Friday, February 27, 2009

Ukraine's Charges of Genocide

http://windowoneurasia.blogspot.com/2009/02/window-on-eurasia-to-counter-ukraine.html

Returning to Stalin’s excesses, The above is an article by Paul Goble entitled “To Counter Ukraine’s Charges of Genocide, Moscow Admits to Mass Murder.” A few excerpts:

“. . . Moscow has released new documents suggesting that the Soviet dictator engaged in a criminal campaign of mass murder across the entire Soviet Union. . . Vladimir Kozlov, the head of Russia’s Federal Archives Agency, told a Moscow press conference that the famine in Ukraine and elsewhere in the USSR was “the result of [Stalin’s] criminal policy” but that “of course, no one planned any famine” or singled out any ethnic group as its victim . . . the famine was the result of the errors and miscalculations of the political course of the leadership of the country in the course of the realization of collectivization.” And he insisted that he and his researchers had not found “a single document” showing that Stalin planned “a terror famine” in Ukraine.

“Instead, Kozlov said, “absolutely all documents testify that the chief enemy of Soviet power at that time was an enemy defined not on the basis of ethnicity but on the basis of class,” in this case the peasantry which Stalin wanted to force to join collective farms throughout whatever means he could.”

“. . . Ukrainians and indeed the rest of the world are almost certain to be struck by one of the fundamental weaknesses of the position that Kozlov and Tishkov advance: Somehow they appear to believe that everyone will accept their notion that mass murder is somehow not as serious a problem as genocide.

“That such an argument may convince some is beyond question, given the political use to which deaths in the past are often put, but that it will convince all is highly improbable. Indeed, when a regime kills as many people as Stalin’s did, most people of good will, including many Russians, will question Moscow’s latest effort to politicize history in this way.

“Indeed, it is virtually certain not only that this latest compilation by Russian authors will not dissuade Ukrainians from their view that their nation was a victim of the Soviet system but also will lead many others, including ethnic Russians, to dismiss Moscow’s current efforts to restore the image of Stalin as a wise and effective manager.”


COMMENT:

The attempts to rehabilitate Stalin in Russia and elsewhere are undergoing difficulties. Absent from the above site is the fact that Stalin’s plan did not work. All those folks were killed for nothing. Even if one accepts the idea that the “greater good” outweighs individual rights, what Stalin did was not really a “greater good.” It was an poorly conceived experiment that failed. He was winging it as Pol Pot was. Fortunately for him there was no neighboring Ho Chi Minh to rush across his border and put a stop to him.

2 comments:

Michael Kuznetsov said...

Lawrence:

My opinion is that if a panel of jury are convinced a priori – i.e. before the hearings start – that the defendant is guilty, such a jury is to be called a “kangaroo court”.

We should necessarily examine at least the both sides' arguments and evidence.
AUDIATUR ET ALTERA PARS.
In this regard, I would like to recommend to start our examination from the following materials.

Writings on Soviet Famines and Agriculture, and Other Famines

http://www.as.wvu.edu/history/Faculty/Tauger/soviet.htm

Mark B. Tauger, Ph.D. UCLA
Associate Professor
Specialization: Russian and Soviet History
Mark.Tauger@mail.wvu.edu

An excerpt from Mark Tauger’s letter:

"I would just like to point out that I and a number of other scholars have shown conclusively that the famine of 1931-1933 was by no means limited to the Ukraine, was not a "man-made" or artificial famine in the sense that she and other devotees of the Ukrainian famine argument assert, and was not a
genocide in any conventional sense of the term. We have likewise shown that Mr. Conquest's book on the famine is replete with errors and inconsistencies and does not deserve to be considered a classic, but rather another expression of the Cold War.
I would recommend to Ms. Chernihivska the following publications regarding the 1931-1933 famine and some other famines as well. I will begin with my own because I believe that these most directly relate to her question.
Mark B. Tauger, "The 1932 Harvest and the Soviet Famine of 1932-1933,"
Slavic Review v. 50 no. 1, Spring 1991, 70-89, and my exchanges of letters with Robert Conquest over this article, Slavic Review v. 51 no. 1, 192-194 and v. 53 no. 1, 318-319.
Tauger, Natural Disaster and Human Actions in the Soviet Famine of 1931-1933, Carl Beck Papers in Russian and East European Studies, no. 1506, June 2001.
These two articles show that the famine resulted directly from a famine harvest, a harvest that was much smaller than officially acknowledged, and that this small harvest was in turn the result of a complex of natural disasters that [with one small exception] no previous scholars have ever discussed or even mentioned. The foot notes in the Carl Beck Paper contain extensive citations from primary sources as well as Western and Soviet secondary works, among others by D'Ann Penner and Stephen Wheatcroft and R. W. Davies that further substantiate these points and I urge interested readers to examine those works as well."

Source: http://www.as.wvu.edu/history/Faculty/Tauger/Tauger,%20on%20famines%20and%20scholarship,%20H-Russia%2004.16.02,%20my%20p.pdf

Research and Scholarly Issues Webpage

Mark B. Tauger, History Department, West Virginia University
http://www.as.wvu.edu/mtauger/

Also relevant material:
The Hoax of the Man-Made Ukraine Famine of 1932-33
http://www.plp.org/cd_sup/ukfam1.html

Famine killed 7 million people in the USA
http://english.pravda.ru/world/americas/105255-0/

Lawrence:

I am a genuine 100 percent Russian, I was born in Russia and I have lived for 59 years in Russia (the USSR). Quite a long period of my lifetime, for 25 years, from 1966 till 1991, I had lived in what is now known as the independent Ukraine, on the shores of the Azov Sea.

I have had dozens, even hundreds of friends and thousands of acquaintances in the (former) Soviet Union. But I have never encountered in the Ukraine anyone of those people whose relatives died from the so-called “Holodomor”, i.e. from the alleged “Man-made Famine” in the Ukraine.

Nor have I ever encountered anyone of those people whose relatives were ''repressed'' by the ''murderous tyrant'' Stalin.

During my lifetime I have NOT encountered one single person in the USSR (particularly in Russia and in the Ukraine) who did not have at least one member of the family killed by the German invaders. In other words, in Russia there is not a single family left intact by the WW II. For instance, 8 out of 12 members of my own family were killed during the Great Patriotic War by the German Nazists.

At the same time – I emphasize this over and over again – none of my family members or any of my acquaintances' families were ''killed'' either by Stalin’s “repressions” or by the notorious “Holodomor”.
This is my own lifetime experience.

Michael

Michael Kuznetsov said...

Lawrence:

Just a few words in addition.

I think Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's opinion about the USA to be worth at least listening to.

Although, I believe it would be a great mistake to take all the Iranian president's words as the sole truth about your country, because he is known as a mortal enemy of America.

Similarly, as it seems to me, it would be a serious blunter to receive as the ultimate truth all the innumerable dirty insinuations and vile slander that have been spread upon my country by Russia's sworn foes.

After all, what if they are to be proved wrong in the long run?
What do you think?

Michael