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Old 07-06-2012, 10:53 AM
 
5,851 posts, read 4,172,251 times
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I can agree that the concept of it being a planned genocide is not one I necessarily fully agree with as the case as to why it was is compelling, but so is the modern reasons why it has been turned into such an issue for political reasons, which means people are stretching to call it genocide for a reason. However, regardless of that, the fact that at least you and I and many others don't dispute is that millions died, many of them in the Ukraine do to the actions and policies of the Soviet state.
No, I don't argue about that, although I don't know the exact numbers and no one will probably know for sure. I know better of course - I was raised by the old Russian gentry that was born on a cusp of revolution and lived to tell. So they filled me in on certain things early in my life; I was not as naive as a lot of my peers, that were raised by our parents generation - i.e Khrushchev's generation and didn't know much what took place in the country only 30 years ago. I was raised by Stalin's generation for the most part and our grand-parent's generation was very different. So I've heard about the famine in Ukraine, definitely. When I was there for the first time, at age of 17-18 ( and landed in a hospital during my vacation ) I was asking questions this old babushka who was laying in the next bed to me. I can't recall all the details now, but one phrase I know she said; she said "I remember that particular year when the wheat was standing in the fields as tall as me - that was the year when a lot of people died." Meaning the reason for it was definitely not the drought.
As for the claims of genocide, I was always under impression that genocide means group of people being exterminated on a basis of their race/ethnicity solely, not for something they did or didn't do. Ukrainians who lived elsewhere in the Soviet Union were obviously not touched because of the wrath of Lazar Kaganovich that the grain quotas in Ukraine were not met. So it indicates to me that what took place over there was an act of punishment or revenge for the failed hopes on behalf of Communist party or whatever. Anyone could meet the same fate, any nationality in the Soviet Union, provided the hopes were set as high and not fulfilled.

PS. Here is the translation of the first two articles; the third one with caption "Ukrainian villagers are united in their fight against the Polish troops ( tens are dead, over thousands wounded; mass arrests in the villages) is too blurry, I can't decipher it.

( Thanks to you NJ I've learned more Ukrainian yesterday than in my entire life))))

Death from famine hovers over Hutsul region

The new details are surfacing regarding the famine that took place in tens of townships of mountainous part of Western Ukraine - Hutsul region. There are whole families found in the houses, that are swollen from starvation. The crowds of cold and hungry Hutsuls are walking from village to village, begging for bread or potatoes. The raging typhus is taking lives of hundreds of people, young and old alike. Jewish newspaper "Weekly" cites its correspondent, who after his visit to the township Yasenovo writes the following; "It's dark all over the place, not a single light. They have nothing to light up in the house. They don't have any gas, ( you can see) only the campfires in front of the houses - something that the most primitive societies would use...
..the lucky ones can boil "chira" - the corn flour with water or potatoes with no salt.
Religious "Nova Zorya" is reporting the situation from township Krivorivnya, Kosivski region, where today's Hutsul life is carachterized by misery. The authors, who visited the houses of the township, found 49 families without a single potatoe to eat. These families are starving; the only members of the family that can eat are the ones who begged something from the neighbors. In one of the houses they've found a women who lost her mind from starvation, Hanna Ivanichuk who was sitting in a cold house with a young child....

15,000 children in Zakarpattia Ukraine are under a death threat from famine

Prague.

Two days ago opposition representatives made a statement to Chech parlaiment that 15,000 chuldren of Zakarpattia region are under a threat of starvation, and British and German journalists who recently visited the province are confirming the fact, that population lives in a stage of advert poverty and starvation.
Today, during the conversation with New-York Times' correspondent, one of the the Zakarpattia envoys, Ivan Kutyak said; "The journalists didn't describe the whole scope of misery. In mountainous regions, where there are plenty of townships, the only food for children is oat bread and rotten potatoes. Truly, the pigs of pane ( that's the word that would usually identify Polish gentry, but in this case they might be referring to Czechs, or it's a referral to any upper class.) are fed better than these children. In the whole counties people didn't see a piece of bread. Because of starvation, the tuberculosis is rampant among the population. The price of domesticated animals is extremely low; you can buy a cow for three dollars; I saw a horse being sold for 20 cents. But villagers are willing to sale the animals for this price, in order to have money to pay levy. In the majority of villages you won't see a single light at night; people have nothing to use for it.
"Apparently, under these conditions, people start thinking about agrarian communism (?)
In Golovni, Dovgy, Gusti, there were already demonstrations of protest.
Zakarpattia region has always been the land of hunger?...if the poor could find jobs in Hungary or to immigrate to...? ( I don't know this abbreviation.)
Poverty, misery, darkness were always those things that were reflecting the picture of medieval relations in the region. In pre-war years the illiteracy was at 70 percent, after the Chechs took over, the cultural level of the population went up somewhat, but instead the economic conditions significantly worsened. Chechs power is guilty in front of Ukrainian Zakarpattia for one more reason; they've settled in this poor province, that doesn't have enough of bread for its own population, 50,000 Chech colonists ( former legionnaires) who promote there the policy of Czech's superiority and economic exploitation.

