November 16-30, 1933 The news in Svoboda on November 16 was that, although protests against the famine in western Ukraine were banned by the Polish government, October 29, the Day of National Mourning, witnessed thousands of people attending church memorial services, fasting the entire day and attending closed-door meetings to discuss the conditions in Soviet Ukraine. Across the top of the front page, a banner read: “Let Us Protest Against the Starving of Ukrainians by the Soviets.” That day, Svoboda also carried the final report in a series written by a correspondent for the Manchester Guardian. Excerpts, from the English-language report, follow. Writing about Bila Tserkva, the correspondent said:
“This little provincial town, which, like all towns in the former Pale of Settlement, has a notably large proportion of Jews in its population, lies two or three hours’ ride southwest of Kiev, depending on the speed of one’s train.
November 1 -15, 1933 In Rohatyn, a Committee to Save the Hungry in Ukraine received a letter written by a girl to her mother, describing the family’s living conditions. The letter was forwarded to Svoboda and reprinted on November 2. The text follows. “By the time we received your last package, we practically died. For 11 days all we ate were cucumbers.
October 16-31, 1933 On October 16, Svoboda published a news item datelined Moscow, which stated that yet another purge of the Ukrainian SSR Communist Party had taken place, reducing the party membership by 30 percent. The following day, a news item datelined Kolomyia appeared in Svoboda. It stated that the community had scheduled a public meeting protesting Soviet persecution and the famine in Soviet Ukraine. The meeting, planned for October 1, attracted hundreds of peasants and community leaders, but when the participants reached the meeting hall, Polish officials banned them from holding the protest. That same day, Svoboda carried a news report stating that many Ukrainians from Galicia, who had resettled in Soviet Ukraine years ago, were fleeing the area because of the Soviet persecution.
(The Ukrainian Weekly, September 11, 1983, No. 37, Vol. LI) PART I My editor was dubious. I had been explaining that 50 years ago, in the spring and summer of 1933, Ukraine, the country of my forebears, had suffered a horrendous catastrophe. In a fertile, populous country famed as the granary of Europe, a great famine had mowed down a sixth, a fifth and in some regions even a fourth of the inhabitants.
The eyewitness accounts below are reprinted from the two-volume “Black Deeds of the Kremlin: A White Book.” Peasants ate rawhide to live In his account, L. Pylypenko recalls the desperate measures employed by starving peasants. The population of Rohozov in the Kiev region, in an effort to save their lives, used the most unlikely substances as foodstuffs. Some went into the fields where dead horses were buried and cut chunks of meat from the carcasses.
October 1-15, 1933 On October 2, Svoboda published a report datelined Moscow which stated that Pavel Postyshev would most likely be elected to the Soviet Politburo at the next Communist Party Congress. According to the news, this was his reward for waging a battle against Ukrainian nationalism. Now Ukraine would be represented by Stanislav Kosior in the Soviet government. In Geneva, the Congress of European Minorities passed a resolution concerning the famine in the Soviet Union, reported Svoboda in its October 2 issue. The leaders of the congress welcomed concrete proposals on this matter, stating that the congress would do anything it could to help the famine victims in the Soviet Union.