Red Famine Stalin s War on UkraineAs someone from a Polish family who before the Second World War lived in the Kresy East Poland now in Ukraine it has always surprised me how little of this war against Ukraine and her people is not widely known in the West My Grandfather often used it as an example of how evil Stalin was in the way he allowed policy to kill people and relieve him of a troublesome part of the country of its affluenceAs a child he lived in Podwo oczyska a border town on the river Zbruch and when playing alongside the river he often heard the machine gun fire of the Soviet border guards killing Ukrainians trying to escape in order to feed their families and themselves He would often talk of his childhood and the knowledge that on the other side of the river Zbruch evil things were happening to Ukrainians After 17th September 1940 my family would also feel the wrath of StalinFollowing rural A wrenching and thorough account of the way Stalin created the famine that killed easily 35 million Ukrainians and maybe far The eyewitness testimonies of the starvation are devastating The last chapter is an especially interesting discussion of where the famine fits in the history of Genocide For anyone interested in the history of the first decades of the Soviet Union this is a must read Anne Appelbaum s Red Famine Stalin s War on Ukraine 1921 1933 is a dazzling work of synthesis history that addresse In Red Famine the author Anne Applebaum does an extremely good ob of explaining What Is a Googly?: The Mysteries of Cricket Explained just what happened in 1931 34 when an estimated 39 million people starved to death and why Starting with the Russian Civil War that followed World War I the author looks at the Ukrainian desire for independence and why Ukraine had never been able to obtain that independence She looks at the Bolsheviks strategy to subdue the Ukraine and keep it part of Russia and by extension the USSR While discussing Ukrainian desire for independence Ms Applebaum also looks at the Ukrainian culture language and religion She explainsust how close the Ukraine came to independence during the civil war She opines if the various independence groups could have cooperated with one another and with the White Russians there was very could chance independence could have been achived She also gives reasons as to why that cooperation never took placeAfter the Civil War the author looks at the Bolsheviks first attempts to collectivize agriculture and its failure in the early 20 s The collectivization was not successful and less grain was collected than projected This led to famine During this famine the gov t admitted they had a problem and accepted outside help including from the US Lenin and by extension the Soviet gov t ended up backing down and leaving the Ukrainian agriculture system alone allowing the peasant farmers to own their own Although this book is about the Holodomor the word is derived from the Ukrainian words holod or hunger and mor or extermination or famine of 1932 33 it is actually about much than that It is about the repression of the Ukrainian intellectual and political class of the Sovietisation of Ukraine the collectivisation of agriculture and the attempts to wipe out Ukrainian culture and language Ironically it was the fertile soil and relatively mild climate of Ukraine which led to them becoming so valuable to the Soviet Union The country had two harvests a year and was responsible for feeding far than their own region The author takes us back to the revolution of 1917 and traces how the period of upheaval saw optimism for Ukraine but by 1918 Lenin was making plans to occupy the area In fact the first half of this history looks at the various uprisings uneasy periods of peace discontent crisis and rationing which led up to the events of 193233By 1930 collectivisation of farming led from what had been a loose organisation of farming by
the Soviet Union to tight control and grain reuisitioning demands which were Soviet Union to tight control and grain reuisitioning demands which were to fulfil There was pressure on the agricultural peasants to send and grain outside Ukraine but the farmers themselves lost control of their lives and lost enthusiasm for working the land However Stalin s policies led to famine across the grain growing regions of the USSR and nowhere than Ukraine Not only was the country under pressure to keep producing and yet not keeping enough crops to keep them alive but anyone caught stealing food faced many years in a labour camp or death By the end of 1932 over 100000 people had been Sent To Camps And to camps and were executedThe author then goes on to the actual famine period which is terrible to read about All grain now was t be collected to fulfil Russian demands and no excuses were accepted However although activists swept through villages taking not only grain but fruit seeds vegetables flour indeed everything from crusts on the table to the family cow there was no sympathy for the Ukrainian people It is clear that Soviet newspapers presented the starving population as unpatriotic arguing they did not care about the workers or the 5 year plan Although this is a serious historical work it is not dry or dull in any way There can be nothing about this book which fails to move you reading of children who die during lessons at school of the distrust suspicion and lack of empathy as witnesses became indifferent to the suffering around them is both tragic and horribly real Yet this is as much about the attempts by the Ukrainian people to retain their culture and language as it was to resist the government s attempts to starve their nation I must admit I knew little about Ukrainian history but this was an eye opening read about a terrible period of history and of a people who survived against the odds Anne Applebaum s Red Famine is an important history of the Ukraine and USSR by default Applebaum provides meaningful context beginning with the 1917 Ukrainian Revolution famine of the 1920s Stalin s agricultural collectivation policies of the late 1920s and early 1930s and Ukrainian nationalist sentiment and peasant resistance prior to focusing on the terror famine known as the Holodomor occurring between 1932 and 1934 Holodomor is a term derived from two Ukrainian words for hunger and extermination This famine was not created by crop failure or poor weather it was a man made famine created by Stalin s agricultural policies grain uotas and associated penalties including food confiscation inside homes for not meeting those policies etc Ukrainian peasants especially the Kulaks that exercised resistance were treated especially ha. From the author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Gulag and the National Book Award finalist Iron Curtain a revelatory history of one of Stalin's greatest crimes In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization in effect a second Russian revolution which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms The result was a catastrophic famine the most lethal in European history At least .
