Death by Starvation
“The famine began…The dead were all around; on the roads, near the river, by the fences…Altogether 792 souls have died in our village during the famine, in the war years – 135 souls” (Kuryliw, p. 2). This is how Antonina Meleshchenko remembers the Holodomor, or the Ukrainian genocide famine. This famine took place between 1932 and 1933 in a country in Europe called Ukraine. Although many survivors wish not to remember, this event needs to be recognized. The Ukrainian genocide famine killed hundreds of thousands of people; this tragic incident occurred because Stalin wanted to convert the world to communism.
After 250 years of living under Russian Tsarist rule, the Ukrainians became part of the Soviet Union in 1922. Farmers thrived, economic freedom was permitted, and private enterprise was allowed. Among these, writers, artists, and scholars grew. Stalin, in 1924, took over Russia after the previous leader, Vladimir Lenin, died. Later, in 1928, Stalin launched a plan to force farmers into giving up their private land, livestock, and farms. Joseph Stalin felt he could not trust the Ukraine peasantry; he believed that the upper class farmers, or kulaks, were holding crops. Stalin took all the grain from the peasants. He had his men search for any hidden grain and Stalin analyzed fecal matter to see if the Ukrainians had stolen ‘government property’ and eaten the grain themselves. It was because of Stalin that many starved and resorted to eating anything. They drank water to fill their empty bellies. Small children perished first, then the elderly, followed by the men, and soon after, the women. Up to twenty-five percent of the population died because Stalin took all of the food.
When Stalin seized all of the rations, starvation became widespread. Blockades prevented the hungry to leave and search for food. Viachislav Molotov was in control of transporting grain to other countries. He punished the Ukrainian farmers by...
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