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The Other Holocaust - The Terror Famine in Ukraine

The Other Holocaust - The Terror Famine in Ukraine

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Published by: gibmedat on Oct 18, 2012
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THEOTHERHOLOCAUST--THETERRORFAMINEINUKRAINE
Deopletalkabout"the
r
holocaust"as
if
therehadbeenonlyonethiscentu-ry,andthatoneuniqueinhumanhistory.ButwhatoftheoneinflictedbyJosef"Stalin"DjugashvilionUkraine?
AlthoughUkraine'sholocaustbyfamineresultedinthedeathsofmanymorepeoplethanwereeverattributedtoAdolfHitlerinthe"official"holocaust,andalthoughithappenedonlyafewyearsearlier,fewnowlivinghaveanyperceptionofit.That'sunderstandable,asonlyone"holocaust"istaughtinourschoolsandconstantlyfeaturedinthemedia.Couldthisbebecausethosemediaareheavilyinfluencedbypeoplewhohavemuchtogainbypromotingonewhiledrawingablackoutcurtainacrosstheother?Isitmerelybyaccidentthatobsessivepromotionoftheonewouldbediminishedbyextensivedisclosureofthehorrorsanddimensionsoftheother?Whateverthereasonsforthisdispari-ty,surelyitistimetorightthebalance.WhathistorianAlfredIilienthallabeled20yearsagoas"Holocaustamania"stillcontinuesinatorrentofbooks,moviesandallmannerofmediadrum-beating;leadingsomeIsraelisoffendedbythisexploitationtoquip,"There'snobusi- nesslikeShoah-business."Nosuch exposurehasoccurredrelativetotheUkraine'sholocaust,althoughthattragedyiswelldocumented.HarvardhistorianJamesE.Macewasbeingconservativewhenhewrotein
FamineinUkraine-1932-33:
1
"TheUkrainianfaminewasadeliberateactof
By
PETER}.LoRDEN
genocide."MarcoCarynnyk,writinginthesamebookundertheheading
BlindEyetoMurder
wrote:"ThevictimsofthefamineinUkrainewereconsignedtotheirslowandagonizingdeaths...whereonceagaindemocraticgovern-mentsmaintained'normalrelations'andcooperatedinsuppressingnewsaboutagenocide."Yet,onlythe"official"holocausthas beengloballyrecognized,Carynnykadd-ingthattheotherhasbeen"metbysomewithaconspiracyofsilencethatislittleshortofcriminal."WasylHryshko's
TheUkrainianHolocaustof
1933
2
waspublishedin
1983,
andMironDolot's
ExecutionbyHunger:TheHiddenHolocaustr
in
ThisemaciatedUkrainianboyappearstobebeggingforthemostbasicmortalnecessity-food.ACommunistpartyfunctionarywrote:"Starva-tionhadwipedeverytraceofyouthfromtheirfaces,turningthemintotorturedgargoyles."TheauthorArthurKoestlerobservedthatparty-con-trolledUkrainiannewspapersranpicturesofhealthysmilingchildrenwhile"skeletonstotteredinthestreets."
 
