Ukrainian genocide

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Sergey Romanov
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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Sergey Romanov » 01 May 2010 14:56

Here is the report which served as a basis for the resolution:

http://assembly.coe.int/Documents/Worki ... C12173.pdf

I particularly draw attention to the opinion of the Russian "Memorial" society, the members of which are certainly not nationalists, but are, in fact, anti-Soviet liberals:
61. In Moscow, I had an opportunity to meet representatives of Memorial, a well-known Russian NGO
working for the preservation of historical memory and rehabilitation of victims of political repression. In
Memorial’s view, the mass famine of 1932-33 was a result of cruel and inhuman “industrialisation”,
“collectivisation” and “dekulakisation” policies of Stalin’s regime which were forcefully implemented
regardless of the price in terms of human lives to be paid. It was a part of the terror chain stretching from the
October revolution, the Civil War and Red Terror to the political trials and the Grand Terror of the late 1930s.
62. Memorial does not believe that the Ukrainian concept of Holodomor – genocide - could be proven by
any material evidence. They think that it is wrong to divide the victims of the same terror machinery into firstclass
and second-class categories according to their ethnic origin.
63. However, Memorial praised the Ukrainians for making their archives accessible, and called on the
Russian authorities to continue declassifying secret documents and to make them available. They also highly
appreciated the enormous work being done in Ukraine to commemorate the victims of the Great Famine.

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Sergey Romanov
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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Sergey Romanov » 01 May 2010 15:01

Kajtmaz wrote:
Sergey Romanov wrote:...the "Harvest of Sorrow" author Robert Conquest that Stalin did not purposely inflict the 1933 famine?
Proof, please.
Proof of what? That that's Conquest's opinion? That proof has been given.

The question remains: do you agree the "Harvest of Sorrow" author Robert Conquest that Stalin did not purposely inflict the 1933 famine?

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Kajtmaz » 01 May 2010 15:03

Sergey Romanov wrote:As a matter of general interest, here is the full PACE statement:

http://assembly.coe.int/Mainf.asp?link= ... ES1723.htm
Thanks, Sergey Romanov

I agree with this PACE statement (Holodomor as politically-motivated famine) and with European Parliament resolution (Holodomor as an appalling crime against the Ukrainian people, and against humanity)

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/get ... XML+V0//EN
Last edited by Kajtmaz on 01 May 2010 15:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Sergey Romanov
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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Sergey Romanov » 01 May 2010 15:05

Kajtmaz wrote:
Sergey Romanov wrote:As a matter of general interest, here is the full PACE statement:

http://assembly.coe.int/Mainf.asp?link= ... ES1723.htm
Thanks, Sergey Romanov

I agree with this PACE statement and European Parliament resolution

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/get ... XML+V0//EN
You've already given us this link, so you're borderline spamming. Better try and answer the question above.

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Sergey Romanov » 01 May 2010 15:22

No reply? I take it that Kajtmaz rejects Conquest's interpretation. Why? Does (s)he know more about the topic than the author of the "Harvest of Sorrow"?

PS: I found that you're in fact a Demjanjuk apologist and like to link to Holocaust denier Prytulak's site. So don't bother replying.

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by PFLB » 01 May 2010 15:36

It is notable that PACE does not say what crime was in fact committed. If it truly believed that any crimes cognisable to international law had been committed, one would expect them to have been specified. One could argue that the actions of the Soviet government constituted extermination. However, such an accusation would be too contentious from a legal standpoint to justify the inevitable political controversy that would result.

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by David Thompson » 01 May 2010 16:20

Sergey Romanov -- You wrote, of another poster:
PS: I found that you're in fact a Demjanjuk apologist and like to link to Holocaust denier Prytulak's site. So don't bother replying.
Please avoid personal remarks in posts:
A. Civility

The first rule of the forum is: "No insults are tolerated (that includes serious national and religious insults)." Personal remarks in posts are strongly discouraged, and personal insults are forbidden here.

There has been a lot of stimulating information exchanged on this forum, and some excellent discussions of controversial points. With few exceptions, the participants are thoughtful, serious people. If you find an argument is flawed, point out the flaws and the evidence to the contrary, and leave it at that. There is no need to resort to insults which do not prove your point. If you disagree with a contributor, please use your energy to show why his argument is mistaken. This will improve both the tone and quality of our discussions.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=53962

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Sergey Romanov » 01 May 2010 16:28

My apologies.

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Kajtmaz » 01 May 2010 17:06

Sergey Romanov wrote:No reply?
I wrote:

a) I agree with statement of PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe):

Holodomor as politically-motivated famine;

It strongly condemns the cruel policies pursued by the Stalinist regime, which resulted in the death of millions of innocent people, as a crime against humanity
;


b) I agree with European Parliament resolution:

Holodomor as an appalling crime against the Ukrainian people and against humanity.


