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Holodomor Articles



March 21, 2012

Reflection Essay


            The topic of my research paper is the Holodomor of 1932 to 1933.  This catastrophic famine-genocide was the creation of communist leader Joseph Stalin against the Ukrainian nation.  This subject  hits close to home for me in that I am of Ukrainian descent and have been learning about the Holodomor extensively year after year in Ukrainian Saturday school up until my graduation after completing 11th grade.


            As I researched and wrote my paper, I sought to expose the Holodomor on a relatively basic level.  Many people are unaware of this genocide despite the fact that it was of at least the same, if not greater, magnitude as the Holocaust in terms of the death toll.  I began by providing a brief account of the history of the famine, following up with details about various aspects including the politics, Stalin's role, the population changes during those years, and the efforts of people today to raise awareness about the Holodomor.


            I believe that the annotated bibliographies promoted my better understanding of the research materials I used.  Had I not been assigned these annotated bibliographies as part of the final portfolio, I honestly probably wouldn't have read all of the sources all the way through.  I certainly benefitted from reading the sources in their entireties; my final research paper would have undoubtedly been lacking in one way or another had I not read, considered, analyzed, and referenced as much as I did.  I think the annotated bibliographies are great because they are pretty short yet highly helpful.  In a way, they're efficient in that I learned a lot without feeling a burden to write a certain – sometimes seemingly unattainable – length.  With the annotated bibliographies, the pressure was off.  The source critiques, however, were a different story.  I did not find those to be beneficial to my overall writing process.  I will admit that the source critiques did benefit me in that they, like the annotated bibliographies, required me to read the entire source.  However, I found the writing of the source critiques to be somewhat tedious.  The required structure of the source critiques seemed to have restricted my writing and analysis in that I was constantly conscious of the format and style requirements.


            I do not think the source critiques and annotated bibliographies really reflect the evolution of my research topic because I did not write them all before starting my research paper.  Even when I started my paper, I was not sure of where exactly it would go; I just knew I wanted to write about the Holodomor.  Luckily for me, the paper just started flowing very nicely once I began writing.  There are a few spots where I had some trouble integrating quotes into my own text of my essay, but I think I did pretty well in succeeding to do so.


            Also, I found the in-class peer reviews to be helpful.  I think that reading my own paper aloud to the other students in my group allowed me to better hear and recognize the flow (or lack thereof) of my writing.  Having another set of eyes and ears to read and listen to, respectively, my paper was very beneficial.


            I think my formal writing has evolved nicely through the process of compiling this final portfolio.  This reflection essay aside, I believe my writing to be of a higher caliber than that displayed in my midterm portfolio.  As this course progressed, my vocabulary expanded even more so than my usual day-to-day learning typically sees, and the flow of my writing is nearly seamless in many places.  Overall, I am very proud of my final portfolio as well as all other work I have completed this quarter because I know I have given my best efforts to produce a product of utmost quality personal to me.  Despite my humongous setback with my crashed hard drive, I think I pulled my portfolio together well.


Lesia Fedorak

March 21, 2012

Final Project


The Holodomor of 1932 to 1933


            There is no argument that the Holodomor of 1932 to 1933 is one of the greatest atrocities ever faced by a nation, and thus it is a shame that the members of the general international community are unaware of this devastating, man-made famine that took the lives of millions of Ukrainians.  Literally translated, “Holodomor” is a Ukrainian term meaning “murder by starvation.”  During these years of the famine, every other nation of the Soviet Union experienced population growth whileUkrainelost millions of lives.  This evidence most basically points to the policy of collectivization and the consequent famine as a maneuver of genocide against the Ukrainian nation as opposed to having been established for economic reasons.  Today, the efforts to raise awareness of this tragic genocide against the Ukrainian nation are stronger than ever, and hopefully the entire international community will soon recognize the cruel injustice that was the Holodomor.


            A brief examination of the history of the time preceding the famine is necessary in order to wholly understand the causes of the Holodomor.  Before achieving independence in 1991, the Ukrainian people had always been under foreign rule.  In the late nineteenth century, the Russian Empire dominated the Ukrainian territory – the breadbasket ofEurope– with oppressive policies banning any educational or Ukrainian cultural expression.  However, after noticing that these policies agitated the Ukrainian people even further rather than forced them into submission, the government lifted them.  Ukrainian political parties soon emerged, “and the form in which Ukrainian political aspirations gained majority support during the revolution of 1917 was through the agrarian socialism of the Ukrainian Party of Socialist Revolutionaries” (Mace, “Chapter Three” 79).  After the Soviet regime took hold ofUkrainefollowing the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Vladimir Lenin imposed the New Economic Policy to end forced procurement by the state and open up the agricultural market in an effort to appease Ukrainians.  With this also came a policy of indigenization to further gain favor with the nations under the regime.  However, with the new political parties, the peasantry found a voice to stand up for itself.  With this newly asserted sense of nationalism and strength in numbers, the peasants began to seek freedom and independence from their oppressors, deciding that they would no longer remain idle as the government continued to demand its right to procure a portion of their personally harvested crops.


