The Ukrainian Famine

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In 1932-3, Stalin's communist policies pushed Ukraine into a horrific famine. This famine, which is now known as the Ukrainian Famine, has been a question in people's mind whether it can be categorized as Genocide as defined by the United Nations (UN). The UN definition states that if certain acts are committed with the intent of destruction, to a specific group including national, ethnic, racial or religious group. The acts include “Killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; Forcibly transferring children…show more content…
Although, it will never be proven of someone's intent, it can be proven that there was awareness about what was happening. In order to prove that intents were there, it is easy to look at the end of the famine. S.O Pidhainy also wrote “The Authorities made strenuous efforts to conceal the existence of the famine in Ukraine..” (document M). By government officials making strides to cover and hide this event, it can be concluded that they were aware of the tragedies going on to their people and ignored it. Were they bystanders? Did they purposely do these horrible acts? Or, did they just let it happen? The government saw what was happening to millions of innocent people and chose not to do anything. Their is nothing saying the intentionally caused the famine, but they definitely didn’t help the situation. The government hid everything and worked very hard to “conceal the existence of the famine in Ukraine” from the world. They didn’t want people to know about the Famine which can imply that they knew something was wrong. Walter Duranty wrote “..saw empty houses that bear witness--people ran away to find work and food elsewhere” (Document C). Duranty visited Ukraine during the Famine. He was a visitor to the country and reported no mistreatment or famine. Because there is evidence proving that there definitely was something happening, it seems impossible that…show more content…
They committed many crimes that caused great tragedy throughout the country. Sviatoslav Karavansky testified in front of the United States Ukraine Famine Commission stating “My parents wondered how it was possible that such great quantities of food were being exported while the village population was starving” (Document D). He said as he testified that the government was starving them and hurting them even more by taking all their food. The Government took everything from these people and punished them if they didn’t follow the new law. Clarence Manning wrote, ”They even in places took specimens of fecal matter from the toilets in an effort to learn by analysis whether the peasants has stolen government property and were eating grain” (document J). Manning said, describing the extent an official would go through in order to enforce the laws. The Ukraine government used their power to enforce these law in a excessive way. They invaded homes and stole everything the local had. Tatiana Pawlichka testified to the United States Ukraine Famine Commission remembering when she saw “All the train stations were overflowing with starving, dying people” (document B). She saw people living in toxic conditions. The government indirectly killed people through their intended food shortages. And, the government killed people when the people disobeyed these laws by sneaking food found in the field.. The UN’s definition
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