“I am almost illiterate and write in a simple manner, but what I write is true,
and truth, they say, shall overcome evil.”
The Holodomor (Terror-Famine) of 1932-1933 did not occur in isolation from other Soviet, Ukrainian, or international historical, or political, events, trends, or policies. Examination of a wide range of sources demonstrates that the Stalinist policies of dekulakization, dispossession, confiscation, exile and deportation, forced collectivization, and the Nationalities Question all reached their most savage expression in the Famine.
These policies, and the irreparable harm and irreplaceable loss of both human life and potential that they caused, reached beyond the borders of Ukraine and the Soviet Union in time and space. Therefore, an examination of sources describing the international economic, and political situation, and personalities, as well as the collective farm agricultural system, concurrently and in later years, proves helpful in understanding of the immediate and long-term effects of the Holodomor.
Was the Holodomor an act of genocide? In order to answer this question bibliographically, a variety of sources included in the present work point to the ways in which the Soviet government made physical survival impossible for millions of their own people. State procurement quotas of grain were raised impossibly high. Stocks of grain were confiscated, as were supplies of sunflower seeds and oil, flocks of poultry, herds of dairy and meat-producing livestock, and draft animals. Significantly, single animals belonging to families dependent upon the food or milk that these beasts provided also were mercilessly taken away. The authorities confiscated the common tools of grain production, such as horse harnesses, plows, grindstones, millstones, and household mortar-and-pestles as well.
Stalinism is comparable to Hitlerism in that both nations made genocidal policies the law of the land. Whereas Hitler’s government promulgated the Nuremberg Laws regarding the Jews, sources such as The Black Deeds of the Kremlin, show that the Stalinist Soviet government enacted a series of laws legitimizing famine-inducing actions, policies, and practices. A number of autobiographical sources provide the “on-the-spot” specifics from a personal experience point-of-view, and show the ways in which these policies directly affected their lives and those of the people around them. Statements and testimonies given before United States Congressional Committees of Inquiry, and at subject-specific conferences and congresses held around the world comprise a body of information that is too vast and too consistent to be denigrated or denied.
The question, “What was known in the West at the time about the Holodomor and the policies that caused and exacerbated the famine?” is a significant one. Sources exemplary of Soviet propaganda, and that of western apologists, both concurrently and those of the present day, reveal how these propagandists duped many people in the West about key-aspects of Soviet life. This is especially true of that life as experienced by Ukrainians and other independent-spirited peoples, who were considered threats to the Stalinist Regime. Official sources reveal to what extent the governments of the United States, Britain, Germany, and Italy were cognizant of the facts about the Famine while it was taking place. For various political reasons, they, as well as leading members of the League of Nations, the International and Soviet Red Cross organizations, and multi-denominational church officials failed to act or were prevented from acting effectively to halt the suffering.
In considering how to describe the sources included in this bibliography, I took note of the unique features of each. Since quotations often were found to be particularly definitive of the individual work, I include direct quotations in many of the citations. Chapter titles and page numbers that bear upon the Holodomor were included to enable the researcher to locate information quickly, and to facilitate inter-library loan procedures if only a certain chapter proves necessary for the individual research project in question. Tables, Charts, and Photo-Document citations with page numbers are included for the same purposes. Since the more commonly available datum is in many different sources, only one source is cited. The bulk of materials described herein are sources in the English language. Holodomor v Ukraini is included because it is a comprehensive bibliography of sources in the Ukrainian language, and also because it contains a number of English- language citations.
This bibliography assesses a wide variety of source materials primarily in book format that discuss Holodomor-related subjects. These address subjects dated from the 1920’s, through the Famine Years themselves, and to the present day. Many sources reveal the lingering political and personal aftereffects of the Holodomor. This selection ties together the sometimes disparate and yet inextricably interwoven aspects of Stalinism and the Famine as these affected the Soviets themselves—whether these people were victims or perpetrators, and the international community as well. This bibliography features descriptions of rare commemorative items archived at the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in New York City.
Scholarly articles, newspaper coverage, Internet sources, as well as an expanded section of book formatted materials will be included in the second part of the
Bibliography. Since this may prove to be an endless task, the author welcomes appropriate suggestions of relevant titles to be included.