March 18, 2017 - No. 9
For the Record
Falsification of History
January 27, 2017 marked the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of
prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland by the Red
Army, shown in photo. Three months before, in
October 1944, German troops along with foreign minister Chrystia
grandfather and other collaborators fled nearby Krakow, Poland (68
kilometres away from the
camp) for Vienna, Austria. He left Vienna in March 1945 days before it
was liberated by the
• Victim or
Aggressor -- Chrystia Freeland's
Family Record for
Nazi War Profiteering, and Murder of the Cracow Jews
- John Helmer -
Release of Anti-Communist Film
- Enver Villamizar -
• The "Holodomor" and the Film
"Bitter Harvest" Are Fascist Lies
- Grover Furr -
Victim or Aggressor -- Chrystia Freeland's
Nazi War Profiteering, and
Murder of the Cracow Jews
Chrystia Freeland, appointed last week to be the new
Canadian Foreign Minister, claims that her maternal family were
the Ukrainian victims of Russian persecution, who fled their home
in 1939, after Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin agreed on a
non-aggression pact and the division of Poland between Germany
and the Soviet Union. She claims her mother was born in a camp
for refugees before finding safe haven in Alberta, Canada.
Freeland is lying.
The records now being opened by the Polish government
Warsaw reveal that Freeland's maternal grandfather Michael
(Mikhailo) Chomiak was a Nazi collaborator from the beginning to
the end of the war. He was given a powerful post, money, home and
car by the German Army in Cracow, then the capital of the German
administration of the Galician region. His principal job was
editor in chief and publisher of a newspaper the Nazis created.
His printing plant and other assets had been stolen from a Jewish
newspaper publisher, who was then sent to die in the Belzec
concentration camp. During the German Army's winning phase of the
war, Chomiak celebrated in print the Wehrmacht's "success" at
killing thousands of U.S. Army troops. As the German Army was
forced into retreat by the Soviet counter-offensive, Chomiak was
taken by the Germans to Vienna, where he continued to publish his
Nazi propaganda, at the same time informing for the Germans on
other Ukrainians. They included fellow Galician Stepan Bandera,
whose racism against Russians Freeland has celebrated in print,
and whom the current regime in Kiev has turned into a national
Just before Vienna fell to the Soviet forces in March
Chomiak evacuated with the German Army into Germany, ending up
near Munich at Bad Worishofen. On September 2, 1946, when
Freeland says her mother was born in a refugee camp, she was
actually in a well-known spa resort for wealthy Bavarians. The U.S.
Army then controlled that part of Germany; they operated an Army
hospital at Bad Worishofen and accommodated Chomiak at a spa
hotel. U.S. Army records have yet to reveal what the Americans
learned about Chomiak's war record, and how he was employed by U.S.
Army Intelligence, after he had switched from the Wehrmacht. It
took Chomiak another two years before the government in Ottawa
allowed the family to enter Canada.
The reason the Polish Government is now investigating
Freeland is that Chomiak's wartime record not only victimized
Galician Jews, but also the Polish citizens of Cracow. In a
salute to Freeland as a "great friend of Poland" by the Polish
Embassy in Ottawa last week, Warsaw officials now believe a
mistake was made.
Last July, Freeland, then trade minister, was in a
delegation of Canadians accompanying Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau on a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp
in southern Poland. Freeland is not included in the press
photographs; Trudeau wept. A statement issued by one of the
Canadian Jewish organizations in the delegation said: "Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau's visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau signifies
the importance of remembering the six million Jews and countless
others who died at hands of the Nazi regime. The Holocaust will
forever stand as the ultimate expression of human hatred. That is
why every Canadian should use this as an opportunity to reflect
upon their personal role in combating the forces of antisemitism,
racism and bigotry wherever they are found."
Trudeau and his staff, as well as Foreign Minister at
time Stephane Dion, and the Jewish representatives appear not to
have known this was familiar territory for Freeland and her
family. Michael Chomiak and his wife Alexandra, parents to
Freeland's mother Halyna, spent the war from 1939 to 1945 working
and living just 68 kilometres away in Cracow.
