posts 1 - 15 of 17
nfogel9
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 4

There is a museum in central Kyiv called the Holodomor Museum. As I’m writing this, I hope it’s still there.


It documents one of the most horrific events in history: the deliberate starvation—via famine--of the people of the Ukraine. Who were the perpetrators? The Stalinist regime that controlled the then Soviet Union.


What I’d like you to do is to take a look at as many of these sources as you are able on the Holodomor:


Post a brief (1-2 paragraphs) response about what you’re thinking about as you learn about this history. This could be connections you’re seeing between the conflict today, broader pieces about genocide, or questions you’re wondering about. Basically, let the material sink in and jot some thoughts down about what bubbles up as you consider its importance.

gato927
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 26

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with the Ukraine in 2022?

One thing that I have noticed is that Russia refuses to recognize the horrible things that have been done, and continue to happen to the Ukrainian people. The last post we discussed the genocide of WWI, and Turkey today still will not admit nor accept the fact that their actions against the Armenians was a genocide. Similarly, Russia will not recognize Holodomor as genocide, rather an unfortunate event that affected the Soviet Union as a whole. I think this connects to the war today because Ukrainians are still suffering at the hands of outside forces and a lot of them have nowhere to go, just like in the Holodomor where the Soviet Union closed the borders, making it unable for people to go get food. In my opinion I think it is rather contradictory to label this as a famine because there was no crop failure, but the Ukrainian people were deliberately being deprived of food. Up until now, I had never learned about this famine, or really any of the history of the people of Ukraine. I believe that we need to educate ourselves more, especially in the classroom. Last year in AP World History, we covered WWI and did not talk about the Armenian genocide. We also learned about the Soviet Union, but we did not talk about Holodomor. I seriously think this needs to change because the people of Ukraine are still suffering, like they were 90 years ago.

TheHistorian9
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 12

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with the Ukraine?

After watching the video created by the Museum of the Holodomor, I realized that Putin's claims about the history of Ukraine are similar to what Stalin claimed when he issued the Holodomor. Putin says that Ukraine has always been part of Russia but that's because of the Russification that began with Catherine the Great and continued under Stalin. The Russification process suppressed individual distinct cultures of minority groups within the Russian Empire and forced those minorities to adopt the Russian language and culture as well as take in ethnic Russians into there regional borders. One of the groups, of course, were Ukrainians. Ethnic Russians emigrated to Ukraine in order to dissolve Ukrainian culture. The Holodomor was just another stage of suppressing and ethnically cleansing Ukrainians and making Ukraine more ethnically Russian. Therefore, Putin's claims that Ukrainians are Russian is partially correct, only because of past policies of his predecessors to eliminate ethnic Ukrainians.

groot
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 29

Holodomor and what does it have to do with the Ukraine in 2022?

These films and articles made me realize how deeply rooted and connected Ukraine and Russia's history is. With all the current news coverage on how violent and forceful Russian troops are towards Ukrainians, the U.S. as well as many other countries, are quick to offer their aid. However, at the time of Holodomor, no such help was offered. Instead, Ukraine’s food was taken from them, and the people of Ukraine began to recognize this as normalcy. Nina Karpenko, a Ukrainian woman, reflects that “They thought today that person died, and tomorrow it will be me. Everyone just thought of death” (BBC). And while today it's not starvation that Putin is threatening Ukrainians with, violence is. Countries worldwide need to learn and understand the origins of genocide, learn from Holodomor, and learn that right now, Russia needs to be stood up against, while Ukrainians need help. Russia is a military superpower that has been harassing Ukraine for decades. In this class, we often talk about how educating ourselves on atrocities of the past can prevent them from reoccurring in the future. Well here’s a perfect example of history repeating itself. Russia in 1932 began its terrorization of the Ukraine people, and now in the twenty-first century, their reign of conquest and hunt for control continues. The real question is what do we do about it without beginning a nuclear war?



