Unfortunately, few writers in the USSR dared put on paper any account of the suffering and privations of that year. They could not, for even a mention of the famine brought swift retribution by murder from the NKVD, or slave labor in Siberia.For, officially, there was no famine. Stalin very graciously refused all offers of aid from foreign countries, assuring them that no famine existed in the Soviet Ukraine: the whole USSR lived in the utmost contentment and abundance. Communist papers abroad, ever-willing slaves of Moscow, outdid each other in spreading this convincing reply throughout the world.Yet, in 1941, when the Germans entered Ukraine, they found in the Academy of Science in Kiev the true statistics of the crops harvested in 1932. These figures proved, statistically, that the yield was sufficient to feed the Ukrainian population for 2 years and 4 months. There was no natural cause of this famine; it was purposely created to break the resistance of the farmers to the collective farm system.All the grain of 1932 was loaded into special trains as soon as it was threshed, and it was immediately appropriated by the government. The carloads rolled northward to feed the bureaucrats of Moscow, or to be exported to finance plans for communist revolution in China and other countries. The Ukrainian farmer received only the screenings from the threshing machines.
During the latter part of 1932, the farm women added potato peelings, weeds, anything to stretch the loaves of black bread. With the coming of 1933, even these meagre additions were unavailable. People ground the bark of trees, scratched roots from the frozen ground, searched hopelessly for any substance which would keep body and soul together.Helpless, despairing, they died by thousands, by tens of thousands, yes, by millions. The statistical bureaus were ordered to register the deaths as resulting from prevalent "digestive ailments", not from starvation.Peasants who could still stand on their feet, gathered their few belongings and flocked to the cities. Here a person could exchange an artistically embroidered shirt, a most highly-prized possession, for a single loaf of bread. Beautiful priceless rugs, heirlooms through generations, could be bought for a few pounds of flour. The Russian elite covered their walls and floors with such treasures.
Through the streets of Kiev, Kharkiw, Dnipropetrowske, Odessa and other cities, the miserable hulks of humanity dragged themselves along on swollen feet, begging for crusts of bread or searching for scraps in garbage heaps, frozen and filthy. Each morning wagons rolled along the streets, picking up the emaciated remains of the dead. Often even the undershirt had been stripped from the corpse, to be exchanged for a slice of bread. (Read entire article.)Share