Ukrainian genocide

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Kajtmaz
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Graziosi Ukrainian specificity and politically-motivated Fam

Post by Kajtmaz » 07 May 2010 10:56

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



However, the intensity, course and consequence of the phenomenon, which new studies and new documents allow us to analyze, were undeniably, and substantially different in different regions and Republics. Out of the six-seven million victims (demographers now impute to 1930-31 part of the deaths previously imputed to 1932-33), 3,5-3,8 died in Ukraine; 1,3-1,5 in Kazakhstan (where they reached their peak in relation to the population size, exterminating 33-38% of the Kazakhs, and 8-9% of the Europeans); and several hundreds thousand in Northern Caucasus and, on a lesser scale, in the Volga, where the most harshly hit area coincided with the German autonomous republic.


If we consider yearly mortality rates per thousand inhabitants in the countryside, and make 1926 equal to 100, we see them jump in 1933 to 188,1 in the entire country, 138,2 in the Russian Republic (which then still included both Kazakhstan and Northern Caucasus), and 367,7, that is almost the triple, in Ukraine. Here life expectancy at birth dropped from 42.9 years for men, and 46.3 for women, registered in 1926, to, respectively 7.3 and 10.9 in 1933 (it was to be 13.6 and 36.3 in 1941). Always in Ukraine there were 782,000 births in 1932, and 470,000 in 1933, against an average of 1.153 million per year in 1926-29.


Behind this different intensity, there was the famine’s different course, for which different Moscow policies were largely responsible.

In Ukraine as elsewhere, in the spring of 1932 local officials, village teachers and republican leaders noted the spreading of hunger and the beginning of a mass rural exodus. Stalin, urged by the Ukrainian party that asked for a reduction in procurements, acknowledged in early June that this was indeed necessary, at least in the most difficult areas, also out of a “sense of justice”. Such reductions, however, had to be moderate, and local, because, as Molotov was soon to declare, “even if we have today to face, especially in grain-producing areas, the famine’s ghost... procurements plans must be respected at all cost”, a conclusion towards which pushed the necessity to avoid the reproduction, on a larger scale, of the spring urban food riots and strikes, and to honor the German bills due between the end of the year and the beginning of 1933.

Always in June, however, well before Ukrainian nationalists even started to think about it, Stalin was developing what Terry Martin has called a “national interpretation” of the famine. At the beginning, he ranted in private against the Republican leaders, whom he held responsible for a situation they weren’t able to deal with the necessary firmness. Between July and August, however, after an Ukrainian party conference implicitly polemical with Moscow, and on the basis of OGPU reports that accused local communists to be infected with nationalism, Stalin matured a new analysis of the situation and its causes.


Possibly, what was perhaps the last recorded disagreement with Stalin in a Politburo meeting, also played a role. On August 2, 1932, someone, probably Petrovsky (then the Ukrainian TsIK President), objected to Stalin’s draft of what was to become on August 7 the draconian law on the defence of state property against peasant theft. Soon later, on August 11, in spite of the recent signing of the Polish-Soviet non-aggression pact, in a crucial letter to Kaganovich, Stalin wrote that Ukraine was now the main issue (his italics), that the republic’s party, state, and even political police organs teemed with nationalist agents and Polish spies, that there was the real risk “of losing Ukraine”, which had instead to be transformed into a Bolshevik fortress.


Such interpretation, developed on the basis of the Ukrainian experience, was later extended to Cossacks, singled out as enemies of the regime already in 1919, when they were hit by decossackization, Volga Germans and, albeit in less stark terms, Bielorussians. The crisis thus pushed Stalin to apply his by then well-developed model of preventive, category-based, and therefore collective, repression (which had reached its first peak with dekulakization) to a number of national and social-national groups, which in his judgement posed a threat to the regime. As events were to prove, however, Ukraine and Ukrainians remained foremost in his mind.



When, as it was to be expected, procurements proved unsatisfactory throughout the grain producing lands, Molotov, Kaganovich and Postyshev were sent to Ukraine, Northern Caucasus and the Volga to redress the situation. The decision to use the famine, thus enormously and artificially strengthening it, to impart a lesson to peasants who refused the new serfdom, was thus taken in the fall, when the crisis caused by the first five-year plan peaked, and Stalin’s wife committed suicide. The punishment was tragically simple: he who does not work, i.e. does not accept the kolkhoz system, shall not eat. Stalin hinted to such solution in his famous 1933 correspondence with Sholokhov. The Don “esteemed grain-growers”, on whose behalf the writer pleaded, had waged—Stalin wrote—a “‘secret’ war against Soviet power, a war in which—he added reversing roles—they use hunger as a weapon”, and of which they were now bearing the consequences, that is, implicitly, famine.


Not only most stricken areas were not extended any help until the spring of 1933 (Don peasants too got something only in May). While Litvinov officially denied the famine’s existence in his answers to foreign officials’ queries, the state “ferociously fought” (in Kaganovich’s words) to fulfil these areas’ procurements plans.


Where the “peasant question” was complicated, strengthened and thus made more dangerous by the national one—let’s remember that Stalin explicitly linked the two questions in his writings on nationalism, and that the Soviet leadership had seen such hypothesis confirmed by the Ukrainian countryside’s great social and national revolts of 1919, repeated, albeit on a lesser scale, in early 1930 —the resort to hunger was more ruthless, and the lesson much harsher. According to demographic data, in Ukraine too mortality depended on residency, urban or rural, and not on nationality, meaning that people living in the countryside suffered independently of their ethnic background. Yet one cannot forget that, as everybody knew, in spite of the previous urbanization cum Ukrainization, villages remained overwhelmingly Ukrainian, while cities had largely preserved their “alien” (Russian, Jewish, Polish) character. In Ukraine too, therefore, the countryside was indeed targeted to break the peasants, but with the full awareness that the village represented the nation’s spine.


The fact that, because of the “national interpretation”, the decision to use the famine took in Ukraine, and in the Kuban, very specific traits is confirmed by measures which were, at least in part, very different from those taken on a pan-Soviet scale, with the partial exception of the Don Cossacks lands.



On November 18, the Ukrainian Central Committee, which Molotov and Kaganovich had crushed into submission, ordered peasants to return the meager grain advances over the new crop they had received in recompense for their work. The decision (one may imagine what its implementation meant) opened the way for the repression of local officials who had helped out starving peasant families by distributing them grain. Hundreds such officials were shot, and thousands arrested, often under the charge of “populism”. Meanwhile, in Ukraine and in the Kuban the state resorted to fines in nature to seize from peasants meat and potatoes too, a measure which was not extended to the Volga, where—with the German Republic’s possible exception—Postyshev also dealt less harshly with local cadres (such less severe punishment resulted anyway in mass hunger-related deaths). Specific areas of Northern Caucasus and Ukraine, where the opposition to collectivization had been stronger, were punished even more cruelly: all goods, including non-agricultural ones, were removed from stores, and all inhabitants were deported from single localities.


Famine thus took on forms and dimensions much bigger than it would have if nature had followed its course. It was less intense, in terms of both draught and the area it affected, of the 1921-22 one (the 1932 crop, though quite low, was also higher than the 1945 one, when there were no comparable mass hunger-related deaths), yet it caused three-four times as many victims, because of political decisions aiming at saving the regime from the crisis to which its very policies had led, and assuring the victory of the “great offensive” launched four years previously.


From the awareness that in Ukraine, and in the Kuban, the peasant question also was a national question descended that of the necessity to deal with, and “solve” these questions together. In order to make sure that such “solution” was there to stay, it was complemented by the decision to get rid of the national elites and their policies, suspected, as we know, of abetting peasants.


