NAZISM IN UKRAINE – AN OVERVIEW Part 2 of a Four Part Series
Forced collectivization in the early 30’s did result in famine, but it was not limited to Ukraine. Just as many died in the very pro-Stalin Donbass, in the Volga, and in Kazakhstan. 1 million died in Siberia. People died in Moscow. Many people died of famine in Poland. Did Stalin kill those Poles too? There was a wheat rust epidemic that spread through the area, and a famine harvest resulted in 1932, half of normal. This was the cause of the famine.
The Holodomor story of a record harvest followed by Jewish NKVD coming in and seizing it to starve Ukrainians is simply a Nazi lie, but that’s what Ukrainians believe. There was a class war in Ukraine. 75% of Ukrainians were landless and were brutally exploited by large landlords in a semi-feudal fashion. Others had small horse-plowed plots that were hardly productive.
The kulaks were the large landlords. They waged a war against collectivization. They piled their crops in fields and set fire to them. They piled them and let rains soak them, ruining them. The kulaks ruined their own crops! The kulaks also killed half the livestock in the USSR, including most of the horses. As plowing was horse-driven, this contributed to famine. The Ukrainians set their own crops on fire and left it in the rain to spoil, and then cried that they had no food! Chutzpah!
The kulaks also formed an insurgency against collective farms. 20 attacks a day were being launched in early 1932. Attacks were brutal, consisting of attacking collective farms, killing the men, and raping and murdering the women. A brutal counterinsurgency was launched which left 390,000 dead in Ukraine. If you want to talk about a Holodomor, talk about that.
Yes the death toll was worst in Ukraine, but that’s where the worst of the bad harvest was. Most people died of disease, mostly cholera; few died of actual starvation. Reporters driving through Ukraine saw orderly towns with no dead lying in the streets but with long lines outside health clinics. In part, the famine was also due to the USSR tearing down the old system too fast and not building the new one soon enough.
The lie about all the food of the record harvest being stolen by the Soviets is proven to be false in that records show they requisitioned much less and shipped back a lot more wheat to Ukraine in 1932 than they had in previous years. Basically, Stalin had to feed his cities. And it was this collectivization that allowed the rapid industrialization that enabled the USSR to win the war against Germany and defeat Nazism.
During the Civil War the Whites committed many pogroms, so of course the Jews flocked to the Red Army because they were saving them and cracking down on homicidal or genocidal antisemitism. So yes, by 1924 most Russian Jews supported the Communists, but so did most workers and especially most peasants. The new regime put in by Lenin, which dramatically expanded Ukraine’s territory to the east, raised standards of living by lot in Ukraine.