Last edited by erasure; 07-06-2012 at 11:17 AM..
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by erasure View Post
No, I don't argue about that, although I don't know the exact numbers and no one will probably know for sure. I know better of course - I was raised by the old Russian gentry that was born on a cusp of revolution and lived to tell. So they filled me in on certain things early in my life; I was not as naive as a lot of my peers, that were raised by our parents generation - i.e Khrushchev's generation and didn't know much what took place in the country only 30 years ago. I was raised by Stalin's generation for the most part and our grand-parent's generation was very different. So I've heard about the famine in Ukraine, definitely. When I was there for the first time, at age of 17-18 ( and landed in a hospital during my vacation ) I was asking questions this old babushka who was laying in the next bed to me. I can't recall all the details now, but one phrase I know she said; she said "I remember that particular year when the wheat was standing in the fields as tall as me - that was the year when a lot of people died." Meaning the reason for it was definitely not the drought.
Interesting story and we are definitely on the same page and agree with the vast majority of historians that whatever happened there is not do to drought or a natural issue, it was definitely a man made disaster. I wonder how our "friend" will respond to the last several posts, if they ever respond at all?

Quote:
As for the claims of genocide, I was always under impression that genocide means group of people being exterminated on a basis of their race/ethnicity solely, not for something they did or didn't do. Ukrainians who lived elsewhere in the Soviet Union were obviously not touched because of the wrath of Lazar Kaganovich that the grain quotas in Ukraine were not met. So it indicates to me that what took place over there was an act of punishment or revenge for the failed hopes on behalf of Communist party or whatever. Anyone could meet the same fate, any nationality in the Soviet Union, provided the hopes were set as high and not fulfilled.
The genocide question is certainly hotly debated among many. Certainly it has become fashionable in modern political relations to term it as such. Supporting the Ukrainian position that it was genocide helps to foster the rift between Ukraine and Russia and bring Ukraine further into the western European sphere of influence. Obviously the modern manipulation for political purpose needs to be accounted.

The case for it being a genocide basically revolves around twisting the affirmed definition of genocide into being something applied to eliminate a "nation" and not necessarily a "people". As you quite correctly pointed out, while many Ukrainians in Russia suffered at the same time do to the areas they were in, there was no deliberate intent to target the roughly 8 million Ukrainians estimated to be living in Russia at the time. So, it is obvious that it was not an intent to destroy the Ukrainian people. However, some of argued that it was a deliberate intent to destroy the idea of a Ukrainian nation and culture. Raphael Lemkin in his work identifies a few components to make his case:

1. Ukrainian cultural elites were specifically targeted, these people were the ones most responsible for continuing the notion of an independent Ukrainian nation. These people were virtually wiped out during this time.

2. The destruction of the Orthodox Church. While this happened all over the Soviet Union, the Orthodox Church filled a special role within Ukraine as the center of the community. During the 1921 famine, the church played a pivotal role in relieving famine and organizing relief from international sources. The church also fostered and sheltered the idea of Ukrainian nationalism and was a major threat to communist power. It has been cited that one of the reasons the famine became so accute was that the church had been completely eliminated as an organizing force within the communities. This was apparently different in Russia as there was a more stratified village and farmer culture that served this role, versus in the Ukraine where the large numbers of independent farmers were essentially united through the church.

3. The acts that led the acute starvation eliminated a large percentage of the Ukrainian population and this fell hardest on the "kulaks" who were the natural leaders in the community and most resistant to the policies. Basically, when you combine 1, 2 and 3, you end up with an elimination of all leaders within the Ukrainian communities and the people who most supported Ukrainian nationalism.

4. The final move was sending non-Ukrainians from the RSFSR to settle into the Ukraine. These people were far more loyal to the Soviet state and allowed them to promote a special class loyal above all else to the Soviet government.