On December 14 and 15 the Politburo passed two secret decrees which turned upside down, only in the Ukrainian case, the official national policies decided upon in 1923. According to them korenizatsiia, as it had been applied in Ukraine and in the Kuban, far from having disarmed nationalistic feelings had helped them grow, producing enemies with the party ticket in their pocket. Peasants were not the sole culprits of a crisis, but shared such responsibility with the Ukrainian political and cultural classes.


On these premises, Ukrainization programs in the Russian Republic were abolished. Several millions Ukrainians, who following the pro-Russian border choices of the mid-1920s, were living in the RSFSR, thus lost those education, press, and self-government rights which other nationalities continued to enjoy. The 1937 census was to reveal that only 3 million RSFSR citizens defined themselves as Ukrainians versus the 7.8 million of 1926 (at least part of this decline was caused by the promotion of Kazakhstan, previously a RSFSR autonomous Republic, into a Soviet one).



A few days later, on December 19, similar but not as harsh measures hit Bielorussia too, where—as in Ukraine—the peasant and the national questions largely coincided, and which for this reason had also caused problems during the civil war, albeit not on the Ukrainian scale. Here too, in early March, the party was accused of abetting nationalism, while party cadres and the national intelligentsiia were repressed for such crime. The fundamental difference in national policies that were much more tolerant in the East and the North than in the West was thus reaffirmed, but there was no reversal of “Bielorusization.”


On the night of December 20, at the urge of Kaganovich, the Ukrainian Politbureau committed itself to new targets for grain requisitions. Nine days later it declared that the precondition to fulfilling the plan was the discovery and seizure of “family reserves.” On January 22, 1933, soon after the arrival of Postyshev, accompanied by hundreds of central cadres, as Moscow new plenipotentiary in Ukraine,

Stalin and Molotov ordered the OGPU to stop the exodus from Ukraine and the Kuban of peasants looking for food. The Central Committee and the government, they wrote, “are convinced that such exodus, as that of the previous year, has been organized by enemy of Soviet power, socialist-revolutionaries, and Polish agents in order to agitate, ‘using peasants’, against kolkhozy and, more generally, Soviet power in the USSR northern territories. Last year party, Soviet, and police organs did not discover this counter-revolutionary plot… A repetition of such mistake this year would be intolerable.” In the following month, the decree caused the arrest of 220,000 people, predominantly hungry peasants in search of food. 190,000 of them were sent back to their villages to starve.


Ukrainian cities too, which were far better, if miserably, supplied, were surrounded by anti-peasant road blocks, while villages were left to starve. What the Ukrainian party secretary, Kosior, wrote Moscow on March 15 confirms the use of hunger to teach peasants subservience to the state: “the unsatisfactory course of sowing in many areas—he lamented—shows that famine hasn’t still taught reason to many kolkhozniki”
(my italics).


These measures were accompanied, and followed, by a wave of anti-Ukrainian terror, which already presented some of the traits that were later to characterize the 1937-38 “mass operations”. Thus ended, with the suicide of important leaders like Skrypnyk, and writers like Khvyl’ovyi, as well as the repression of thousands of its cadres, the national-communist experiment born out of the civil war.


The adoption of the term Holodomor seems therefore legitimate, as well as necessary to operate a distinction between the pan-Soviet 1931-33 phenomenon and the Ukrainian famine after the summer of 1932. In spite of their undeniable close relations, the two are in fact also profoundly different.


The same applies to the famines’ consequences, which also were at the same time partially similar and essentially different. If throughout the USSR the use of hunger broke peasant resistance; guaranteed the victory of a dictator whom people feared in a new way, and around whom a new cult, based on fear, started to develop; opened the door to the 1937-38 terror; marked a qualitative change in the lie which had accompanied the Soviet regime since its inception; allowed, by means of the subjugation of the most important republic, the de facto transformation of the Soviet federal state into a despotic empire; and left a dreadful legacy of grief in a multitude of families that were prevented from dealing with it (Gorbachev too then lost three paternal uncles) because of the famine taboo and the dogma about life having become “more joyous”, in Ukraine, and in Kazakhstan, famine dug even deeper.



In the latter the traditional society’s very structures were seriously impaired. In the former both the body and the top of the national society were badly damaged, slowing down, and distorting nation-building. I think, for instance, that only this way we can account for the much weaker, if compared to what happened in 1914-22, presence of the Ukrainian national movement in the great crisis of 1941-45 (Galicia, which in 1933 was not part of the USSR, was not surprisingly the rather extraordinary exception).

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Andrea Graziosi. Ukrainian genocide?

Post by Kajtmaz » 07 May 2010 11:49

Andrea Graziosi, 2005

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


The number of its victims make of the Soviet 1931-33 famines a set of phenomena that, in the framework of European history, can be compared only to later Nazi crimes. And the course of events in Ukraine and Northern Caucasus, the link this course had with both Stalin’s interpretation of the crisis and the policies that descended from this interpretation, re-propose, in a new way, the question of its nature.

Was there also an Ukrainian genocide?

The answer seems to be no if one thinks of a famine conceived by the regime, or— this being even more untenable—Russia, to destroy the Ukrainian people.
It is equally no if one adopts a restrictive definition of genocide as the planned will to exterminate all the members of a religious or ethnic group, in which case only the Holocaust would qualify.


In 1948, however, even the rather strict UN definition of genocide listed among possible genocidal acts, side by side with “killing members of the group, and causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group”, “deliberately inflicting on members of the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” (my italics). Soon before, Raphael Lemkin, the inventor of the term, had noted that “generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation… It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups…”

From this angle,

if one thinks of the substantial difference in mortality rates in different Republics;

adds to the millions of Ukrainian victims, including the Kuban ones,

the millions of Ukrainians forcibly russified after December 1932,

as well as the scores of thousand peasants who met a similar fate after evading the police road blocks and taking refuge in the Russian republic;

keeps in mind that one is therefore dealing with the loss of approximately 20-30% of the Ukrainian ethnic population;

remembers that such loss was caused by the decision, unquestionably a subjective act, to use the famine in a anti-Ukrainian sense on the basis of the “national interpretation” Stalin developed in the second half of 1932;

reckons that, without such decision, deaths would have been at the most in the hundreds of thousand, that is less than in 1921-22;

finally, if ones adds to all of the above the destruction of large part of the Republic’s Ukrainian political and cultural elite, from village teachers to national leaders,

I believe that the answer to our question cannot but be positive.


Between the end of 1932 and the summer 1933:

1. Stalin and the regime he controlled and coerced—certainly not Russia or the Russians, who suffered from famine too, even though on a lesser scale—consciously executed, within a drive aimed at breaking peasants, an anti-Ukrainian policy aiming at mass-extermination, and causing a genocide in the above mentioned interpretation of the term , a genocide whose physical and psychological scars are still visible today;

2. This genocide was the product of a famine which was not willfully caused with such aim in mind, but which was willfully maneuvered towards this end once it came about as the unwanted result of the regime policies (it seems that the even more terrible Kazakh tragedy was “only” the undesired, if foreseeable, outcome of denomadization and white indifference towards the natives’ fate);

3. It took place within a context which saw Stalin punishing with hunger, and applying terror to, a number of national and ethno-social groups he felt to be actually, or potentially, dangerous. As all the quantitative data indicate, however, the scale of both punishment and terror reached in Ukraine, for the reasons I listed, extreme dimensions, thus growing into a qualitatively different phenomenon.

4. In this perspective, the relations between the Holodomor and the other tragic punishments with repression of 1932-33 do in a way recall the already mentioned ones between Nazi repression and the Holocaust. The Holodomor, however, was much different from the Holocaust. It did not aim at exterminating the whole nation, it did not kill people directly, and it was theoretically and politically—might one say “rationally?” —not ethnically or racially, motivated and constructed. This different motivation at least partially accounts for the first two differences.