            When Joseph Stalin assumed command as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Unionafter Lenin passed away, he implemented a Marxist-friendly policy to force the collectivization of farms in order to increase the overall efficiency and productivity of farms.  These collective farms were called kolkhozes and were completely owned by the government; the farmers themselves were not able to reap any fruits of their labor, and they received a pittance of a pay.  From the establishment of kolkhozes, these farms were destined to fail – the majority of the farmers on the collectives were inexperienced youth.  Additionally, the bitter, oppressed peasants held no stock in the collectives and therefore had no reason to properly attend to the livestock or maintain the equipment.  According to foreign relations expert James Perloff, “This illustrated the conflict between Marxist ideology and the reality of human nature” (32).  The inevitable happened – the kolkhozes were unsuccessful – and Stalin sought a scapegoat on which to blame this failure.


            The Communist regime placed the blame for the failure of the kolkhozes on the few relatively wealthier peasants that had subverted collectivization, which the party labeled “kulaks.”  Perloff claims that “In reality, however,Ukraine had never had a distinct social class of kulaks – this concept was a Marxist invention” (33).  The Stalinist regime sought to liquidate this contrived social class, and “Ironically, this process killed off the most productive farmers, guaranteeing a smaller harvest and a more impoverishedSoviet Union” (33).  Stalin's disappointment in and frustration with the inefficiency and shortcomings of the collectives catalyzed his rage, and he ordered for the severe punishment of any peasants who allegedly let their efforts to maximize productivity slip.  Peasants who were unjustly labeled kulaks or seemed to be slacking off were either executed, sent to remote slave labor camps inRussia, or assigned to local labor assignments.  Joseph Stalin and his cronies essentially used the collectives and their impending failure as an indirect disguise for the vicious punishment of Ukrainian nationalists who opposed Russification and organized uprisings against the regime.  Since the opening of the KGB archives, it has been confirmed that close to 300 major uprisings occurred in the southeastern provinces ofUkraine in the late 1920s and early 1930s.  These protestors acted in spite of the Soviet Regime and its forced procurement.  In response, the regime closed the borders to foreign aid, migration, and pursuit of food in other areas of theUSSR. 


            By the summer of 1932, most of the kulaks had perished, but the remaining peasants managed to keep their spirits of resistance to communism and collectivization despite the fact that they were on the brink of a mass starvation.  Stalin increased the total grain production quota by 44 percent, a goal that would definitely be impossible to attain, especially without the population's best farmers and the willing cooperation of the peasants.  “That year, not a single village was able to meet the impossible quota, which far exceededUkraine's best output in the pre-collective years” (Perloff 34).


            However, the collectives did reach and slightly exceeded the export quota, a component of of total grain production.  As the collectives did not meet the production quotas because they exceeded the export quotas, the Stalinist regime sought to make up for this difference by confiscating all remaining grain reserves, resulting in their possession of 1,500,000 tons of grain in state reserves.  “A million tons being sufficient to feed five million mouths during a whole year, the Soviet authorities had sufficient means to feed an additional fifteen million mouths, more than enough to prevent starvation during the worst years.  Collective farms became the means by which the totalitarian regime gave itself control . . . and the weapon of food in its war on farmers” (Serbyn 6).


            The pressure to increase the grain exports to foreign countries resulted in Stalin's order for the regime to confiscate all remaining grain reserves should the collectives fail to meet the declared productivity output quotas.  The government considered any collective or household grain that peasants refused to surrender to be stolen state property, and the Communist Party of the USSRdecreed that theft of “social property” was punishable by execution.  “Thousands of peasants were shot for attempting to take a handful of grain or a few beets from the kolkhozes” (Perloff 35).  At the famine's height, the daily death toll reached 25,000 people, and in 1933, the life expectancies for men and women hit an all time low of 7.3 years old and 10.8 years old, respectively.


            Starvation drove the Ukrainian peasants insane.  People turned to anything they could find that remotely resembled food – “weeds, leaves, tree bark, and insects.  The luckiest were able to survive secretly on small woodland animals” (Perloff 35).  While visitingUkraineduring the time of the famine, American journalist Thomas Walker noted:


            About twenty miles south ofKiev(Kyiv), I came upon a village that was practically extinct by    starvation.  There had been fifteen houses in this village and a population of forty-odd persons.      Every dog and cat had been eaten.  The horses and oxen had all been appropriated by the          Bolsheviks to stock the collective farms.  In one hut they were cooking a mess that defied        analysis.  There were bones, big-weed, skin, and what looked like a boot top in this pot.  The      way the remaining half dozen inhabitants eagerly watched this slimy mess showed the state of     their hunger (35).


