CRIMES OF KHRUSHCHEV AGAINST THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE
U.S. official document reveals his criminal attacks on Ukrainian before, during and after World War II.
Editor's Note: On September 9-11, 1959, the House Committee on Un-American Activities under the presidency of the Hon. Francis E. Walter of Pennsylvania, held extensive hearing on the role and responsibility of Nikita S. Khrushchev in Stalin's inhuman and barbarous persecution of the Ukrainian people. Among those who gave their testimonies were Dr. Lev E. Dobriansky, Petro Pavlovych, Dr. Ivan W. Malinin, Nicholas Prychodko, Constantin Kononenko, Mykola Lebed, Dr. Gregory Kostiuk, Prof. Ivan Wowchuk and Yuriy Lawrynenko. All - with the exception of Dr. Dobriansky - lived in Ukraine and personally experienced Khrushchev's criminal rule. Excerpts from their testimonies follow:
Dr. Lev E. Dobriansky
Dr. Dobriansky: The record of Khrushchev's crimes is really the basis of his whole political growth and ascension in the Soviet Union. As a matter of fact, it is the height of irony that we should be extending an invitation to a man who, on the basis of fact and truth, is really the greatest and most infamous genocidist alive today. The crimes of Khrushchev actually extend from the early thirties down to the present day.
Mr. Arens: Do you possess basic evidence with respect to those crimes?
Dr. Dobriansky: Yes. I myself, of course, had not witnessed these crimes. But on the basis of my socioeconomic studies and, of course, individual consultations with many witnesses who have been in Vynnytsia, Ukraine, and elsewhere, these crimes stack up in a rather staggering way.
I should like very quickly to recount them in a methodical and systematic manner to show how the career of this person has been based on a pyramid of crimes. Indeed, it justifies this title, "Khrushchev, the Political Criminal."
First, Mr. Khrushchev played a very significant role in the man-maid famine in Ukraine in the period of 1930-33. On the basis of performances in that famine he was promoted in 1934 to a full-fledged member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
Second, he was engaged in extensive purges in Ukraine actually to make way for himself to become eventually the first secretary of the Communist Party in Ukraine.
In these purges he directly engaged in the murder of people like Kossior and others. Countless others met death as a result of Khrushchev's perpetration of these extensive purges. Yet, quite cynically, in 1956 at the 20th party congress he posthumously rehabilitated the very people whom he had directly murdered. The purges continued during the period of the thirties to wipe out well over 400,000 Ukrainians.
Third, as the first secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine, he was involved in the heinous massacre of about 9,500 Ukrainians in Vynnytsia.
Fourth, during the war, as a security general in the NKVD, he exploited the Communist partisans primarily to provoke German occupying forces into augmenting their repressions and persecutions of the Ukrainian populace. Much of the populace was in favor, for a time, of German liberation. Seeing one alien totalitarianism supplanted by another, they soon fought against both Berlin and Moscow. Fifth, in 1944-46, Khrushchev was responsible for the liquidation of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and continued the suppression of the Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalic Church. He has continued to keep both institutions in extinction - no posthumous rehabilitation on this score.
Sixth, during the war and after, when he was dispatched again by Stalin to take control and wipe out the "bourgeois" nationalist forces in Ukraine, Khrushchev was heavily engaged in the liquidation of many individuals and groups connected with the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). He also inflicted damages, physical and personal, upon the populace which supported contingents of this army.
Seventh, in 1954-55, with his so-called virgin land policy, he precipitated a forcible resettlement of countless Ukrainian youth, male and female, to Kazakhstan. This, too, was really an act of genocide, a nation-destroying type of deportation under cover of economic resettlement.
Eighth, he was also, in 1954-55 responsible for the barbarous suppression of strikes by Ukrainian political prisoners at Vorkuta, Mordovia and Karaganda.
In Kingir, in 1954, he was responsible, by way of command, for the decimation of 500 Ukrainian women who protested conditions in that camp.
Mr. Petro Pavlovych
Mr. Pavlovych. - Only an analysis of political events in Ukraine can enable us to understand why Stalin and Khrushchev killed so many people in 1937-38.
In the period of January 25-31, 1937, the 14th Soviet conference was held in Ukraine and the new Stalin constitution was applied to Ukraine. From May 27 to June 3, 1937, the 13th party conference took place in Ukraine. In 1938, from June 13 to 18, the 14th party conference of Ukraine was held, at which time Khrushchev became the first secretary. On June 26, 1938, followed his election to the supreme Soviet government in Ukraine. By October 22, 1939, Khrushchev took over the western section of Ukraine.