5. In this perspective, the Holocaust is exceptional because it represents the purest, and therefore qualitatively different, genocide imaginable. It thus belongs in another category. Yet at the same time it represents the apex of a multilayered pyramid, whose steps are represented by other tragedies, and to whose top the Holodomor is close.


Were it true, as I believe it to be, this affirmative answer has great moral and intellectual consequences upon our image, and interpretation of the European XX century.

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Kajtmaz » 08 Nov 2018 15:00

The United States Senate has passed a resolution:
(3) recognizes the findings of the Commission on the Ukraine Famine as submitted to Congress on April 22, 1988, including that ‘‘Joseph Stalin and those around him committed genocide against the Ukrainians in 1932–1933’’
Read more https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/BIL ... 435ats.pdf

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Kajtmaz » 18 Nov 2018 12:43

Sergey Romanov wrote:
01 May 2010 14:11
I'm not sure anyone explicitly said that such a murder is less evil, but it certainly is not enshrined in any "-cide" term. Not that it has to do with the left/right political divisions. Also, it is still classified as a crime against humanity.

PS: Of course, wingnut Goldberg doesn't cite any evidence that "vast numbers of leftist intellectuals forgave Stalin, Mao and others for murdering people who stood in the way of Progress — and historians continue to do so today". And of course genocide is not generally defined as killing any "whole class" of people, which is the whole point. It is also not clear why Goldberg is having a discussion with some abstract "Marxists".
Khmer Rouge leaders found guilty of genocide
A UN-backed court ruled that the Khmer Rouge committed genocide, a landmark verdict that is hoped will bring closure to millions of Cambodians.Source: CNN

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/20 ... n-orig.cnn

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Sergey Romanov
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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Sergey Romanov » 08 Dec 2018 12:50

Kajtmaz wrote:
18 Nov 2018 12:43
Sergey Romanov wrote:
01 May 2010 14:11
I'm not sure anyone explicitly said that such a murder is less evil, but it certainly is not enshrined in any "-cide" term. Not that it has to do with the left/right political divisions. Also, it is still classified as a crime against humanity.

PS: Of course, wingnut Goldberg doesn't cite any evidence that "vast numbers of leftist intellectuals forgave Stalin, Mao and others for murdering people who stood in the way of Progress — and historians continue to do so today". And of course genocide is not generally defined as killing any "whole class" of people, which is the whole point. It is also not clear why Goldberg is having a discussion with some abstract "Marxists".
Khmer Rouge leaders found guilty of genocide
A UN-backed court ruled that the Khmer Rouge committed genocide, a landmark verdict that is hoped will bring closure to millions of Cambodians.Source: CNN

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/20 ... n-orig.cnn
You do understand that the inclusion among the genocide victims of the tens of thousands ethnic/religious minorities (Vietnamese+Cham), but exclusion of most of the KR victims (who happened to be Khmer) fully supports the point I was making, right?

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Kajtmaz » 12 Dec 2018 09:44

Sergey Romanov wrote:
08 Dec 2018 12:50
Kajtmaz wrote:
18 Nov 2018 12:43
A UN-backed court ruled that the Khmer Rouge committed genocide, a landmark verdict that is hoped will bring closure to millions of Cambodians.Source: CNN
You do understand that the inclusion among the genocide victims of the tens of thousands ethnic/religious minorities (Vietnamese+Cham), but exclusion of most of the KR victims (who happened to be Khmer) fully supports the point I was making
Don't support: on the contrary, it's much the same as "inclusion among the genocide victims of millions of ukrainians and don't inclusion of hundred thousand else".
Kajtmaz wrote:
08 Nov 2018 15:00
The United States Senate has passed a resolution:
(3) recognizes the findings of the Commission on the Ukraine Famine as submitted to Congress on April 22, 1988, including that ‘‘Joseph Stalin and those around him committed genocide against the Ukrainians in 1932–1933’’
This resolution has passed yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 12 Dec 2018 11:46

So, all historians conclude this famine was not intentional and could not be a genocide, but western political intstitutions 100 years later decide it was a genocide.

I prefer when politics manage their own things !

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Sergey Romanov » 12 Dec 2018 21:57

Kajtmaz wrote:
12 Dec 2018 09:44
Sergey Romanov wrote:
08 Dec 2018 12:50
Kajtmaz wrote:
18 Nov 2018 12:43
A UN-backed court ruled that the Khmer Rouge committed genocide, a landmark verdict that is hoped will bring closure to millions of Cambodians.Source: CNN
You do understand that the inclusion among the genocide victims of the tens of thousands ethnic/religious minorities (Vietnamese+Cham), but exclusion of most of the KR victims (who happened to be Khmer) fully supports the point I was making
Don't support: on the contrary, it's much the same as "inclusion among the genocide victims of millions of ukrainians and don't inclusion of hundred thousand else".
Obviously it supports my point about victims of class-based killings not fitting the UN genocide definition, so obviously you got caught lying.

Kajtmaz wrote:
08 Nov 2018 15:00
The United States Senate has passed a resolution:
(3) recognizes the findings of the Commission on the Ukraine Famine as submitted to Congress on April 22, 1988, including that ‘‘Joseph Stalin and those around him committed genocide against the Ukrainians in 1932–1933’’
This resolution has passed yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives
Political bodies' political decisions have zero to do with scholarly debates. Why did you post this?

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Kajtmaz » 30 Jan 2019 13:14

Sergey Romanov wrote:
12 Dec 2018 21:57
Political bodies' political decisions have zero to do with scholarly debates. Why did you post this?
This "political decisions" has scientific background/method: "...the findings of the Commission on the Ukraine Famine as submitted to Congress on April 22, 1988..."
Sergey Romanov wrote:
12 Dec 2018 21:57
...victims of class-based killings not fitting the UN genocide definition...
Roman Serbyn
http://www.archives.gov.ua/Sections/Fam ... n-2006.php
A major objection to the definition is the restricted number of recognized genocide target groups. Coming in the wake of the Second World War and informed by Lemkin's work and the evidence of the Nazi concentration camps, the definition would necessarily be tailored to the Jewish Holocaust. Jews could fall into any one of the four categories: national, ethnic, racial and religious. They did not form a political or a social group, but this was not the reason for the exclusion of the two categories, which, after all, were part of Lemkin's concern. The exclusion of social and political groups from the Convention...was the result of the Soviet delegation's intervention. The implication of the definition's limitation to the four categories of victims is that one cannot argue for the recognition of a Ukrainian genocide if its victims are identified only as peasants. Of the four human groups listed by the Convention, it is quite clear that Ukrainians did not become victims of the famine because of their religious or racial traits.
This leaves two categories: "national" and "ethnic(al)." There has always been a certain ambiguity about the distinction between the two groups labeled as "nation" and "ethnic(al)" by the Convention.

William Schabas, internationally recognized legal expert on genocide, believes that all four categories overlap, since originally they were meant to protect minorities. He argues that "national minorities" is the more common expression in Central and Eastern Europe, while "ethnic minorities" prevails in the West. But if both terms designate the same group then there is redundancy, which Schabas fails to note.

A more meaningful interpretation of "national group" was given in a recent case cited by the author. "According to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the term 'national group' refers to 'a collection of people who are perceived to share a legal bond based on common citizenship, coupled with reciprocity of rights and duties'."'

What we have here is a "civic nation" formed by all the citizens of a given state, regardless of their ethnic, racial or other differentiation, as opposed to "ethnic nation," or members of an ethnic community often divided by state borders.
Such a clarification of the terms "national" and "ethnical" in reference to "groups" used would remove any ambiguity or redundancy in the Convention. It would also help the understanding of the Ukrainian famine-genocide.

