This is a story of war and peace. It may have been the greatest crime of the century after the Bolshevik coup and Russian Revolution and the murder of the Russian Romanov Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra and their five young children: four Grand Duchesses Olga, Anastasia, Tatiana, Marie and the Tsarevich, Alexis.
It is our story. And I want to share it with you now because it is your story too.
What am I to say to you? What?
The spirit of Tchekov, and Doestoevsky and Solzhenitsyn weigh heavy on this tale of more masterly tales preserved by great writers, so many who perished here; Mayakovsky, Mandelstam, Gorky, Bulgakov … Yes! But Pasternak lived through it all. He survived! Stalin didn’t kill him! He didn’t “preserve” him to make him squirm.
Please read, and live! I am in a hurry. It is very cold outside and the fire is burning…
We all live and share it every day of our lives. It is embedded deep in our hearts and minds and in our cultures and history. In one way or an other this story is in us all.
And yet almost nobody knows about it. It was taboo. It was a story not to be told. Even in hushed whispers and lowered eyes an utterance of the truth was strictly forbidden, and maybe get you killed.
What would you think if someone told you they knew rich people in a country investing in a foreign war killing millions of people mostly young and untrained men and at the last minute that country joined the great war to win it, all the while the rich people who occupied the government and owned the factories and businesses of national economy now make a killing in war profits to keep the industrial machine war going, then when they are good and ready lead a million poor souls shipping them far overseas where ten percent them are killed, this over 100,000 of the young men are dead and many thousands more are wounded and maimed for life, and then these same rich men of big corporations and banks who sold the same people and their families paper called Liberty Bonds urging them with great national demonstrations and rallies and advertising with movie star celebrities and banking and business leaders walking hand in hand with government officials and newspapers creating a national war frenzy telling the people they must take a financial stake in the war and make a profit too, so the bankers float and syndicate billions of dollars in war loans and in the chaos of war and destruction these same men stage a coup to take down the largest and richest empire in the world in a strange and distant land, a great power speaking a foreign language among the greatest powers in the world and with the fastest accelerating modern economy yet a great nation of peasants and the bread-basket of Europe, – and these same men who sent the young men to die and urged their families to buy a stake in the war now destroy that foreign empire in their quest for global dominance in the future which they do so successfully killing the royal family of four young daughters and a little boy crown prince, backing a small group of cut-throat penniless wretched professional revolutionaries, bandits and thieves who slaughter a cultured ruling class aristocracy evolved over centuries and these same ideological bandits lead an illiterate rag-tag army promising peace, land and food; then these same people invest in a one-party dictatorship enslaving 160 million people under a system of slave labor and terror, starving millions at the point of bayonet and filling concentration labor camps and massive man-made famine killing some ten million of the best farmers in the land and turn the screws so tight until it is time to win another world war, and this time the same rich people stay out of the war but promise food and aid to the dictatorship bleeding itself to death for claiming victory for themselves, but it is really only a victory of its foreign masters who own the banks and corporations with their politicians that invest in the war factories and the slave dictatorship while their own country is wallowing for years in a terrible economic depression but now having come out of the second war again richer than ever in the entire history of the world, and in fact just so that the population of the foreign rich masters could prosper while these rich masters themselves control the world populations and resources when the dictatorship is used to sustain a world ideology keeping the entire world populations transfixed in a state of paralysis of terror and fear so that the rich masters get even more rich and their population enjoys mindless prosperity all the while the slave population of the dictatorship suffers a most terrible fate as it falls deeper and deeper into a bottomless pit of terror and fear and economic bankruptcy until three generations later their false state collapses. Essentially this is what really happened in the rise and fall of the Soviet Russia and the emergence of the American global empire. But who were these rich and powerful people and how did they do all these terrible things and get away with it and even become the envy of them all these downtrodden and oppressed peoples of the world who marvel at them singing and dancing in the name of Democracy and their national pursuit of happiness and freedom for all?
In Soviet Russia to speak about it meant prison. Likely death. In America to mention it would leave people thinking the subject is too far-fetched to be taken seriously. It seemed too incredible to be believed and people didn’t know what it meant or how to think about it. Both countries were highly brainwashed and suspicious while living in fear though the cultural climate was markedly different then and during the Cold War years leading a half century later to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
To borrow a quote from England’s fearless and unflappable Prime Minister Winston Churchill, a principal actor in this ethos of the World War Two, the 1933 Holodomor Terror-Famine in the Ukraine holds a special place in the heroic and tragic of wartime Russia, always that inscrutable “riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”.
In fact, as the story unfolds it becomes evident that the Holodomor was a vital link compelling Hitler to launch his invasion plan Barbarossa to seize the fertile fields of wheat of the Ukraine (after the spring sowing in 1941) and compelled Roosevelt to make his fatal pact with Stalin beginning officially in 1933, already a one-man cult in the Communist Party hierarchy of the ramshackle rattletrap of Soviet Russia, a year after the 15th anniversary of the Revolution led by Lenin eternally asleep in the Kremlin.
One of the most strange aspects of US government relations towards the USSR prior to the outbreak of World War II is that neither Hoover, nor Stimson nor FDR in these years of the twenties and early thirties of US economic and technological trade collaboration with the Soviets and for the Holodomor years Stalin seldom and very rarely is ever the subject of State Department memoranda nor is Stalin cited in Stimson’s personal diary as I was able to determine for this book during close to a decade of research. Thousands of skilled American workers and engineers lived in the Soviet Union at this time building the new Soviet Socialist dictatorship.
