S. Res. 202, Expressing the Sense of the Senate Regarding the Genocidal Ukraine Famine of 1932-33

S. Res. 202, Expressing the Sense of the Senate Regarding the Genocidal Ukraine Famine of 1932-33

Hon.
Ben Nighthorse Campbell
United States
Senate
108th Congress Congress
First Session Session
Friday, July 11, 2003

Mr. Campbell submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations:

 

S. RES. 202

 

Whereas 2003 marks the 70th anniversary of the Ukraine Famine, a manmade disaster that resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent Ukrainian men, women, and children and annihilated an estimated 25 percent of the rural population of that country;

 

Whereas it has been documented that large numbers of inhabitants of Ukraine and the then largely ethnically Ukrainian North Caucasus Territory starved to death in the famine of 1932-33, which was caused by forced collectivization and grain seizures by the Soviet regime;

 

Whereas the United States Government's Commission on the Ukraine Famine concluded that former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and his associates committed genocide against Ukrainians in 1932-33, using food as a political weapon to achieve the aim of suppressing any Ukrainian expression of political and cultural identity and self-determination;

 

Whereas, as a result, millions of rural Ukrainians starved amid some of the world's most fertile farmland, while Soviet authorities prevented them from traveling to areas where food was more available;

 

Whereas requisition brigades, acting on Stalin's orders to fulfill the impossibly high grain quotas, seized the 1932 crop, often taking away the last scraps of food from starving families and children and killing those who resisted;

 

Whereas Stalin, knowing of the resulting starvation, intensified the extraction from Ukraine of agricultural produce, worsening the situation and deepening the loss of life;

 

Whereas, during the Ukraine Famine, the Soviet Government exported grain to western countries and rejected international offers to assist the starving population;

 

Whereas the Ukraine Famine was not a result of natural causes, but was instead the consequence of calculated, ruthless policies that were designed to destroy the political, cultural, and human rights of the Ukrainian people;

 

Whereas the Soviet Union engaged in a massive cover-up of the Ukraine Famine, and journalists, including some foreign correspondents, cooperated with the campaign of denial and deception; and

 

Whereas, 70 years later, much of the world is still unaware of the genocidal Ukraine Famine: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that–

 

(1) the millions of innocent victims of the Soviet-engineered Ukraine Famine of 1932-33 should be solemnly remembered and honored on the 70th anniversary of the famine;

 

(2) the 70th anniversary of the Ukraine Famine should serve as a stark reminder of the brutality of the totalitarian, imperialistic Soviet regime under which respect for human rights was a mockery and the rule of law a sham;

 

(3) the Senate condemns the callous disregard for human life, human rights, and manifestations of national identity that characterized the Stalinist policies that caused the Ukrainian Famine;

 

(4) the manmade Ukraine famine of 1932-33 was an act of genocide as defined by the United Nations Genocide Convention;

 

(5) the Senate supports the efforts of the Government of Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) to publicly acknowledge and call greater international attention to the Ukraine Famine; and

 

(6) an independent, democratic Ukraine, in which respect for the dignity of human beings is the cornerstone, offers the best guarantee that atrocities such as the Ukraine Famine never beset the Ukrainian people again.

 

HON. BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL

OF COLORADO

 

Mr. President, I rise to submit a Senate Resolution regarding the genocidal Ukraine Famine of 1932-33. The resolution commemorates the millions of innocent victims of this Soviet-engineered famine and supports the efforts of the Ukrainian Government and Parliament to publicly acknowledge and call greater international attention to one of the 20th century's most appalling atrocities.

 

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Stalin's man-made famine, one of the most heinous crimes in a century notable for events that demonstrated the cruelty of totalitarian regimes. Seventy years ago, a famine in Soviet-dominated Ukraine, and bordering ethnically-Ukrainian territory in Russia, resulted in the deaths of millions of Ukrainians––estimates range from between four and ten million. In his seminal book on the Ukraine Famine, Harvest of Sorrow, British historian Robert Conquest writes, “A quarter of the rural population, men, women, and children, lay dead or dying, the rest in various stages of debilitation with no strength to bury their families or neighbors.” Conquest and many others, including eyewitnesses and recently opened archives, chronicle the devastating human suffering of this man-made famine.

 

The Ukraine Famine was not the result of drought or some other natural calamity, but of Soviet dictator Stalin's utterly inhumane, coldly calculated policy to suppress the Ukrainian people and destroy their human, cultural, and political rights. It was the result of purposeful starvation. Communist requisition brigades, acting on Stalin's orders to fulfill impossibly high grain quotas, took away the last scraps of food from starving families, including children, often killing those who resisted. Millions of rural Ukrainians slowing starved amid some of the world's most fertile farmland, while stockpiles of expropriated grain rotted by the tons. Meanwhile, the Soviet Government was exporting grain to the West, rejecting international offers to assist the starving population, and preventing starving Ukrainians from leaving the affected areas in search of food elsewhere. The Stalinist regime––and, for that matter subsequent Soviet leaders––engaged in a massive cover-up of denying the Ukraine Famine. Regrettably, they were aided and abetted in this campaign of denial and deception by some Western journalists, including Americans.

 

The final report of the Congressionally-created Commission on the Ukraine Famine concluded in 1988 that “Joseph Stalin and those around him committed genocide against Ukrainians in 1932-33.” James Mace, who was staff director of the Commission, recently wrote: “For Stalin to have completely centralized power in his hands, he found it necessary to physically destroy the second largest Soviet republic, meaning the annihilation of the Ukrainian peasantry, Ukrainian intelligentsia, Ukrainian language, and history as understood by the people; to do away with Ukraine and things Ukrainian as such. The calculation was very simple, very primitive: no people, therefore, no separate country, and thus no problem. Such a policy is genocide in the classic sense of the word.”

 

It is vital that the world not forget the Ukraine Famine, honor its victims, and reiterate our support for Ukraine's independence and democratic development as the best assurance that atrocities such as the famine become truly unimaginable. I urge colleagues to join me in commemorating this genocide perpetrated against the Ukrainian people.

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