Relevant to this discussion is a statement made in 1992 by a Commission of Experts, applying the Genocide Convention to Yugoslavia: "a given group can be defined on the basis of its regional existence ... all Bosnians in Sarajevo, irrespective of ethnicity or religion, could constitute a protected group." The "regional" group is thus analogous to the civic national group.

The decisive element in the crime of genocide is the perpetrator's intent to destroy a human group identified by one of the four traits mentioned above. When applying this notion to the Ukrainian case, certain aspects of the question of intent as used by the Convention should be taken into consideration.

First, it is not an easy task to document intent, for as Leo Kuper pointedly remarked, "governments hardly declare and document genocidal plans in the manner of the Nazis."
However, documents which directly reveal Stalin's intent do exist, and there is also circumstantial evidence which can be used.

Secondly, contrary to frequently erroneous claims, the Convention does not limit the notion of genocide to an intention to destroy the whole group; it is sufficient that the desire to eliminate concern only a part of the group. This implies that there is the possibility of selection on the part of the perpetrator from among the victims within the targeted group, and this aspect must not be neglected when analyzing the Ukrainian genocide.

Thirdly, the Convention (Article II) lists five ways in which the crime is executed:

Killing members of the group;
Causing serious bodily or mental harm to the members of the group;
Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

All of these acts, to a greater or lesser extent, can be documented in the Ukrainian experience.

Fourthly, the Convention places no obligation on establishing the motive behind the crime, even though the reason behind a criminal's activ-ity can help to establish his intent. Two Canadian scholars with long experience in genocidal studies have classified genocides in four groups according to their motives.

It should be clear from examining the list that the Ukrainian genocide fits all four categories:

To eliminate a real or potential threat;
To spread terror among real or potential enemies;
To acquire economic wealth; or
To implement a belief, a theory or an ideology.

Schabas approaches the problem somewhat differently: "There is no explicit reference to motive in article II of the Genocide Convention, and the casual reader will be excused for failing to guess that the words 'as such' are meant to express the concept."

Yes, to a certain extent. With the help of a criminal ideology, perpetrators of genocide can transform a targeted group into an object of blind hate, which then in itself becomes a motive for the destruction of members of that group. In other words, members of a group "X" are singled out for destruction because they are members of that group. But the underlying motives which brought about the hatred do not disappear - they are only pushed into the background.
[...]

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by SloveneLiberal » 31 Jan 2019 16:34

Just want to add to this topic some data about Soviet economical policy toward farmers after 1929 when Stalin's line won in Politbiro, NEP was abolished and the process of collectivization started. During NEP farmers sold only around 20% of their products, around 15% was kept for sowing, around 30% for feeding the animals on the farm and the rest for their own food for them and their families. But when Stalin started his new policy state took around 40% of products. So the normal economy of farmers was completly dismantled and that started the conflict which involved many confiscations and big repression against farmers and which ended in the great famine.

Source: M. Levin Forming of Soviet Sistem, book published in Paris in 1987

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by SloveneLiberal » 31 Jan 2019 17:30

Centralization and collectivization under Stalin went also hand in hand. Leaders of Soviet republics which were against one or another were killed in purges. So for example Alexei Rykov who opossed Stalin policy about collectivization in 1929 was first deposed in 1930 and then killed in 1938. Fayzulla Khodzhayev who was for a long time one of the main communist leaders in Uzbekistan was deposed and soon then killed in 1937/38 because he was against extreme centralization and argued that Uzbekistan farmers should produce more grain and not so muh cotton thus being more independent.

Farmers not producing enough grain was like an excuse for the start of collectivization. Yet we can see in some areas production of grain was limited from the state or in fact by the Soviet communist party. Like in Uzbekistan because production of cotton was making Uzbekistan more politacally tied to Soviet union.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fayzulla_Khodzhayev

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexei_Rykov

transcripts of trial from 1938 against so called ''Asiatic nationalists''
Last edited by SloveneLiberal on 31 Jan 2019 22:17, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Stiltzkin » 31 Jan 2019 19:32

So, all historians conclude this famine was not intentional and could not be a genocide, but western political intstitutions 100 years later decide it was a genocide.

I prefer when politics manage their own things !
This is rather negligible for this debate, since the physical elements of the case are clear: Starvation was the product of forced collectivization. Even Komsomolets roamed the land during this period to confiscate anything of value. Farmers were seen as the only independent instance in the USSR, not to mention that many of them were deported to Siberia. This seems to be just another attempt of the Russian government to obfuscate the history and guilt of the Stalinist terror regime.
It is like saying: " Hey the people who were trapped in the Warsaw ghetto and died on the streets were not intentionally starved".

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Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Sergey Romanov » 31 Jan 2019 23:47

Kajtmaz wrote:
30 Jan 2019 13:14
Sergey Romanov wrote:
12 Dec 2018 21:57
Political bodies' political decisions have zero to do with scholarly debates. Why did you post this?
This "political decisions" has scientific background/method: "...the findings of the Commission on the Ukraine Famine as submitted to Congress on April 22, 1988..."
Sergey Romanov wrote:
12 Dec 2018 21:57
...victims of class-based killings not fitting the UN genocide definition...
Roman Serbyn
http://www.archives.gov.ua/Sections/Fam ... n-2006.php
A major objection to the definition is the restricted number of recognized genocide target groups. Coming in the wake of the Second World War and informed by Lemkin's work and the evidence of the Nazi concentration camps, the definition would necessarily be tailored to the Jewish Holocaust. Jews could fall into any one of the four categories: national, ethnic, racial and religious. They did not form a political or a social group, but this was not the reason for the exclusion of the two categories, which, after all, were part of Lemkin's concern. The exclusion of social and political groups from the Convention...was the result of the Soviet delegation's intervention. The implication of the definition's limitation to the four categories of victims is that one cannot argue for the recognition of a Ukrainian genocide if its victims are identified only as peasants. Of the four human groups listed by the Convention, it is quite clear that Ukrainians did not become victims of the famine because of their religious or racial traits.
This leaves two categories: "national" and "ethnic(al)." There has always been a certain ambiguity about the distinction between the two groups labeled as "nation" and "ethnic(al)" by the Convention.

William Schabas, internationally recognized legal expert on genocide, believes that all four categories overlap, since originally they were meant to protect minorities. He argues that "national minorities" is the more common expression in Central and Eastern Europe, while "ethnic minorities" prevails in the West. But if both terms designate the same group then there is redundancy, which Schabas fails to note.

A more meaningful interpretation of "national group" was given in a recent case cited by the author. "According to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the term 'national group' refers to 'a collection of people who are perceived to share a legal bond based on common citizenship, coupled with reciprocity of rights and duties'."'

What we have here is a "civic nation" formed by all the citizens of a given state, regardless of their ethnic, racial or other differentiation, as opposed to "ethnic nation," or members of an ethnic community often divided by state borders.
Such a clarification of the terms "national" and "ethnical" in reference to "groups" used would remove any ambiguity or redundancy in the Convention. It would also help the understanding of the Ukrainian famine-genocide.

Relevant to this discussion is a statement made in 1992 by a Commission of Experts, applying the Genocide Convention to Yugoslavia: "a given group can be defined on the basis of its regional existence ... all Bosnians in Sarajevo, irrespective of ethnicity or religion, could constitute a protected group." The "regional" group is thus analogous to the civic national group.

The decisive element in the crime of genocide is the perpetrator's intent to destroy a human group identified by one of the four traits mentioned above. When applying this notion to the Ukrainian case, certain aspects of the question of intent as used by the Convention should be taken into consideration.

First, it is not an easy task to document intent, for as Leo Kuper pointedly remarked, "governments hardly declare and document genocidal plans in the manner of the Nazis."
However, documents which directly reveal Stalin's intent do exist, and there is also circumstantial evidence which can be used.