According to the autobiographical details Freeland has
provided herself to the Canadian media, Freeland's family were
victims of war. "My maternal grandparents," she wrote in May
2015, "fled western Ukraine after Hitler and Stalin signed their
non-aggression pact in 1939 they saw themselves as political
exiles with a responsibility to keep alive the idea of an
independent Ukraine." In November 2015 Freeland told the Toronto
Star: "Michael Chomiak was a lawyer and journalist before the
Second World War, but they knew the Soviets would invade western
Ukraine (and) fled and, like a lot of Ukrainians, ended up after
the war in a displaced persons camp in Germany where my mother
According to Freeland, "they were also committed to the
like most in the (Ukrainian) diaspora, that Ukraine would one day
be independent and that the community had a responsibility to the
country they had been forced to flee to keep that flame
The Edmonton, Alberta, newspaper obituary for Halyna
Freeland says she had been "born on September 2, 1946 in Bad
Worishofen, Germany in a displaced person's camp." The Alberta
provincial government library reports it holds Michael Chomiak's
papers. He is described as having "graduated from Lviv University
with master's degree in law and political science. In 1928, as a
journalist, he started work in the Ukrainian daily Dilo, and from
1934 to 1939 he served on the editorial staff. During the Nazi
occupation, he was the editor of Krakivski Visti, published first
in Cracow and then in Vienna."
There is much more to the
Freeland has not revealed. The details can be found in Polish and
Ukrainian sources; from the archived files of Krakivski
Visti ("Cracow News"); and from the evidence of Jewish
Holocaust museums around the world. Chomiak was editor in chief
of the newspaper after a Jewish editor was removed. The newspaper
itself was set up in January 1940, publishing three times weekly
in Cracow, until October 8, 1944. It was then published in Vienna
from October 16, 1944, until March 29, 1945. The precision of the
dates is important. They coincide with the movement of the German
Army into Cracow, and then out of the city and into Vienna. The
newspaper itself was established by the German Army; and
supervised by German intelligence. Chomiak was employed by an
officer named Emil Gassner (photo at right). His title in German
he was the German administrator in charge of press in the region.
When Gassner moved from Cracow to Vienna, he took Chomiak with
Chomiak's publication was an official one of the German
administration in Galicia, known at the time as the General
Gouvernement. The printing press, offices and other assets which
provided Chomiak with his work, salary, and benefits had been
confiscated by the Germans from a Jewish publisher, Moshe Kafner.
Kafner was a native of the region; he and his family were well
educated and well known until the Germans arrived, and replaced
Kanfer with Chomiak. Kanfer was forced to flee Cracow for Lviv.
From there he was taken by the Germans to the Belzec
concentration, where he was murdered some time in 1942. From
Chomiak's office to Belzec the distance was 300 kilometres.
Krakivsti Visti was "the most important newspaper
to appear in the Ukrainian language under the German occupation
during World War II," according to this history from the Harvard
Ukrainian Research Institute, published in 1998. Chomiak --
reports the Harvard history by John-Paul Hinka from a
contemporary source -- "had the ability to sense what could
be written and how in the severe German reality, and he gained
some trust among the German officials, without which the work
would have been impossible."
Left: SS guards at
Belzec; right: Ukrainian guards about to kill a Belzec inmate
In print, according to this archive of Krakivsti
Visti, when Chomiak was in charge, there were reports of the
of the German Navy in killing 13,000 U.S. Army soldiers, when their
transports were torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic enroute to
England. Chomiak editorialized: "this last German attack [was] a
smashing blow to the solar plexus of the alliance."
Chomiak also reported the U.S. "colonization" of
Canada. "Americans who are now living in Australia believe that
the economic possibilities of Australia are even much better than
those of the USA, and many U.S. soldiers are thinking about staying
in Australia after the war as they feel much better there than in
their own Fatherland There are such close relations between the
USA and Canada and Australia that there will be a special trade
and tax [agreement] between these countries after the war. In
other words, the United States does not hide the intention of the U.S.
to begin full economic penetration of Canada and
By the standard of Trudeau at Auschwitz, Freeland's
grandfather also produced race hatred to Nazi order, including
antisemitism and racism against several other nationalities,
including Americans, Poles and Russians.