Basically, whether it is genocide or not largely depends on whether or not you believe in "cultural genocide" as being genocide. The argument would be that Stalin's intent was not to destroy the Ukrainian people (as was the Nazi intent with Jews), but to simply destroy any foundation for a concept of Ukrainian nationalism. By strict definition, it would not be a genocide (there is a thread on here where we discussed what the accepted definition is and there is an actual official definition), but obviously some have bent that a bit for political reasons.

Personally, I don't think Stalin intended to kill all the Ukrainians, that would have been impossible. However, I do think it is likely he took the opportunity with everything going on to eliminate any threat of Ukrainian nationalism posing a threat to his plans.

Quote:
PS. Here is the translation of the first two articles; the third one with caption "Ukrainian villagers are united in their fight against the Polish troops ( tens are dead, over thousands wounded; mass arrests in the villages) is too blurry, I can't decipher it.

( Thanks to you NJ I've learned more Ukrainian yesterday than in my entire life))))
Thank you very much for taking the time to do that. I'm sure it was an interesting exercise and at least you got to learn something new, lol.

Quote:
Death from famine hovers over Hutsul region

The new details are surfacing regarding the famine that took place in tens of townships of mountainous part of Western Ukraine - Hutsul region. There are whole families found in the houses, that are swollen from starvation. The crowds of cold and hungry Hutsuls are walking from village to village, begging for bread or potatoes. The raging typhus is taking lives of hundreds of people, young and old alike. Jewish newspaper "Weekly" cites its correspondent, who after his visit to the township Yasenovo writes the following; "It's dark all over the place, not a single light. They have nothing to light up in the house. They don't have any gas, ( you can see) only the campfires in front of the houses - something that the most primitive societies would use...
..the lucky ones can boil "chira" - the corn flour with water or potatoes with no salt.
Religious "Nova Zorya" is reporting the situation from township Krivorivnya, Kosivski region, where today's Hutsul life is carachterized by misery. The authors, who visited the houses of the township, found 49 families without a single potatoe to eat. These families are starving; the only members of the family that can eat are the ones who begged something from the neighbors. In one of the houses they've found a women who lost her mind from starvation, Hanna Ivanichuk who was sitting in a cold house with a young child....
OK, so Hutsuls are an ethno-cultural group of Ukrainians. They number somewhere around 20,000 people. They are nomadic highlanders that live in the Carpathian mountains and have for centuries. They are semi-equivalent to "gypsys" in other parts of Europe. They largely subsisted on logging and cattle herding. Their primary livelihood was severely damaged during the Polish-Ukrainian Wars and Polish-Soviet Wars. The time period in question during the article was the Polish "pacification" of the Ukrainian areas under their control. The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists formed in 1929 set about on a campaign of violence to resist Polish occupation of their territory. This is in stark contrast to the majority of Ukrainians that were working to settle issues through the Polish government in which they had full representation. The Polish response was a police campaign designed to root out the "terrorists" and end the wave of violence against Polish property and assassinations of both Polish and moderate Ukrainian politicians. Depending on sources between 7 and 35 Ukrainians were killed during the pacficiation which uncovered large stores of weapons and explosives.

Where it impacted the Hutsuls is thus. The Hutsuls had been reduced to largely begging for food given their losses during the wars. Part of the pacification was that the local Ukrainians had to feed and provide for the police forces occupying the area. These troops used up a large amount of the spare food that was generally given to or purchased by the Hutsuls.

This situation, while bad, is again far different from what was happening in Soviet Ukraine. While it was a large impact on the Hutsul community, it is obvious that not all areas under Polish control were suffering the same fate as the people reporting on Hutsul misery were also from the Polish occupied areas. It is also important to note that what is being reported in this paper, may also be an exaggeration to help stir up nationalist sentiment. This region was one of the hotbeds of Ukrainian nationalism and Hutsuls were painted as a part of Ukrainian folk culture. The Polish pacification attempts utlimately did nothing more then solidify the Ukrainian nationalist sentiments among previously moderate Ukrainians. The Jewish piece is important as Jews made up around 1/3 of the population in that area and for many years and had lived side-by-side with the Ukrainians and supported there bid for their own state. Jewish, Ukrainian relations were strained in the 1920's, but they were mended over a common cause of nationalism and fighting back against Polish persecution. So, it is not surprising to see Jewish papers quoted as a source, but these papers were working to support Ukrainian nationalist sentiment.

Quote:
15,000 children in Zakarpattia Ukraine are under a death threat from famine

Prague.