The conditions the starving peasants faced were absolutely horrifying and unimaginable.  Some even turned to cannibalism.  The extent of the pain experienced by the Ukrainian people is indescribable and will forever haunt not only the few survivors still alive, but also every Ukrainian generation from then on forward.


            “After millions of Ukrainians died in their own native land, the authorities resettled tens of thousands of families fromRussia,Belarus, and other parts of theUSSRto the depopulated lands of Soviet Ukraine.  By the end of 1933 over 117,000 people were resettled inUkraine, at a 105% fulfillment rate” (“Holodomor” 13).  In addition to this tactic to cover up the huge population losses, the communist regime also altered official documents and produced propaganda to prevent word about the Holodomor from spreading.  “On Stalin's orders, those who conducted the 1937 population census, which revealed a sharp decrease in the Ukrainian population as a result of the Holodomor, were shot, while the census results were suppressed” (11).  The censorship and propaganda of the Stalinist regime proved to be relatively successful in suppressing publicity of the famine-genocide up until 2004.  When President Yuschenko was inaugurated, he authorized the opening of the KGB archives which contained documented proof of the 259 uprisings against the Soviet regime.  It was these uprisings that angered Stalin and triggered his violent genocidal campaign against the Ukrainian people.


            As 7 to 10 million men, women, and children alike perished from starvation, the world kept silent.  “The American government had ample and timely information about the Famine but failed to take any steps which might have ameliorated the situation.  Instead, the Administration extended diplomatic recognition to the Soviet government in November 1933, immediately after the famine” (Mace, Report viii).   Today, the efforts to silence talk of the Holodomor are in the process of being counteracted.  Although belated, the Commission on the Ukrainian Famine has recently exonerated the American government through its report to Congress.  Contemporary, independentUkraine still strives for international recognition of the tragedy its people endured, and there is no sign that people will  give up their awareness-raising efforts anytime soon.


                                                                     Works Cited


Mace, James E. "Chapter Three: Soviet Man-Made Famine in Ukraine." Century of Genocide:           Eyewitness Accounts and Critical Views. Ed. Samuel Totten,William S. Parsons, andIsrael W.      Charny.New York:Garland Publishing, 1997. 78-112. Print.


Mace, Staff Director James E. Report to Congress: Commission on the Ukraine Famine.Washington,         D.C.:United States Government Printing Office, 1988. Print.


Perloff, James. "Holodomor: The Secret Holocaust." New American (08856540) 25.4 (2009): 31-37.             Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Feb. 2012.


Serbyn, Roman. "Holodomor - The Ukrainian Genocide." Holodomor Studies 1.2 (2009): 4-9. Print.


Holodomor: Ukrainian Genocide in the Early 1930s. Kyiv:Ukraine 3000 International Charitable     Fund, 2008. Print.

Works Referenced


Bilinsky, Yaroslav. "Was The Ukrainian Famine Of 1932-1933 Genocide?" Journal Of Genocide         Research 1.2 (1999): 147. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Mar. 2012.


Borisow, Peter. "1933. Genocide. Ten Million. Holodomor." Canadian-American Slavic Studies 37.3             (2003). Print.


Conquest, Robert. The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine.New York:       Oxford UP, 1986. Print.


Fedorak, Bohdan. Statement. Holodomor: A Symposium on the 1932 to 1933 Ukrainian Famine-         Genocide.University of Windsor,Ontario,Canada. 30 October 2003.


Kondrashin, Viktor. "Hunger in 1932-1933 - A Tragedy of the Peoples of the USSR." Holodomor        Studies 1.2 (2009): 16-21. Print.


Motyl, Alexander J. "Deleting the Holodomor: UkraineUnmakes Itself." World Affairs (2010). World   Affairs. Sept.-Oct. 2010. Web. 6 Oct. 2010.         .


Paluch, Peter. "'Spiking The Ukrainian Famine, Again." National Review 38.6 (1986): 33-38. Academic          Search Complete. Web. 21 Mar. 2012.


Serhii Pyrozhkov, et al. "A New Estimate Of Ukrainian Population Losses During The Crises Of The     1930S And 1940S." Population Studies 56.3 (2002): 249-264. Academic Search Complete.        Web. 21 Feb. 2012.


Serhijchuk, Volodymyr. "The 1932-1933 Holodomor in the Kuban: Evidence of the Ukrainian   Genocide." Holodomor Studies 1.2 (2009): 28-45. Print.


"Ukraine." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition.            Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2012.             .


Wheatcroft, S. G. "Towards Explaining Soviet Famine Of 1931–3: Political And Natural Factors In        Perspective." Food & Foodways: History & Culture Of Human Nourishment 12.2/3 (2004):      107-136. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Feb. 2012.




