Genocide Nearly Forgotten by History

The past week saw the anniversary of one of the great tragedies of history overlooked by most of the US mainstream media.  On November 24th 75 years ago, Stalin announced plans to collectivize all grain from his people, in an attempt to enforce "true socialism" on the people for their own good.  This Holodomor (forced famine) sentenced millions of Ukrainians to their deaths.

It amazes me that the mainstream media seem to have missed this day for whatever reason.  Now I am glad that they cover Darfur, and that they did cover to some degree the 1 million Rwandans killed during the mid 1990's.  However at the most, 250,000 Sudanese have been killed in Darfur, and maybe 800,000 Tutsis and a few thousand more moderate Hutus were killed, because Kofi Annan ( UN Deputy Secretary for Genocide) and then-President Bill Clinton refused to do anything.

Estimates for the number of Ukrainians who perished under range anywhere from 2 million to 10 million. The true number will never be known. The famed Ukrainian historian Stanislav Kulchitsky has the number closer to 3.5 million.  Unfortunately records were not that good at the time.  Most people who were born then and survived do not know their exact age or birth date. 

It began on November 24, 1932, with an order raising the quota for the state procurement of grain and wound up as an all-out forced collectivization of agriculture. Ukraine was hit hardest because it was the breadbasket of the Soviet Union.  People were given a "choice":  To leave their land and join a collective farm, or be sent to Siberia.  Most were sent to Siberia or starved under this "workers paradise". 

Last month I was in the Ukraine visiting my family, and got to meet my babushka (Russian Babuchkaword for grandmother), Darina.  Darina is in her 80's and has lived in her little house for her entire life.  She was a little girl when Stalin forced the food production quotas on the Ukraine people. 

Through an interpreter, I asked Darina if she had any memory of Stalin.  And this kindly proud old lady who has toughed through everything that humanity (The Nazis came through the Ukraine on their way to Stalingrad) and Mother Nature can throw at a person and survived it, became visibly frightened and started to shake.  So many years after Stalin and the Soviets left the stage, what they did still terrifies her.  She was unable to speak about it. 

Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko has properly recognized this forced labor as genocide.  So has President Bush and approximately 26 countries of the world.  But we must remember what a "workers paradise" really means:  The infliction of pain on the worker for the good of the government. 

From this to Pol Pot to Mao's Cultural Revolution, a government with too much power will kill its own, in the name of the greater good.  3.5 million Ukrainians would most likely agree with that sentiment. 
The past week saw the anniversary of one of the great tragedies of history overlooked by most of the US mainstream media.  On November 24th 75 years ago, Stalin announced plans to collectivize all grain from his people, in an attempt to enforce "true socialism" on the people for their own good.  This Holodomor (forced famine) sentenced millions of Ukrainians to their deaths.

It amazes me that the mainstream media seem to have missed this day for whatever reason.  Now I am glad that they cover Darfur, and that they did cover to some degree the 1 million Rwandans killed during the mid 1990's.  However at the most, 250,000 Sudanese have been killed in Darfur, and maybe 800,000 Tutsis and a few thousand more moderate Hutus were killed, because Kofi Annan ( UN Deputy Secretary for Genocide) and then-President Bill Clinton refused to do anything.

Estimates for the number of Ukrainians who perished under range anywhere from 2 million to 10 million. The true number will never be known. The famed Ukrainian historian Stanislav Kulchitsky has the number closer to 3.5 million.  Unfortunately records were not that good at the time.  Most people who were born then and survived do not know their exact age or birth date. 

It began on November 24, 1932, with an order raising the quota for the state procurement of grain and wound up as an all-out forced collectivization of agriculture. Ukraine was hit hardest because it was the breadbasket of the Soviet Union.  People were given a "choice":  To leave their land and join a collective farm, or be sent to Siberia.  Most were sent to Siberia or starved under this "workers paradise". 

Last month I was in the Ukraine visiting my family, and got to meet my babushka (Russian Babuchkaword for grandmother), Darina.  Darina is in her 80's and has lived in her little house for her entire life.  She was a little girl when Stalin forced the food production quotas on the Ukraine people. 

Through an interpreter, I asked Darina if she had any memory of Stalin.  And this kindly proud old lady who has toughed through everything that humanity (The Nazis came through the Ukraine on their way to Stalingrad) and Mother Nature can throw at a person and survived it, became visibly frightened and started to shake.  So many years after Stalin and the Soviets left the stage, what they did still terrifies her.  She was unable to speak about it. 

Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko has properly recognized this forced labor as genocide.  So has President Bush and approximately 26 countries of the world.  But we must remember what a "workers paradise" really means:  The infliction of pain on the worker for the good of the government. 

From this to Pol Pot to Mao's Cultural Revolution, a government with too much power will kill its own, in the name of the greater good.  3.5 million Ukrainians would most likely agree with that sentiment.