A Century of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts

By Samuel Totten; William S. Parsons et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3

Soviet Man-Made Famine in Ukraine

JAMES E. MACE

It is now generally accepted that in 1932-1933 several million peasants-most of them Ukrainians living in Ukraine and the traditionally Cossack territories of the North Caucasus (now the Krasnodar, Stavropol, and Rostov on the Don regions of the Russian Federation)-starved to death because the government of the Soviet Union seized with unprecedented force and thoroughness the 1932 crop and foodstuffs from the agricultural population (Mace, 1984; Conquest, 1986). After over half a century of denial, in January 1990 the Communist Party of Ukraine adopted a special resolution admitting that the Ukrainian Famine had indeed occurred, cost millions of lives, had been artificially brought about by official actions, and that Stalin and his associates bore criminal responsibility for those actions (Holod, 1990, pp. 3-4).

The Ukrainian Famine corresponded in time with a reversal of official policies that had hitherto permitted significant self-expression of the USSR's non-Russian nations. During and after the Famine, non-Russian national self-assertion was labeled bourgeois nationalism and suppressed. The elites who had been associated with these policies were eliminated (Mace, 1983, pp. 264-301). The authorities of the period denied that a famine was taking place at the time, sought to discredit reports on the factual situation, insofar as possible prevented the starving from traveling to areas where food was available, and refused all offers of aid to the starving (Conquest, 1986; U.S. Commission on the Ukraine Famine, 1988: vi-xvv). They were assisted in this policy of denial by certain Western

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