Lesia Fedorak

March 21, 2012

Source Critique


            In his article “Was the Ukrainian famine of 1932-1933 genocide?” Yaroslav Bilinksky explores various scholars’ literature to identify their reasons for classifying or refraining from classifying the Ukrainian famine of 1932 to 1933 as an act of genocide. Bilinksky first refers to a book edited by Roman Serbyn and Bohdan Krawchenko that concludes that the artificial starvation of the Ukrainian people was not of a genocidal nature. However, various other scholars including James E. Mace and Vasyl Hryshko classify the hunger as an act of genocide. Bilinksky considers the disagreement between these and hundreds of other historians, political analysts, and sociologists, blaming the argument on the lack of a universally acknowledged definition of the word “genocide.” The author of this article ends with a restatement of his argument that “both logic and political usage inUkrainepoint in one direction, that of the terror-famine being genocidal” (Bilinksky 154).


            The most effective and most blatant rhetorical device Yaroslav Bilinksky employs in this article is an appeal to the audience’s sense of logos. On the most basic level, the evidence of this is the author’s abundant use of references to credible works by greatly respected, intelligent, and accurate historians and political analysts including James E. Mace, Robert Conquest, and many others. The article is full of quotes from these sources; Bilinksky inserts excerpts from James E. Mace on page 147, Vasyl Hryshko on pages 149 to 150, and Robert Conquest on page 150, among various other authors.  For instance, the reader regards Bilinksky's argument to be logical because he exudes confidence in statements such as “I believe that the famine clearly fits the somewhat loose UN Genocide Convention” (152).  The combination of asserted assurance and proceeding evidence makes for a solid argument. The research that went into both the works which Bilinksky cites and Bilinksky’s work of his own appeal to readers’ sense of logic in that the readers rightfully trust and consider the facts of the matter at hand, the Holodomor, and the author’s own conclusions.


            Yaroslav Bilinksky develops his points very well in this article, and thus his argument is clear, logical, and effective. Through the use of appeal to logic, Bilinksky convinces readers to understand the facts and conclusions from his point of view. The abundance of references to scholarly works also greatly contributes to the effectiveness of his argument. Additionally, Bilinksky’s approach to the debated, controversial argument – whether or not the Holodomor was an act of genocide – from each side builds the author’s credibility. For example, Bilinksky considers that “On the other hand the famine is evaluated differently – as genocide – in the small 1983 volume by the Ukrainian scholar and publicist Vasyl Hryshko . . . Robert Conquest . . . and the publications of the US Commission on the Ukraine Famine” (149).  By exploring numerous sources for the two main sides of the argument at hand, Bilinksky solidifies the credibility of his work.  A reader may not accuse the author of having an ignorant or one-sided approach to the topic because he addresses his opponents’ claims and is, in fact, able to provide rational arguments to dispute them.



Lesia Fedorak

March 21, 2012

Source Critique


            In his article “Harvesting Despair: Spiking the Ukrainian Famine, Again,” Peter Paluch reports on Walter Duranty’s made-for-television documentary Harvest of Despair and the response it received by the international community. Paluch first mentions the awards that the film won at the 28th International Film and TV Festival ofNew York in 1985, which include the gold medal in the TV Documentaries category as well as the Grand Award Trophy Bowl. However, despite the high acclaim for the documentary by film critics and historians everywhere, there was a disappointing lack of viewers in theUnited States. Paluch continues by giving a brief background of the Holodomor, its implications, and its lack of publicity due to Soviet propaganda and Western vendibility and ignorance.


            Peter Paluch’s use of touching, passionate diction creates an air of eloquence of the text, which successfully grasps the audience’s attention. For example, the author chooses specific words to construct phrases such as “cataclysm,” (Paluch 33) “pervasiveness of the very political bias,” and “of burning concern” (38). These words convey a sense of passion and injustice, which subtly call for the agitation of the reader and, consequently, his or her support in bringing attention to and acknowledgement of the tragedy that was the Holodomor.  The author takes advantage of the subdued appeal to the audience's pathos that comes hand in hand with the vehement diction, effectively drawing in the audience.


            The author develops his point very clearly in this article: he recognizes the failure of the international community to recognize Harvest of Despair and its message and calls for the public to support worldwide recognition of the film and what it stands for. Paluch makes numerous references to historians and their accounts on the Holodomor, thus building credibility.  For instance, Paluch states that “The true extent of the human cataclysm is perhaps more accurately suggested by Dr. W. Horsley Gantt, a British physician who was in the Soviet Union at the time and who relayed private estimates by Soviet officials of as many as 15 million killed, fully half the Ukrainian nation, and equal to the population of all of Central America today” (33).  The author strengthens his argument with references such as this one.  Bringing in outside sources to support one's argument is the most significant way to improve said argument, and Paluch successfully executes this fortifying maneuver.