hisoka
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 23

Connections between the Holodomor and the current attack on Ukraine

Within the first minute of the video “what is the Holodomor?” I could already see the connections. “Ukrainians were starved to death for their nationality, language, identity and their denial to follow that communist totalitarian machine”. Ukraine is currently refusing to join Russia and because of that they are being attacked, and many aren’t being allowed to leave the country because of their race and gender identity. Then in the BBC article it tells of a mother who had traveled 9 miles to get food and all she got was 2 kilograms of flour but had to trade her earrings and a gold cross to get it. The same is happening in Ukraine, people have to go in search of food and also have to worry about getting killed either by getting shot or blown up. There has also been a claim by Russia that they have recently use a vacuum bomb which is one, a war crime, and two a very destrucive bomb that can incinirate whole villages. Much like in the Holodomor whose villages were also wiped out. In the Atlantic article it talked about how there were cover ups in the media on what was going on in Ukraine and this reminded me of when Russia said its troops were just around and in Ukraine as a military exercise and training and not for an attack or war.
turtle17
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 24

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with Ukraine in 2022?

When reading these articles, and watching the two minute video on the Holodomor Genocide, it struck me how mass execution can be committed in more "underground ways". A lot of the times when learning about a genocide in history's past, it does follow the ten steps of genocide, but what happened to the Ukrainians in the early 20th century describes a different approach leading up to their massacre. The title of the Atlantic article captures this perfectly: "How Stalin Hid Ukraine's Famine From the World". Not only was enforcing a famine upon the Ukrainians a more secretive way of accomplishing the death of millions, but on top of that, he hid the famine in general. Learning about this just really stuck out to me because it made me realize that genocides aren't always concentration camps and forced deportation, but they can happen in ways that I have never even thought of before.

freud
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 28

Learning about Holodomor puts the history of Russia and Ukraine more into perspective. It has become clear that when Ukrainian citizens talk about history repeating itself, it's true. Both Putin and Stalin do or did not have care for the people of Ukraine; they're focused on establishing control and will do it by any means necessary. I believe this stems from fear, fear of Ukraine gaining independence. For Stalin, he believed that Ukraine's small and more independent farms posed a threat to his totalitarian regime, so they were forced into state-run collectives in which they could not keep any food. They were forced into waiting in bread lines that held nothing at the end of them when at one point they "[fed] the world" according to 27 year old Welshman Jones. So, they were not only subdued out of control, but also out of fear. Similarly, I think Putin holds fear of Ukraine not being under his control, and I think Ukraine being apart of NATO adds onto this fear. Thus, he is subduing the country with extreme violence. And he is also making up reasons for his invasion, going as far as calling their Jewish president a nazi.

It makes me wonder, how will this war be treated by Russia later on? How will it be taught about? Will it be taught in schools, or will it be brushed under the rug like Holodomor. I wonder if anything can really be pushed under the rug anymore, but, it's been done before and I see how it could be done again.

dancingsnail
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 24

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with the Ukraine in 2022?

I had never heard of this genocide before Facing, I’d heard of the Armenian genocide before as well as several other but this has never come up in a history class. It made me think that Russia has been successful in their propaganda campaign to erase Ukraine’s history and the world has been complicit in their actions. Foolishly, while I was exploring the website of the Holodomor Museum I expected the number of people killed to be much lower than it actually was so when I saw it was between 3 to 12 million I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of it before. Knowing the truth behind this genocide is essential to understanding the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia and the Russian government continues to deny the genocide, instead trying to turn Ukrainians into the perpetrators in the conflict. This propaganda isn’t new, it’s the same kind that Stalin used while systematically carrying out a famine to destroy the nation of Ukraine. Stalin painted the Ukrainian people as “bourgeois nationalists” and “counter-revolutionaries,” whatever was fundamentally anti-Soviet. As long as the history of Holodomor is suppressed the Russian government and the world continues to allow this Ukranians will never receive the justice they deserve, as similar to the Armenians they can’t truly grieve a genocide that the world has refused to acknowledge. Something I don’t understand is why the president of Ukraine would deny that there ever was a genocide. Was it for the sake of keeping tensions with Russia at bay? Will his stance change now that they’re at war?

flowerpower
Posts: 23

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with Ukraine in 2022?