If you analyze these points you find it easy to answer your question. Stalin sent Khrushchev to clean up Ukraine of its anti-Soviet and patriotic, nationalist elements and also of elements that would be against Khrushchev's party power in Ukraine.
Between 1937 and 1938 this happened in all of Russian-occupied Ukraine. In September 1939 and August 1940, the Red army went into the rest of Ukraine, then under Poland and Rumania, respectively.
Mr. Arens. - After these kidnappings and murders which you have just described in your community, which took place under Khrushchev's administration in 1937 and 1938, when was the fact of these kidnappings and murders made known to the free world?
Mr. Pavlovych. - In 1943, when the German army occupied Ukraine. They occupied it originally in 1941. It had been in the hands of the Russians up to that time. In 1943 there were no Russian armies in Ukraine. The graves were discovered in 1943. Many people who knew something about these graves were afraid to tell because they were afraid that Russians might come back and finish them off.
Mr. Arens. - What happened then to reveal and make known the extent of the massacres under Khrushchev's regime?
Mr. Pavlovych. - The disclosures were made by Ukrainian administration and initiative. The German Government gave its permission. This happened on May 24, 1943, in the orchards on Pidlisna Street, No. 1. The Ukrainian commission worked all the time alongside the German commission.
Mr. Arens. - How many graves were discovered?
Mr. Pavlovych. - During the period from May 24 to October 7, we discovered on Pidlisna Street 39 graves. One was empty; 5,644 bodies were in them.
Then, in the Orthodox Cemetery, 42 graves, 2,405 bodies; and in the Park of Culture and Recreation - we call it Gorky Park - 14 graves, 1,390 bodies.
Mr. Arens. - How many bodies were discovered in all?
Mr. Pavlovych. - 9,439.
Mr. Arens. - In how many mass graves?
Mr. Pavlovych. - Ninety-five graves altogether.
Mr. Arens. - Where photographs taken of the bodies and the graves?
Mr. Pavlovych. - Yes.
Mr. Nicholas Prychodko
Mr. Prychodko. - I was in slave labor camps in Ivdel, about 600 miles northeast of Sverdlov. At the end of my time in the concentration camp, I was on the edge of death because of extremely hard work and scarce food. In the entire complex there were 350,000 slaves. In the particular camp in which I was interned, there were around 3,000 slave laborers. The rate of death was approximately 15 per day while I was there.
Mr. Arens. - What was Nikita Khrushchev doing during your sojourn in the slave labor camps?
Mr. Prychodko. - In 1937, as I noticed on some official pictures, Khrushchev was just on the right hand of Stalin in the May Day parade. That means very much because nobody can stand at its own choice place where Stalin was. If he was on the right hand, it meant he was the most trusted man.
In January of 1938, he was sent as a dictator of Ukraine and no tariff in human life could be made with out an order of the secretary general of the Communist Party, who was Khrushchev.
At that time, I remember being in Kiev and Khrushchev arrived with a very big force of NKVD men from Moscow. They called a special meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. At that meeting they were surrounded by the people Khrushchev brought from Moscow and there was an interruption of the meeting at noontime. For example, the head of the Ukrainian People's Commissariat asked to go home; he shot his wife, himself and tried to shoot his son.
There was a tremendous purge all over Ukraine which followed the arrival of Khrushchev.
Prof. Constantin Kononenko
Mr. Kononenko. - At the beginning of World War II, the Ukrainian population demonstrated its feelings against communism and Russian domination, and this is a fact. Therefore, this can also be interpreted as expressed feelings against Stalin's policy. However, the leader of that policy in Ukraine was Khrushchev.
Although Khrushchev may today properly assess against Stalin the basic decision that there was to be a mass starvation in Ukraine, Khrushchev cannot obliterate the historical fact that he was actually the perpetrator of the details of this man-made famine; that he, Khrushchev, was the one who carried out the basic policy of Stalin pursuant to which millions of human beings were deprived knowingly, premeditatedly, of the food which they themselves had raised. Khrushchev cannot disassociate himself from the blood and misery of this awful epoch in the history of Ukraine, in which he directly, actively, and knowingly participated as chief engineer of the policy announced by his then chief, Stalin.
In 1930, Khrushchev was not yet then a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. By 1934, he became a full-fledged member of the Central Committee.
