Media reports on famine. XVII

Weekend Australian
SYDNEY, Australia – The October 8-9 issue of The Weekend Australian carried two stories on the Great Famine in Ukraine (1932-33) by Peter Day. Reporting from Washington, Mr. Day wrote that the famine commemorations in the U.S. capital on October 2 and those in Australia slated for October 15 draw attention to the famine, which, he said, “has never taken root in the historical memory of the West.” In a story headlined “How Stalin starved millions to death in Ukraine,” Mr. Day wrote that “the nightmarish recollections of thousands of refugee survivors, for decades ignored, forgotten or complacently dismissed, have become a field of intense and systematic scholarly interest.” Citing British Sovietologist and author Robert Conquest, who is currently writing a book on the famine, Mr. Day said that the famine was Stalin’s answer to the so-called nationality problem. This view, Mr. Day wrote, is shared by Dr. James Mace of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, who has helped with much of the research for the Conquest book.


June 1-15, 1934
On June 1, Svoboda printed a news item from Moscow which stated that there was a great drought in Ukraine. The Soviets reportedly said they would raise the price of bread because the harvest was poor. On June 2, Svoboda printed a news item about the Belgian-Ukrainian Committee to Save Ukraine. The story stated that the Ukrainian immigration in Belgium had organized a committee over a year ago which worked for famine victims in Ukraine and the Kuban. That same day, Svoboda reported that a resolution about the famine had been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, by Rep. Hamilton Fish.

Media reports on famine. XVI

New York Tribune
NEW YORK – The September 29 issue of the New York Tribune ran two articles about the role of The New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty in covering up Stalinist crimes, including the Great Famine in Ukraine (1932-33). The articles, by Lev Navrozov and Marco Carynnyk, appeared under the headline “New York Timesmen who forgave genocide.” Mr. Navrozov, a Soviet emigre, is the author of a forthcoming book, “The New York Times as a Specimen,” while Mr. Carynnyk has edited and translated nine books on the Soviet Union. In his piece, subheaded “Stalin’s sycophant Walter Duranty made Kremlin line acceptable in U.S.,” Mr. Navrozov described Mr. Duranty’s reports from the USSR as “a cascade of wild fantasies,” and accused him of inventing “his own fantastic pro-Soviet propaganda for Western consumption.” “Duranty concealed or justified all crimes of Stalin’s regime as long as it was possible to conceal or justify them without ruining his credibility in the West,” wrote Mr. Navorozov.


May 15-31, 1934
On May 17, Svoboda reported on a news item published by Pravda in Moscow. According to the Communist paper, renovations in Kiev were progressing to prepare the city for its new role as the capital of the Ukrainian SSR. Pravda reported that 50 million rubles were allotted for the building of new homes for the members of the government. In the May 18 issue of Svoboda, the headline read: “Kiev Ukrainianizes!” It was a sarcastic headline, referring to the fact that a radio report on the Kiev May 1 parade was done in Russian. In previous years, it was always reported in the Ukrainian language.

Media reports on famine. XV

Voice of America
JERSEY CITY, N.J. – The Voice of America on October 21 broadcast an editorial about the Great Famine in Ukraine. The full text of the editorial, as transcribed by a listener from a recording of the broadcast, appears below. As all VOA editorials do, it reflects the views of the U.S. government. * * *
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Ukrainian famine of 1933. The Soviet government is hardly likely to plan an official commemoration.


May 1-15, 1934
On May 1, the headlines in Svoboda read: “A New Famine Catastrophe in Ukraine.” According to reports from a Swiss newspaper, Ukraine, the richest land in the Soviet Union, once abundant with flour, buckwheat, sugar, fish, butter and fat, now lacked all of these products. The population continued to starve. The Ukrainian Bureau in Geneva commented on the Swiss story, stating that once again the people would go hungry and wondered whether once again the good deeds of the capitalist “bourgeois countries,” would have to rescue the Soviets from a famine as they did 12 years earlier. On May 2, Svoboda reported that the purges of Ukrainians continued.


December 16-31, 1933
On December 16, Svoboda printed news reports from Chicago about a demonstration protesting the famine that would take place on Sunday, December 17. At a meeting of the newly organized “Committee for the Struggle against Famine in Russia,” in New York, one of the main speakers, a Russian, stated that the famine in both Ukraine and Russia was not due to climatic conditions or natural disaster, but it was a famine brought about by the political dictatorship of the Soviet regime and unsuccessful agricultural politics, reported Svoboda on December 16. The speaker documented the famine by quoting news reports from various newspapers. On December 18, Svoboda ran a report datelined Finland, which stated that many Soviet citizens were fleeing to the north and settling in Finland in order to escape the famine in the Soviet Union. On December 19, Svoboda printed a front-page story about the famine demonstration in Chicago which took place on December 17.


April 1934
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.