THEBARNESREVIEW
AGE
4
JULY
1996
1985.Thelatterstated:"Historyhasnot recordedanothersuchcrimeasthefamineperpetratedagainstanentirenation,noroneevercarriedoutinsuchacold-bloodedmanner." ThatDolotwasnotexaggeratingismadehorriblyclearinthedefinitiveworkonthistragedy,RobertConquest's
TheHarvestofSorrow,4
publishedin1986.Yetnoneofthesewelldocument-edaccountsseemtohavehadmucheffectonpublicconsciousnessany-where.Howquicklytheworldforgetsvictimsofeventhemostcolossalevildo-ingwhenthoseawareofitlackthemeanstogainpublicawareness.Onanindividualbasis,perhapsthebestreme-dywouldbetoaskofanyonebringingup"theholocaust":"Whichoneareyoureferringto?"
-Oe
agreatnovelistcouldmakethosemurderedmillionsriseandwalkbeforeus,makeusfeeltheshameanddespairofpeopledeliberate-lyreducedtofeedingongrassandtreebark,ondiseasedhorsesanddeadhu- mans,eventhebodiesoftheirownchil-dren.VasilliGrossman's
ForeverFlow-ing
goessomewaytowardthat.Otherscanonlyrecitethebarefactsofwhathappened,andwhowasresponsible. ThefirstthingtobegraspedabouttheUkrainianholocaust-thegreatestsinglecrimeofourcentury-iSthatitarosewithinasystemwhichwasprofoundlyevil.Whoeverdoubtsthatneedonlyconsult
Stalin'sSecretWar5
byNikolaiTolstoy,towhomanywriteronthissub-jectmustbedeeplyindebted.Forthesheermagnitudeofitscrimesagainsthumanity,nothinginhistorycanmatchthoseoftheBolshevikregime.V.1.Lenin(bornUlyanov)had declaredattheoutset:"Thescientificconceptofdictatorshipmeansnothingmoreorlessthanunrestrictedpower,restingdirectlyontheuseofforce...Yes,thedictatorshipofoneparty."For itsruletobeabsolute,peoplemustbemadeutterlydependentonthestate.Thus,privatepropertywastobeabol-ished,alongwithreligionandnational-ism.Onlyoneloyaltywastobepermit-ted-loyaltytotheparty,whichlater becameloyaltytotheperverselydeified Stalin.Allmeansofcoerciontowardthisendwereapproved,allobjectionsregarded astreasonous,alldecentmotivesdis- missedas"obsoletebourgeoismorality." Tothesemen,humanlifewasnothingbutrawmaterial,tobehackedandham-
ACommunist"requisitionsquad"removesgrainhiddenbyUkrainianpeas-antsdesperatetosurvive.Peopleaterodents,antsandworms.RobertConquestestimatedin
HarvestofSorrow
that
fiue
millionUkrainiansdiedConquestalsonotedthatforcedcollectivizationkilledoffsome200,000GermansofthelowerVolga(theyhadcomethereduetotheencouragementoffellou:GermanCatherinetheGreat)andthattheCossackregionsoftheDonandKubanwere
totally
decimated
meredintowhatevershapetheirideolo-wedon'tneedhimanymore."Frenkel's gymightdictate.pitchgainedhimthetitle"ChiefOver- ThusStalinwrotein1928thattheseeroftheLaborBattle."LaterhewaspurposeofhisoffensiveagainstfarmersmadeageneralintheNKVD.throughouttheSovietempirewas"toTopopulateasystemwherethedeath remoldthepeasantry,itsmentalityandratewassohigh(intentionallyso,be- production,alongcollectivistlines."causeStalinalwaysfearedanuprising),a Peoplewhothoughtthose"lines"wouldconstantsupplyoffreshvictimshadto haveanythingtodowithsharedausteri-besupplied.ThusmillionsofloyalSoviet tyorthecantabout"fromeachaccord-citizenswerefalselyaccused,andan ingtohiscapacityandtoeachaccordingentirenationalminoritysenttojointohisneed"weresadly-oftenfatally-them.Accusationswereespeciallyfacili- mistaken.tatedbyAndreiVyshinsky's1937decreethatitwasn'tnecessarytoproveaper-sonhadsaidordonesomething"wrong,"butonlythatheorshe
might
havedoneit.AsMGBCol.VladimirKomarovtolda victim:"Youkeepsayingthatyou're onlyaccusedbutnotconvicted.Youmustunderstandthatthisdistinctiondoesnotexistforus.Everyone'sguilty." Childrenwereencouragedtodenouncetheirparents;pupilstheirteachers.Nor werethechildrenspared.TheyoncemadeuphalftheGulagpopulation,it beingcustomaryforwholefamiliesto beshippedoffandworkedtodeathintheKolymagoldfieldsorthecoalminesofVokuta.Even12-year-oldsweresub- jecttofullpenalty,aUkrainianboyin theTerrorFaminegettingeightyearsfor havingtwopotatoesinhispocket.Whyhadn'ttheSovietpeople,includ- ingUkrainians,revoltedagainstthishell- ishtyranny?Theirfailuretodosocer-
A
leksandrSolzhenitzynestimates
~TheGulagArchipelag06
thatsome60milliondiedtherefrom1918to1953,atwhichtimethishorrificsystemstillheldsome10millionincampsrang-ingacrossone-sixthoftheEarth.Itwas runbythesecretpoliceorganization,(knownfirstasCheka,thenGPU, NKVD,MGBandfinallyKGB).Itsfoun-der,FelixDzershinski,said,"TheChekaisnotacourt;westandfororganizedter-ror."Leninhadcalledforconcentrationcampsasearlyas1918,buttheirgreatexpansionbeganin1929.AtthattimeaTurkishJewandformerBlackSealum-bertycoonnamedNaftalyA.Frenkel dazzledStalinwithagrandioseplanto "buildsocialism"withslavelaborona starvationdiet.Hisguidingprinciple: "Wehavetogeteverythingoutofapris- onerinthefirstthreemonths;afterthat,
 