There is no doubt that in order to become a full-fledged member of the Central Committee, Khrushchev had to prove to Stalin that he was worthy of this promotion. This he did in executing the man-made famine policy in Ukraine.
Mr. Mykola Lebed
Mr. Lebed. - After his return in 1944 to Ukraine, Khrushchev and his subordinates started the mass deportation of the Ukrainian population which previously was under German occupation. Especially persecutions against the members of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army were begun.
When he could not liquidate from the very beginning the Ukrainian liberation movement and the UPA, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the Ukrainian population at large was very severely persecuted and, on many occasions, parts of it were murdered.
I should like, specially, to illustrate the methods of terror which were applied at that time. To those members of the Ukrainian resistance movement who were caught, as well as their families, the NKVD and KGB applied the following measures of terror:
With hot irons they tortured those prisoners who were caught.
They cut into the skin and tore the skin off from the living body.
They also nailed people on the cross.
They cut off the sexual organs, and breasts of women.
They cut out eyes, broke bones in legs and arms and extracted nails.
Mr. Arens. - Specifically, in what areas were these atrocities committed, to your certain knowledge?
Mr. Lebed. - In the districts of Tarnopil, Stanislaviv, Drohobych, Chernivtsi, Rivne, Zhytomyr, and Kaminets-Podilsk, all in Ukraine.
These methods of terror were applied not only to prisoners in interrogation rooms and cells, but also in public places, forcing people to get together to witness these atrocities.
At the same time a degree of bacteriological warfare was started. They poisoned medical capsules with certain injections of typhus. In certain areas sicknesses or illnesses were spread, and in order to cope with them there was a need for certain medical supplies and help.
So they poisoned medical capsules or medicines which were supposed to be used to cure a patient. In that way, instead of curing him they inflicted certain other diseases which became very widely spread after the injections.
Also, water for public use was poisoned. Cigarettes and chocolates were tampered with this manner. After consuming them, people became sick.
Mr. Arens. - What appeared to be to be the objective of the Communists in perpetrating these barbarities?
Mr. Lebed. - These methods were applied in order to terrorize the population of Ukraine and depress its will to resist the regime.
Mr. Arens. - Who was directing the perpetration of these barbarities in Ukraine?
Mr. Lebed. - Khrushchev was the man, since he was the "Gauleiter" at that time in Ukraine.
He was the first secretary of the Central Committee of Ukraine's Communist Party and the chairman of the Council of Ministers at that time.
This action was also directly led by Lieutenant General Riasny, at that time chief of the NKVD in Ukraine who was subordinate to Khrushchev.
I can continue to explain Khrushchev's methods and those of his subordinates in 1947 and in 1948 in Ukraine, if you wish.
Mr. Arens. - After the conclusion of the war did the attack continue under Khrushchev and his cohorts against the Ukrainian liberation forces?
Mr. Lebed. - Yes. It was not only continued, but also the most terrifying methods were applied after the war. This was not only against the members of the Ukrainian partisan movement but also against Ukrainian population, especially in those regions where the Ukrainian Insurgent Army was very active.
Here is a photo taken by the UPA of a pharmacist and sanitarian in the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) who were captured, tortured and murdered by the Reds in 1947.
Mr. Arens. - Do you have information respecting the activities of Khrushchev in connection with the genocide of the Catholic Church in Ukraine?
Mr. Lebed. - Yes; I do.
On April 11, 1945, 600 members of the NKVD surrounded the palace of Metropolitan Joseph Slipy and arrested on the same day all bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
Out of eight bishops, today there is alive only Metropolitan Joseph Slipy; all the others died.
Metropolitan Joseph Slipy was sentenced in 1945 to eight years in prison, and in April-May of this year, 1959, he was tried again in Kiev and was sentenced for an additional seven years to so-called labor camps, which are really concentration camps.
He is now 67 years old, and I have in my hand a picture of him.
I also have in my possession pictures of Ukrainian prisoners who had been murdered by the NKVD during 1941, when Khrushchev was the first secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine. I was a witness and saw with my own eyes those murdered prisoners.
Mr. Lebed. - I want to make clear that I have exact information, exact data if you wish, about the eight bishops, of whom seven died in concentration camps and only one, Metropolitan Joseph Slipy is still alive.
