“This, He wanted to form the country“This, He wanted to form the country

“This, children, is what is called a bloodless war…” (Hannah Doroshenko – Holodomor 1932-33).  Stalin’s five year plan was to transform the Soviet Union into a socialist state by the industrialization and collectivization of Soviet farms. Stalin, knowing that the Soviet Union was already falling behind other countries, desired to make swift changes without concern of the human costs. He believed that the Ukrainians were a major obstacle in his way and purposely created a widespread famine to clear a path for his plan. This political charged famine, of which its existence was questioned due to conflicting news reports, upon the Ukrainian Kulaks and peasant society led to the near extinction of their population. Franklin Roosevelt, not wanting to compromise his fledgling relationship with the Soviets, chose to believe the denial of the famine. After roughly five decades of concealment, Holodomor finally received the recognition it deserved.Holodomor – made up of the two words holod, meaning starvation, and moryty, meaning to kill, making up the definition of “to kill by starvation.” Numerous events led up to the Holodomor Famine of 1932, one of which was the Bolshevik Revolution that began in 1917. The Bolsheviks were guided by Vladimir Ilyich Ulianov, known as Lenin; they had come together to rebel against the Russian government, which at the time was being ran by Tsar Nicholas II. After successfully overthrowing Nicholas, the Bolsheviks were the new government of Russia, and Lenin became the first leader of the Soviet Union. Furthermore, because Ukraine was under the power of Russia for an extensive amount of time, they wanted to start an independence movement. However, Ukraine first had to wait until Tsar’s reign ended. Despite their hard work, the independence only lasted for one year; Lenin wanted to regain his power. This drove him to begin a four-year long war, after which the Soviet Union succeeded in the takeback of Ukraine. Following this, to bring peasants under communism, the Soviet Union implemented a famine. The government took everything from the peasants, proceeding to starvation and killing 3 million people. Immediately after Lenin’s death, Joseph Stalin came into power and laid out the blueprint that changed Ukraine’s history. He wanted to form the country into an industrial giant to help it gain global power. To do so, he started collectivization to abolish this civilization; this collectivization was only the start of Stalin’s goal of making the Soviet Union a socialist country. The definition of a kulak differered between people, but the definition that Stalin chose to accept was anyone who chose to defy his plan or not give up their individual farm; thus putting every Ukrainian at risk of Stalin’s fury. The kulaks refused to cooperate with the collectivization, leading Stalin to implement inhumane forms of punishment including execution, forced labor, and starvation. The kulaks could be blacklisted, furthermore banning them from buying normal goods, if they did not meet the grain quotas set in 1928. Knowing this, activist brigades occurred often in which Stalin’s forces barged into the Kulak’s homes along with their farm areas and stripped them of their belongings. The famine began in 1932, and only worsened the following two years. Addition to the confiscation of food, watchtowers were also set in 1932 to ensure that no harvest was stolen. Those who tried to steal a single grain would result in any punishment, even death, according to the “Five Ears of Corn Law” passed on August 7, 1932 by Stalin. Very few kulaks managed to escape because those who tried to escape would be sent back.  By 1933, Stalin ordered the borders of Ukraine to be completely closed.Numerous individuals have shared their stories, including one survivor in particular who chose to stay anonymous. Born in 1912 and living in the Kharvik Region, the survivor ate anything available,  it was clear that they had to leave the area. In the spring of 1933, the individual fled Kharkiv, “they walked 18 kilometers to the station…along the way there stood telephone poles and underneath every pole there lay dead people who had wanted to reach the city to get a piece of bread.”Various reporters from the United States and Europe traveled to Russia and Ukraine for further investigation of the famine. For example, in 1931, Andrew Cairns, an American agricultural expert, and Dr. Otto Schiller, a German expert found traces of starvation throughout their trip, and were approached by Ukrainians who begged for news of the famine to be revealed around the world. Yet, when they tried to publish their report, newspapers did not show any urgency in publishing it. In fact, Walter Duranty, an American correspondent who worked in Moscow for the New York Times, “…helped to discredit Cairns and Schiller” and even “…managed to deny or minimize the famine for the better part of the year” (“When all the world was starved of the truth”).  Duranty even stated, “conditions are bad, but there is no famine.”  