1932 Ukranian Famine

Just about the Ukranian famine

mostly information from diary entries have read from the time, so shall add some relevent quotes :)

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  • Created by: Dracupine
  • Created on: 30-03-13 16:58

Ukraine Famine


estimate 7-10 million people died (however many sources widely vary)

Motivated by potential opposition of peasants such as the Kulaks and chauvinist (military devotion to 1 country) anti-Ukrainian and anti-Cossack measures aimed at eradication of Ukranians and ethno-territorial expansions of Russians. 

However not all historians believe that the famine was a deliberate act

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1: Cause and consequence of the famine

Previous 1921 famine caused by the governments actions with collectivisation. 

Sovoets exacerbated the shortage of food/grain through the seizing of grain from peasants and the 1929 liquidisation of 'rich' peasants throuigh dekulakisation and the collectivisation of agriculture. 

Autumn 1932, seed grain was removed from Ukraine and put in storage in cities. Showing authorities concern for the protection of seed grain from hungry peasants who most likely would have eaten it. Leaving peasants to stare as they had no resources to sustain them. 

Soviets stationed troops on the Unkrainian-Russian border to ensure neither food nor people went in or out of Ukraine during the famine

"...clear orders existed to stop Ukrainian peasants entering Russia where food was avaliable... to confiscate any food they were carrying when intercepted on their return."

"Consequest estimated 7 million people died from famine in 1932-3, with 5 million of those being Ukranian victims.  An additional 7.5 million died from dekulakisation and other state violence from 1930-7."

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2: Course of the famine

"...The villages were reduced to a wasteland...neither the chirping od sparrows, the croaking of cows, nor the barking of dogs since all of these living creatures had long since been eaten up." 

The agony of a Nation 

Stephen Oleskiw

"...Decomposing dead bodies were lying about the weeds around the houses and evidently in the houses themselves, and an incredibly putrid odour, intensified by the warm weather, permeated the village..."


"the woman offered me candy to go with her. I was only four, and nearly to become another victim of the Great Famine in that Spring 1933. the woman wanted me for dinner. No, not to share dinner, but to be her dinner. That's the way it was during a period when six to 10 million Ukranians, mostly peasants, starved to death. I shake this as I write this 67 years later."

"Two days later, they found another child in thats woman's house.  he had been butchered."

"Most of what I saw in the famine spring of 1933 is impossible to describe.  how can I write about people eating their own children in order to stay alive?...Millions of them. Starved people lying in dithces along the road. The presence of death was everywhere..."

"...That's why the mentioning of the 1933 famine was a rigid taboo over several decades...Only in the times of Gorbachev's perestroika was this taboo broken. This is the first time I have ever written about the dreadful incident as a boy or the famine in general. I took several pills for nerves, yet my hand trembles anyway."

 Atricle by Dr. Volodymry Senchenko

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