CHRONOLOGY OF THE FAMINE YEARS
This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of history's most horrifying cases of genocide - the Soviet-made Great Famine of 1932-33, in which some 7 million Ukrainians perished.
Relying on news from Svoboda and, later, The Ukrainian Weekly (which began publication in October 1933), this column hopes to remind and inform Americans and Canadians of this terrible crime against humanity.
By bringing other events worldwide into the picture as well, the column hopes to give a perspective on the state of the world in the years of Ukraine's Great Famine.
On April 2, Svoboda reported on a news item carried by the Lviv newspaper Novy Chas, which stated that Soviet guards along the Zbruch River did not allow anyone to seek refuge in western Ukraine.
The news item stated that often the Ukrainians on the western side of the river would see their brothers and sisters looking like the walking dead, rather than the proud, healthy landowners they once were, trying to escape Soviet Ukraine. Even though only a few made it over to western Ukraine, they continued trying to escape the hell of the Communist system.
On April 3, Svoboda printed a news item with the headline: "The Teachers of Soviet Ukraine after the Purge." According to news reports printed in the Kharkiv newspaper Kommunist, as a result of numerous purges of the schools in Soviet Ukraine, most of the teachers were sent to Siberia because of their nationalistic tendencies and counterrevolutionary spirit. Other very interesting facts emerged during the purge. Many of the teachers appointed by the Soviet government after the purge and assigned to teach the beginning grades had never finished those grades themselves. About 50,000 had never attended high school and 30,000 had never finished high school, yet they were teaching high school kids. According to the report, one teacher whose qualifications were tested had made 38 spelling errors on one page of text.
According to a story printed in Svoboda on the same day, a Moscow professor had delivered a lecture in Manchukuo stating that there never was and never will be a Ukraine because there is only one "Russky" people. Ukrainian students at the university there issued a protest against the professor and this kind of bolshevik propaganda at their institution.
On April 6, Svoboda printed news reports it had received from Kharkiv. At the sixth convention of the All-Ukrainian Consumers Cooperatives, the delegates stated that relations between consumers and stores had worsened.
According to one delegate, the cooperative stores were so filthy that one did not even want to walk into them. Prices were unbelievably high and the cooperatives kept losing money.
According to another report published on that same day, a Kharkiv newspaper noted the constant decrease in the number of farm animals in Ukraine. The news story stated that even rabbit farms were empty. The populace had eaten them all.
On April 21, Svoboda printed news reports it had received from the Ukrainian Bureau in Geneva concerning railroads in the Soviet Union. According to the reports, the Donetske rail line was the most "counterrevolutionary," completing only 78.5 percent of its transport assignments of coal and ore. A written warning was issued to the railroad by the Soviet authorities.
On April 26, Svoboda reported that a protest was held in Chicago during the visit of Soviet Ambassador Troyansky. A banquet was held in his honor at the American-Russian Institute for Cultural Relations. During the banquet, members of the Patriotic American-Ukrainian Citizens Committee stood on the balcony and released hundreds of leaflets into the hall. They bore the following message:
"Today, while the Communist Soviet Ambassador is being feted in Chicago, his government is murdering and starving millions of Ukrainian peasants - our relatives and friends in Ukraine - because they are Christians who do not like to have their churches destroyed, their children brutalized in state institutions by atheist Communists. They (the Soviets) boldly boast of it all in their papers. We protest the loaning of millions of American dollars to the Soviet murderers."
* * *
Around the world:
The police and federal agents were in hot pursuit of John Dillinger, Chicago bank robber and murderer, and his gang.
The United States withdrew its Marines from Haiti, where they were stationed for 19 years; however the United States continued fiscal control over Haiti.
Detroit auto workers went on strike, demanding a 20 percent pay increase and a five-day, 36-hour work week.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, November 6, 1983, No. 45, Vol. LI
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