Lesia Fedorak

March 21, 2012

Source Critique


            James E. Mace recounts a brief history of the Holodomor of 1932 to 1933 in “Chapter Three: Soviet Man-Made Famine in Ukraine,” which is found in Century of Genocide: Eyewitness Accounts and Critical Views.  This chapter written by Mace explores the political issues, struggles, and inconsistencies that arose in response to the Stalinist regime's aggressive, totalitarian hold on the Ukrainian nation.  The author explains specific actions taken by Stalin to suppress the peasants – for example, his involvement with the Ukrainian Communist party conference in July of 1932 as well as his calling the 1932 committee of the All-Union Communist Party Central Committee and USSR Council of Peoples Commissars on Grain Procurements inUkraine, theNorth Caucasus, and Western District.  He concludes his portion of the chapter by reporting on the long-range impact the Holodomor has on Ukrainians to this day.  The second portion of the chapter includes three eyewitness accounts of survivors' experiences during the famine.


            The frank diction found in James E. Mace's chapter allows for his concise, forthright discourse about the Holodomor.  Mace does not sugarcoat nor overdramatize the subject, but rather tells it like it is.  This allows readers of all levels of intellect to understand his message clearly because the author is not concerned with especially eloquent language.  Through the employment of words such as “social development,” (Mace 79) “ideology,” (82) and “autonomy,” (83) the author is able to convey his points clearly without compromising the intensiveness of the historical and political material he presents in this chapter.


            James E. Mace's argument is strengthened by the facts he presents regarding the Holodomor.  His extensive list of works referenced found in the back of the book names numerous credible sources written by his fellow specialists in the field of Eastern European history and genocide research.  As do all other logical authors, Mace supports his argument with outside research.  For example, when discussing the total losses experienced by the Ukrainian people, Mace references Soviet historian Michael Ellman: “. . . demographers in the formerSoviet Unionhave calculated that . . . during the year 1933 the population decreased by 5.9 million.  Their figures further suggest that the number of victims of the famine in 1933 was between 7.2 and 8.1 million” (87-88).  By paraphrasing and crediting scholarly works, Mace builds the reliability and legitimacy of his own arguments.




Lesia Fedorak

March 21, 2012

Source Critique


            In his speech presented at Holodomor: A Symposium on the 1932 to 1933 Ukrainian Famine-Genocide hosted by theUniversityofWindsor, Bohdan Fedorak reports on today's attempts to bring light to the famine.  He focuses on two events with which he was directly associated: the US Congress' Commission on the Ukraine Famine, established in 1984, and the Kyiv Memorial Society's exposition titled "Not To Be Forgotten" - A Chronicle of the Communist Inquisition in Ukraine 1917-1991, established in 2003.  The speech outlines the achievements of the Commission on the Famine as well as the exposition.  Some of these achievements include international recognition of the facts of the Holodomor such as the famine was not related to drought, in the fall of 1932 Stalin used the “procurement crisis” in Ukraine as an excuse to tighten his control on Ukraine and to intensify grain seizures further, and during the famine, certain members of the American press corps cooperated with the Soviet government to deny the existence of the Ukrainian Famine.


            Bohdan Fedorak effectively uses a strong-willed tone to deliver his argument in a manner which promotes the audience to consider the facts of the matter at hand.  Fedorak's assertive tone is evident in statements such as, “That seminal decision [to establish the Commission on the Ukraine Famine] was the consequence of a number of factors coming together at the same time that created the necessary critical mass for such an unprecedented action by the US Congress.”  Coupled with the logic and legitimacy of his argument, the speaker's tone contributes to the overall success of his speech as moving and convincing.


            The argument present in the speech is irrefutable because of the solid evidence and facts provided by Fedorak.  There is no doubt in the legitimacy of Fedorak's outline of achievements of the Commission on the Famine, as it is a collection of agreed-upon facts.  The logic behind the speaker's argument is clear and reasonable, and he supports it well.  Bohdan Fedorak's first hand experience with the work conducted by the Preparatory Committee for the Observance of the 1933 Famine, to which he was appointed by then-president-of-Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk, solidifies his credibility as a knowledgeable source of information on today's efforts to raise awareness of the famine.  Additionally, Fedorak supports his argument regarding the extensive efforts Ukrainians have displayed by informing the audience that “Congress appropriated $400,000 for the commission from the fiscal year 1985 onwards.  Some research funds also came from Ukrainian Diaspora organizations and private individuals.”  With this statement, Fedorak emphasizes the extent of various awareness activists and promoters efforts to generate funding, thus emphasizing their persistency and dedication to bringing light to the Holodomor.



