The current debate surrounding issues of the Holodomor is in need of serious historical correction. The reality of Consortium intrigue with “the Kremlin”* illuminates the reasons why for so long the story of Stalin’s terror against the peasants in the Ukraine did not even merit the status of a detail in American history books. Disgraced New York Times and Pulitzer Prize reporter Walter Duranty reduced the killing of millions of Ukrainians to no more significance than a mere “incident” of history. During the Stalinist era it was intended to be effaced from human memory. (*The Old Square Staraya Ploshchad in Moscow, site of the headquarters of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the center of Russian political authority.)
The 1932-33 Holodomor was deleted from official history but it could not be erased from the collective memory. The first step in liquidation of a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was,” wrote Czech author Milan Kundera about life under communist dictatorship in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.
This is a history with a perspective where even the most backward, as in uneducated, and innocent individual of a forgotten country weighs in the balance with a significance also as potent as the terror and evil that crept out of the depths of a complex modern world, and which was an undeniable part of the collective history of the Ukraine, the Soviet Union, the United States. It was then, and remains today, a world order of nations, and a claim on the sake of Humanity whatever that meant or was appeared to be.
Likewise, any responsible review of the Holodomor must ask how Americans, for the most part considered widely as warm-hearted, generous, and loving people noted for their common sense as once observed the English-born American revolutionary patriot, Thomas Paine, were deprived of information which might otherwise have compelled them to pressure their leaders in Washington to aid the Ukraine and alter the course of history driving them with an industrial pace akin to madness over the edge to the death, horror and flames of yet another World War. Currently as we go to press the most recent leaks and revelations by former National Security Agency employee Edward Snowdon blanket the world media as he warns Americans and the world of the massive unprecedented deprivation and abuse of American privacy and civil rights by government spying and the alleged illegal and unauthorized misuse of technology. (Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, NY: HarperCollins, 1978)
But if war really is good and dirty business, and if Genocide really does “work”, then how did it work?
Are the masses really just idiots and fodder for political men in power to do away with as they please like sheep sent to the slaughter? And in particular, how did the Holodomor play into the hands of the all-empowered Machiavellians? Moreover, the perpetrators of Genocide always deny it ever happened even when proven guilty by an international tribunal of justice in a court of law in the context of a Crime Against Humanity. And that too, given the scope of the mechanics of international preparations and calculations for war even in the advent of possible prevention, or provocation, raises further the complexity of the issues leading to war itself as genocidal by nature in the arrangements for power and dominance. Defenders of freedom are difficultly perceived as perpetrators of such outrageous immoral monstrosities.
An excellent historian and storyteller, foreign correspondent and editor of Britain’s Evening Standard and Daily Telegraph Max Hastings writes in Inferno (Knopf 2011) that following of the 1939 German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact Hitler was allowed to see Stalin’s war preparations from manufacturing plants far deep inside Russia, even in Siberia. When a German military intelligence report arrived on his desk, Hitler tells his generals, “Now you see how far these people have already got. We must strike at once.” The British World War II historian and author of some 20 books Max Hastings describes the genocidal strategy of Hitler’s Wehrmacht killing machine: “The destruction of Bolshevism and the enslavement of the Soviet Union’s vast population were core objectives of Nazism, flagged in Hitler’s speeches and writings since the 1920’s. Overlaid on them was the desire to appropriate Russia’s enormous natural resources.”
But Hitler is already too late. Hitler compounds one mistake after another on his mad path to war. He blindly misconstrues the White House engagement with Stalin, certainly one of his most fatal strategic blunders. For over three decades Stalin is duped by his own Bolshevik-Soviet ruse cast over the empire; the leader himself is duped by an elaborate communist propaganda megalopolis of Kremlin power and dogma that holds bourgeois capitalists in contempt for inflicting Armageddon against the proletarian masses.
In as much as Stalin believes that the Non-Aggression Pact will hold Hitler back from launching an attack, Hitler believes that the America President will let both England and Russia fall in his hand rather than risk the spread of international communism infect Europe and enslave the world. From the beginning, hindered by hatred and ambition, Hitler is doomed. Many of his own countrymen know it. But already there are too many Nazis everywhere in Europe. The German invasion will tear open such a deep visceral wound only an unconditional and overwhelming Russian victory could heal and leave a leave a deep scar marked by the Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall.