Secondly, contrary to frequently erroneous claims, the Convention does not limit the notion of genocide to an intention to destroy the whole group; it is sufficient that the desire to eliminate concern only a part of the group. This implies that there is the possibility of selection on the part of the perpetrator from among the victims within the targeted group, and this aspect must not be neglected when analyzing the Ukrainian genocide.

Thirdly, the Convention (Article II) lists five ways in which the crime is executed:

Killing members of the group;
Causing serious bodily or mental harm to the members of the group;
Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

All of these acts, to a greater or lesser extent, can be documented in the Ukrainian experience.

Fourthly, the Convention places no obligation on establishing the motive behind the crime, even though the reason behind a criminal's activ-ity can help to establish his intent. Two Canadian scholars with long experience in genocidal studies have classified genocides in four groups according to their motives.

It should be clear from examining the list that the Ukrainian genocide fits all four categories:

To eliminate a real or potential threat;
To spread terror among real or potential enemies;
To acquire economic wealth; or
To implement a belief, a theory or an ideology.

Schabas approaches the problem somewhat differently: "There is no explicit reference to motive in article II of the Genocide Convention, and the casual reader will be excused for failing to guess that the words 'as such' are meant to express the concept."

Yes, to a certain extent. With the help of a criminal ideology, perpetrators of genocide can transform a targeted group into an object of blind hate, which then in itself becomes a motive for the destruction of members of that group. In other words, members of a group "X" are singled out for destruction because they are members of that group. But the underlying motives which brought about the hatred do not disappear - they are only pushed into the background.
[...]
> This "political decisions" has scientific background/method: "...the findings of the Commission on the Ukraine Famine as submitted to Congress on April 22, 1988..."

This has to do what with the UN?

> Roman Serbyn

Does not contradict what I wrote.

Why are you spamming me with irrelevant stuff?

Kajtmaz
Member
Posts: 522
Joined: 31 Mar 2010 17:38

Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Kajtmaz » 01 Feb 2019 17:19

Roman Serbyn
http://www.archives.gov.ua/Sections/Fam ... n-2006.php
Stalin's Directive of 22 January 1933: Habent sua fata documenti

All serious scholars, not only in Ukraine, but also in Russia and the West, now generally accept the fact that Stalin and his cronies willfully starved millions of peasants to death in 1932-1933.
Ellman, who rejects the idea of a specifically Ukrainian famine and a Ukrainian genocide, admits that "Stalin also used starvation in his war against the peasants" and that "an unknown fraction of mortality in the 1931-34 Soviet famine resulted from a conscious policy of starvation."
One can only speculate as to why the Amsterdam historian disregarded in his tightly reasoned and well-argued discussion of intent in the Soviet famine a document which of all the known testimonies best illustrates this intent.

For almost two decades now, historians have known about Stalin's secret directive of 22 January 1933.

Danilov and Zelenin, whose knowledge of Soviet archives was second to none, considered it one of the few documents "to bear witness to Stalin's direct personal participation in the organization of mass famine of 1932-1933."
The document is of particular significance for the study of the Ukrainian genocide, and we cannot exclude the possibility that its checkered fate in the hands of Soviet, post-Soviet and Western historians had something to do with this connection.

The document was made known to the academic world at a conference on collectivization, held in Moscow, on 24 October 1988. Iu. A. Moshkov of Moscow State University informed the meeting that Stalin had complained of a massive flight of peasants from Kuban and Ukraine in search of food in various regions of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR) and Belarus.
The General Secretary called the peasants SR agitators and Polish agents who were going to RSFSR with the intention of stirring up the peasants against the Soviet power. "Instead of ordering aid for the fugitives," commented Moshkov, "the telegram demanded that these people be apprehended at the railway stations and sent back."

To my knowledge, this was the first public presentation of the important document. A participant at the conference, E. N. Oskolkov from the Rostov University, later used the document in his study of famine in the Northern Caucasus, in which the Ukrainian Kozak stanytsyi figured prominently. There were no scholars from Ukraine at the Moscow conference, but they must have read about it in Istoriya SSSR27. In 1990, the Institute of Party History of Ukraine published documents of the famine held in its own Archive. The Stalin document was probably not found, for it was not published. However, the collection contained a followup directive from Kharkiv, the then-capital of Soviet Ukraine, relaying the Kremlin directive to the Ukrainian oblasts.

In 1993, Ukrainians organized an international conference on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the tragedy. Ukrainian scholars made no reference to the 22 January 1933 document, but N. Ivnitsky from the Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences, gave a detailed analysis of it. This historian stated that as a result of the directive 219,460 individuals were arrested; 186,588 of them were sent back to their starving villages, and the others were punished in other ways. Oskolkov spoke about a real "people hunt" in the Northern Caucasus and, in particular, the Kuban region, as a result of Stalin's directive. Significantly, no Ukrainian participant referred to the document.

The Russian participants were unhappy with the conference and, once in Moscow, wrote a scathing report. They objected to Ukrainian historians' "groundless insistence" on Ukraine's exclusiveness during the famine, on imagining "a separate character and content of the events in that republic, distinct from other republics and regions." They liked Kulchytsky's linking the famine with grain procurement and collectivization; they ignored James Mace's comments on the national motives in Stalin's starvation policy; and they condemned Ivan Drach for his demand that Russia recognize its liability for the famine. The statement discussed at length the famine in the Kuban and Northern Caucasus, but only as proof of Russian famine and without a single reference to its ethnic Ukrainian population.

In 1994, N. A. Ivnitsky published a seminal study on collectivization from a post-Soviet perspective, explaining in some detail Stalin's secret directive on closing the borders around Ukraine and the Northern Caucasus. This measure was to prevent a peasant exodus from Ukraine and Kuban to the Russian regions of Central-Black Earth, the Volga, Moscow and Western oblasts, as well as to Belarus. The scholar reiterated the fact that, as a result of that order, the OGPU arrested 219,460 persons in the first six weeks of the order.

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Bolshevik overthrow of the Provisional Government, a group of French historians, many of them former Marxists, published a book of communist crimes around the world.
The book hit the French public like a bombshell, was translated into a dozen of languages and had a great impact on intellectuals of leftist leanings.
Nicolas Werth, a known expert on Soviet history, authored the part on the Soviet Union.
In the chapter on "the Great Famine," he presents Ivnitsky's findings on Stalin's directive but changes the direction of the peasants' migration.
The peasants from Ukraine and Kuban no longer go to the four Russian regions, but to unspecified "towns" - towns that were not even mentioned in Stalin's decree or Ivnitsky's rendering of it.

Werth made Stalin's directive a followup to the new law on passports, decreed on 27 December 1932. Peasants were not entitled to the passports, and this was one way of preventing them from leaving the village. The two measures were quite different. The passport law concerned the whole Soviet Union, and it was of a social nature - to prevent peasants from moving freely into urban centers. Stalin's directive on the border concerned only Ukraine and the heavily Ukrainian Northern Caucasus (especially the predominantly Ukrainian Kuban), and was thus of a national character. The immediate consequence of this misrepresentation of the important document in Werth's work was to allow the author to preclude its use as evidence of Ukrainian genocide. Tackling a problem that was then hotly debated in the academic world, Werth asks: "Should one see this famine as 'a genocide of the Ukrainian people', as a number of Ukrainian historians and researchers do today?" To which he gives a somewhat evasive answer, which is worth a direct quotation: "It is undeniable that the Ukrainian peasantry were the principal victims in the famine of 1932-33, and that this 'assault' was preceded in 1929 by several offensives against the Ukrainian intelligentsia, who were accused of 'nationalist deviations', and then against some of the Ukrainian Communists after 1932.
It is equally undeniable that, as Andrei Sakharov noted, Stalin suffered from 'Ukrainophobia'.
But proportionally the famine was just as severe in the Cossack territories of the Kuban and the Don and in Kazakhstan."

