The artificiality of the famine is apparent from the SD
Situational Report of February 1942, which revealed that there
were some surplus foods in the General-Bezirk (district) of Kiev
-grain, leguminous foods, and cattle-"but they could not be
brought to Kiev neither immediately nor in the near future
because of transportation difficulties, fuel shortages, and the
condition of the road."31 The traffic problems apparently did
not exist for the transportation of Ukrainian foods and other
products to the German 32 cities. The volume of these exports
indicated the inadequacy and flimsiness of the technical excuses
given by the Germans. In a letter to Hitler, Erich Koch gave
the following summary of exports from the Ukraine up to the
end of June 1943:
[The following: Left hand number is the number of tons or pounds produced or procured. Right hand number is the amount of it that was delivered to the Army and the Reich]
Cereals 6,300,000 tons 3,300,000 tons
Legumes 350,000, , 100,000, ,
Butter 57,000 ' ' 50,000''
Potatoes 1,380,000 ' ' !500,000 , .
Honey and Jam 26,000 . , 25,000, .
Sugar 245,000 ' . 155,000, .
Cotton 5,000 '' 5,000''
Wool 7,000 ' ' 7000 ' '
Hemp and Flax 5,500 ' . 5,500
Drugs (medical herbs ) 1,500, . 1,500 . ,
Pigs 500,000 lbs. 420,000 lbs .
Sheep 410,000 '' 360000, ,
Eggs 680,000,000 . ,570,000,000, .
The ruthless German policy of exploitation is clearly revealed
by Koch's statistics. It was the policy of the Nazis to
starve not only the inhabitants of large cities but also the residents
of the countryside, which was not self-sufficient in food
and which from the economic standpoint could J be considered as a great asset .. .Such regions included the swampy, sandy
lands and the virgin forest province of Polissia. The inhabitants
of this province depended to a great degree for their livelihood
upon seasonal work. They were accustomed to work as agricultural
laborers during the summer in the neighboring wealthy
provinces of Volhynia and Podolia. The grain supply which they
earned during this time was an important food item for the long
This source of income was largely cut off for them in the
summer of 1941 by the German invasion which started around
the harvest time. As the winter approached, the only alternative
for the inhabitants of Polissia was to try to exchange their
meager resources in cattle, sheep, wool, and homemade textiles
for some grain in the neighboring southern provinces. It is
not surprising therefore that in the fall of 1941 long lines of
carriages, loaded with the exchange goods and people, moved
slowly on the few sandy roads of Polissia southward in a desperate
effort to acquire some grain for the winter.
When the Germans discovered this particular migration of
people and learned its true purpose they stopped the movement
abruptly and turned the unfortunate inhabitants of Polissia back
to their native forests to face the inevitable famine. 34
p. 147- 149