Ukrainians played the primary role in the Red Army Soviet victory. On the website of Holodomor historian Andrew Gregorovich spotlights how the Ukrainian experience unlike the “Russian glory” and the Jewish Holocaust has passed virtually unrecognized by western and Russian war historians. He observed how no English language history is available to recall the sacrifice, pain, and terror of the suffering of the Ukrainian nation in the “Great Patriotic War” as Stalin preferred it to be known as it unified all the ethnic peoples in a tidal surge of humanity to save Mother Russia. Gregorovich is executive director of the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Center (UCRD), Toronto, founded in 1982. In 1984 the UCRD produced the award-winning film Harvest of Despair by director Slavko Nowytski.
Nor has there been an accounting of the priceless cultural treasures of architecture of Ukraine, world art and literature destroyed and looted.
In the “Patriotic War” Ukraine lost about ten million people or, one out of four of its sons and daughters. We can only wonder what beauty, genius, and talent was lost to the world as a result of the Nazi German and Soviet annihilation of the Ukrainian people in 1939-1945. About 4.5 million Ukrainians served in the Soviet army (2.5 million were decorated which might mean 2 million combatants perished) with another 1.3 million fighting in militia and partisan units against Germany. Hundreds of thousands served in the guerrilla partisan armies fighting both totalitarian powers, Nazi Germany and Red Soviet Russia. At least 350 Ukrainian generals and marshals served in the Red Army and were responsible for many of the victories at Stalingrad and Leningrad. Apparently, and unknown to most Ukrainians today, Berlin was captured principally by Ukrainian troops; many of the 102,000 killed were Ukrainians who died there and are buried in the Berlin cemetery. That’s close to the number of the entire loss of Americans in the First World War.
Stalin even uses Ukrainian national patriotism in the war instituting the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky medal for the four Ukrainian Front Armies in 1943. They included prominent marshals – the majority of marshals of the USSR were said to be Ukrainians – and generals born in the Ukraine: Marshal Simon Tymoshenko, Marshal Rodion Malinovsky, Marshal Ivan Konev, Marshal Yakiv Fedorenko, Marshal Kiril Maoskalenko, Marshal Serhiy Rudenko, General Andrey Grechko, Marshal Peter Koshoviy, Marshal Petro Leliushenko, Marshal Kliment Voroshilov, Marshal Andrey Yeremenko, General Yakiv Cherevichenko, General Fyodor Kostenko, Col. General Micahael Kirponos, Col. General Andrey Kravchenko, Admiral Mykola Basisty, General Iosif Apanesenko, and Marshal Alexander Vasilevsky. (Figures sourced from Andrew Gregorovich website 1995)
The greatest hero of World War II is of Ukrainian origin, – the brilliant Marshal Georgi Zhukov who signed the German surrender after sacking Berlin. First he taught the Japanese a lesson in their worst military defeat during six months of an undeclared war in 1939; two years later it was the German’s turn to do battle with this great military leader who dared to speak openly to Stalin. Too few Americans in our time know his name or have any idea of the role he played in defeating Nazi fascism and capturing victory and for the free world. Zhukov received the major credit for the Battle of the Dnieper and the capture of Berlin (which the Ukrainian Front Army of Ivan Konev nearly seized before him).
Born in Kaluga, Zhukov’s original family name was Zhuk and his Ukrainian family was from Birky village in the Poltava region of Ukraine according to the information of Zhukov’s relative Varvara Hryshko. On the verge of taking Berlin Zhukov promised Nikita Khrushchev, then Head of the Communist Party of Ukraine, that when he captured Hitler he would first ship him in a cage to Kiev so that Ukraine could see him before Moscow. However, Hitler’s suicide left only the Fuehrer’s charred body to be found by the Soviet Army. The search party into the Nazi command bunker in Berlin which found Hitler’s remains was led by Ukrainian Lt. General Ivan Klimenko. (A. Gregorovich website, 1995, Molod’ Ukrainy 14. X. 1994, 2)
Sixty-five percent of all Allied military deaths British historian Max Hastings writes in this long overdue book Inferno a testimony to the incredible sacrifice of the USSR to saving the free world from Hitler’s Wehrmacht invasion thrust to Moscow through the Ukraine. It was here where the most remarkable battles of World War Two, or as the Soviets call it, “The Great Patriotic War”, were fought, victories won and ground lost.
It was the war in Russia that defeated Hitler’s Nazi schematic plan for world domination, not the D-Day Normandy Allied invasion or the Liberation of Paris as most Americans have been taught to believe. Compared to the war in Russia Western Europe was a sideshow. Military chiefs in London and Washington understood that well. If Russia fell, England would be doomed and would be forced to wait for isolationist America to help them regain their freedom.
