Evil of Communism – Holodomor

In memory of the Holodomor

In memory of the Holodomor

Out of all atrocities conducted by the Communists Ukrainian Holodomor was probably the most outrageous. The word itself means killing by starving, and that’s exactly what it was, a man made famine which was aimed at the extermination of the entire nation.

The situation for such famine was ripening in Russia since the Revolution in 1917, there was a great famine of 1928-29 during which Ukraine had to carry the hardest burden,   From 1917 onward in Ukraine as well as in Russia Kulaks, the farmers who had better income than others had been systematically arrested, displaced to Siberia, and more often just sentenced to death. In order to tame the rich, agricultural country quickly and efficiently the easiest way was found – man made famine, Holodomor.

Various sources state various numbers of Holodomor victims, from 6 to 10 million people. The crops and the cattle was taken away from the farmers, those who were suspected in hiding them, were tortured to death. The farmers were not allowed to travel to the cities, in search of job, if they were caught in the city they were immediately sentenced to death. The trains stopped moving so there was nowhere to go. The prisons were overcrowded with peasants and their families, including children.

At that time lots of homeless children appeared in the streets of the cities, the peasants from the nearby villages would bring their children and leave them there hoping that someone would somehow take care of them, they were kids after all. Back home they would die for sure. But soon special services were created, which would gather those kids in the streets and send them to a special holding camps. In those camps the inhabitants were divided into two groups, those who would live a little longer and those who were already swelling because of hunger. The latter would be taken outside the city and wUkr famine 2ould be left there in the open mass graves, on the mountains of the corpses to die. The “healthier” groups would be crammed into the prisons. The prison inmates were not fed either so the prison was just a waiting place. Every few days the guards would clear out the corpses and send them to the same open mass graves.

The witnesses of Holodomor were telling the grueling stories about cannibalism. People were eating earth and roots of the trees, but the patrolling troops in the villages would shoot anyone who was chewing anything.

The country was isolated so Ukrainians could not pass the border. There was no way out but death. I would imagine that after two years of this horror death was very much welcomed.

The purpose of the famine was to teach the lesson and the lesson was well learned indeed. Collectivization happened, land was taken away by the state. And the victory in the war against Kulaks was declared.

Northern Caucasus and Kazakhstan also suffered from Holodomor.  The State forced the nomadic tribes settle down in Kazakhstan and took away their cattle, which was an instant death sentence to over one million people.

Every evil CommuHolodomor_streetnists have ever committed, it was always presented to people as something that was really good for them and their bright future. I am sure that even then in 1933, when people were brainwashed extensively on a regular basis,  not too many people believed in this, so the war was declared to those who appeared to be doubtful of such measures, this war against the enemies of the people reached its peak in 1937 and continued until Stalin’s death in 1956.

The masters of propaganda were able to conceal the Holodomor horror from the west. Some westerners living in Russia, such as embassy representatives were sending their reports describing the situation to their countries, but these materials were never revealed until 21st century. Hitler was already at the power and the world could already see the coming danger, so to be allies with Russia was beneficial for everybody.

Then the war started and the Holodomor was forgotten by the Soviet Union and by the rest of the world. Well, Ukrainians surely remember it, and they should, they should pass it on to the future generation and remember the innocent victims forever. That’s what a nation with the self-respect does.

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Innocent Until Proven Guilty

The true face of Communism became clearer probably in the end of the 20th century, after the USSR fell apart. But 25 years later it is still subtle, and sometimes obscure. People in the former (or current) communist countries ignore their past and the West is not as adamant about it, as it was about Nazism and Hitler.

communicm This is truly puzzling and I am trying to figure out why Communism is never compared to Nazism in its crimes. There might be few reasons.

Soviet Union was a major winning party in the WWII, and if you ask any Russian even today, thanks to intensive post war propaganda, USSR was a sole winner in this war, thus neglecting the contribution of the allies.

Communism unlike Nazism lasted for a very long time – more than 70 years. There were generations who were born, lived and died during Communism. Not knowing better, it was accepted as it was – terrifying, unfair and absurd, but if you learned how to live around those, you could pretend that you had an ordinary life, and even be proud of yourself managing to stay out pf trouble.

And than endless propaganda. It numbs one’s brains. People in the Soviet Union were always told they were the happiest people in the world, lucky to be spared of the degrading evil of capitalism.

Communists were also very skilled in concealing the truth. What the West saw was great athletes, great ballet, great actors and musicians and scientists. The West also knew about dissidents, political prisoners and  ridiculously out of proportion armament – thus the Cold War. What they did not see (or acknowledge in any meaningful way) was plain terror in the beginning and then this terror made subtle but more dangerous – numbing people’s minds, training them to lead still life without any choices, without any opportunities to achieve something in your life, to become somebody. Just small parts in a gigantic machine. At that time the West was busy protecting itself from the Communism.

