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Commemorating the Holodomor
March 9, 2008 4:57 PM   Subscribe

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor. The Holodomor was the starvation of millions of Ukranians at the hands of the Soviets. The Ukranian government is using this year to push for greater recognition for the genocide. Ukranian communities in Australia, Canada and all over the globe are holding events all year in the lead up to this years Holodomor day on November 25.
posted by sien (14 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thank you for posting this.
posted by homunculus at 5:21 PM on March 9, 2008


Spreading awareness of the famine is a good thing; yet we ought to remember that the famine was not confined to Ukraine, but extended throughout the major agricultural areas of the then Soviet Union. Nice post sien!
posted by boubelium at 5:35 PM on March 9, 2008


I never knew about this before. Thank you for posting.
posted by typewriter at 5:55 PM on March 9, 2008


Is there no end to the agonies we inflict on each other...
posted by orange swan at 6:05 PM on March 9, 2008


What typewriter said.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:08 PM on March 9, 2008


One of the reasons for posting this was because of just how thin the information on the net about this event is. It is quite an odd experience these days to google something and not find a bazillion high quality links about it. Presumably there are good sites about it in Ukranian but in English it's under documented online.

boubelium: You're dead right. The starvation and mass deaths under the Soviets were horrific and the ignorance about them in the West when they occurred and even now is tragic.
posted by sien at 6:10 PM on March 9, 2008


Previously (did not go well)
posted by Artw at 6:22 PM on March 9, 2008


Talking about starvation...

"There is food on the shelves, but people are priced out of the market."
posted by ersatz at 7:15 PM on March 9, 2008


When I lived in Kiev (as an ESL teacher) I met a few people, generally student's grandparents, who remembered, as children, seeing bodies on the streets of that city. That and Babi Yar obviously had a profound impact on the children who survived.
An excellent book on the Terror-Famine is Robert Conquest's controversial to some Harvest of Sorrow.
posted by dawson at 8:58 PM on March 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


It wasn't just the Ukranians either. The mass collectivization of the farms of the Soviet Union caused millions to slaughter their livestock and hoard grain. The people eventually starved, including the farmers. Stalin didn't plan for the people to starve, but when things got out of hand, they didn't really do anything and figured that no matter what, if the government stood strong despite the famine, the people would eventually cave in. He was unfortunately right.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:21 PM on March 9, 2008


I second Dawson's recommendation of Conquest's Harvest of Snow. I would also recommend Robert Gellately's Age of Social Catastrophe which nicely covers the famines under Lenin and Stalin as well as giving a good review of the scholarly debates regarding the numbers affected.
posted by boubelium at 12:39 AM on March 10, 2008


Thanks for the post. It's an important topic that doesn't get enough attention.

Spreading awareness of the famine is a good thing; yet we ought to remember that the famine was not confined to Ukraine, but extended throughout the major agricultural areas of the then Soviet Union.

We ought to remember that, yes, just as we ought to remember that Poles, Gypsies, Communists, etc., were killed in Hitler's death camps as well as Jews, but in each case one group was particularly singled out for death and deserves a term that only applies to it (from the Wikipedia article: "The term Holodomor is applied only to the famine that took place in the territories of the Ukrainian SSR during the wider famine that affected other regions of the USSR"). Ukraine did not just happen to be in the path of a general disaster, it was singled out:
The famine of 1932-1933 followed the assault on Ukrainian national culture that started in 1928. The events of 1932-1933 in Ukraine were seen by the Soviet Communist leaders as an instrument against Ukrainian self-determination. At the 12th Congress of the Communist Party of Ukraine, Moscow-appointed leader Pavel Postyshev declared that "1933 was the year of the defeat of Ukrainian nationalist counter-revolution."
Previously (did not go well)

That's because both Mayor Curley and matteo decided to share their love of stirring up shit in that thread. If they stay out of this one, it should go fine. Otherwise, it's Godwin ahoy!
posted by languagehat at 7:12 AM on March 10, 2008


Stalin didn't plan for the people to starve

What does that even mean? That's like saying "The US didn't plan for civilian deaths when it carpet-bombed villages."
posted by languagehat at 7:13 AM on March 10, 2008


Late last year, Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal explaining why Ukraine had passed a law recognizing the Holodomor as an act of genocide. He's called on other countries to do the same, and I think more than 15 have done so.
posted by Kabanos at 11:00 AM on March 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


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