JULY
Jl996
THEBARNESREVI:E~
PAGE
5
tainlyreinforcedanegativeimageofthemintheoutsideworld.YethowcouldthepeopleriseagainstStalin, whenmosthadneverknownanything butautocracy,andthesecretpolicewereeverywhere?Theircharacterisshowninanorder sentbyNKVDbossNikolaiYezhovto oneofhisdeputies:"Youarechargedwiththetaskofeliminating10,000ene- miesofthepeople.Reportresultsbysig- nal."Suchruthlessrepressiondeprived thepeopleofformingaresistancelead- ership.Whatcouldpotentialrebelsdo? Peoplehadtokeeptheirheadsdown.In suchamilieu,thesafestadvicewasthatwhichLazarMoyseyeviehKaganovieh (akaKogan)gavetohisniece:"Never askanyoneaboutanything."Thefewcentersofrebellion-notablysomeUkrainianvillagesinthe GreatFamine-werewipedout.
I
mustalsobenotedthatthelives ofmillionsofpeoplehadunder-goneahugedislocation,leavingthemevenmorepowerlesstorebel.Aswereadin
RedEmpire?
byHughesandWelfare:"Everyindustrialrevolution requiresamassiveshiftofpopulation fromthecountrytothetowns... SeventeenmillionpeoplemadethatjourneyintheyearsofStalin'sFiveYear Plan.llliterate,wretched,hungry, pushedaroundbyanewrulingelite whichdespisedthem,thesepeasant hordesbecamethenewworkingclassofRussia."TheTerrorFamineof1932-33wasnotthefirst.Ukrainehasalwaysstrug- gledforindependencefromitsenor-mousandaggressiveneighbor.That strugglebecameespeciallyfierceaftertheRedRevolution,whenUkraine's declarationofstatehoodtriggeredaBolshevikinvasioncostingsomefour millionlives.NotonlywasUkraine"the breadbasketofEurope,"butaregionof prosperousandpiousfarmingcommu- nities.ThesouthernUkraineinpartieu-
OneofthewatchtowersbuiltinfieldsthroughoutUkrainefarmregionsduringStalin'sstarvationholocaust.Partyactivists,suchastheYoungPioneersseeninthisphoto,keptonthelookoutfor"snippers";peopleattemptingtogatherearsofcorn.Anypeasantcaughtwithstoredgrainwastreatedasakulak.Thismeantthe
family
wouldbeshotordeportedtoslaveryinSiberia.
larexemplifiedthosethreethingstheBolshevikshadsworntoabolish-pri-vateproperty,religionandnationalism. AfterthemassacreofUkrainianlead- ersorderedbyLenin-whoin1918 offeredhisthugsacashbountyforevery landownerandpriesttheyhanged-the 1921-22faminecausedbygrainexporta- tionkilledmillionsmore.LeonTrotskywasthenheadingtheRedArmy,with Gen.R.P.Eidemanashisgrain-grabbing deputy.SaidTrotsky:"Thatrichgranary isours!" Thebrutalmeansusedtosecureit-alongwithananti-nationalistcampaign whichsawUkrainiansshotdeadonthestreetmerelyforspeakingtheirownlan-guage-causedsuchadropinproduc-tionthatfamineappearedinotherpartsoftheRedempire.Fearingageneralloss ofcontrol,theBolshevikshadtoinvite foreignaidrelief.Eventhentheyinsist- ed,throughspokesmanMaximMaximo- viehLitvinov,thatfoodreliefgoonlyto otherpartsoftheempire,notUkraine. Infact,IsidorLarinofGosplan(a"Five YearPlan"commission)wasstillpush- ingformoreseizureswhentransports wereleavingpointsonly20milesaway fromstarvingvillages.Yet,Litvinovtold theworldthattheUSSRwasagainexportinggrain."TheSovietgovern- mentwasactuallyholdingitsownstarv- ingcitizensashostagestoberansomed forforeignaid."sThisduplicitywas neatlyillustratedbythespectacleoftwo shipsberthedside-by-sideinMurm- ansk-anAmericanunloadinggrainfor reliefandaSovietloadinggrainforsaleinHamburg,Germany.
L
eninhadtomakeatacticalre-treat.Temporarilyabandoning Marxistdogma,hisNewEconomicPlan
encouraged
Ukrainianculturewhilefos- teringthegrowthofanallegedlyinde- pendentCommunistPartyofUkraine. Productiondulyimproved.Butby I928-withLenindeadandhisown positionsecure-Stalincanceledthe NEP.HelaunchedaFiveYearPlanof industrialization,tobefinancedby exports.Aprincipalexportwasgrain. SinceBolsheviktheoryheldthatitspro- duction-alongwithpoliticalcontrolof thepeasantry-couldbestbeincreased byforcedcollectivization,thefacadeof Ukrainianindependencecollapsed. "Collectivization"meantherdingall agriculturalworkersintoa
kolkhoz
orcollectivefarmingcomplex,wherethe statewouldowneverythingandtell themwhattodo.Stalin'sfirstandterri-

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