Have I made myself clear?

(are you yourself a denier?)

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by David Thompson » 01 May 2010 18:51

Kajtmaz -- You wrote:
(are you yourself a denier?)
Please avoid personal comments in posts. People come here for sourced information. No one here is interested in what one poster thinks of another. Such exchanges simply add to the junk a reader has to sort through or skip over in order to find something of value in the thread.

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Sergey Romanov » 01 May 2010 21:08

Have I made myself clear?
In regard to preference for purely political statements over historians' research? Yes. I will only note that the statements speak of different Holodomors. PACE's Holodomor was USSR-wide and concerned people of different ethnic background, while EP's Holodomor was Ukraine-wide and had only Ukrainian peasantry as its target (apparently no non-Ukrainians died in the famine according to the latter statement - or else they're subhumans not worthy of a mention).

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Kajtmaz » 02 May 2010 00:00

Sergey Romanov wrote:
[ In regard to preference for purely political statements over historians' research? Yes ]

...I will only note that the statements speak of different Holodomors. PACE's Holodomor was USSR-wide and concerned people of different ethnic background, while EP's Holodomor was Ukraine-wide and had only Ukrainian peasantry as its target...

[ (apparently no non-Ukrainians died in the famine according to the latter statement - or else they're subhumans not worthy of a mention) ]
imho you deviate from subject.

I agree with everyone expression in statement of PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe),
I agree with everyone expression in European Parliament resolution
and I agree with you that Stalin's crimes were USSR-wide, but please get back on topic.

can we confine discussion to the topic?

PACE's Holodomor: In Ukraine, which suffered the most, the peasantry was particularly hit by the Great Famine and millions of individual farmers and members of their families died of hunger following forced “collectivisation”, a ban on departures from the affected areas and confiscation of grain and other food. These tragic events are referred to as Holodomor (politically-motivated famine)

that is right as well as EP's Holodomor

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Andrea Graziosi 1

Post by Kajtmaz » 07 May 2010 10:11

Andrea Graziosi, 2005

“The Soviet 1931-33 Famines and the Ukrainian Holodomor:
Is A New Interpretation Possible, What Would Its Consequences Be?”


"Sooner or later the Soviet people will put you in the dock
as traitor to both socialism and revolution, main wrecker,
true enemy of the people, organizer of the famine…"

F. Raskol’nikov, Soviet Ambassador to Bulgaria,
to Stalin, August 17, 1939



Between the end of 1932 and the summer of 1933, famine killed in the USSR, in half the time, approximately seven times as many people as the Great Terror of 1937-38.

It was the peak of a series of famines which had started in 1931, and the turning point of the decade, as well as Soviet pre-war history’s main event.

With its approximately five million victims (I am not including the hundreds of thousand, possibly more than a million, who had already died in Kazakhstan and elsewhere since 1931), compared to the one-two of 1921-22 and 1946-47, this also was the most severe famine in Soviet history, a history which brought its marks for decades.

The same famine influenced the life of countries inhabited by immigrant communities from the Russian empire and the USSR, and its importance, political as well as historical, is still strong today. Since 1987-88, the rediscovery and the interpretation of the famine have played in Ukraine a key role in discussions between supporters of the democratization process and those who still adhere to pro-Communist ideology. The Holodomor (the new word coined to mean hunger-related mass extermination, and implying intentionality) thus moved to the center of the political and cultural debate, becoming part of the process of state- and nation-building.

Yet, until 1986, when Robert Conquest published his Harvest of Sorrow, historians almost ignored this extraordinary event. Not that there was no documentation available, as I realized when reading the Italian diplomats’ reports to Mussolini, which proved that it had always been possible to know. Thanks to the XX century mass population movements—migrations, forced or otherwise, displacements etc.—and the traces they left—diplomatic dispatches, travel accounts, memoirs of witnesses and victims—much was there, ready to speak.

In this light it is startling to recall how little we knew. In the best case, historians such as Naum Jasny and Alec Nove did speak of a “man-made famine” (which everybody was still treating as a single event) without, however, researching it fully, and almost ignoring its national aspect. A few years later, Moshe Lewin analyzed the mechanisms which caused the famine, but did not deal with it. In the worst case, the famine became the occasion for depressing polemics, in which its very existence was questioned, or minimized. In the USSR, where historians, even after 1956, could only speak of “food difficulties”, the use of the very word golod (hunger, famine) was forbidden. In Ukraine it was officially uttered for the first time by Shcherbyts’kyi in his December 1987 speech, celebrating the Republic’s 70th anniversary.