Chomiak not only justified the death camps surrounding
Cracow. He attempted to foster Ukrainian sentiment against the
Poles in the region. The German objective was to support the
Ukrainian takeover of Galicia and cleanse it of its Jewish and
Polish populations. For this reason Chomiak and his newspaper
were given special favour by the German administration; Chomiak
himself was reportedly held in high esteem by the Nazis. In the
Harvard history it is reported "there can be no doubt that Krakivs'ki
visti enjoyed more autonomy than any
legal Ukrainian-language publication under the German
Himka, a Ukrainian-Canadian academic, composed his
history of Krakivtsi Visti from Chomiak's personal papers in
Alberta. He mentions the newspaper's backing for ethnic cleansing
of Poles. He omits to mention Jews. Chomiak's antisemitic record
can be found in the files of the Los Angeles Museum of the
Holocaust. For details, read
Chomiak didn't flee from the Ukraine in 1939, as
claims. Five years were to elapse before he left Cracow; that was
when the German Army pulled out in defeat, as the Soviet Army
advanced from the east to liberate the city. Gassner was moving
the media operation to his home town, Vienna.
Chomiak closed down Krakivsti Visti in Vienna
of 1945 for the same reason. The Soviet Army was days away, and a
new Austrian government replaced the Third Reich in April of that
year. With the retreating Wehrmacht Chomiak then moved westwards
into Germany. But a full year is missing from the official
records available publicly. That's between March of 1945 and
April of 1946, when the displaced persons camp was opened in the
Bavarian town of Bad Worishofen, where Freeland says her mother
As the name indicates, Bad Worishofen was (still is) a
thermal waters resort for wealthy Bavarians and day-trippers from
Munich. Freeland claims her mother was born as a victim in a
refugee camp. In fact, she was born in a hospital administered by
the U.S. Army, while her parents were living in a spa hotel managed
by a U.S. Army intelligence unit.
A U.S. Army parade
in Bad Worishofen after the U.S. took the town on April 27, 1945
During the war there had been a Luftwaffe training
aerodrome at Bad Worishofen. But it was so insignificant
operationally, it wasn't bombed by the allies. More or less
intact, along with the spa hotels, the town welcomed new paying
guests from the U.S. Army when they arrived in April of 1945.
According to U.S. records, a U.S. Army Intelligence
unit" was established, as well as a U.S. Army hospital. The
trainees weren't Americans; they were East Europeans, including
Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Poles and others who had been fighting
on the German side.
On June 28, 1945, the 2nd Hospitalization Unit of the
Field Hospital left a forward position at Ebsenee, Austria, where
it had been caring for the survivors of the Ebensee-Matthausen
The war in Europe now over, the hospitalization unit
regrouped in the rear at Bad Wörishofen, where its role was
to support the 80th Infantry Division. The unit history says: "As
usual, living quarters proved excellent (buildings), with many
conveniences added to make living conditions very comfortable."
Among the people the American Army doctors now cared for were Mr
and Mrs Chomiak.
The camp for displaced persons or refugees at Bad
was not formally established for another year, until April 1946.
Ukrainians who were there at the time say the camp housed mostly
Lithuanians, and also 490 Ukrainians. The term camp is a
misnomer. The records show that many of the Ukrainians were
living in spa hotels when they were subject to the administration
of the camp. Although the subsequent records of the Ukrainians
are voluble on what happened there between 1946 and 1948,
including testimony from Ukrainians who moved on to the U.S. and
Australia, there is no reference to the Chomiak family at
"All the camps in Bad Worishofen were liquidated in May
due to consolidation of the various camps by IRO (International
Relief Organization)," remembers this Ukrainian. See here.
It is not (yet) known when Chomiak presented himself to
Army Intelligence, offering the same services he had been
performing for Gassner and the Wehrmacht. Journalism, however,
wasn't what the U.S. occupation authorities wanted from him. In
return, Chomiak received accommodation; living expenses; and the
hospitalization which produced Freeland's mother in September of
Two years were to elapse before Chomiak left Bad
for Canada, arriving there in October 1948. He already had a
sister in Canada, but no job of a professional kind to which his
university education and experience qualified him. In Alberta
Chomiak worked as a manual labourer. Why the Americans didn't
offer him intelligence and propaganda employment in the U.S. may be
revealed in the Chomiak files in Washington. The Canadian
government file on his admission in 1948 is likely to include
some of the details Chomiak revealed about his work with the
Americans. Unless he kept that secret.
