Ukrainians Eat Whatever They Can to Survive

When visitors arrive at Ukrainian villages hard-hit by the famine of 1932-33, they see that trees are missing leaves and towns have no sounds of dogs. That's because the villagers have eaten the leaves, inedible though they may be, and have also eaten their dogs.

There are also rumors, and claims, that starving people are eating more than that. All claims of cannibalism are referred to the secret police.

Soviet officials, however, are busy at trying to sell even more grain at a meeting in London. Despite the rumors of famine, in Ukraine and elsewhere, how could it be that a country with starving people could sell "excess grain" to other countries?

George Bernard Shaw, and other notables, visit the Soviet Union. They report that they see no evidence of famine and no evidence of starving people. Individuals living in the USSR at the time claim that these notables have not seen evidence of starving people because their trips were "stage-managed."

So ... what is the truth? Are people only seeing what the regime wants them to see? Have they been kept from seeing the areas where people are dying from lack of food?

Malccolm Muggeridge, a British journalist, writes that people are dying from hunger. Walter Duranty, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning American journalist writing for The New York Times, writes that everything is fine and no one is dying from hunger.

Years later, it becomes clear that Duranty was writing one thing, in public, and writing/saying something else in private. As a result, he became known as "Stalin's Apologist."

Beginning in the 1980s, when activists pressure The New York Times to give-back Duranty's Pulitzer (because of inaccurate reporting), the Times does not do so. (The award was given to Duranty, not to The NY Times.) Decision-makers, at the respected newspaper, have their reasons for defending Duranty's prize (and explaining-away their reporter's actions).

This clip, from "Harvest of Despair," continues the story of the great Ukrainian famine of 1932-33.  It takes the position—still highly contentious and contested—that the famine, which killed millions of people, could have been prevented.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 24, 2017

Updated Last Revision: Feb 27, 2017

Media Credits

Clip from "Harvest of Despair:  The Unknown Holocust."


Produced and directed by Slavko Nowytski for the Ukrainian Famine Research Committee in Canada, with the assistance of the National Film Board of Canada. 

Narration writer and story consultant, Peter Blow

Photography by Thomas Burstyn and Yuri Denysenko

Edited by Yurij Luhovy

Music by Zenoby Lawryshyn

Distributed by International Historic Films, Inc. 

Released, 1984

Online, courtesy Google Video.


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"Ukrainians Eat Whatever They Can to Survive" AwesomeStories.com. Feb 24, 2017. Jun 06, 2020.
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