January 22, 1984

Media reports on famine. XXII


Windsor Star

WINDSOR, Ont. – The December 6 issue of The Windsor Star carried an editorial on the Soviet protest against Opposition Leader Brian Mulroney’s December 4 appearance at a Maple Leaf Gardens rally in memory of the 7 million victims of the Great Famine in Ukraine (1932-33).

Headlined “Toeing the official line,” the editorial said the Soviet protest was “unacceptable,” and dismissed accusations that Mr. Mulroney’s appearance at the rally, which was sponsored by the World Congress of Free Ukrainians, constituted a violation of the 1975 Helsinki Accords, which barred signatories from supporting subversive groups.

The Soviet protest came in the form of a letter delivered to the External Affairs Department by Alexander Podakin, a press attache at the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa. He called Mr. Mulroney’s statement, which condemned the Soviet government’s role in masterminding the deadly famine, a “100 percent lie.”

“It is typical of the Soviet bureaucratic mind to cynically disregard humanitarian motives and moral considerations as reasons for condemning some Soviet actions,” the editorial said. “They see in such statements only political or ideological motivations, the plots and machinations of enemies probably because some of them have lost the capacity to think and judge beyond the official line.”

Gwiazda Polarna

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Gwiazda Polarna, a Polish-language weekly newspaper published here, carried an editorial about Ukraine’s Great Famine shortly after the Ukrainian community’s Washington commemorations of the 50th anniversary of this holocaust.

The editorial mentioned several of the events held during Great Famine Memorial Week, including the rally at the Washington Monument, the demonstration near the Soviet Embassy and the scholarly symposium at the American Enterprise Institute.

Noting that millions died as a result of the Soviet-made famine, the newspaper pointed out that the Soviet government has tried to erase the memory of these victims and to conceal the fact that a famine did occur.

The editorial concluded by stating that the Ukrainians and Poles have much in common since both are persecuted by the Soviet regime.

Katolickly Sokol

PASSAIC, N.J. – The November 30, 1983, issue of Katolicky Sokol, the official publication of the Slovak Catholic Sokol, published an editorial about the Great Famine of 1932-33 in Ukraine.

Calling the famine one of the greatest tragedies in world history, the Slovak-language editorial noted that between 5 and 7 million people perished in the Stalin-made famine that was motivated by political considerations. The editorial also reported that Ukrainians throughout the world were marking the 50th anniversary of this holocaust.

Washington Post

WASHINGTON – The Great Famine in Ukraine (1932-33) was cited by columnist George F. Will in a January 5 article on Soviet brutality in Afghanistan that was published in the Washington Post.

According to Mr. Will, the Soviets appear to be waging a ruthless campaign against Afghan civilians. Rather than trying to win over the local population, as the United States attempted to do in Vietnam, the Soviets have decided that only intimidation and terror can induce civilians to stop supporting the freedom fighters.

The Red Army campaign includes the indiscriminate planting of anti-personnel mines which maim rather than kill outright. According to Mr. Will, Western doctors in Afghanistan report that most of the victims are children, many of whom later die from lethal infections such as gangrene.

“The Red Army has now been engaged against the freedom fighters longer than it was against the German Wermacht,” wrote Mr. Will. “But what is being done in Afghanistan in 1984 is more akin to the Ukrainian genocide of 1933. Then, as now, Soviet ruthlessness prevailed, and the West’s denial reflex kept the unpleasant business out of most minds.”

Le Monde

PARIS – The French daily newspaper Le Monde focused on the 50th anniversary of the Great Famine in Ukraine in its Sunday, August 28 – Monday, August 29, 1983, issue.

In that issue, Le Monde published an article by Guillaume Malaurie titled “Genocide through hunger.”

The writer noted that the famine was actually a policy of genocide conducted by the Soviet government under Stalin. He went on to cite eyewitness accounts of Ukraine as it was in 1933 by Ukrainian American Martha Stebalo, who visited the USSR at that time, and by writers such as Arthur Koestler, Harry Lang of the Jewish Daily Forward and Gareth Jones of the Daily Express.

Mr. Malaurie also wrote about the visit to Ukraine of French statesman Edouard Herriot, leader of the Radical Socialist Party, who was shown “Potemkin villages” by Soviet authorities and later reported that there was no famine in that country.

The Ukrainian Weekly, January 22, 1984, No. 4, Vol. LII