The national character of the document is thus lost on two counts: the flight from Ukraine to Russia was replaced by migration from village to town, and the Ukrainian ethnicity of the Kuban Kozak population was ignored. In fairness to Werth, it should be noted that in a later publication he has corrected the first, although not the second, point in his presentation of Stalin's infamous directive. There is also merit in Werth's situating the famine in a broader national context. But the fact that there was a famine in Kuban, the Don and Kazakhstan in no way affects the genocidal nature of the famine in Ukraine, as the author seems to imply. Werth's unfortunate mistaken interpretation of the Stalin border directive was reproduced in all the translated versions of the Black Book and, paradoxically, Ivnistky's correct comments on Stalin's directive returned to his homeland in a twisted and deceptive form.

Stephane Courtois, the editor of the Black Book, gave the famine another spin. In his "Introduction" to the publication, he begins by quoting the whole Article II of the UN Convention on Genocide but then reminds the reader of the addition to the definition of genocide made by the French criminal code: "or a group that has been determined on the basis of any other arbitrary criterion" [emphasis added by Courtois]. This allows Courtois to add "social group" to the list of targeted populations. Inspired by Vasily Grossman's "magnificent novel" Forever Flowing, Courtois compares "the great famine in Ukraine in 1932-33, which resulted from the rural population's resistance to forced collectivization" and in which "6 million died" to the Jewish Holocaust. "Here, the genocide of a 'class' may well be tantamount to the genocide of a 'race' - the deliberate starvation of a child of a Ukrainian kulak as a result of the famine caused by Stalin's regime 'is equal to' the starvation of a Jewish child in the Warsaw ghetto as a result of the famine caused by the Nazi regime." Courtois's analysis of the 1932-1933 famine as "class genocide" is shared today by many scholars in the West, Ukraine and Russia.

Terry Martin was the first Western scholar to draw particular attention to Stalin's border decree of 1933, which he also published in toto.
The American historian examined the Ukrainian famine in connection with the national aspect, not only in Ukraine but also in the Northern Caucasus.
Stalin's correspondence with Kaganovich and Molotov reveals his distrust of the Ukrainian party leaders, such as Chubar and Petrovsky, and the whole Communist party in Ukraine, which he accused of being infiltrated by Petlyurites and agents of Pilsudski.
The general opposition in Ukraine to grain procurement was seen as directly connected to the national question, as was the similar sabotage mentality in the Northern Caucasus.
This part of the RSFSR had a high proportion of ethnic Ukrainians, especially the Kuban region, with its clear Ukrainian majority.
It is in this context that the historian introduces Stalin's directive of 22 January 1933.


However, in spite of the revealing evidence about the national factor in the 1932-1933 events, and even though he called the chapter dealing with the famine "The National Interpretation of the 1933 Famine," the author remains far from recognizing the famine as a Ukrainian genocide.
In a lecture delivered at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute in February 2001, Martin stated his interpretation is "derived primarily from a close analysis of Soviet nationalities policy,"
but that this did not mean that he thought it "the decisive factor in explaining the famine."
"On the contrary," declared the speaker, "I fully accept the standard peasantist interpretation of the famine."
The historian was convinced by the "forceful restatement of that argument" by his colleague, D'Ann Penner, who argued "that the famine was the culminating act in a five-year assault on the peasantry."

Martin's reliance on Penner's work is surprising, because the latter analyzed the famine in the Don and North Caucasus regions, and in her otherwise excellent essay shows a curious understanding of the Ukrainian population of the RSFSR.
Penner writes: "The Kuban Cossacks who spoke Ukrainian did not consider themselves Ukrainians nor did they exhibit a desire to join a Ukrainian national movement.
They treated the 'khokhly,' one of the less derisive terms used by Cossacks when referring to Ukrainian-speaking peasants, with as much disdain as did the Russian-speaking Cossacks of Veshensk. [Penner's emphasis]"
As the title of her essay indicates, Penner sees the famine primarily as a result of the struggle between the peasants and the Soviet state.


Comparing the Chinese and "the Soviet" (her words) famines, the American author writes:
"In both cases, the famines were immediately preceded by decisions to change and, the decisionmakers believed, to rapidly upgrade agricultural production on a grand scale irrespective of the farming people's expressed will.
At the most basic level, each famine was caused by the government's handling of a serious grain crisis, which itself was the result of a predominantly unnatural disaster caused by failed innovations, shortsighted policies and effective peasant resistance."

Penner mentions the Stalin border decree, not in connection with the national question, but as a followup to the law on passports and a way to control popular mobility, unproductive to the state. For Wilson, there was also no Ukrainian famine as such, and his perception of the event was reflected in the title of his Harvard paper: "The 1932-33 Ukrainian Terror." The evidentiary potential of the Stalin directive was not exploited to its fullest.

Stalin's directive to close the border has been slow in attracting interest among Ukrainian scholars, even those who uphold the thesis of Ukrainian genocide and need evidential material to support their claim. On the 65th anniversary of the famine, Ivnitsky once more spoke of the Moscow document of 22 January 1933, and Volodymyr Serhiychuk quoted from the followup Kharkiv directive to the Ukrainian regions. Regrettably, neither historian approached the blockade of the Ukrainian peasants from the perspective of the UN Convention on genocide. Nor was it the approach adopted by Levko Lukyanenko and Olena Zdiochuk, who were supposed to provide the conference with a legal analysis of the famine.

When, at the end of the millennium, Vasyl Marochko wrote a long essay titled "Genocide of the Ukrainian People," he quoted the definition in Article II of the Convention without analyzing it, made no reference to the Stalin directive and waffled between a national and a "peasantist" interpretation of the tragedy. Marochko begins his section on "Terror by famine" with this: "The most pronounced indication of genocide in Ukraine is the conscious creation of life conditions, calculated for the physical destruction of peasants."

Only in the beginning of our century did Stalin's directive receive adequate attention in Valeriy Vasilev's thorough analysis of the Soviet authorities' starvation policies. Surprisingly, the author took at face value Stalin's demagogic claim that the reason for the closing of borders was to "prevent the spreading of information about the famine."

The 70th anniversary of the famine was marked by scholarly conferences, a special hearing at the Ukrainian Parliament, and a representation to the UN General Assembly. A central aim of these events was to ascertain the genocidal character of the famine. By then, Stalin's directive should have been well known in academic circle and among interested politicians, for in 2001 the Russian Academy of Sciences published the whole text of Stalin directive. That same year, Stalin's correspondence with Kaganovich came out, which helped put the document in a more meaningful historical context. Assistant Prime-Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk presented the main report at the Parliamentary hearing in February 2003. The historian-turned-politician argued in the spirit of the UN Convention on genocide, showing how the conditions in Ukraine in 1932-1933 corresponded to the criteria of the UN Convention on Genocide. As one of the repressive measures, Tabachnyk mentioned the introduction of the passport system, which tied the peasants to the starving villages.

However, with one exception, no politician or academic at the hearing evoked Stalin's border decree. Only one Member of Parliament, the head of the Poltava "Prosvita" organization, Mykola Kulchytsky, quoted Stalin's directive and recounted an incident from the period to illustrate its effect. I was not able to obtain the dossier presented by the Ukrainian delegation to the 5th Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations, but I suspect that there was no particular attention drawn to the border-closing decree.

