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Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine
de Anne Applebaum
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En detaljeret og grusom beskrivelse af Stalins overgreb på befolkningen, især bønderne, i Ukraine. Bønderne blev frarøvet alt, selv ned til det mindste korn og stykke tøj. Vold og sult forårsagede mange millioner dødsfald. Et imponerende kildeapparat understøtter materialet. ( )
Bibliography: p. 421. Includes index.
A fascinating and unsettling book on a period in history that has been much more widely discussed in recent months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: the Holodomor, the famine which ravaged Ukraine in the early 1930s and which killed millions. Anne Applebaum traces its origins back to the 1910s and argues that the famine was the result of a deliberate Soviet policy aimed at resource extraction from Ukraine while suppressing Ukrainian national sentiment and cultural identity as much as possible. She draws extensively on memoirs and contemporary records to show the devastating impact that the famine had on the Ukrainian peasantry, and this is not a book to read if you have a weak stomach. Applebaum’s political sympathies are clearly centre-right, but I found myself broadly in agreement with her that Stalin’s attitude towards Ukrainians—a mix of indifference, malice, and paranoia—coupled with institutional incompetence were the determinative factors behind what happened.
The Holodomor is an important topic in its own right, but even though Red Famine was published about five years ago, its contemporary resonances are painfully obvious, with Putin clearly drawing freely from Stalin’s playbook.
Red Famine has been named by many sources (The Guardian, New York Times), as the #1 book to understand the relationship between Ukraine and Russia. Highly recommended.
I knew about the famine in Ukraine that caused the death of several million people, but I always thought that it was caused by the resistance of the kulaks to the collectivization of farms under Stalin’s regime in the 1930’s.
Applebaum’s book reveals that it was not so simple. In fact, it was a a planned genocide by the Soviet government. Masterminded by Stalin’s suspicious mind, Ukrainian peasant were not forced onto collective farms. Instead, those who resisted collectivization were systematically starved, first through blacklists that deprived them access of modern farm implements, seeds & fertilizer, and then by squads of enforcers who searched their homes and property for any kind of food (or items to cook like grains) and confiscated it. The government then instituted a news blackout on what was happening in an attempt to hide their actions from the world.
At the same time the Soviets attempted to stamp out the Ukrainian language and culture under the guise that Ukraine was part of Russia and not a separate entity unto itself. The echoes of what happened 90 years ago is now playing out again today in the war that Russia began against Ukraine in March 2022.
This is a must read book to understand what is happening in Eastern Europe today.
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"From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag and the National Book Award finalist Iron Curtain, a revelatory history of one of Stalin's greatest crimes--the consequences of which still resonate today. In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization--in effect a second Russian revolution--which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least five million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR. But instead of sending relief the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum argues that more than three million of those dead were Ukrainians who perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill them. Applebaum proves what has long been suspected: after a series of rebellions unsettled the province, Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry. The state sealed the republic's borders and seized all available food. Starvation set in rapidly, and people ate anything: grass, tree bark, dogs, corpses. In some cases, they killed one another for food. Devastating and definitive, Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evil. Today, Russia, the successor to the Soviet Union, has placed Ukrainian independence in its sights once more. Applebaum's compulsively readable narrative recalls one of the worst crimes of the twentieth century, and shows how it may foreshadow a new threat to the political order in the twenty-first."--Provided by publisher.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)947.708 — History and Geography Europe Russia and eastern Europe [and formerly Finland] Ukraine
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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