Lesia Fedorak

March 21, 2012

Annotated Bibliography


Serhii Pyrozhkov, et al. "A New Estimate Of Ukrainian Population Losses During The Crises Of The     1930S And 1940S." Population Studies 56.3 (2002): 249-264. Academic Search Complete.        Web. 21 Feb. 2012.


This article describes two tragically fatal periods in twentieth-centuryUkraineunder the Soviet regime: the Holodomor of 1932-1933 and World War II. Serhii Pyrozhkov and his colleagues sought to filter the demographic fluctuations ofUkraineduring these periods, categorizing the population losses by cause: birth deficits, migration flows, and excess mortality rates. From there, they were able to estimate “the changes in Ukrainian mortality rates by sex and age during the years 1926 to 1959” (249). The authors provide charts, graphs, and other empirical data, which allow readers to better understand and comprehend the magnitude of the destruction experienced by the Ukrainian population during these times. The birth, mortality, fertility, and migration rates reflect the changes in the demographics of the population during the artificial hunger as well as the war. This source is relevant to my research project because the numbers and trends reported by Pyrozhkov and his co-authors will provide credible evidence that may be referenced in discussion of the immediate effects of the Holodomor on the demographics of the Ukrainian population. For example, I will definitely cite the reported life expectancies for 1933: 7.3 years for males and 10.8 years for females.  These numbers which indicate a drastic fall in life expectancies will aid in emphasizing the severity of the skyrocketing mortality rates of that time.



Wheatcroft, S. G. "Towards Explaining Soviet Famine Of 1931–3: Political And Natural Factors In        Perspective." Food & Foodways: History & Culture Of Human Nourishment 12.2/3 (2004):      107-136. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Feb. 2012.


In this article, S. G. Wheatcroft explores a plethora of factors that are argued to have contributed to the cause of the famine.  Wheatcroft outlines four basic approaches to understanding the famine, the fourth being his own set of conclusions from his point of view.  The author claims that the great famine of 1931-1933 shared a few characteristics with previous famines in the same general area.  Wheatcroft asserts that natural factors had a great deal of influence on the Holodomor, implying that Stalin’s policy was not the only cause.  The content of this article will prove to be helpful in explaining the background, causes, and context of the Holodomor. Before reading this article, I had not really considered the possibility that factors such as natural causes may have had a significant impact on the causation of the famine. This article will prove to have prevented my own ignorance from being reflected in my research project.  However, knowing for a fact thatUkrainehas always been known as the breadbasket ofEuropeand having come across no other academic material which so strongly claims the significance of unsavory natural factors in the causation of the famine, I am not relying completely on the supposed accuracy of this text.  I will look into the other works referenced by Wheatcroft to confirm the legitimacy of his claims.



Perloff, James. "Holodomor: The Secret Holocaust." New American (08856540) 25.4 (2009): 31-37.             Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Feb. 2012.


James Perloff wrote this article aboutUkraine’s struggle for freedom from oppression by theSoviet Union, specifically during the time of the Holodomor.  Perloff provides a historical background of the tension leading up to Stalin’s implementation of the artificial famine, explaining the irony of the famine occurring in the region which had been known for centuries as the breadbasket ofEurope. The article explains the collective farms which the Soviet regime forced Ukrainian peasants into and reveals the horrid conditions and tragedies Ukrainians faced on a daily basis.  He dives into the catalytic chain of events which drove Stalin's animosity toward the Ukrainian nation, leading him to react viciously.  The back-and-forth struggle between the Ukrainian peasant majority and the oppressive Stalinist regime went on for a couple of years during the time of the hunger and proved to be catastrophically destructive – Perloff conveys the magnitude of this destruction with illustrative, bone-chilling eyewitness accounts of survivors. The author reports on the ways the West hid the holocaust as well as the ways Ukrainians across the world today try to promote awareness of the Holodomor. Perloff’s article is highly relevant to my research topic and will certainly prove to benefit my explanation of the policies and procedures Stalin implemented to create the famine.  His detailed descriptions of the conditions peasants faced during the famine are shocking and horrifying and will contribute to my presentation of the Holodomor.  This source is one of the most beneficial articles I have come across. The clarity and length of this article are what make it so helpful to my research.  Paluch concisely covers a little bit of everything about the Holodomor.  I find his article helpful in that I may use it as a basic framework to refer back to whenever I get caught up in the long-winded discussions found in other sources.



Conquest, Robert. The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine.New York:       Oxford UP, 1986. Print.


Robert Conquest is one of the most highly regarded historians to study the Ukrainian Holodomor of 1932 to 1933.  His book The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine is a testament to the extensiveness of his research and work in the field of Eastern European history.  This book consists of three parts: Part I, “The Protagonists: Party, Peasants, and Nation,” Part II, “To Crush the Peasantry,” and Part III, “The Terror-Famine.”  The text chronologically recounts the Holodomor in extraordinary detail.  Conquest explores the tragic famine-genocide from all angles, compiling the fruits of his lifelong research into his book, the first full history of the Holodomor.  This source is highly relevant to my research topic in the most clear of ways.  What will prove to be beneficial to my writing process is the outline of the text on the contents page.  The headings will allow me to find which sections I should visit to find the necessary information I need.



