Chapter 25
The Stalin-Made Famine

THE SECOND SOVIET FAMINE, which could easily have been averted, must rank as a colossal, fiendish crime on a par with Hitler's extermination camps. Even the gory purge of Lenin's party, terrible as it was, pales by comparison with the secret mass murder of millions of humble folk who by no stretch of the imagination could be placed in the category of "spies" or "counterrevolutionary agents." The peasants' real and only guilt was their love of home and a plot of ground which, after years of incessant toil, they had come to regard as their own.

The sole excuse for this silent extermination of men, women, and children--estimated conservatively at five million--was their passive resistance to collective slavery, their failure to co-operate in their own enslavement. This had aroused Stalin's wrath to a point where he was determined to let famine complete the work left undone by his killers.

Early in 1930, Stalin himself had called a halt to the massacre in rural Russia, branding his brigadiers as "criminals" and warning them that he would hold them accountable for their bloody deeds. This sensational order, which "reassured" the world, deceived few competent observers. The real motive behind Stalin's sudden change was fear of a complete breakdown on the

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