Dr. Gregory Kostiuk
Dr. Kostiuk. - In March and April of 1937 there was a very important plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. At this plenum Rykov and Bukharin, known Communist leaders, were expelled from the party. There was evidently a quiet opposition against the methods which Stalin had applied to his old comrades.
Stalin executed those who were in opposition to him at that March plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. And Khrushchev was not among this so-called opposition at that time - just to the contrary. I have here Khrushchev's speeches in 1937 in which he stated, and actually invited cooperation in this respect, that all so-called factions of Bukharin, Trotsky, and also bourgeois nationalists should be executed. I am quoting this from the Pravda issue of June 7, 1937. All that time he was the secretary of the Moscow district. Here is the exact citation: "To annihilate all Trotskyites, Zinovievites, enemies of the people, to the last kin, so that there will remain not even a memory behind them and to scatter them to the winds."
This was the time when Stalin was already embarked on his great purge of thousands of people. Khrushchev was on his side and was his very close collaborator and helper in that annihilation.
This shows that Stalin had very great faith in Khrushchev, and the fact that in that great purge Khrushchev was not touched definitely indicates this. When Stalin was executing the whole leadership of the Communist Party, as well as the whole so-called Parliament of Ukraine, he did not send anyone but Khrushchev as his most trusted man to Ukraine.
Even his predecessor, Postyshev, could not accomplish what Khrushchev was able to accomplish after him. The hangman of Ukraine established his reputation.
This is also evident from two sources. One is from the speech of the associate of Tito, Moshe Pijade, which is cited by Dedijer in his book which appeared in English, Tito.
The other source in the book of Avtorkhanov, The Reign of Stalin, which states that in September of 1937 Stalin sent a commission to Ukraine which consisted of Molotov, Yezhov, and Khrushchev.
Mr. Arens. - What was the purpose of this commission?
Dr. Kostiuk. - This commission was supposed to eliminate Kossior, Lubchenko, and Petrovsky from the leading posts and install Khrushchev as the general secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine.
However, the plenum of the central committee of the Ukrainian Republic was absolutely against this candidacy, and Khrushchev's candidacy was rejected. As a result of this courageous rejection, historical documents state that in the beginning of 1938 there was not even one member of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Communist Party who was not annihilated or arrested.
Out of 62 members of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Communist Party and 40 candidates to the Ukrainian Communist Party there were only three persons who were unaffected. Out of the 17 members of the Lubchenko government, there was not even a single one left.
Even Premier Lubchenko himself, committed suicide the next day and also killed his wife.
Mr. Arens. - What happened to the others you mentioned earlier?
Dr. Kostiuk. - At the end of 1937, Kossior was taken to Moscow. So was Petrovsky. Petrovsky was the head of the Parliament of Soviet Ukraine. On January 29, 1938, Khrushchev became the general secretary of an actually non-existent central committee. Along with him there emerged a whole number of new people, new faces, like Korotchenko, Sheberko, Bermichenko, and a number of other people who never lived in Ukraine and had actually nothing to do with the culture or history of Ukraine.
Soon thereafter, Kossior and Zatonsky were executed; Petrovsky was sent to a concentration camp.
And this is how Khrushchev started to build a Government of the Ukrainian Republic.
Now Khrushchev says that he should not be blamed for the execution of the whole Central Committee of the Ukrainian Communist Party, that he had nothing to do with execution, that it was Stalin's crime alone.
The execution of such known, important people was not without his sanction or knowledge.
Prof. Ivan Wowchuk
Professor Wowchuk. - This is the period during the retreat of the Red army.
When Ukraine was again occupied in 1944-45 by the Red army, the political line of the party which Khrushchev followed and upheld, was, of course, laid down by Stalin. It was summarized in Stalin's speech, made in 1945, in which he stated that only the Russian people actually saved the Soviet empire from collapse.
In October of 1945, at a meeting of the party committee in Kiev, Khrushchev stated that he who does not maintain friendly relationships with the Russian people automatically undermines the interest of international communism.
His political line from 1946 up to date has been actually the extermination of so-called bourgeois Ukrainian nationalism.
This policy line is being followed generally in three directions: economic, political, and cultural.
Let us look at the economic. In 1945-46, Khrushchev organized another, small, man-made famine in Ukraine. About this famine the Western World knows almost nothing. There were no reports in the Western press about this.
In 1945, the Ukrainian peasantry was methodically robbed of its grain - of bread. This can definitely be interpreted as an attempt to undercut the national substance and existence of the Ukrainian population.
