August 21, 1983

Media reports on famine. IX


Winnipeg Sun

WINNIPEG – The Great Famine in Ukraine (1932-33) was the subject of an article by Peter Warren in the July 15 issue of The Winnipeg Sun.

In the piece, headlined “Ukraine slaughter recalled,” Mr. Warren argues that the famine, which killed an estimated 5 to 7 million Ukrainians, was just part of a pattern of repression suffered by the Ukrainian nation at the hands of the Soviets and, later, the Nazis. It is a pattern that continues to this day, Mr. Warren wrote, citing the persecution of Ukrainian dissidents and the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

As to the famine, Mr. Warren wrote that Joseph Stalin’s attempt to eradicate an entire nation, largely ignored by the Western press at the time, must be remembered to preclude a recurrence.

“But it is well to remember what went on 50 years ago in Ukraine, just as we cannot allow the story of the Holocaust to be whitewashed from the history books,” he said. “If these events are forgotten, our sons and grandsons are likely to repeat them.”

Noting that “far more historical and media attention has been paid to other less devastating world events,” Mr. Warren scored what he called “a sick, sick indifference shown in the West to this slaughter.”

But the famine was not the only tragedy to befall the Ukrainian people. According to Mr. Warren, some 10 million were lost in Ukraine during World War II. As a result of the famine and the war, Ukrainian women outnumber Ukrainian men worldwide, the author said.

Mr. Warren concluded his article by quoting author Alexander Motyl, who recently wrote a piece on the Great Famine for Freedom Appeals, a human-rights publication.

Wrote Mr. Motyl: “It is argued that Stalin did not intend to starve 6 million Ukrainians; it just happened. How 6 million deaths can just happen is unclear. But the argument, fortunately, is academic. Jews know best that it doesn’t hold water. They have heard it far too often with regard to a house painter from Braunau (Hitler).”

Santa Monica Evening Outlook

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – The Evening Outlook, a newspaper published here, on July 18 printed a letter to the editor headlined “Genocide in Ukraine.”

In the letter, Dr. Alexander V. Berkis of Santa Monica reminded the public about the 50th anniversary of the Great Famine in Ukraine in 1932-33.

“About 7 million Ukrainians died or were murdered by the Soviet authorities during the period of collectivization of agriculture in the Soviet Union, in spite of the fact that Ukraine has the richest soil in Europe,” he wrote.

This starvation, he went on, “was deliberately caused by Joseph Stalin in order to break the national resistance in Ukraine.”

Dr. Berkis then noted that the Soviet government “has committed similar crimes against humanity in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, Armenia and other parts of the Soviet Union which are inhabited by non-Russian peoples.”

“It is a shame to see that our ‘liberal’ news media and our very ‘moral’ clergyman, who make a moral issue of condemning the use of nuclear weapons even for self-defense, continue to ignore both the holocaust and genocide in Ukraine and the tact that the Soviet authorities still continue to eliminate all kinds of national resistance of their colonial peoples in the most brutal manner in the Soviet Union – the prison of non-Russian peoples,” he concluded.

Columbus Citizen-Journal

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus Citizen-Journal of Saturday, June 14, published an editorial on the Great Famine in Ukraine. It was titled “Unknown holocaust.”

“It is difficult to imagine that the Nazis could have permanently covered up the truth about the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews and several million other people were systematically murdered.

“Yet in 1933, the same year Adolph Hitler came to power, another holocaust was taking place in the Soviet Union. And it remains unknown to most people today,” the editorial stated.

Joseph Stalin succeeded in exterminating millions of independent Ukrainian peasants who resisted collectivization – not through death camps, gas chambers or machines guns – but “by confiscating the harvests of the farmers and all the food in the hands of the rural population,” noted the editorial.

The newspaper explained: “Few reports of the famine appeared in the West, because foreign journalists were kept out of the area and because many intellectuals would speak no evil of socialism.”

The Columbus Citizen-Journal is a Scripps-Howard newspaper.

Brecksville Sun Courier

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio – The Sun Courier, a local newspaper serving the Ohio communities of Brecksville, Independence, Broadview Heights and Valley View, published a news story about the weeklong food drive organized by Ukrainians of the Cleveland area to aid needy people and at the same time recall the millions who starved in Ukraine half a century ago.

The story, published in the August 4 issue, was written by Jim Konkoly. It provided some historical background information on the Great Famine, noting that an estimated 7 million died of starvation as a result of “a deliberate move to crush Ukrainian nationalism and break peasant resistance to Communist confiscation of their land and forced relocation to collective farms.”

It then went on to report about the food drive, which was sponsored by seven Ukrainian women’s organizations. “This is our way of doing something positive to commemorate the innocent victims” of the famine, Nadia Deychakiwsky of the Ohio Regional Council of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, told Mr. Konkoly.

“The world knows next to nothing of this terrible holocaust,” she said, adding that it is important that “this case of man-made famine – of genocide by starvation – be known to everyone,” since the government that perpetrated it is still in power.

Mrs. Deychakiwsky also told the Sun Courier that she and other members of the UNWLA were taping interviews with famine survivors living in the Cleveland area. Interviewing these people, she said, is a “very emotional, haunting experience, hearing stories so brutal you can hardly imagine.”

Mr. Konkoly wrote: “The scenes they describe are gruesome: corpses rotting in the streets, nearly dead people too weak to walk lying hopelessly on the ground begging for food, desperate mothers selling themselves as prostitutes for a loaf of bread for their starving children, a man beaten by Communist guards for trying to steal food from pigs, people eating dogs and cats and even resorting to cannibalism.”

The Ukrainian Weekly, August 21, 1983, No. 34, Vol. LI