Two days ago opposition representatives made a statement to Chech parlaiment that 15,000 chuldren of Zakarpattia region are under a threat of starvation, and British and German journalists who recently visited the province are confirming the fact, that population lives in a stage of advert poverty and starvation.
Today, during the conversation with New-York Times' correspondent, one of the the Zakarpattia envoys, Ivan Kutyak said; "The journalists didn't describe the whole scope of misery. In mountainous regions, where there are plenty of townships, the only food for children is oat bread and rotten potatoes. Truly, the pigs of pane ( that's the word that would usually identify Polish gentry, but in this case they might be referring to Czechs, or it's a referral to any upper class.) are fed better than these children. In the whole counties people didn't see a piece of bread. Because of starvation, the tuberculosis is rampant among the population. The price of domesticated animals is extremely low; you can buy a cow for three dollars; I saw a horse being sold for 20 cents. But villagers are willing to sale the animals for this price, in order to have money to pay levy. In the majority of villages you won't see a single light at night; people have nothing to use for it.
"Apparently, under these conditions, people start thinking about agrarian communism (?)
In Golovni, Dovgy, Gusti, there were already demonstrations of protest.
Zakarpattia region has always been the land of hunger?...if the poor could find jobs in Hungary or to immigrate to...? ( I don't know this abbreviation.)
Poverty, misery, darkness were always those things that were reflecting the picture of medieval relations in the region. In pre-war years the illiteracy was at 70 percent, after the Chechs took over, the cultural level of the population went up somewhat, but instead the economic conditions significantly worsened. Chechs power is guilty in front of Ukrainian Zakarpattia for one more reason; they've settled in this poor province, that doesn't have enough of bread for its own population, 50,000 Chech colonists ( former legionnaires) who promote there the policy of Czech's superiority and economic exploitation.
This region was merged with Czechoslavakia and while it was supposed to be nominally autonomous, that never happened. The region was generally incredibly poor throughout history. The region was very fractious with multiple ethnicities and political parties there. The Czechs also sent a large contingent to settle there as administrators and educators and these people lived in a starkly better lifestyle then the poor Ruthenian/Ukrainian inhabitants. As far as I can find, there was no conscious effort or persecution against the people, there was simply a stark contrast between how they lived and the rest of the country. The region was always poor and on the brink of starvation. What was the major issue then was the ignorance and ineptness of the Czech government to do anything to change the situation. What is important to note, is that the communist party gained a large foothold in the province by speaking to the poor Ukrainian farmers about merging with Soviet Ukraine. The aprty gained much influence and it is reasonable that the "opposition leaders" speaking about the 15,000 starving children are most likely communist.

It is also important to note that the New York Times reporter being quoted is the same Walter Duranty that was simultaneously reporting that there was no famine in the Soviet Ukraine and everything was fine. Chances are he was being fed his information from the Soviet government on the conditions in this area. It is known that much Soviet "agriprop" (agricultural propaganda) being used in the Ukraine at the time was based on showing the bounty of collectivized farmers in the Ukraine versus the starvation and horrible conditions of Ukrainians in other areas.

I guess to sum up, like I said, newspaper articles are hardly a reliable source and often written with a particular slant or bias in mind. I again, want to greatly thank erasure for providing the translations to attempt to explain and understand exactly what these articles were speaking of. Looking at them and the situations we know were happening, there was obviously issues in these areas, but there was no widespread famine as there was in the Ukraine. The situation for the Hustuls was bad and made worse by Polish action, but it was being promoted to further Ukrainian national sentiment and drive support for the Ukrainian Organization of Nationalists. The situation in the Cxech territories wasn't much different then it had been for centuries, it was just being highlighted and used to further an agenda.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post

I guess to sum up, like I said, newspaper articles are hardly a reliable source

Outstanding logic!

Dr Goebbels information on famine in Soviet Ukraine (same famine in other regions of the USSR was ignored) is a reliable source for you.

But newspaper articles, films, photos, etc. about famine in Polish Ukraine, Britain, Romania, Germany, US, Slovakia, Hungary you call "unreliable"!

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Old 07-07-2012, 12:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
I've heard that Ukrainian and Polish are more dialects of each other than separate languages,
You are absolutely correct.

The so called "Ukrainian language" is an artificial one. It was composed by Grushevsky and his team out of Galitchian dialects (Galitchina was under heavy Polish influence for about 600 years) and Polish language at the start of the last century.

Outside of official occasions hardly anyone uses it. In the West, Ukrainian speakers use local dialects which are close to Polish language; in the East, mostly in a countryside, people use Malorussian dialects of Russian language.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Alma1 View Post
Outstanding logic!

Dr Goebbels information on famine in Soviet Ukraine (same famine in other regions of the USSR was ignored) is a reliable source for you.

