The Holodomor
Max Johnson

Extermination by hunger. This is the Holodomor, the genocide by starvation. Think of the hungriest it is possible to be and live like that for 2 years. This is how millions of people lived and died in Ukraine. When Joseph Stalin was in power he started the Holodomor by seizing Kulak (farmers) farms in 1929. He then continued in 1932 by starving the country. The stages that the Holodomor went through were Classification, Dehumanization, Organization, Polarization, Preparation, Extermination, and Denial.

Joseph Stalin, the new leader of Russia, was moving to make an agricultural program that had the government take control of the farms. It was used to bring Russia and its provinces including Ukraine together. The Ukrainian people were rebellious and did not want to be part of another government or country, so they refused to join the government farms. The Ukrainian Kulaks were the enemy to the Russians, anyone who resisted anything was said to be a Kulaks. 1.5 million people were killed for not supporting Stalin's ideals and for not joining a farm. Many brigades of Russians took land, homes, livestock, valuables, and lives without the Russian government stopping them. Stalin used famine to create control of Ukraine. In 1933 the Ukraine had lost 4 million to starvation and that’s not counting other deaths. They were losing people at 30,000 a day.

Stalin forced Ukraine into starvation in many ways, he blockaded them physically, used anti-propaganda, and harsh laws. Stalin sent military to Ukraine to make blockades that didn’t let food in and stopped people from getting out in search of food. The Russian brigades were sent by Stalin from other Russian areas. If anyone found out about what was happening, Stalin said that it was propaganda against Russia or exaggerated. He admitted there was a famine but said it was the result of bad food. In 1932 Stalin made a law that said if anyone was found to be taking food even as little as a a few grains of wheat, could be killed. This applied to men, women, and children.

The Russian leadership felt the need to starve the Ukrainians because Stalin wanted to control all of Russia and its provinces. Because Ukrainians were so independent, the Russians thought of them as rebellious subjects. Ukraine’s farmers did not want to join Stalin's collectivization form of government.

Collectivization was Stalin's way of controlling and bringing Russia together. Stalin wanted to create a farming country controlled with a strong government. He took control of Russian farms and combined them and put them under Russian control. The Kulaks refused to join these government farms. Stalin did not want to let Ukraine get away with rebellion in his eyes so he attacked them.

Stalin used the Holodomor for many different things. He used the it to gain control by forcing the Ukranians to starve and submit to him. He also bribed the countries that had some knowledge of the famine to buy their silence. Stalin used the profits from the grain that the Ukrainians and the other Russians were farming to fund the Holodomor.

The Holodomor was a terrible time for Ukraine and the world. Four million people dead by just starvation. The people got nothing from the government or others. Think if the United States barricaded Illinois and took away all our food for two years. Then we would know how the Ukrainians felt during the Holodomor.


Average Deaths for 1000 Pop. Digital image. Holodomor 1932-1933. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 May 2015.

"HOLODOMOR : The Famine-genocide of Ukraine, 1932-1933." "Holodomor" Ukrainian Famine/Genocide of 1932-33. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.

Map of Ukraine Holodomor. Digital image. Famine Genocide. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 May 2015.

Starved Ukraine Family. Digital image. Eudeta. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 May 2015.

Ukraine Annexation. Digital image. Foxcrawl. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 May 2015.

Ukrainian Genocide. Digital image. Holodomor1932-1933. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 May 2015.

"Ukrainian Genocide of 1932-1933." Ukrainian Genocide of 1932-1933. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.

"United Human Rights Council." United Human Rights Council. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.

Comment Stream

2 years ago

You mention the stages of genocide at the beginning but never go back to them later in the article.