After learning about the genocide of Holodomor, the first thing I wonder how I’ve never heard of this before, let alone learned about it in school. While it can be hard to fit everything that’s ever happened into one 180 day curriculum, the fact that this has never been mentioned or brought up, even for a brief moment, in any history class is puzzling. It also makes me wonder, if Stalin did this back then how far will Putin go when trying to achieve his goals. Although that is a scary thought it is one I have had. A similarity I see between what's going on in Ukraine right now and what happened 90 years ago is the entrapment that Ukrainians are facing. 90 years ago they were surrounded with Stalins army and forced to starve with no resources in their villages. Right now it seems like there may be more of an ability for Ukrainians to escape the country, but it is still extremely difficult and dangerous. All that Stalin and Putin care for is power, they both seem to have goals of getting rid of any and all opposition to the USSR in Ukraine as well as within Russia. With the two countries today we know that propaganda is being spread in Russia and what their population sees is in Putins control. I think it's important that we learned about this genocide, especially as another aspect of the long history of Russia, Ukraine, and the USSR.
runningdog96
Posts: 18

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with Ukraine in 2022?

Similar to the feelings many others shared, reading and watching these sources helped put into context just how deep-rooted this conflict is between Russia and Ukraine. I finished watching the documentary on the Armenian Genocide just before looking into these sources, and there are many similarities to these catastrophes, which also helped put into context just how important the events happening in Ukraine are right now. This is the culmination of years and years' worth of conflict and oppression by the Russian government against Ukraine, and the Russian invasion is another act of oppression. Not only that but there are many similarities between the Holodomor and Armenian genocides when it comes to the aftermath- particularly the lack of recognition of either as genocides by the perpetrating government. In this sense, Holodomor has everything to do with what is happening again, and much has been leading up to this conflict - while that in NO MEANS justifies it-, including the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

In a broader sense, I also began to wonder about the amount we don't learn. The only genocide we learn about in the U.S is the Holocaust, and while it is extremely important to learn about the devastating effects of that atrocity, it is also incredibly necessary that we learn about other genocides. The entire point of Facing History is about how not to be a bystander, and so in order to do that, I think we need more of an education overall- not just in Facing History- on how the U.S has been a bystander in its history- or even a perpetrator.

mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 32

BRIEF post on what was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with the Ukraine in 2022?

One thing that stuck out to me in the Radio Free Europe video was just how exploitative Stalin’s regime was and how we can still see this effect today. For example, the Ukrainian peasants unwilling to give up their life’s work to the Soviet Union and then consequently being exiled reminded me a lot of how today, Ukrainians unwilling to join the Russian sphere of influence are being forced from their homes and sent elsewhere as refugees. Yet again, Russia is using this either/or idea and harming Ukrainians in both options. While reading the BBC News article I came to a similar conclusion as @hisoka, both Stalin and Putin had/have no respect or care for Ukrainians and used/are using violent strategies to have Ukraine crumble under Soviet/Russian control. This idea was reaffirmed after reading the line “...Joseph Stalin wanted to starve into submission the rebellious Ukrainian peasantry and force them into collective farms.” I was struck, yet not surprised to learn that even today Russian leaders like Putin object to calling Holodomor a genocide. This seems all too similar to Turkey and the Armenian Genocide to me. I wonder, what is it that makes countries so unwilling to acknowledge their past? What do they fear?

Lastly, I read Radio Free Europe’s “‘A Gift to Posterity’: Four Men Who Risked the Wrath of Stalin to Photograph the Holodomor,” and connected these brave men to the Ukrainian people that are documenting their experiences right now. Photos such as these and the ones we are seeing today taken by Ukrainians experiencing the war are vital in the history of humanity. Without these, we may have never been able to fully understand the horror of Holodomor and the horror of the current war. Although these are difficult to view, they must be viewed in order to acknowledge history. This was yet again another major genocide that I had not learned before taking Facing History and Ourselves.

giraffes12
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 25

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with the Ukraine in 2022?

I have only briefly heard of this famine in Ukraine, and the only time I have heard about it is in recent times, because of the attention that Ukraine is getting recently. It is unsurprising that I have not heard about this. The past of Ukraine is one that I have never been taught about in school. We learned about the Soviet Union, but usually in terms of foreign conflicts, not domestic affairs. This genocide greatly resembles the Armenian genocide. Both Turkey and Russia today outright declare that neither were genocide. However, outside of Turkey recently the Armenian genocide is widely recognized as a genocide, while the Ukraine famine is not very widely acknowledged as such outside of Russia. There is still a lot of debate whether or not Russia intended the famine to kill Ukrainians. The key word here is intent. Genocide is defined by intent, whether the perpetrator meant to do it. In this case, I do believe this was purposeful, as a way to control Ukraine. Very many people died in the famine, but what really shocked me was how much this was also debated. Estimates put the number in between 3 million and 12 million, which is an enormous number. This is definetly somethiung that should be talked about, especially with what we see is happening with Ukraine and Russia today.

dinonuggets
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 27

Holodomor

Last year in AP World History, we learned about the the Great Famine and how it killed millions in Soviet territory. However, we didn’t learn about the fact that Ukrainians were targeted to prevent opposition to the Soviet Union and the systematic killing was a result of Ukrainians being perceived as a threat. In the short video from the Museum of the Holodomor, Vitalii Portnikov said that Stalin aimed to “prevent the Ukrainian people from playing their independent role in history.” When he said this, I thought about the similarities with Putin’s motives with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine today. I also thought about the Russian government’s denial of genocide, similar to Turkey’s denial of the Armenian genocide. This has a profound impact on the people who suffered through these genocides and the descendants of everyone affected because there is zero act of acknowledgement and reconciliation. I am still shocked that I learned about this famine but not detail of the motives behind this genocide of the Ukrainian people.
eac
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 21

BRIEF post on what was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with the Ukraine in 2022?

I had learned about the Holodomor many times before, as it is still a hot topic among a few leftist groups that I participate in. In my mind, it's absolutely insane to deny the fact that a famine was, at the VERY least, not considered a major issue by the Soviet leaders at the time. Stalin was completely unconcerned (if not actively supporting) the famine that ravaged Ukraine. I've had many arguments with leftists that continuously defend the Soviet government's actions, which is baffling. This also wasn't a unique event, governmental control over food supplies, plus a hostility towards the people, has lead to famines both before and after the Holodomor (the British Raj was quite infamous for this). And just like the Armenian genocide, the perpetrators refuse to take responsibility, and now they are continuing their oppression.


One thing that did surprise me, reading through all of the comments on this thread, that very few people knew about the Holodomor before this assignment. People need to learn about these types of events. It seems like the only one people are regularly taught about is the Holocaust. But there have been so, so many others that have been forgotten to time. It infuriates me. People are amazed that countries don't recognize their own actions, but they need to learn that this is the norm. Countries won't take responsibility for their past, horrendous actions, because they don't want or care to pay reparations. And since so many events like the Holodomor have been forgotten, so many countries won't have to pay for their terrible acts.

Bumble Bee
Posts: 25

Immediately after watching the short video, I noticed that Russia denied a genocide attempt through forced starvation. This reminded me of how Putin denied he was planning to invade Ukraine. It also reminds me of the Turks’ denial of the Albanian genicide. Countries don’t want to take responsibility for such a serious offense as genocide because that would mean admiting they did something wrong and possibly having to face consequences. During both genocides and the current invasion of Ukrain, the coutries always had some excuse as to why it was ok to kill millions of people. In 1930s Ukraine it was communism, in Albania it was the supposed threat Christians posed, and today it is to return Ukraine to its “rightful home”. The real reason behind these genocides is fear that the countries were begining to pose too much of a threat so they had to stifle their power. It seems that a big part of genicide isn’t just physically hurting people, it is about breaking their spirits.

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