Of the numerous conferences held that fall in Europe and North America, let us look at just two, one held in May at the Lviv Polytechnic University, and the other in November at Kyiv University. Not one paper at the Lviv conference mentions Stalin's border decree. Rudolf Myrsky's paper, however, is relevant to our discussion for another reason. The author draws a parallel between two genocides executed on Ukrainian soil: Stalin's "class genocide" against Ukrainian peasants and Hitler's "race genocide" against the Jews of Ukraine. Echoing Courtois's quotation from Grossman's Forever Flowing Myrsky asserts: "We can say that in Holodomor and Holocaust a class genocide joins up with a racial genocide in a fatal calculation: the death from hunger of a Ukrainian child has the same value as death from hunger in a Warsaw ghetto." Courtois's Ukrainian child thus lost its "kulak" label, but was subjected to the same "peasantist" interpretation, which enjoys much support among Ukrainian scholars.

Only Shapoval discussed Stalin's borders directive at the Kyiv conference. He made it clear that the decree was to counter the flight of peasants "beyond the limits of Ukraine." Shapoval also quoted a Ukrainian translation of the whole followup order sent the next day from Kharkiv to the oblasts. But the Ukrainian specificity of the two documents are diminished by the historian's discussion of the matter in a section, which he aptly calls "the second serfdom," namely the tying down of all Soviet peasants to the land, which began with the passport decree.

To complete this brief overview of the fate of Stalin's border decree, three more publications should be mentioned. For the 70th anniversary of the 1933 famine, the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine published a voluminous collective study under the title "Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine: Causes and Consequences." Significantly, neither "Holodomor" nor "Genocide" appear in the book's title, and of the 68 titles of sections and subsections in the book, the term "genocide" is used only once in a subtitle, and in reference to peasants, not Ukrainians: "The policy of total grain confiscation in the Ukrainian village: genocide against the peasants." Neither in that section, nor anywhere else in the almost 900-page opus, is there any mention of the UN Convention on Genocide or an analysis of the concept of genocide. As for Stalin's border decree, there is only discussion of its application and its effect in the sections on how peasants tried to save themselves from the famine and in connection with the passport system. The more popular terms used in the book are "holodomor" and "terror by famine."

Mention should be made of the 80 documents on the famine, recently published by Lubomyr Luciuk (Royal Military College in Kingston, Canada) and Shapoval (Political and Ethnic Studies Institute, Kyiv). As the collection is intended primarily for the academic public outside Ukraine, Shapoval included a succinct introduction, in English, showing the most important stages in the realization of Stalin's famine-genocide. The author briefly explains the border closing document and adds: "appropriate instructions were issued to the transport departments of the OGPU USSR" (the precursor of the better-known NKVD). Notwithstanding the sloppy appearance of the book, it is a worthwhile addition to the material on the Ukrainian genocide.

Since many of the documents have already appeared in the original language (Russian), it would have been more useful to give an English translation of these documents. What is also baffling is the editor's failure to include the crucial Stalin-Molotov directive of 22 January 1933. Instead, the editors published the followup directive, sent the next day by Kharkiv to the Ukrainian regions, which does not have the same evidentiary value in proving Stalin's genocidal intent.

Ukraine's most prolific academic writer on the famine is Stanislav Kulchytsky. His last major essay on the subject was first serialized in the Ukrainian, Russian and English versions of the newspaper Den, under the title "Why was Stalin Destroying Us."56 Then the Ukrainian and Russian versions were adapted for a bilingual book published by the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine under the title Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine as Genocide.

Kulchytsky's conceptual paradigm is the notion of "terror by famine," borrowed from Robert Conquest58 and also popular with many Western and Ukrainian historians. Yet, as Egbert Jahn so cogently argued, a terror policy seeks to alarm and intimidate people, and to be effective makes available as much information as possible. This was not characteristic of the famine and so "one cannot characterize the core of the Holodomor as the use of hunger terror." "Terror by famine" is a misnomer.

Terror was employed to force the peasants into collective farms and to confiscate their harvest. It was effective and achieved its goal. It also caused some loss of life but did not result in mass extermination. Famine came after most of the collectivization was already accomplished and the peasants' foodstuffs confiscated. Terror was employed throughout the whole period towards party and state cadres to intimidate them into carrying out Stalin's genocidal policies toward the Ukrainian peasants, but these functionaries did not die from the terror.

Terry Martin provides a good analysis of the measures taken to terrorize the local communists in the Kuban. Ukrainian peasants succumbed to starvation when there was no need to scare them into the collec-tive farms, for most of them already were there, and when there was no need to scare them into giving up their produce, because it had already been confiscated. The peasants died from induced hunger, not fear. The "terror by famine" cannot be used as a synonym for genocide, as Kulchyt-sky seems to imply by his usage of the terms.

Kulchytsky set for himself the task of discovering Stalin's motives for destroying Ukrainians. Establishing the motive for a criminal act helps to understand the criminal's intention to commit it, but it is not a factor in determining proof of genocide, according to the UN Convention. What the Convention demands is proof of the intent itself.

Contrary to Kulchytsky's claim, I believe that the Ukrainian famine of 1932-1933 does fit the UN definition of genocide. The two main concerns of Article II - that the victim population fit one of the four identified groups and that proof be given of the perpetrator's genocidal intent - can be satisfied with the available documents, the most revealing of which is Stalin's border decree.

Kajtmaz
Member
Posts: 522
Joined: 31 Mar 2010 17:38

Re: Ukrainian genocide

Post by Kajtmaz » 01 Feb 2019 17:24

Roman Serbyn
http://www.archives.gov.ua/Sections/Fam ... n-2006.php
The 1932-1933 Famine as Genocide Against Ukrainians

Stalin's decree is directed against two groups of peasants, those living in the Ukrainian SSR and those in the Northern Caucasus, especially the Kuban region. Let us first examine the targeted population in the Ukrainian republic.

Stalin complains of a massive flight of peasants from Ukraine to the nearby regions of Russia and Belarus. These people pretend to search for food but in fact, he claims, are social-revolutionaries and agents of Poland who agitate in the northern parts of the USSR against the kolkhoz system. The same thing happened the year before, but the party, state and police authorities of Ukraine did nothing to stop it. It must not be allowed to happen this year. Stalin then orders the party, state and police authorities of Ukraine to prevent peasants from crossing the border between Ukraine and the rest of the USSR. Corresponding authorities in Belarus and the adjoining Russian regions must prevent peasants from Ukraine to enter their territories. Peasants guilty of disobeying the order must be arrested, counter-revolutionary elements segregated for punishment, and the others returned to their villages.

Stalin's decree concerned all peasants of Ukraine. But since the UN Convention only recognizes national and ethnic groups, the crucial question is whether they were targeted as peasants or Ukrainians?

We have seen that the "national group" in the UN Convention's has been interpreted in the sense of "civic nation" and even a well-defined region. In this regard, all the peasants within the borders of the Ukrainian SSR, whatever their ethnic origin, were part of the Ukrainian nation. According to the 1926 census, ethnically Ukrainian peasants made up 88.5 % of the Republic's peasant population; the ethnic and civic character of Ukrainian peasantry overlapped. Ethnically, Ukrainian peasants also made up 89.0 % of the Republic's ethnically Ukrainian population and 71.8 % of the Republic's overall population, and thus constituted the overwhelming portion of the Republic's population.
It was this group that Stalin's border decree singled out for partial destruction, but did he see his enemies as peasants or Ukrainians?

Two months earlier, Kaganovich boasted in Rostov-on-Don that the Party had definitively settled the question of who would defeat whom in the struggle between the regime and its opponents. Kaganovich was right regarding the peasants: by then their opposition to collectivization was broken, as was their "sabotage" of state procurement. Ukrainian peasants - as peasants - were no more an obstacle to the Party's policies or a danger to its domination than were the Russian peasants. There was no more need to exterminate them, than to eliminate the Russian peasants. However, Ukrainian peasants presented a more formidable threat to Stalin's regime as Ukrainians.