Mr. Arens. - Am I clear in my interpretation of your testimony that you are describing another famine in Ukraine perpetrated by Khrushchev subsequent to the great famine in the thirties?
Professor Wowchuk. - Actually this was a third famine organized in Ukraine. The first one was in 1921, the second was in 1933, and the third was in 1945-46.
Mr. Arens. - Proceed if you please, sir.
Professor Wowchuk. - Continuing with the economic aspect of his policy, I would like to point out that in 1950, Khrushchev started the centralization of kolkhozes, the collective farms. Thus, instead of the 240,000 kolkhozes, there were, beginning in 1952, only 9,000 kolkhozes.
The basic reason for this is that by such centralization he wanted to achieve first of all a better control of the population and then also to fight any possible resistance on the part of the Ukrainian people.
As a continuation of this policy, Khrushchev , in 1953 had a barbaric law promulgated. The exact name of the law is: Measures toward the rising of the agricultural output of the country.
The political meaning of that law is: The whole family is supposed to be responsible for the deeds of any one member of the family as far as kolkhoz is concerned.
In other words, a farmer or a kolkhoz man is forced to do his best because his family, wife and children, will be held responsible. In my view, this is a most barbaric law.
The law was clearly in line with the official Khrushchev policy aimed at the extermination of Ukrainian nationalism in Ukraine.
Mr. Arens. - What other phase of his economic policy could you describe to us?
Professor Wowchuk. - In 1954, Khrushchev started his known policy of the so-called virgin lands. He had two points in mind.
The first point is to develop the economic base of the whole empire in case Ukraine would be lost to the Soviet empire; and second, to expel and disperse active Ukrainian elements to those virgin lands. The second phase of his policy prevails at the present time.
In 1954, the Soviet press gave the following figures:
In the first year, from Ukraine, there were expelled and resettled 11,000 tractor machinists and 16,000 other specialists in agricultural fields.
To replace them, entirely new people were brought into Ukraine. Those new specialists were selected from the ranks of the party. This was definitely a measure designed to "crucify" Ukraine.
I should also like to mention Khrushchev's law of last year, forming the so-called voluntary workers' brigades. They are organized from the party members and are supposed to help the local police forces.
Very briefly, I characterize these brigades as the ear and eye of the Kremlin in Ukraine. They are in the schools, in industry, in agriculture, and in the kolkhozes. But they all are subordinate to the ministry of internal affairs of the USSR from which they receive all directions.
Ostensibly there is a voluntary system of organizing the brigades, but actually it is administratively under the central apparatus in the Kremlin.
Mr. Yurij Lawrynenko
Mr. Lawrynenko. - First, I would like to add to what my predecessor has said about Khrushchev being responsible for the inhuman suppression of strikes in prison camps. I was in slave labor camps from 1935 to 1939.
Mr. Arens. - Would you kindly recount the facts with respect to that accident?
Mr. Lawrynenko. - As you know, during part of that time Khrushchev was the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine. We prisoners directed many petitions to Khrushchev and asked him to stop the suppression then, but with no success.
I also knew about similar happenings later in the concentration camps in Norilsk from the letters which I had occasion to read from the Soviet Union.
Mr. Arens. - What about Khrushchev's crimes in this immediate period?
Mr. Lawrynenko. - The pertinent fact which I wish to present right now clearly indicates that under the mask of de-Stalinization Khrushchev is actually continuing Stalin's genocide, both political and cultural.
He is not only continuing, but also is actually consolidating Stalin's achievements on political as well as cultural lines.
Stalin's thesis about the racial superiority of the Russians over the non-Russians is being developed presently at full speed.
The Russian language is being forced upon Ukraine and is being branded as a second mother language. What I mean to say is that now it appears that there are two mother languages: on is the Ukrainian's native language and another one is forced - Russian.
Moreover, the population of Ukraine forms actually 21 percent of the whole population of the Soviet Union. Of the journals in the Soviet Union, there are being published at present only 3 percent in the Ukrainian language.
However, when we consider the Russian population, which is about 50 percent of the Soviet Union's, we see that there are about 92 percent of journals and magazines in the Russian language and 81 percent of books being published in that language.
This naturally is another means of the Russification policy being pursued by Khrushchev. Even during Stalin's regime the figures were more favorable toward Ukraine.
The teaching of the complete history of Ukraine is not permitted.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, September 17, 1960, No. 179, Vol. LXVII
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