The Ukrainian Genocide Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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peasants had stolen government property and were eating grain (Altman 45). Anyone found possessing government crops was considered an “enemy of the people” and was subject to execution (Altman 45). All food was forcefully removed from Ukrainian villages. Food was so scarce that people began eating anything they could find: roots, bark, corn stalks, clover, even tadpoles (Procyk 31). Dogs and cats quickly became less likely to be seen roaming the streets and more likely to be seen on the dinner table. When Soviet officials became aware that pets were being eaten, they too were removed (”Spiking the Ukrainian Famine, Again” 33). Nightingales, the Ukrainian symbol, were trapped in large quantities and slaughtered by the Secret Police (”Spiking the Ukrainian Famine,

Again” 33). The food shortage was not due to uncontrollable circumstances, but was calculatingly formulated and carried through by the Soviets. As the situation grew more desperate, some Ukrainians were forced to resort to cannibalism. For some, when worse came to worst, a deceased family member was their only chance for survival. One man recalls seeing a woman selling jellied meats on a street corner. A gentleman bought a portion for fifty rubles and began eating when he discovered a human finger embedded in the jelly. He began shouting and took her to the police station. Instead of taking action against her, two officers laughed and said, “What, have you killed a kulak? Good for you!” They let her go (Procyk 33). Sixty-five years ago this would have been the common

response by many Soviets, who put only trivial value on the lives of Ukrainian farmers. To prevent Ukrainians from leaving their famished villages, strict boundaries were enforced. The Ukrainian-Russian border was completely sealed, prohibiting any Ukrainian citizens access to thriving Russian cities a few hundred yards across the border. Anyone caught violating these boundaries was executed, in an attempt by the Soviet Union to make the survival of Ukrainian peasants impossible (”Spiking the Ukrainian Famine, Again” 36). The death toll rapidly increased as the famine wore on and disposing of bodies became a significant problem. Freight trains arrived in big cities every morning at dawn to collect dead corpses, which were either burned or thrown into quarries (Altman 46). In

small towns, wagons made rounds collecting bodies. People who did not work on collectives were left to rot in the street. Small children were left to bury their parents with leaves or dirt. Parents left dead or dying babies by the roadside (Altman 46). Many children suddenly found themselves orphaned. For these youngsters, the “sympathetic” Soviet government set up orphanages. Most of the unfortunate children who were forced to reside in these orphanages only lived for a short time. Most died of freezing temperatures, starvation, or illness. The older children spent their days digging graves and laying the dead to rest (Procyk 32). Not even the young were spared from this inhumane Soviet scheme. News of the famine spread slowly throughout the world. Many Russians ignored what

was going on around them. Petro Grigorenko, a former general in the Soviet army, said, “We were deceived because we wanted to be deceived. We believed so strongly in the Communist system that we [would] accept any crime if it was glossed over with the least little bit of communist phraseology” (Altman 47). Most Western journalists were based in Moscow, far from the starving Ukraine. They feared losing journalistic privileges should they write unfavorably of official Soviet policy (Procyk 38). Walter Duranty, a well-known writer for the New York Times, denied any existence of a famine. He professed that the deaths were due to disease and malnutrition and said “the country is on short rations but nothing worse” (Procyk 39). Articles containing ideas such as these prompted

Stalin to reward him with the Order of Lenin, saying, “You have done a good job in your reporting of the USSR” (”Spiking the Ukrainian Famine, Again” 34). It is largely because of journalists like these, who choose to overlook the truth in the interest of advancing their careers, that the horror of the Ukrainian genocide has been hidden for so many years. To rectify “slanderous fabrications circulated by bourgeois propaganda,” the Soviet government invited foreign correspondents and political figures to visit select Ukrainian cities (Altman 47). It was made certain, however, that the visitors saw only what the government wanted them to see. The cities they visited were cleaned of the dead and starving peasants who were replaced with healthy Russian citizens (Altman