In 1925, Stalin lectured the Yugoslav comrades on the national question. He told them that the peasant question was "the basis, the quintessence of the national question."
"That explains the fact," he affirmed, "that the peasantry constitutes the main army of the national movement, that there is no powerful national movement without the peasant army."
The social role of the peasantry is inexorably connected with its national needs, and because of the peasants' predominance in agrarian societies, the national question becomes in essence a peasant question.
And to be perfectly clear, Stalin adds that the national question is "not an agrarian but a peasant question, for these are two different things."


Stalin's separation of the peasant's economic and social functions is noteworthy. Stalin criticized the Yugoslavs for underestimating "the inherent strength of the national movement," and warned them that the lack of understanding and underestimation of the national question constituted a grave danger.

Stalin's convictions did not change in later years; he continued to be vigilant lest the national movements endanger the integrity of his multinational empire, and he had no intention of underestimating the "profoundly popular and profoundly revolutionary character of the national movement" in Soviet Ukraine, engendered by the Ukrainian national revival in the 1920s and fanned by the Party-approved Ukrainianization.

By the end of 1932, Ukrainian peasants had been vanquished as peasants; Stalin now intended to eliminate a part of them - as Ukrainians.

Revealing evidence of Stalin's concern for the national question is provided by Stalin's correspondence with Kaganovich in August 1932. The two agreed that the Ukrainian party was dragging its feet on grain procurement and that Petlyurites and agents of Pilsudski infiltrated the party. Stalin raised the threat that unless proper measures were taken, "we can lose Ukraine"; Kaganovich agreed, adding: "The theory that we, Ukrainians, have unjustly suffered, fosters a solidarity and a rotten mutual guarantee not only among the middle level cadres, but also at the top."

Of course, both knew that there was little threat from imaginary "Petlyurites" or "Pilsudski agents," who supposedly infiltrated the Party (this was a directive for the Party on how to interpret these matters), but there was an eventual threat from the Ukrainian national revival, whose mainstay was the peasantry. Kremlin's 14 December 1932 analysis of the procurement difficulties in Ukraine and the North Caucasus was blamed on the Ukrainianization policy, and both were attacked with a vengeance. Moscow ordered Party and State authorities in Ukraine "to pay serious attention to the proper conduct of Ukrainianization, eliminate its application in a mechanical way, remove Petlyurite and other bourgeois-nationalist elements from Party and Soviet organizations." They were also ordered to "carefully pick and train Ukrainian bolshevik cadres, secure systematic party leadership and control over the process of Ukrainianization." This was a blueprint for ethnocide; it effectively put an end to Ukrainianization in Ukraine, and even more so in the RSFSR. This document was more of a precursor for the genocidal Stalin border directive than the passport decree.


The other region closed by Stalin's 22 January 1933 directive was the North Caucasus Territory, but the main target was its Kuban region.
The directive even begins with the notification about peasant exodus from "Kuban and Ukraine." What did the two targeted areas - Ukraine, a union republic, and Kuban, a neighboring region of the RSFSR - have in common?
They were important grain-producing regions. That is true, but so was the Central-Black Earth region, which was not singled out.
There was a more important consideration at that time for Stalin and Kaganovich: the Ukrainianization program was transforming in a dangerous way the overwhelmingly Ukrainian peasant population of Ukraine and Kuban into Ukrainians,
conscious of their national identity.

At that time, there were some eight million ethnic Ukrainians living outside the Ukrainian SSR, mostly in the regions of the RSFSR, contiguous with Ukraine.
The North Caucasus had about three million Ukrainians, and almost half of them lived in the Kuban region, where it constituted about two thirds of the population.
Also significant was the fact that about one-half million of the Kuban Ukrainians were not of traditional peasants stock but descendants of Ukrainian Zaporozhian Kozaks, people with a military history and democratic traditions.
It was in these regions that most of the starvation outside Ukraine took place. (Kazakhstan is a separate case.)
The Ukrainianization of the Ukrainian "colonies" in the RSFSR, and especially of the Kuban, had already added fuel to what Martin calls the Piedmontist principle of border disputes between the Ukrainian SSR and Moscow.
The peasant/Kozak population could prove to be a disruptive force in the future.

In its 14 December 1932 decision, Moscow took to task the party and state authorities of the North Caucasus Territory: "... the flippancy in carrying out unbolshevik 'Ukrainianization' of almost half of the districts of North Caucasus, which did not come from the cultural interests of the population, and which was carried out with a complete absence of controls on the part of regional organs over the Ukrainianization of the schools and the press, gave the enemies of the Soviet power legal cover for organizing opposition by kulaks, [former] officers, returning Cossack emigrants, members of the Kuban Rada [analogous to the Ukrainian Central Rada of 1917-1918], etc."

The prescribed punishment was harsh: "Immediately change the clerical work of the Soviet and cooperative organs and all the newspapers and journals in the 'Ukrainianized' districts of North Caucasus from the Ukrainian language to the Russian language, as the more understandable to the Kuban population, and also prepare the transfer of teaching in schools into the Russian language." The local authorities were further warned to immediately verify and improve the composition of school personnel in the "Ukrainianized" districts.

The foregoing examination of Stalin's twin targets should be sufficient to show that their common characteristic was their national or ethnic identity.
The nexus joining the Ukrainian national group in the Ukrainian SSR (whether taken in its civic or ethnic sense) and the Ukrainian ethnic group in Kuban was their Ukrainianness.
The requirement of the UN Convention on Genocide is thus satisfied: Ukrainian peasants in Ukraine and in the RSFSR were being destroyed in their capacity as Ukrainians; their agrarian role was secondary.
Peasants were the most numerous part of the Ukrainian national/ethnic group, consisting also of intellectuals, state and party functionaries, and workers; and it was this group that Stalin's regime decided, in the language of the UN Convention, "to destroy in part."
The non-peasant Ukrainians did not die from starvation, but they were definitely victims of the same genocidal intent.
The intent was not to destroy the whole Ukrainian nation (nor is total destruction of a specified group a condition for the recognition of genocide by the UN Convention).
The intention was to destroy the elites and a sufficiently large portion of the most dynamic element of the Ukrainian national group so as to cripple the Ukrainian nation and reduce Ukrainians to what Stalin liked to call "cogs" in the great state mechanism.



Stalin's genocidal intent should be sufficiently clear from the various documents originated by him or signed by others on his orders or in anticipation of such. Schabas insists that the "genocidaire" must have knowledge of the consequences of his act. Stalin was privy to all the important documentation of the Soviet state, cognizant of, and personally responsible for, all the policies, which resulted in the death of millions of innocent people. The regime's public denial of the famine and its rejection of foreign aid cannot be interpreted in any other way than as a flaunting admission of its intent to starve the population to death.

The most heinous crime of Stalin and his Communist regime is now quite well known, especially to the academic community, but various aspects of the catastrophe still need further research, systematization and conceptualization. This question of the Ukrainian genocide is a case in point. We need a breakdown by nationality of the population that died from the famine in the RSFSR to see how many of the victims were ethnic Russians, Ukrainians, Germans, Tatars and other nationalities. There is no systematic study to shows the forms and the degree of discriminatory practices of the Stalinist regime in its policies towards different localities and nationalities in the ethnically mixed regions with regards to the procurement quotas, the implementation of Moscow orders. The national composition of command structure and the cadres that carried out food confiscation and distribution must also be examined in a more systematic way. There was some internal aid to some of the hungry population, but the economic and other reasons behind the regime's help need a more thorough study. While the very existence of the famine was vehemently denied and foreign efforts to organize famine relief were rejected, some foreign aid did get through to the German and Jewish communities, but this aspect of the Soviet policies is generally ignored in the literature on the famine, possibly because it has not been sufficiently explored and documented. This additional research will give us a more complete knowledge and a better understanding of the Ukrainian famine and help establish its genocidal character.

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