But newspaper articles, films, photos, etc. about famine in Polish Ukraine, Britain, Romania, Germany, US, Slovakia, Hungary you call "unreliable"!

I think I have already exhaustively countered all of your claims in previous posts. Since you are no longer presenting any arguments of substance, I can only assume that you have run out of recycled Soviet and communist propaganda. If you want to bring something new to the discussion, feel free.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:11 PM
 
Location: State of Relaxation
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Why are we arguing about the Ukrainian famine? This has been documented in a film on Public Television. It's said Stalin imposed this as a punishment on the Ukrainian people for resisting collectivization, IIRC. He wouldn't allow International Red Cross food relief packages to be delivered to Ukraine. If anyone's interested, they might be able to find the documentary on PBS: Public Broadcasting Service.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:21 PM
 
Location: State of Relaxation
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Originally Posted by erasure View Post
what intrigues me in this whole situation with Vikings though, is why would Vikings pillage and lay to siege European cities, yet they'd come as guests of honor to Slavs?
Not only that, but as the old Russian chronicles have it, Slavs would invite Vikings to rule over them, asking for their protection from the Pecheneg and Khazar tribes. So what that was all about? Some old "blood" ties that we don't know much about, or simply a fact that a lot of Scandinavians settled in Russian steppe already much earlier in history than Oleg ( Helwig, Olef - whatever his real name was ) became the first ruler of Kiev?
That's what I kinda can't figure out.
Well, I don't think the Vikings were invited, I think the Chronicle was written that way to put a positive "spin" on what must have been an invasion. But now that you mention it, I have heard that theory, that there was an older blood connection. Nicholas Roerich, the painter, was of Swedish descent. In fact, it's said he could trace his line back to the original Rurik. I think his ancestry goes back to Latvia or Lithuania, and that area had Swedish settlers going far back in time. 800 AD and earlier, I think.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:49 PM
 
13,569 posts, read 16,594,191 times
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Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Why are we arguing about the Ukrainian famine? This has been documented in a film on Public Television. It's said Stalin imposed this as a punishment on the Ukrainian people for resisting collectivization, IIRC. He wouldn't allow International Red Cross food relief packages to be delivered to Ukraine. If anyone's interested, they might be able to find the documentary on PBS: Public Broadcasting Service.
It's being argued about because the poster Alma1 takes great offense to the notion that any suffering or crimes happened under Stalin. To him/her it was all just a happy time when criminals were sent to gulags, peasants lived happily on collective farms and workers in the cities built a new Russia in their factories. Anything to the contrary is apparently nothing more then fascist lies propagated by western capitalists to undermine communism, the utopian savior of mankind.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:34 PM
 
Location: State of Relaxation
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Originally Posted by Alma1 View Post
Malorussian dialects of Russian language.
So eastern Ukrainian is considered to be a dialect of Russian, similar to the difference between High German and Low German? There can be a fine line between Low German (dialect) and Dutch (a separate language). I can see how this could really lend itself to dispute.

Now that I think about it, erasure may be right, that Ukrainian preserves some aspects of Old Slavic. Ukrainian uses the vocative case, which Russian no longer does. There's some very old vocabulary in Ukrainian, that's absent in Russian, too. It's been a very long time since I studied a little Ukrainian.

Wasn't Ukraine originally part of Poland, before the end of WWII? Poland was shifted to the West as part of the war settlement, and so Ukraine was peeled off from Poland and was made into a country that was attached to Russia. Was Belarus originally part of Poland as well? I suspect it was.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:48 PM
 
5,851 posts, read 4,172,251 times
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Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post

Personally, I don't think Stalin intended to kill all the Ukrainians, that would have been impossible. However, I do think it is likely he took the opportunity with everything going on to eliminate any threat of Ukrainian nationalism posing a threat to his plans.
NJ, what national leader in the right mind would put up with a nationalism in the country that was BASED on conglomeration of different ethnicities to begin with? Wouldn't that be suicidal for the country?


Quote:
I guess to sum up, like I said, newspaper articles are hardly a reliable source and often written with a particular slant or bias in mind. I again, want to greatly thank erasure for providing the translations to attempt to explain and understand exactly what these articles were speaking of.
You are most definitely welcome; it was worth looking into it since I, myself is not all that familiar with Western Ukraine, but my grand-mother who traveled there ( she travelled extenesively all over the Soviet Union because of her job) told me that Western Ukraine didn't look like the rest of Ukraine; she was speaking specifically about Lvov. She said the city felt more like Poland than Ukraine.
Now, when I'm looking at it, she was right as usual.




Lviv, the 'Little Paris' - YouTube
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