In Overlord, Brutish war historian Max Hastings writes in 1983, debunking what he describes as “chauvinistic post-war platitudes” and “comfortable chauvinistic legends” and the “astonishing” twist of historical record that endures “40 years after the battle”. That euphoria of the battle endures even today in America eager to find and remember its heroes as countless books hit the market commemorating D-Day, which may be all well and good yet do not forget, reader, as the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko reminds us in his introduction to the ground-breaking novel by Solzhenitsyn exposing the Soviet reality of the Gulag, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, that “Bertolt Brecht once observed that a country which needs heroes is an unfortunate one.” Published in 1962 in Novy Mir under the Khrushchev regime, this short novel became an overnight sensation and bestseller in the Soviet Union; rehabilitated in 1956, Solzhenitsyn is then again banned by Khrushchev fearing that he had gone too far; the Gulag Archipelago is suppressed as “too dangerous”; arrested in 1974 by his successor Brezhnev the next day Solzhenitsyn is expelled to Frankfurt and literally dumped out of Soviet society tossed out of the country.
Max Hastings writes “The struggle for Normandy was the decisive western battle of the Second World War, the last moment at which the German army might conceivably have saved Hitler from catastrophe. The post-war generation grew up with the legend of the Allied campaign in 1944-45 as a triumphal progress across Europe, somewhere unrelated to the terrible but misty struggle that had taken place in the east. Today, we can recognize that the Russians made a decisive contribution to the western war by destroying the best of the German army, killing some two million men, before the first Allied soldier stepped ashore on 6 June 1944. It is the fact that the battle for Normandy took place against this background which makes the events of June and July so remarkable.” (Max Hastings, Overlord, D-Day, June 6, 1945, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1984, 11; Yevgeny Yevtushenko, “Intro.”, xi, A. I. Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, NY: Signet Classics-Penguin, 1962, 2008 ed.)
British historian Hastings does not want us to misconstrue what was essential to the outcome of the war due to the fact that “90 percent of all Germans killed in combat met their fate” on the Eastern Front.” Mostly all the territories of the Ukraine victimized by Stalin’s Holodomor are revisited by Hitler’s invasion and retreat, the principal battleground ravaged by both armies during four years of fierce engagement between the world’s two most formidable belligerents. Hastings here makes a crucial observation: “Between 1941 and 1945, British and American sailors and airmen fought at sea and in the sky, but relatively small numbers of Western Allied ground troops engaged the Axis in North Africa, Italy, Asia and the Pacific. The Soviet Union suffered 65 percent of all Allied military deaths…the United States and Britain 2 percent each … . One Russian in four died, against one in twenty British Commonwealth combatants and one in thirty-four American servicemen. Some 3.66 percent of Marines died, compared with 2.5 percent of the Army and 1.5 percent of the Navy.” (Max Hastings, Inferno, The World at War, 1939-1945, NY: Knopf, 2011)
For his part, in 1933 when the American president instead extends the olive branch and continued financial and industrial support to Moscow and chooses to ignore and leave to their fate the millions of victims of the Holodomor Genocide, FDR proves himself able as any Machiavellian and as ruthless a warrior President on a path leading inevitably toward world war as his partner in the Kremlin, And yet, distinguished by a unique intellectual and cultural nature he appeared benignly apathetic to his principal adversaries the arch-villain sadist Stalin and the deranged Austrian militarist who resembles a garment salesman more than a Prussian militarist that he could never be. Imagine that! A political man of genteel education and culture in a wheel chair out-maneuvers them both!
Once victory is in view FDR’s concession will be sealed in February 1945 at the Yalta talks in the Crimea. Ever since they both reached their apogee in 1933, it may have been FDR’s most carefully guarded secret to allow Hitler to be led like a dog to believe that the American President would not raise a finger or even blink at the 1933 Ukrainian Genocide. For that matter, why would he be bothered by the German eradication of the communists deprived of their fertile wheat lands in south Russia. Hitler thought it would be perceived in the West as a stroke of brilliance to replace Ukrainian Slavs ruled by the barbarian Russian communist dictator with the cultured German Third Reich already deep in the pockets of the Anglo-American capitalists of the Consortium. Reader, turn to Neil Ascherson’s Black Sea and his edifying account of barbarian lore: “Barbarians, by definition, are so-called; they do not consider themselves to be barbarous. … When Blok (‘Yes – we are Scythians. Yes– we are Asiatics, / With slanted and avid eyes… / For the last time come to your senses, old World! To the brotherly feast of work and peace, / For the last time to the bright brotherly feast/ The barbarian lyre calls.’ sic ) snatched up the ‘barbarian’ conceit for revolutionary Russia, it had already been well-worn in the service of imperial nationalism, above all in Germany. … The Third Reich hardened this fashion into a full cultural dogma … .” (N. Ashcerson, Black Sea, 108-9)