October 1932 During the month of October in 1932, the pages of Svoboda carried only a few news items about the famine in Ukraine. On October 1, Svoboda received news of the official Soviet press reactions to the situation in the Soviet Union. “The Soviet press has noticed that there is an increasing amount of anti-Bolshevik activity in the villages,” Svoboda reported. According to stories from the newspaper Pravda, kulaks stole not only grain from the collective farms but also machinery parts that were necessary for the grain harvest. Izvestia stated that the peasants were leaving collective farms en masse as a result of kulak agitation.
(The Ukrainian Weekly, March 20, 1983, No. 12, Vol. LI)
Mr. Chamberlin was the Christian Science Monitor’s Moscow corespondent for 10 years. In 1934 he was reassigned to the Far East, and upon his departure from the USSR he wrote the following account of the Great Famine in Ukraine. The story appeared in the May 29, 1934, issue of the Christian Science Monitor.
The article below was published as an addendum to Dr. Dana Dalrymple’s earlier piece on the Great Famine. It, too, appeared in the journal Soviet Studies, in the April 1965 issue. Dr. Dana Dalrymple is an agricultural economist who specializes in international agricultural research. Medical account Perhaps the most authoritative reference is provided by Dr. W. Horsley Gantt in an article which originally appeared in the British Medical Journal. Dr. Gantt, a member of the school of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, was formerly chief of the medical division of the American Relief Administration, Leningrad Unit (1922-23), and later was a collaborator in Pavlov’s Laboratories (1925-29).
September 1932 On September 3, 1932, Svoboda received news from Moscow that the Soviet press had started a campaign against the peasants and workers who were not meeting their production quotas. Soviet papers reported that these were the people responsible for the economic and food crises. According to Svoboda, in addition to the collectivization of farms, the peasants also had to deal with huge taxes payable to the government, and, as a result, food and products necessary for everyday life became impossible for them to obtain. On September 6, the Soviet newspaper Pravda reported that worms had destroyed one-third of the sugar beet crop in the Soviet Union. That same day, Svoboda also carried news of an article written by Moscow correspondent Walter Duranty that had appeared in The New York Times.
August 16-31, 1932 The headlines in the August 16, 1932 Svoboda read: “Famine in Ukraine Drives People to Death.” Reports from Bucharest reached Svoboda telling of the peasants’ attempts to escape hunger. They fled to Rumania, but while trying to cross the Dnister River many were shot and killed by Soviet border guards. On August 17, news from Moscow revealed that 25,000 miners in the Donetske Oblast coal basin left their jobs. Moscow gave three reasons for the workers leaving their jobs: there was nothing for them to eat, they did not have all the working materials they needed, they received no money for their labor.
August 1-15, 1932 On August 3, 1932, Svoboda received news from Rivne in the Volhynia region, then under Polish rule, that peasants in Soviet-occupied eastern Ukraine were dying of starvation. The news predicted that the number of deaths would increase in the fall. It reported that the Soviet government had even admitted that there would not be enough grain to feed the peasants because only half of the land had been sown. Besides this, the last harvest had been poor and in some villages people had not seen bread since January. The news said that, instead of bread, the peasants ate straw, dried weeds, potatoes and all kinds of chaff.