People in the USSR were told that medical services and education were free for its citizens. Only after the crush of the

Cemetery in Gulag

Cemetery in Gulag, abandoned and forgotten.

system people learned that that kind of medical services and education was free in the West too, and people there had a choice of the better ones.

This is not a competition between Nazism and Communism. I am not comparing these two either. But there are two things that bother me: Communism victims need a closure too, just like Nazi victims did during the Nuremberg process. And the second-by  ignoring communism crimes we allow it to continue it’s existence in modern states as well. In almost all post Communist Block countries the leaders of new, more “democratic” governments were former Communists. Imagine former Nazis coming to power again.

The term Communism probably can be argued. The Wikipedia says – “In political and social sciences, communism (from Latin communis – common, universal) is a social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production, absence of social classesmoney, and the state.” As a kid I was taught that Communism is where people work as much as they can and get as much as they need.

But the origins of communism stem in Ancient Greece. Plato described a city where there is no poverty, no corruption and no government. Thomas Moore in 15th century described a mystical land called Utopia, where everybody was happy. So Carl Marx did not invent it. In my personal opinion he was big looser who lived and died in poverty and for this he blamed  everybody around him who had money. He was a typical victim with convincing writing skills. His “Capital” is an ode to all losers.

Communism is Utopia, it is not happening. Not in this life anyway. But that’s not the point. The point is that the Bolsheviks took it and turned it into a terror instrument. So whatever is a true meaning behind this word, to me it is an instrument of terror.

Even today it is not possible to count the victims of all communist regimes,  former ones are not willing to disclose the whole information, because people who have hands in the blood of the victims are still around. Current communist countries still

Gulag

Gulag

deny their crimes. But here are some facts:

The victims of Nazi repressions mounted up to 20 million people.

The victims of Communist terror in all communist countries equals to 100 millions.

Nazis created concentration camps based on Russian model! I have been to one of those in Prague. It left unforgettable impression on me, I was 8 then, and did not know that children of my age die at all. And there were these photos of little Jewish kids who were sent to gas chambers.  This trip shattered my view of the universe, showed me that the world was not just my mom and dad and it was not always fair.  It also taught me to respect victims of a violence, any violence.

There are no museums of such places anywhere in Russia, and this means total denial of the past to me. Denial of past mistakes that went unpunished inevitably leads to their repetition.

Hitler’s reason behind of his terror was completely ridiculous, fight for a better, “cleaner” race. Communists reason sounds somehow not so racist, the obvious madness does not jump into your face. Right after Revolution of 1917 Bolsheviks started their was against certain classes, and against the enemies of the revolution. The problem is that the term “Enemy of the Revolution” covers everyone in this wide world. The definition of antagonist classes was changing thorough out the history of communism. First it was the Royal family, aristocracy and land owners, and then it were peasants who probably worked harder than their neighbors and thus had more income. They were exterminated like cockroaches (Lenin’s term, not mine) and their property was “nationalized”. They were called Kulaks. Then it was “Inteligencia” – simply educated people who actually were really dangerous to the regime, because they could think. Most valuable of them were sent to “closed cities” (another term of a large prison) to work for the good of happy builders of communism, others, not so valuable, ended their lives in Russian concentration camps. Thousands of them of them were simply sentenced to death and their families were doomed to live in shame and poverty. . Just for having a bit more talent and education than your regular Joe.

The Soviet  terror started right after the Revolution, and never ended until Stalin’s death – it lasted for 40 years! Here by terror I mean physical extermination of people. After Stalin’s death terror took on a new meaning. Lenin massacred thousands of people but of course Stalin diligently outdid him so much that no one remembers Lenin anymore. More than that – they still (21st century!!!) keep his mummified corpse in Moscow. What is wrong with the nation which  keeps a dead body of a bloody terrorist, who massacred their ancestors for his own political agenda on a display under a glass?

Lenin MausoleumI met a very young German girl few years ago. We were talking about German economy and the quality of their products. German quality really means a lot. She said that they really had to try very hard to be good at something because the nation feels responsible for Nazism and for the damages  it caused to the world. She was 25 at that time,  she did not even know anyone alive who went through the Nazi period, and she felt responsible for it. And Russian keep Lenin on a display. Sick.

The former communist countries on the contrary to Germans are in complete denial, as if nothing happened, or at least this generation has nothing to do with it. Past is past so lets put it behind us a go on with the life. I think this is happening because Communists got away with it, unlike Nazis.

Innocent until proven guilty.