6. Stalin-Dzhugashvili-Rothschild

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