What was the holodomor

Russia and Ukraine : Stalin's suppressed starvation in Ukraine

There is a stimulus-response mechanism that relates two countries and instantly associates a crime. Germany – Russia: Stalingrad, Germany – Israel: Auschwitz, America – Vietnam: My Lai, France – Algeria: Paris massacre, Turkey – Armenia: Musa Dagh.

The only strange thing is that in the crisis between Russia and Ukraine one term is completely absent, hidden, suppressed - the Holodomor. That literally means from Ukrainian "murder through hunger". What is meant is the famine caused by Stalin's policy in the winter of 1932/1933, which killed at least three million people, other estimates amount to 14.5 million. In Ukraine, every fourth Sunday in November, this is commemorated with church services and fairy lights. Only a few contemporary witnesses are still alive. What they say makes the blood run cold. In their distress, people fought over tree bark, leaves, buds and tadpoles. Desperate mothers killed their children to feed on their flesh.

The Holodomor was made taboo under pressure from Moscow

The survivors had to remain silent for a long time. The Holodomor was made taboo under pressure from Moscow. There was a bad harvest, it said, the consequences of which were made worse by the resistance of Ukrainian farmers to collectivization of agriculture. But for around 25 years the legend of the mere natural disaster has been refuted by various archive finds.

Was the extermination of the Ukrainian peasants the intention and stated goal of Stalin? Or was it the consequence of his brutal collectivization policy? On this question, the experts are still divided on the classification of the Holodomor. For Raphael Lemkin, who drafted the Genocide Convention, famine is “the classic example of a Soviet genocide”. Yves Ternon comes to the same conclusion in his book about the criminal state (“Genocide in the 20th Century”, Hamburg Edition 1996): The offense of genocide in Ukraine is “out of the question”. The Ukrainian parliament also recognized the Holodomor as genocide in 2006 - as did the USA, the Vatican, Australia, Poland, Spain, the Czech Republic and many other countries.

Russia rejects the term "genocide"

Russia, on the other hand, strictly rejects the term “genocide” for the Holodomor. The historian Barbara B. Green cannot agree with this characterization either. In her extensive study on Stalinist terror and questions of genocide (reprinted in “Is the Holocaust Unique? Perspectives on Comparative Genocide”, Westview Press 1996) she comes to the conclusion: “The death of millions of Ukrainians and other Soviet people during the famine not the intention, but rather the consequence of Stalin's unscrupulous economic policy. "

There is no doubt, however, that the Holodomor has now become part of the collective national memory of many Ukrainians. The highest blood toll in the winter of 1932/33 was paid primarily by the village and rural population in the east and south of the then Soviet republic. Subsequently, Russian farmers were deliberately settled in the depopulated regions. This part of the past should also be considered when judging the present.

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