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A Holodomor Archive


by Svitlana Andrushkiw


New York - To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Genocide Famine of 1933 which caused the death of seven to ten million Ukrainians, the Shevchenko Scientific Society Library and Archives of America located in New York City, 63 Fourth Avenue, NY10003 has made available to all researchers, historians and students its archive -- Collectivization documents:  Kamianskyi Region, Krynychanskyi Region, Solomianskyi Region, Vasylkivskyi Region of the Dnipropetrovsk District, 1928-1935 (Artificial Famine documents). This body of material has been placed on the Shevchenko Scientific Society website at www.shevchenko.org and is open to all.

The Collectivization Archive consists of 372 documents spanning the years 1928-1935. The archive encompasses materials documenting activity of administrative and Communist party authorities of four regions of the Dnipropetrovsk district. They document events of forced collectivization of Ukrainian farmers in the Eastern regions of Ukraine and show harsh realities of the social and economic upheavals of this era which resulted in the Great Famine of 1933.  The documents are divided into originals, typed and handwritten copies. A good number have official government stamps with appropriate text. The archive consists of eight folders which contain documents on matters dealing with provisions of orders, procurement circulars, minutes of meetings, information concerning the fulfillment of the agricultural production plan 1931-1935, questionnaires, depositions, loss of voting rights and so on.

Of special interest is the Book of Mortality from 1933 of the village of Romankovo, where the local authorities recorded the causes of death of its inhabitants.  This document presents a clear picture of the starvation factor in the village. On the basis of  the Vasylkivskyi region of the district of Dnipropetrovsk which encompassed between 15 to 20 villages, with each document, a sequence of events unfolds which presents a picture of mass starvation of innocent victims. This archive was purchased by the Shevchenko Scientific Society in 1952 from Hryhorii Makhiv of Birmingham, MI.

This archive has not been yet fully researched, therefore it may serve as original material for a Masters or a PhD dissertation.

The Shevchenko Scientific Society Library houses one of the largest collection of books and other materials dealing with the Famine 1933. Under the subject Famine, 1933 it lists over 240 entries in Ukrainian, English and German. The oldest document is a 35-page German brochure published in 1933 in Berlin under the title “Bruder in Not” (Brother in Need) by the Evangelischer Pressverband fur Deutschland. It contains information from various sources of the ongoing famine including excerpts from letters of German colonists living in Ukraine. Another German-language source, Hungersnot! (Famine Calamity) by Cardinal Theodor Innitzer, dated approximately 1934 and published in Vienna by Buchdruckerei Karl Stolik consists of eyewitness accounts of German nationals – religious leaders as well as businessmen, who were in Ukraine at that time. It also includes a map of the famine - afflicted areas of Ukraine.

In 1934 the United Ukrainian Organizations of the United States published a 32 page brochure titled Famine in Ukraine, which includes among other documents the May 28, 1934 U.S. 73rd Congress, 2nd Session House Resolution no.399 on the Famine. It condemns  the government of the USSR for using the famine “as a means of reducing the Ukrainian population and destroying the Ukrainian political, cultural and national rights”.

In a 1935 German work by Ewald Ammende Muss Russland Hungern? (Must Russia Hunger?) published by Wilhelm Braumuller Universitat, 355 page book we find ample documentation of the famine as well as a series of rare photographs from 1933 of dead and dying farmers in the streets of Kharkiv, the capital of Soviet Ukraine at that time.

In 1953 under the auspices of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America Dmytro Solovey published in New York, Golgotha of Ukraine: eyewitness accounts of the Famine.  The library also contains the now classic Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror Famine by Robert Conquest, Edmonton, University of Alberta, 1986. 412p. as well as his Man-Made Famine in Ukraine, Washington DC, 1984. 39p.  In 1999 the Ukrainian Canadian Congress published in Toronto, Famine Genocide in Soviet Ukraine 1933. Among other sources it includes famine resources, which are available on the Internet. In 1988 the United States Government Printing Office in Washington, DC published the Commission’s on the Ukraine Famine Investigation of the Ukrainian Famine 1932-33 Report to Congress. 524p.

In order to fill a void in English language materials about this very important topic, the Shevchenko Scientific Society commissioned Cheryl Madden to compile a bibliography on this subject. In 2002 C.Madden prepared the Ukrainian Famine (Holodomor) of 1932-33 and aspects of Stalinism: annotated bibliography in English, published in Providence, Rhode Island. 99p.

This is just a sampling of the rich resources on this topic found at the Shevchenko Scientific Society Library and Archives in New York City. The Library’s email:  library@shevchenko.org. Feel free to consult it if needed.  


Photo: A lice infested famine victim on the streets of Kharkiv. 1933


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