Push and hold

Evidences of the Terrible Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Archival Files of the SZRU

Ukraine is marking the 86th anniversary of the 1932-1933 Holodomor. An awful tragedy. The Soviet power's purposeful genocide against the Ukrainian people. Fearing to “lose Ukraine” forever and trying to rein in the Ukrainians in their opposition to the regime and desire to build an independent Ukrainian state, the Soviet leadership resorted to destroying the whole nation by the most infamous method - killing by starvation...

For more than half a century, it was forbidden to speak, write, think about the fact of the Holodomor. Soviet authorities concealed the consequences of their next crime. But the memory of the people is indestructible. Now, thousands of archival files of communist special services are declassified and available to the general public.

In the State Archive of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, among thousands of archival files, there are also several cases mentioning and giving evidences of the fact of Holodomor.

In particular, one of the documents of the OGPU of the Ukrainian SSR contains a Report by the Hetman's Office in Berlin of January 24, 1934 on the food aid for the hungry in Ukraine. It features terrible facts of the famine-genocide of 1932-1933 in Ukraine:

”While under the rule of the Soviets, many people in Ukraine were starving to death, Bolshevik authorities were exporting bread-corn. Government shops for gold and for foreign currency are selling to everyone an unlimited amount of bread-corn at the time when on the roads and streets of cities in Ukraine people are dying of starvation in such numbers that the authorities do not have time to bury dead bodies in a timely manner. The climatic conditions of the previous and the current year in Ukraine and in the Cossack lands of the USSR were not so unhappy as to bring a famine catastrophe to such terrible sizes… ”[The State Archive of the SZRU, Archive File 0122, Volume 1, Sheet 87].

”Having deprived agricultural people of all bread-grain, Bolshevik authorities are in fact keeping enormous reserves which feed foreign countries, the government bureaucratic apparatus, the Red Army, and industrial workers. While rural people and “remnants of the former upper classes” - as the main enemies of the Soviet power – are not receiving a single crumb and die of starvation”. But the Hetman's Office not only reports the fact of the Holodomor in Ukraine, but creates a Committee for the Food Aid to the Hungry in Ukraine, raising funds, conducting agitation and information work, clearly realizing that

“We now have in Ukraine... a new and this time most terrible in terms of the number of victims explosion of Bolshevik terror..., with the goal to finaly break down all the resistance of the population against the communist system”. [The State Archive of the SZRU, Archive File 10122, Volume 1, Sheet 89].

Another long ago declassified by the SZRU and available to the public case – “Readers”- contains a diary of an ordinary village teacher, a student of the literary faculty of the Kharkiv Institute of Professional Education, Oleksiy Nalyvaiko, a witness of the terrible famine. Each line of his diary is full of despair and pain from what he had heard and seen:

July 26, 1933:

Who is being punished

So cruelly by the fate?

Ruins, poverty, dying of starvation-

Like wholesale death…

- Whose is all this? Whose?

- The people of Ukraine,

It is yours...

Understand?! It's yours…

[The State Archive of the SZRU, Archive File 8781, Volume 1, Sheet. 59]



August 2, 1933:

Mommy! it's time to get up

The brigade are heading to our house.

Here they are near our house,

Mommy, we will ask them heartily.

But it is useless to speak to them,

They have been ordered “to take away everything!”

[The State Archive of the SZRU, Archive File 8781, Volume 1, Sheet 61]


Turning over the miraculously survived pages of archival documents, or watching another film, created on their basis, or lighting the candle in memory, let us bow our heads in remembrance of those who were not afraid of death… but were terribly starving. And let us remember, in order to never let the terrible genocide of the Ukrainian people happen again.


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