Bitter Harvest - Story of the Holodomor - Summary

One of the 20th century's overlooked tragedies is a man-made disaster that occurred in Ukraine between 1932-1933. It is sometimes known by the Ukrainian word "Holodomor."

Consolidating his power, in a new country known as the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), Joseph Stalin decides that the vast territories within the USSR—including Russia—must be quickly transformed into an industrial powerhouse. He will pay for this transformation, at least in part, with grain grown in Ukraine (known, for thousands of years, as Europe's "breadbasket."

Stalin's forces break the news to the Ukrainian farmers (sometimes known as "peasants"), that their farmland is no-longer theirs. The same is true of their homes, their animals, their farm equipment and ... their food.

In disbelief, peasants resist. They have no power against the force of the Soviet State, however. Stalin, the Soviet dictator, will get what he wants. As General Secretary of the Communist Party, Stalin—a Bolshevik—is Vladimir Lenin's successor. People who disagree with him disappear.

This story investigates the Holodomor and its impact on the Ukrainian people. In some ways it resembles "An Gorta Mor," as the people of Ireland refer to the Irish Potato Famine. There is one major difference, however. In Ireland there was a crop failure during the potato famine; in Ukraine there was no crop failure during the relevant years (1932-1933).

"Bitter Harvest," the film, takes place against the backdrop of this man-made disaster in Ukraine. Our story examines what happened through the testimony, and oral histories, of people who survived and the few pictures which were taken (despite the Soviet government's ban against photographing evidence of the famine). 

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5186stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 23, 2017

Updated Last Revision: Nov 07, 2017

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"Bitter Harvest - Story of the Holodomor" AwesomeStories.com. Feb 23, 2017. May 19, 2019.
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