An evil silence pervaded throughout the USSR that shrouded Russian society in secrecy. In both countries of powerful myths and icons the Holodomor story seems to assume a dimension even more evil with time. That is, until now.
Having intercepted German wire transmissions and warned Stalin that Hitler’s imminent invasion of Soviet Russia on June 22, 1941, in a national radio broadcast, Churchill declared, “A wonderful story is unfolding before our eyes. How it will end we are not allowed to know. But on both sides of the Atlantic we all feel, I repeat, all, that we are a part of it, that our future and that of many generations is at stake. We are sure that the character of human society will be shaped by the resolves we take and the deeds we do.”
On the day of invasion Churchill told the world, “This is no class war, but a war in which the whole British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations is engaged without distinction of race, creed or party…if Hitler imagines that his attack on Soviet Russia will cause the slightest division of aims or slackening of effort in the great Democracies who are resolved upon his doom, he is woefully mistaken. On the contrary, we shall be fortified and encouraged in our efforts to rescue mankind from his tyranny.” Before the speech was delivered his personal secretary recalled how Churchill had once said that he had sought to “strangle in its cradle” Bolshevism, Churchill now quipped, “If Hitler invaded Hell, I would make at least a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons.” (“Alliance with Russia”, radio broadcast, June 22, 1941, Never Give In!, ed. Winston S. Churchill, NY: Hyperion, 2003)
With America still on the sidelines CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow on the same day of the invasion gave his radio broadcast with the opener that made him famous “This is London”. In his low gruff voice Murrow said, “As you know, the Prime Minister made a broadcast this evening. Never before has he been so violent in his denunciation of Hitler, whom he termed a bloodthirsty guttersnipe. Mr. Churchill made a solemn prophecy that there would be misery and famine without equal in history; India and China were next on the Nazi list. He said a thousand million more human beings were menaced. The Prime Minister brought all his oratorical power to the appeal for aid to the Soviet Union, which he has always hated– and still does. …What he implied was that the Russians, after all, are human but the Germans aren’t. Russia’s danger, he said, is our danger.” Then Murrow added a recent broadcast statement to America by Churchill, “‘But time is short’. If Russia is beaten quickly and decisively, time will be much shorter.” (In Search of Light, The Broadcasts of Edward R. Murrow 1938-61, Ed. with Intro. by Edward Bliss, Jr., NY: Knopf, 1967, 47-8)
Our story unfolded not long ago during the lives of our parents and their parents in a far away land of buttermilk and honey, happy robust maidens and strong men of the earth, pagan spirits and Christian saints. Fertile farmland enriched by centuries of toil, golden wheat fields in bloom and tall birch forests suddenly poured rivers of blood into the Dnieper River as it flows from the north down into the Black Sea.
We return to a hidden and murky past to find behind dark clouds, sealed vaults and hushed voices the story brought to light of the creation of the world we all inherited and live every day of our lives. As it emerged with new industrial technologies and a capacity for war more violent than ever before seen or imagined by the ordinary illiterate man, this world was heralded the “modern civilization” or “Brave New World’ and took over the landscape with a bold new mythology and borders drawn by prominent generals, bankers and politicians of the era. Little did I know when in my senior year at prep school I was honored with the History Prize – , a classic encyclopedia of mythology, that it would guide me through the illusions and signs of the Cold War. More appropriate perhaps a book on rhetoric, but we already had Wilson’s speeches for that; a few years at Yale under phenomenology professor Edward S. Casey recently at Stony Brook University Manhattan began to make sense of it all.
H. G. Wells along with many great writers both contemporary and past, including George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, and many others are witness and in some cases even enthusiastic participants as the fascist horror all fell into place during the years of peace and world war promising happiness, prosperity and freedom to the children and future generations after years of terrible cruelty and unspeakable crimes. Never mind. I know what I know and will tell you as it is for you to know the soul of truth in the story that has never been told before as we can know it in our time..
What did we learn?
War is a dirty business. War is good business. Genocide works. Cui bono? To understand it better just remember what the Romans said: “Who benefits?”
Only a few years ago far from Washington and on the opposite side of the world the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko declared November 21 a day of national mourning in honor of ten million victims of Terror-Famine of the Ukraine known as the Holodomor (“Death by Hunger” in Ukrainian pronounced with a “G” as in “Golo”). In fact, as terrible as it really was maybe the death toll was as high as 14.5 million as declared by Gorbachev. Impossible? Unthinkable? Or perhaps the true death figure is “between three and six million”. Or, as “claimed from six to eleven million lives, depending on how the estimates are made”. (Martin Malia, The Soviet Tragedy, A History of Socialism in Russia, 1917-1991, NY: Free Press-Macmillan, 1994, 1999;Orest Subtelny, Ukraine, A History, Univ. of Toronto Press,1988, 1994, 415)
The exact number will probably not ever be known. Yet, the Washington-Moscow story of the Holodomor of the 1932-34 years has never been told. That too compounds the shocking truth of regenerated numbers if you think about it. Still, as we untangle the knot of censorship and historical disinformation we find the real story of Genocide in Ukraine embedded in the greater 1933-45 war period of extraordinary Machiavellian strategic political and financial intrigue resulting in the destruction of lives and property reaching epic proportions encompassing the two World Wars. Ukraine was the most ravaged survivor of a doomed planet calling out for help in their most dire time of need.