14 November, 2009

Remembering the Holodomor

This weekend, people in the Ukraine remember the victims of the Holodomor, otherwise known as the Ukraine Famine of 1932-1933 -- one of several genocidal acts perpetrated by Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Communists during their reign. Estimates vary, but anywhere between 1 Million and 10 Million people perished during the famine, this despite the fact that the Ukraine was experiencing a bumper crop of food production during the entire time period.

It is generally recognized that the famine was orchestrated by Stalin, for the sole purpose of subjugating the Ukraine during a time of unrest and rising nationalism; in this Stalin largely succeeded, as the primary victims of the genocide where the peasants and workers while those more closely associated with the Communist regime were given preferential treatment. Everyone was equal, but some were more equal than others.

Stalin managed to keep the famine mostly hidden from world view by heavily restricting access to the Ukraine by outsiders. The infamous Walter Duranty, the Soviet Union correspondent for the New York Times, was one of the few to be allowed to visit, but like the useful idiot he was he only reported to the world the story Stalin wanted the world to hear (more on the New York Times and their shameful history with Stalin can be found here). But thankfully, some good reporters (such as Gareth Jones) did manage to sneak their way into the Ukraine and attempt to tell the world what was really going on, though they frequently were attacked by the likes of Duranty while doing so.

So on this weekend in November, let us pause to remember one of the great evils of the 20th Century, a genocide on par with the Holocaust that few know about. And vow that history should never, ever, under any circumstances, be allowed to repeat itself.

Some Links:
Holodomor Memorial website.
Holodomor UK website
Remember the Holodomor

No comments: