Joseph Stalin and Ukrainian Genocide Commemoration

1499 words 6 pages
Holodomor, Forced Famine
Genocide is the deliberate and organized annihilation of a racial, ethnic, religious, or national group of people. The term “genocide” was not used until after 1944, when it was created by a Polish lawyer named Raphael Lemkin, who combined “geno”, meaning race or tribe, with “cide”, which means killing. The Holodomor refers to the famine of the Ukranian people from 1932 to 1933 under the rule of a Josef Stalin. Under his leadership, the Soviet Union persecuted the Ukrainian people by denying them their basic needs. An estimated 7,000,000 people died in this genocide, which is also known as Holodomor, meaning “death by hunger.” The events that led up to Holodomor began in 1917 when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir
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Guards blocked all roads and railways. Any food that farmers happened to be carrying was taken away from them. For picking a stray head of wheat or a frozen potato or beet left behind in the field, a person was sentenced to ten years in prison or concentration camp, according to the ruling passed by the government” (Mischenko-Mycyk).
Other countries tried to help. In Europe, America, and Canada, people answered to news reports of the famine by sending food supplies to the Soviet Union but the authorities in Russia, controlled by Stalin, stopped all food shipments at the border and did not allow any outside assistance (Babij).
Stalin manipulated the media through false propaganda and lies. He threatened that anyone publishing news of a famine was blamed of spreading anti-Soviet propaganda. Anyone who said the word “famine” or “hunger” or “starvation” in a sentence could be arrested. Stalin’s authorities hired members of the press to stage photographs that gave a positive view of the collective farm model (Gavin). Eugene Lyons was a Moscow United Press correspondent from 1928 – 1934. He said, “served Moscow's purpose of smearing the facts out of recognition and declaring the situation which, had we reported simply and clearly, might have worked up enough public opinion abroad to force remedial measures. And every correspondent each in his own measure was guilty of collaborating in this monstrous hoax on the world" (Gavin).