December 1-15, 1934
On December 3, Svoboda printed a news item from the Ukrainian Bureau in London which stated that members of the British Parliament had spoken out against the artificial famine in Ukraine during their session. According to the report, Sir William Davison questioned the Parliament on the subjects of the famine and religious freedom in the Soviet Union. He inquired whether these topics had been presented to the League of Nations before admitting the Soviet Union into its ranks. Parliament members assured him that this had been done.
That same day a news report from Kiev was published in Svoboda. The headline read: “Postyshev is Worried about Ukrainianization.” The article explained that the Soviet official was worried that the Ukrainian language was being dropped as the official language of most schools. He reported that Ukrainian nationalists were trying to halt Ukrainianization.
The assassination of Sergei Kirov in early December 1934 triggered a series of articles in Svoboda. According to one report printed in Svoboda on December 7, the assassination was called a “revolt against the proletarian revolution, the Communist Party, socialism and the future builders of the socialist nation.” According to reports, the Soviets still had many internal enemies and executions continued.
That same day Svoboda reported that the Soviet government had given all of the territory of Bessarabia back to Rumania, stating that they wanted to be on good terms with the country.
On December 13, the headline in Svoboda read: “More News From the Land of Terror, the Soviet Union.” The news report stated that mass arrests and mass executions continued in the Soviet Union, and that the people were accused of committing “terrorist acts.”
On December 13, an editorial on the “Soviets and Famine,” appeared in Svoboda. The commentary stated that the Soviets were spreading the word that they would halt the use of food stamps. They stated that there was no need for them because there was no hunger in Ukraine. The editorial stated that recently even The New York Times had published an article by Prof. Dugan who reported that there had indeed been a famine in Ukraine in 1932-33. According to recent reports, The New York Times even quoted articles by William Henry Chamberlin of the Christian Science Monitor, who stated that the Soviets used the famine as “a political weapon to force the peasants to accept collectivization.”
On December 14, Svoboda printed the texts of two telegrams sent by the United Ukrainian Organizations of the United States (signed by Emil Revyuk, president, and Luke Myshuha, secretary) to the president of the United States and the president of the American Federation of Labor.
Excerpts from the telegram to President Franklin D. Roosevelt follow.
“It is reported by Mr. Harold Denny, the Moscow correspondent of The New York Times, in the issue dated December 12, that in pursuance of its previous announcement of a mass terrorism, the Soviet government has executed summarily 75 persons, denying them the right to defend themselves before a court against the accusations…
“…Terrorism is no news in the country under the Soviets, but a regular method of governing, and it is felt especially hard in Ukraine, which had been annexed to Soviet Russia by the force of arms. The terror by means of famine, which has been used lately in Ukraine, brought about the death of several million persons in 1932-33. Now a new phase of terror has been started: mass shooting of those who escaped the famine.”
The telegram went on to appeal to the U.S. government to demand from the government of the Soviet Union that it discontinue this mass terror, and if the Soviets refused to comply with this request, that the United States should break diplomatic relations with them.
The telegram to William Green, president of the AFL, stated the same facts and ended with the following.
“In view of the fact that this barbarism is a proved fact, the United Ukrainian Organizations of the United States, being an organization which united workers who are American citizens of Ukrainian descent, requests you to herewith raise a protest against this mass terror in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the name of the American Federation of Labor, which is the organized workers of America.”
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Around the world:
Ukrainian historian and political activist Mykhailo Hrushevsky died in exile in Moscow at the age of 68. He was the head of the Ukrainian Central Rada and author of the monumental work “History of Ukraine.” His death was noted with a few lines in the Communist newspaper of the Soviet Union.
Germany’s minister of foreign affairs stated that Germany, which had withdrawn from the League of Nations in 1933, would consider rejoining it.
An earthquake destroyed two cities and a few mountain villages in Chile.