Holodomor – genocide

Across the West we are taught about the Holocaust; commemorative statues and monuments continue to be erected 75 years on; films are produced on a regular basis and articles written and shared.

Yet how many have heard of the Holodomor? Know what happened, and when, where, why? Who were the perpetrators; who were the victims? This article on Holodomor has been written to present a more balanced picture of history. The Holodomor-genocide happened under Communism.

Holodomor is the name given to the genocide of Ukrainian peasants in 1932 to 1933, just six years before the outbreak of WW2. Between 7 and 10 million men, women and children died of enforced starvation. They were targeted for extermination because they would not submit to the Bolshevik’s communist regime; because they valued their nation and nationalism; and because they wanted to retain their own way of life.

This short film provides as insight into the Holodomor:

How the genocide happened For some five years, starting in 1917, Ukraine experienced ongoing military conflict between different governmental, political and military forces including Ukrainian nationalists and the Bolsheviks.

In 1922 the Communist party of Russia declared the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and with the exception of Ukrainian nationalists who continued to wage a guerrilla war, military conflict came to an end. Creating the USSR involved the union of all the existing Soviet republics, namely Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Transcaucasia, into one united socialist state. Most of Ukraine’s territories were incorporated into the Ukrainian Socialist Republic, with the Communist party based in Moscow now controlling Ukraine. The majority of Ukrainians, most of who were farmers, were against this merging of nations and resented the change to their customs and way of life.

Text from the National Museum of Holodomor- Genocide “A sense of national identity of Ukrainian peasant, combined with his mental individualism contradicted the ideology of the Soviet Union. That was the basis of Ukrainian nationalism and was a threat to the unity and the very existence of the USSR. That is why the object of genocide crime was the Ukrainian nation, to weaken which the Stalin’s totalitarian regime carried out genocidal extermination of Ukrainian peasantry as the prevalent part of the nation and the source of its spiritual and material strength.”

In 1928, the Soviet leadership, under Stalin, announced a policy of collectivisation; combining individual private farms into collectives owned by the state. Ukraine’s small, mostly subsistence farmers opposed this collectivisation and resisted giving up their land and livelihoods. They were labeled “kulaks”, “bourgeois nationalists” and “counter-revolutionaries”. Stalin was concerned he would lose control of the Ukraine.

In 1932 Stalin, together with other leading Bolsheviks, decided to implement a policy of denying the peasants access to food, which would directly lead to the death 7 to 10 million Ukrainians. They removed all food stock the peasants owned; prevented them from leaving the area to find food; and stationed guards to shoot those searching for ears of corn in the fields. Some would die quickly, shot for disobeying the restrictions on searching for food. Most would die a slow agonizing death from starvation. The world knew but did nothing:

Recognition of the Holodomor as genocide In 2006 Ukraine passed a law which formed the basis for a large-scale official investigation into the genocide. During the investigation the intent of the Soviet Union authorities to destroy the Ukrainian nation was proven. This was an important step in the process of recognising the genocidal nature of the crime.

On the 13 January, 2010 the Kyiv Court of Appeal ruled that Stalin and six other Soviet leaders were guilty of the crime of genocide in relation to the Holodomor. Their names and ethnicity are as follow:

  • J. V. Stalin, Georgian
  • V. M. Molotov, Russian
  • L. M. Kaganovich, Jew
  • P. P. Postyshev, Russian
  • S. V. Kossior, Pole
  • V. Ya. Chubar, Ukrainian
  • M. M. Khatayevich, Jew.

Extracts from the ruling describe the actions of these Soviet leaders, and how they intended to destroy part of the Ukrainian nation :

Further extracts describe the nature of the genocide:

A PDF of the ‘Ruling in the criminal proceedings over genocide in Ukraine in 1932-1933’ is posted at the end of this article. It makes interesting and sobering reading.

Fourteen other countries have recognized the Holodomor as an act of genocide: Estonia, Australia, Canada, Hungary, Vatican, Lithuania, Georgia, Poland, Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, Latvia, and USA (a special case). Five countries have recognized the Holodomor as a criminal act of the Stalinist regime: Argentina, Chile, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Spain.

Neither the United Kingdom, Russia nor Israel have recognised the genocide.

Postscript Holodomor is history, chilling history but history nevertheless, but think this couldn’t happen to us now? Here in the US, UK, Mainland Europe?

Listen to Larry Grathwohl in an interview about Weather Underground, a communist revolutionary group cofounded by William Ayres. Weather Underground planned to overthrow the US government, take control of the country, launch a mass “re-education” of the “counter revolutionaries”, and exterminate those who would not be brainwashed into accepting communism. Bill Ayers later became a professor at the University of Illinois.

Cliff Kincaid, Director of the Accuracy In Media Center for Investigative Journalism wrote an article July 2013, about Larry Grathwohl and his work infiltrating Weather Underground, and subsequently. The article published in the World Tribune is reproduced below.

PDF on the Ruling in the criminal proceedings over genocide in Ukraine in 1932-1933:

Visit the Holodomor Museum for further information on the Holodomor genoicide.

Article published 22 September 2020