This is why Conquest’s book, the outcome of a Harvard Ukrainian Institute’s project co-directed by James Mace, has been of crucial importance: it forced a reluctant profession to deal with a fundamental question, and it did so by stressing the connection between famine and the national question, and properly differentiating the Kazakh case. It can thus be maintained that historiography on the famines and the Holodomor starts with this book, even though other authors, like Maksudov or Zh. Medvedev, were by then seriously dealing with these events. This is even truer in view of the polemics the book raised. Thanks to their level, much superior to the previous one, they grew into a positive phenomenon, that may be viewed as part of the process through which historians started to become aware of these events’ extraordinary human and intellectual dimensions. This process was, and still is, especially painful because it takes place after that historical judgment has been passed, and “collective memory” has set in, without the Soviet famines entering the picture, this being the consequence of the successful Soviet attempt at concealment, and of one of the European XX century’s key feature (I am thinking of the logic of “taking side” that dominated it). The famines had therefore in the past, and still have today, to be brought into our representation of the past at the price of a complete restructuring of commonly held beliefs.

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Andrea Graziosi 2

Post by Kajtmaz » 07 May 2010 10:19

Andrea Graziosi, 2005
“The Soviet 1931-33 Famines and the Ukrainian Holodomor:
Is A New Interpretation Possible, What Would Its Consequences Be?”


Then came the 1991 archival and historiographical revolution. It allowed the accumulation of new knowledge, and caused a leap in the quality of polemics which, but for few exceptions, grew into serious controversies. True scholarly spirit, and a firm moral commitment, born out of the awareness of the immensity of the tragedy they deal with, animate both fields in which it is possible to group today’s existing positions, at the price of some forcing and much schematism. One can thus contemplate these past few years, in which Conquest’s conclusions have been integrated, and in part surpassed, with a sense of satisfaction, and find in them some reason for optimism.

By means of yet more forcing, these two fields’ positions may be summed up this way (I am quoting from the letter a brilliant young Ukrainian scholar recently wrote me). On the one hand there are what we could call (A) people. They support the genocide thesis, and see in the famine an event artificially organized in order to: a) break the peasants and/or b) alter (destroy) the Ukrainian nation’s social fabric, which obstructed the transformation of the USSR into a despotic empire. On the other hand, we have (B) people who, though fully recognizing the criminal nature of Stalin’s policies, deem it necessary to study the famine as a “complex phenomenon”, in which many factors, from the geopolitical situation to the modernization effort, played a role side by side with Moscow’s intentions and decisions.

I believe that we have today most of the elements needed for a new, and more satisfactory, interpretive hypothesis, capable of taking into account both the general, and complex, Soviet picture, and the undeniable relevance of the national question. It can be put together using as building blocks the excellent works of Ukrainian, Russian, and Western scholars, thus breaking the wall still partially separating their efforts.

In the next pages I will try to sketch the outline of such interpretation, grounded in the research of outstanding scholars such as Danilov, D’Ann Penner and Kondrashin, Davies and Wheatcroft, Ivnitskii, Kul’chyts’kyi, Mace, Martin, Meslé and Vallin, Shapoval and Vasil’ev, and Oleg Khlevniuk, whose works on Stalin and his circle, though not focusing directly on the famine, allowed us to situate it in its proper political context.

My hope is not only to push forward the interpretation of the “Great famine” (a collective noun for the 1931-33 famines), but also to stimulate a debate that will contribute to the breaking of the even taller, and stronger wall that isolate its students from their colleagues studying the European XX century, a century that without those famines it is simply impossible to fully understand.
In order to formulate this new interpretation, we need first to define the object of our investigation. As it should be by now clear, we are in fact dealing with what it would be more correct to call, on a pan-Soviet level, the 1931-1933 famines, which had of course common causes and a common background, but included at least two very different and special phenomena: the Kazakhstan famine cum epidemics of 1931-33 and the Ukrainian-Kuban (the latter, though belonging to the Russian Republic’s province of Northern Caucasus, was mostly inhabited by Ukrainians) Holodomor of late 1932-early 1933.

Many past misunderstandings have been caused by the confusion between these two national tragedies and the general phenomenon which provided their framework. In a way, it is as if students of Nazism would confuse Nazi repression in general, with quite specific, and crucial, cases, like the extermination of Soviet prisoners of war, or that of Poles and Gypsies, not to mention the Holocaust, an exceptional phenomenon that cannot be simply explained as an aspect or element of Nazi killings at large, and yet certainly was also a part of them. Both Nazi repression in general, and such “specific” tragedies, existed, and both must be studied, as in fact they are, in and by themselves, as well as in their connections.
A very clear distinction between the general phenomenon and its republican or regional manifestations should therefore be introduced also in the Soviet case. However, most (A) supporters are in fact speaking of the Holodomor, while many of the (B) proponents think on a pan-Soviet scale. If we analytically distinguish what they are doing, we end up discovering that in many, albeit not all, ways, they are right in their respective domains.