Cairns and Schiller were only few of many reporters that chose to report on their findings beyond the Ukrainian border. William Henry Chamberlin, Harry Lang, Malcolm Muggerige, and Gareth Jones all reported on the truth behind the gruesome famine. Gareth Jones, in particular, investigated Ukrainian villages where he found starvation riddled throughout Ukraine. Using the information collected, Jones published numerous articles, only to be ridiculed and mocked by other Moscow correspondents in fear of Stalin. In fact, Duranty published an article responding to Jones in which he stated that “one can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs”. By 1935, Gareth Jones was found dead while reporting in Mongolia, a death many suspect to be tied to the Soviet Union. American Reporters, such as Duranty and respected founders of London School of Economics and Political Science, gained much from discrediting reports of the famine, for Duranty was said to have “had a large flat… had the best access of any correspondent”, all rewarded by the Soviet Union (How Stalin Hid Ukraine’s Famine From the World). For his denial, Stalin paid him off, allowing Duranty to live a lavish life in Moscow. Many officials chose to believe the false reports, including Franklin Roosevelt who needed to keep the United States and Soviet Union’s relationship intact. Roosevelt was a new president,  and did not want to create tension between Russia and the United States, which at the time was a new nation. Creating this tension would have resulted in a rivalry between the two nations. Instead Roosevelt wanted the United States to form an alliance with the Soviets and so he trusted Duranty. However, Roosevelt wasn’t provided with much of a choice, for Duranty was a credible reporter that denied the famine. Denying him and going with stories of the rebel writers would destroy any hope of the U.S. and Russia working together. With this denial, “The famine was accepted as a matter of course in one’s casual conversation.”(How Stalin Hid Ukraine’s Famine From the World.) Franklin Roosevelt aided in the disclosure of the famine. Due to these false reports and the public’s inability to recognize the seriousness of the famine, Joseph Stalin was able to carry out his plan of collecting farmland. However, if society had known that the famine was occurring, less lives would have been lost. It is believed that around ten million lives were lost throughout the genocide, and survivors will forever be scarred by the horrific tragedy that once struck them. Between the years 1933-1935 the Soviets replaced Ukrainian villagers, and russified Ukraine; while remaining Kulaks that survived the famine were sent off to Russia. Stalin succeeded in boosting industrialization, the GPD (gross domestic product) improved drastically after the famine and kept rising. There were attempts to place blame, for example in 1934 Hamilton Fish proposed a resolution to the House of Representatives, which tried to persecute the Soviets for this famine. However, not much came from these attempts. After numerous years of the Holodomor being hidden behind the Soviet government, it is finally receiving the recognition it deserves. With the work of Verkhovna Rada, a group fighting for human rights , the law, “On the Holodomor in Ukraine 1932-1933” finally acknowledged Holodomor as a Genocide. This law was passed on November 28, 2006, and was introduced by President Yushchenko, whilst other components such as amendments were proposed by Oleksandr Moroz, the speaker of Parliament. Years later, in 2009, the Central Investigation Department of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) launched a criminal case to legally prosecute the ones responsible for the Genocide. This resulted in the leaders of Bolshevik totalitarianism finally being charged with the organization and commission of genocide on January 10, 2010; however, it was dismissed because they had all passed away. Numerous countries started recognizing Holodomor as a Genocide before these events. Countries such as Argentina, Australia, Hungary, USA, and Canada recognized it in the year of 2003. Whilst, Georgia along with Lithuania recognized it in the year 2005. To this day, the relationship between Soviets and Ukraine is still not mended. Ukrainians are still wary of a tragedy like the Holodomor occuring once more, in fact a threat of one has surfaced. In the year 2014, Putin was planning to close off the Gazprom pipes that pumped gas into Europe which scared countless people. Unfortunately, the world has not learned from these tragedies; the concept of a famine wiping out countries is still in play. The famine that is currently taking place in Nigeria, Yemen, South Sudan, and Somalia is threatening the lives of 20 million people. A group known as Unity goes through these countries burning, raping, and massacring like a force of destruction. The famine is most drastic in Yemen, where 7 million lives are scathing away. Riot groups and other forces are keeping aid from coming into this country; the Saudi Arabian-led coalition recommended by the U.S., Britain, and a myriad of others has caused a great deal of destruction and is threatening the closure of Hodeida, the source of food for the citizens of Yemen. Thus, as a result of Joseph Stalin coming into power over the Soviet Union, over ten million lives were lost. To this day, the Holodomor is mostly unheard of, and multiple are trying to change that. The survivors that live to tell the story will be honored, and those whose lives were lost will be remembered and hopefully one day have the recognition that they deserve. Over the years, the terror of the Holodomor has become a globally-acknowledged issue that will forever haunt our humanity. With recognition, we can only hope that such an atrocious genocide will never occur again, and will be eliminated as a term.