"Ukraine." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition.   Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2012.             .


The Encyclopædia Britannica entry for Ukraine includes the typical, ridiculously extensive information about the entire country.  For the purpose of my research, I focused on the “Soviet Ukraine” section, and, more specifically, the section concerned with the famine of 1932 to 1933.  The encyclopedia entry gives a brief history of the Holodomor, stating that “The famine was a direct assault on the Ukrainian peasantry, which had stubbornly continued to resist collectivization . . . Its deliberate nature is underscored by the fact that no physical basis for famine existed in Ukraine” (“Ukraine”).  The fact that this unbiased source coincides with the information of other texts by Ukrainian authors supports the legitimacy of said other texts.  This encyclopedia entry is simple and easy to understand and will certainly help me keep the basics straight, similar to James Perloff's article.  Also, I will use this to double check the facts I find in other articles.  For example, this encyclopedia entry confirms that “the Soviet Union exported more than a million tons of grain to the West during this period” as well as the claim that “Soviet authorities flatly denied the existence of the famine both at the time it was raging and after it was over” (“Ukraine”).



Mace, Staff Director James E. Report to Congress: Commission on the Ukraine Famine. Washington,          D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1988. Print.


This book is the Report to Congress prepared by the Congress-appointed Commission on the Ukraine Famine.  The United States Congress appropriated $400,000 of funding to the Commission to investigate the famine-genocide.  This Report to Congress is a thorough account of the Holodomor written by a team of historians, diplomats, professors, and policymakers.  They conducted extensive research and compiled the report in an effort to expand the American public'sknowledge of the famine.  The exposé on the Soviet regime's role was meant to open the government's as well as the public's eyes to the atrocity of the famine.  This source is relevant to my research in that it concerns the truth about the Holodomor as opposed to the propaganda the general public was subjected to at the time of the famine.  The report is perhaps the most extensively well-researched publication on the topic of the famine and is therefore possibly the greatest work I could ever consult for information to supplement my research paper.




Correspondent who exposed Soviet Ukraine's manmade famine focus of new documentary

Mark Brown, Arts Correspondent, Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Friday 13 November 2009

LONDON - In death he has become known as "the man who knew too much" – a fearless young British reporter who walked from one desperate, godforsaken village to another exposing the true horror of a famine that was killing millions.

Gareth Jones's accounts of what was happening in Soviet Ukraine in 1932-33 were different from other western accounts. Not only did he reveal the true extent of starvation, he reported on the Stalin regime's failure to deliver aid while exporting grain to the west. The tragedy is now known as the Holodomar
and regarded by Ukrainians as genocide.

Two years after the articles Jones was killed by Chinese bandits in Inner Mongolia – murdered, according to his family, in a Moscow plot as punishment.

The remarkable story of Jones is being told afresh by his old university, Cambridge, which is putting on public display for the first time Jones's handwritten diaries from his time in Ukraine.

They will go on display at the Wren Library alongside items relating to rather better known Trinity old boys such as Newton, Wittgenstein and AA Milne, coinciding with a new documentary about Jones and the famine – "The Living" – which gets its British premiere this evening.

The story of Jones, a devout, non-comformist teetotaller from Barry, often has elements of Indiana Jones and Zelig.

Rory Finnan, a lecturer in Ukrainian studies at Cambridge, called him "a true hero"."He is a remarkable historical figure and it is also remarkable that he is not well known. Jones was the only journalist who risked his name and reputation to expose the Holodomor to the world."

Jones became interested in Ukraine and learned Russian because of his mother who worked as a governess for the family of John Hughes, a Merthyr Tydfil engineer who founded a town in southern Ukraine called Hughesovka – now called Donetsk.

After graduating, Jones was introduced to David Lloyd George and quickly became his foreign adviser, visiting the USSR for the first time as the former prime minister's eyes and ears.

It was in 1932-33 though that Jones would make his name, walking alone along a railway line visiting villages during a terrible famine that killed millions.

He sent moving stories of survivors to British, American and German newspapers but they were rubbished by the Stalin regime – and derided by Moscow-based western journalists, men like the New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty, who wrote: "There is no famine or actual starvation, nor is there likely to be," and dismissed Jones' eyewitness accounts as a "big scare story".

The only other reporter writing about the extent of the famine was Malcolm Muggeridge in the Manchester Guardian, although his three articles were heavily cut and not bylined.

In the Ukraine, Jones is something of a national hero and last year both he and Muggeridge were awarded the highest honour Ukraine gives to non-citizens, the order of freedom, for their reporting during 1932-33.