The second step consists in yet another analytical distinction. We must separate the 1931-1932 “spontaneous” famines—they too were, of course, direct, if undesired, consequences of the 1928-29 choices—from the post September 1932 one, which took on such terrible features also because of human decision (events in Kazakhstan followed an altogether different pattern and I will therefore only make some passing references to them).

The third step we need to take is to gather and combine useful elements from both (A) and (B), and drop their unsatisfactory parts.

(A) people are right in drawing our attention to the national question. Anybody studying the Soviet Union should be acutely aware of its importance, as Lenin and Stalin were (after all, the former decided not to call the new state Russia, and the latter, who initially opposed such choice, never reversed it in later years). One should be as aware of the Ukrainian primacy in this field. As it has been noted, Ukraine played after 1917 the role that previously belonged to Poland. In late 1919 Lenin started the switch towards indigenization (korenizatsiia), up until then an extreme nationalists’ request, on the basis of the Ukrainian Bolsheviks’ defeat of 1919, and Stalin gave to korenizatsiia a new spin in late 1932 because of the Ukrainian crisis. But in Ukraine, at least up to 1933, the national question was the peasant question. This is what both Lenin and Stalin thought, and rightly so. (A) people seem instead to be wrong in thinking that the “famine” (meaning also the pan-Soviet one) was organized (“planned”) to solve the Ukrainian national, and/or peasant, problem.

(B) people give us a detailed and precious reconstruction of the causes and the wider context of the famine on pan-Soviet scale, with all its complexity, and are thus able to convincingly criticize (A) simplistic versions. However, they seem unable to fully understand, and make room for, the national factor, that is, to “descend” from the pan-soviet to the republican level. (B) people also do not seem always capable to see that Stalin, even when he did not initiate something willfully, was always very quick to take advantage of “spontaneous” events, giving them a completely new turn. The obvious parallel here is with Kirov’s murder, that most probably Stalin did not organize, but quite certainly “creatively” used.

One can thus use good (B) data for the development of the pan-Soviet crisis, stressing however that at this level too Stalin at a certain moment decided to use hunger to break the peasants’ opposition to collectivization. For a number of causes, such opposition had been stronger mostly in non-Russian areas, where events soon started to follow their own course. By reconstructing this course we can crack the secret surrounding the 1932-33 events since their inception, a secret which, as Raskol’nikov’s letter seems to suggest, was known to the Bolshevik elite.

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Andrea Graziosi

Post by Kajtmaz » 07 May 2010 10:54

Andrea Graziosi, 2005

“The Soviet 1931-33 Famines and the Ukrainian Holodomor:
Is A New Interpretation Possible, What Would Its Consequences Be?”



What can therefore be said? In 1931-33 scores, perhaps hundreds, of thousand of people died of hunger throughout the USSR. In Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Northern Caucasus and the Volga basin (Povol’zhe), however, the situation was completely different. But for Western Siberia, these were the country’s most important grain growing regions, where the post-1927 state-village conflict for the crop had been stronger. Since 1918-1919, moreover, the war between the regime and peasants, and nomads, had been there particularly brutal because of the national and/or religious factors’ multiplying role, and in the Volga because of both the Russian peasant movement’s strong traditions and the presence of German colonists.


But for Kazakhstan, the phenomenon’s causes were similar: the devastating human, but also productive impact of dekulakization, a de facto nation-wide, state-led pogrom against the peasant elite; forced collectivization, which pushed peasants to destroy large part of their inventories; the kolkhozy’s inefficiency and misery; the repeated, and extreme, requisition waves, originated by a crisis-ridden industrialization, an urbanization out of control, and a growing foreign debt which could be repaid only by exporting raw materials; the resistance of peasants, who would not accept the re-imposition of what they called a “second serfdom”, and worked less and less because of both their refusal of the new system, and hunger-related debilitation; the 1932 poor weather conditions.


Famine, that started to hit here and there already in 1931 (when Kazakhs were already dying in mass), and had grown into solid pockets by the spring of 1932, thus appears the undesired and unplanned outcome of ideology-inspired policies, aimed at eliminating mercantile and private production. On the basis of war communism’s 1920-21 results, it would not have been difficult to foresee it. Yet, if one analyzes the famine’s origins and pre-fall 1932 developments on a pan-Soviet level, it seems arduous to claim that famine was those policies’ conscious goal, as it is maintained in the hypothesis of a famine willed to break the peasant resistance, or to execute a Moscow (sometime meaning Russian) planned anti-Ukrainian genocide.

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