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was not a language but rather a dialect In fact Russian officials were perfectly as their Soviet successors 3 The Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine in the 1980s and its harmful effects on the people there Not much covered in thisit was not a language but rather a dialect In fact Russian officials were perfectly
book but there is ample evidence that the lack of anbut there is ample evidence that the lack of an Soviet response to the meltdown had a lot do with Moscow s disdain for the Ukraine 4 The Ukraine was briefly a sovereign state from 1918 to 1921 but this changed with Lenin s Red invasion Apparently the Whites didn t think highly of the Ukraine either Hundreds of thousands died there in the Famine of 1921 and countless others were eventually saved by Herbert Hoover s relief efforts Yes the same Herbert Hoover who failed miserably as America s president during the early Depression of the 1930s Lenin who was very reluctant to accept the aid capitulated but continued to accuse the Americans of spying on Russia during this period of relief 5 In WWII than 2 million Ukrainian soldiers who were conscripted into the Red Army died on the front lines at places like Stalingrad The number of military deaths versus the populace in the Ukraine Republic was one of the highest proportions in any WWII country Many memorials have been installed since6 The heaviest focus of this book is on the death of nearly 4 million Ukrainians in the famines of 1931 to 1933 These famines were almost completely caused by Stalin s regime Through collectivization they forcibly took the Ukrainian wheat for use in Russia and intentionally starved many regions to suppress revolts7 The average life span of Ukrainians after the famine of 1932 was eight years The Ukrainian children had been so malnourished during these years that than half of those that initially survived did not live to adulthood Yikes 8 The effects on the psyche of the people from the tens of thousands of incidents of cannibalism There is a large section of this book that speaks to the horror that is cannibalism9 The Nazi SS slaughter of millions of Jews and Ukrainian soldiers in WWII Other than The Jews in Poland no group suffered deaths attributable to the Holocaust than the Jews of the Ukraine 10 Ukrainian deaths from the current conflict with Russia began in 2013 The thousands of deaths are perhaps as not overwhelming as some of the earlier periods in the Ukraine but these numbers are high by today s standard of limited warsIf you want to understand at least some of the historical reason for the bad feelings on the part of Ukrainians towards Russia then you need to read this book We must remember that Jewish people had been living in the Ukraine since 1030 AD and they suffered than any group during the last 100 years and that is saying a lot 4 stars Overall this book was exceptionally well researched It is a
little dry in the middle though and lacks a personal narrative Alsodry in the middle though and lacks a personal narrative Also forewarned the evil that Stalin perpetrates towards the Ukrainians in this book is uite detailed and graphic Overall I m glad I read it I am reading Applebaum s famous book Gulag nex. Uspected after a series of rebellions unsettled the province Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry The state sealed the republic's borders and seized all available food Starvation set in rapidly and people ate anything grass tree bark dogs corpses In some cases they killed one another for food Devastating and definitive Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evi. ,
Rsh At least five million died during this famine the vast majority in the Ukraine Despite this tragic history and subseuent struggles the Ukraine stands today as an independent nation The Holodomor Ukrainian derived from to kill by starvation also known as the Terror Famine and Famine Genocide in Ukraine and before the widespread use of the term Holodomor and sometimes currently also referred to as the Great Famine and The Ukrainian Genocide of 1932 33 was a man made famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed an officially estimated 7 million to 10 million people It was part of the wider Soviet famine of 1932 33 which affected the major grain producing areas of the country wiki sourced Description In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization in effect a second Russian revolution which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms The result was a catastrophic famine the most lethal in European history At least 5 million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR But instead of sending relief the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem In Red Famine Anne Applebaum argues that than 3 million of those dead were Ukrainians who perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill themApplebaum proves what has long been suspected after a series of rebellions unsettled the province Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry The state sealed the republic s borders and seized all available food Starvation set in rapidly and people ate anything grass tree bark dogs corpses In some cases they killed one