But there is more to Jones's story and a Zelig-like quality to his life. For example, he was once on a 16-seat aircraft with the new German chancellor, Adolph Hitler, and Joseph Goebbels, on their way to a rally in Frankfurt. Jones wrote for the Western Mail that if the plane had crashed the history of western Europe history would have changed forever.

Another time, outside the gates of the White House, he saw the one-time American president Herbert Hoover preparing to have his photograph taken with schoolchildren. Soon enough, somehow, Jones is in the photograph.

After his Ukraine articles Jones was banned from the USSR and, in many eyes, discredited. The only work he could get was in Cardiff on the Western Mail covering "arts, crafts and coracles", according to his great-nephew Nigel Linsan Colley. But again his life changed.

He managed to get an interview with a local castle owner: William Randolph Hearst who owned St Donat's Castle near Cardiff. The newspaper magnate was obviously taken by Jones's accounts of what had happened in Ukraine and invited the reporter to the US.

Jones dutifully arrived at Hearst's private station – as Chico Marx was leaving the estate – and wrote three articles for Hearst and used, for the first time, the phrase "manmade famine".

Again the articles were damned and wrongly discredited. Banned from the USSR, Jones decided he wanted to explore what was going on in the far east and, in particular, what Japan's intentions were. The day before his 30th birthday Jones was kidnapped and killed by Chinese bandits. Jones's descendants believe it happened with the complicity of Moscow. "There is no direct proof," said Colley, "but plenty of indirect proof."

Colley is pleased that his great-uncle is getting the recognition he believes is deserved and the family is clearly proud. "I don't know whether he was brave or stupid. He knew the risks he was taking, I think, but because he was a British citizen he thought he was indestructible."


Welsh journalist Gareth Jones snuck into Ukraine in March of 1933

By Raphael G. Satter, The Associated Press (AP)
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, November 12, 2009
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Friday, November 13, 2009
The Boston Globe, Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, November 13, 2009
FoxNews11AZ, Tucson, Arizona, Thursday, November 12, 2009

LONDON -- The diaries of a British reporter who risked his reputation to expose the horrors of Stalin's murderous famine in Ukraine are to go on display on Friday.

Welsh journalist Gareth Jones snuck into Ukraine in March of 1933, at the height of an artificial famine engineered by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin as part of his campaign to force peasants into collective farms. Millions were starving to death as the Soviet secret police emptied the countryside of grain and livestock.

Jones' reporting was one of first attempts to bring the disaster to the world's attention.

"Famine Grips Russia - Millions Dying" read the front page of the New York Evening Post on March 29, 1933. "Famine on a colossal scale, impending death of millions from hunger, murderous terror ... this is the summary of Mr. Jones's firsthand observations," the paper said.

As starvation and cannibalism spread across Ukraine, Soviet authorities exported more than a million tons of grain to the West, using the money to build factories and arm its military.

Historians say that between 4 million and 5 million people perished in 1932-1933 in what Ukrainians called the Great Famine.

Walking from village to village, Jones recorded desperate Ukrainians scrambling for food, scribbling brief interviews in pencil on lined notebooks.

"They all had the same story: 'There is no bread - we haven't had bread for two months - a lot are dying,'" Jones wrote in one entry.

"We are the living dead," he quoted one peasant as saying.

Jones' eyewitness account had little effect on world opinion at the time. Stalin's totalitarian regime tightly controlled the flow of information out of the U.S.S.R., and many Moscow-based foreign correspondents - some of whom had pro-Soviet sympathies - refused to believe Jones' reporting.

The New York Times' Walter Duranty, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, dismissed his article as a scare story.
"Conditions are bad, but there is no famine," Duranty wrote a few days after Jones' story was published. Other correspondents chimed in with public denials.

With his colleagues against him, Jones was discredited.

Eugene Lyons, an American wire agency reporter who gradually went from communist sympathizer to fierce critic of the Soviet regime, later acknowledged the role that fellow journalists had played in trying to destroy Jones' career.
"Jones must have been the most surprised human being alive when the facts he so painstakingly garnered from our mouths were snowed under by our denials," Lyons wrote in his 1937 autobiography, "Assignment in Utopia."
Lyons' admission came too late for Jones, who was killed under murky circumstances while covering Japan's expansion into China in the run-up to World War II.

British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, whom Jones had once served as an aide, said shortly after his death in 1935 that the intrepid journalist might have been killed because he "knew too much of what was going on."
"I had always been afraid that he would take one risk too many."
Jones' handwritten diaries are on display at the Wren Library at Trinity College in Cambridge, where he was a student, until mid-December.
On the Net: Trinity College:
Web site devoted to Gareth Jones:

International Recognition of the Holodomor as an act of Genocide