another for food Devastating and definitive Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evilRed Famine by Anne Applebaum review did Stalin deliberately let Ukraine starve This book has two interrelated themes Ukraine s path toward independence and the famine that occurred there 1932 1933The history of Ukraine and Russia must be viewed together and so the Bolshevik Revolution the Civil War that followed first Lenin s and then Stalin s reign are discussed too The book starts in 1917 and concludes in the present The famine that occurred 1921 1922 and for which international aid was given came to be followed by the Great Famine of 1932 1933 The latter famine came to be known as the Holodomor This word in translation means to kill by starvation thus inferring that the famine was not simply due to natural causes but was instead purposefully instigated an act of genocide led by Stalin In an epilog the author discusses if the latter famine should be classified as genocide In any case be that so or not to understand the relations between Ukraine and Russia today the past must be understood It is this that is the purpose of the book A clear and succinct introduction explains all of this Knowing at the start that the genocide uestion will be discussed at the end a reader reads with this uestion prominently at the fore The book begins with the first Ukrainian War of Independence1917 to 1921 The February Revolution of 1917 led ethnic groups in the Russian Empire to seek increased autonomy and self determination The Ukrainian National Movement was formed In June 1917 in Kiev the Ukrainian People s Republic was declared a sovereign state to be governed by the socialist dominated Central Rada But it was short lived Year by year we follow events collectivization blacklisting deportations the famine of 1920 1921 liuidation of the kulaks and then unrealistic grain livestock and vegetable reuisitions imposed on a people without food Travel restrictions so people could not flee The first half of the book covering the years before the famine were a struggle for me I was seriously considering putting the book aside The background information is essential but dry in its presentation Too many examples to prove one point Too repetitive Not engaging The famine is heartrendingly depicted Physical and psychological effects of famine are documented What was eaten when no food was available What was done with the dead Personal experiences are told People who lived through the famine are uoted There is however little reference to source material We are told a memoirist
Or Multiple Witnesses Or A Polish Diplomatmultiple witnesses or a Polish diplomat but why are we not give the names of those making these statements Yet I do not doubt the validity of the claims made or the horror of what occurred Thereafter follow chapters devoted first to a discussion of death statistics and then the years after the famine The absence of international aid resettlement programs Russification purging of Ukrainian officials and destruction of evidence that the famine had occurred Stalin claimed the 1937 census to be invalid It showed all too clearly how many had died These chapters were not dry Finally the epilog It presents a straightforward analysis of whether the famine should or should not be considered a genocide Well it all depends on whose definition one goes by Raphael Lemkin 1900 1959 who coined the word genocide and who initiated the Genocide Convention signed on December 9 1948 OR the United Nation s Convention
the Crime of Genocide itself Lemkin referred to the mass killing Jews in the Second World War the killing of Armenians by the Turks and the Great Famine of 1932 1933 as genocide but the Convention which today constitutes the basis for international law states that genocide is a state sponsored assault on an entire group of people or on a whole nation That not all Ukrainians were targeted means the famine should not be classified as genocideTo properly udge the events that took place in the Ukraine one must compare these events with what was happening elsewhere I wish had been spoken of the famine in the Volga region and Kazakhstan There is some information but not enough I very much liked the narration by Suzanne Toren The reading is clear and at a tempo that allows listeners time to think Many Russian names are given in the book s first half these are too often hard to distinguish This is no fault of the narrator but it does make listening difficult than reading I do not like that her intonation and pauses emphasize which events are evil I am perfectly capable of figuring this out myself I have given the narration four stars Ann Applebaum does not disappoint A thorough account of the most terrifying times in the history of Ukraine Superb panorama and the background Ms Applebaum presents us with not ust the sev. Million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR But instead of sending relief the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem In Red Famine Anne Applebaum argues that than 3 million of those dead were Ukrainians who perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill them Applebaum proves what has long been ,on the Crime of Genocide itself Lemkin referred to the mass killing