Last week the Polish Embassy in Ottawa issued this
celebration of Freeland's promotion:
This week Polish political analyst and journalist
Balcerac has opened the dossier on Freeland and Chomiak. The
Polish Foreign Minister, Witold Waszczykowski, has been asked to
investigate, and to decide if, according to Balcerac, "the
circumstances and family loyalties of Mrs Freeland may affect the
support that Canada provides the pro-Bandera Government of
Ukraine, so they can have a direct impact on Polish
Regarding Bandera (right), the
Chomiak's involvement with him when they were under German, then U.S.
supervision, Freeland did not reveal in the Financial Times
when she reported Bandera as one of the Ukraine's all-time
heroes. "Yaroslav the Wise, the 11th-century prince of Kievan
Rus, was named the winner in a last-minute surge, edging out
western Ukrainian partisan leader Stepan Bandera, who led a
guerrilla war against the Nazis and the Soviets and was poisoned
on orders from Moscow in 1959.The Soviet portrayal of Bandera as
a traitor still lingers. That would be a mistake."
Freeland was asked directly to clarify her own claims
Grandfather Chomiak's war record. Her press spokesman, Chantal
Gagnon, asked for more time, but then the two of them refused to
"The sins of the grandfather can hardly be attributed
granddaughter," says Polish investigator Balcerac, "–except
for two, race hatred and lying. Chomiak made a lucrative war
selling hatred of Jews, Poles and Russians. Freeland is doing the
same preaching race hatred of Russians. To mask what she's doing,
she has lied about the Nazi record of her family. The Chomiaks
weren't victims; they were aggressors."
A Washington source adds: "Chomiak was recruited by
intelligence to wage war in the Ukraine against the Russians.
Let's see what the U.S. Army and intelligence files reveal about
his role, and let's compare that to the one Freeland is now
playing in Canada."
Canadian Release of Anti-Communist Film
On March 3 the film Bitter Harvest was released
for audiences in Canada, having already been released in the U.S.
on February 24, 2017. It is now being shown in major cities
across the country in large theatres. Its Canadian premiere was
February 28 at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.
An official synopsis of the film states:
"Based on one of the most
overlooked tragedies of the 20th
century, Bitter Harvest is a powerful story of love, honor,
rebellion and survival as seen through the eyes of two young
lovers caught in the ravages of Joseph Stalin's genocidal
policies against Ukraine in the 1930s. As Stalin advances the
ambitions of communists in the Kremlin, a young artist named Yuri
(Max Irons) battles to survive famine, imprisonment and torture
to save his childhood sweetheart Natalka (Samantha Barks) from
the ‘Holodomor,' the death by starvation program that ultimately
killed millions of Ukrainians. Against this tragic backdrop, Yuri
escapes from a Soviet prison and joins the anti Bolshevik
resistance movement as he battles to reunite with Natalka and
continue the fight for a free Ukraine."
The screenplay was written by a Canadian, Richard
Hoover, originally from Kingston, Ontario. Bachynsky Hoover's
father is reported to have come to Canada from the Ukraine in his
teens. Reports indicate that during filming in the Ukraine in
2013 and 2014 Bachynsky Hoover was actively involved in
supporting the Maidan protests against the Ukrainian government
which subsequently led to the coup d'etat. The film's director is
George Mendeluk, also a Canadian of Ukrainian origin. Mendeluk is
a Hollywood director primarily of television and made-for-TV
The aim of making this film is clearly to inspire the
of the Canadian people for Canada's official support for the
neo-Nazi forces which have taken over Ukraine and NATO's
encirclement of Russia. This is indeed the stated aim of the
film's major promoter which appears to be the Ukrainian Canadian
Congress. It's sole financial backer is another Ukrainian Canadian,
Ian O. Ihnatowycz who is Vice-Chairman of the Ukrainian Canadian
Congress and President and CEO of First Generation Capital Inc.,
a private investment holding company.
Ihnatowycz is also a financial supporter of
Tribute to Liberty, the organization established to push for the
building of the anti-communist Monument to alleged victims of
communism in Ottawa as a vehicle for rehabilitating nazi war
criminals. To further
this cause, a favourite weapon is the Hitlerite lie about a
man-made famine in Ukraine which they called the Holodomor, which
translates as genocide by starvation.
In an interview with beliefnet.com about his
supporting the film Ihnatowycz said: "I felt it was an
opportunity and almost a mission to produce a feature-length film
that would bring knowledge of the Holodomor to the western
world.... there were a number of films made in Ukraine and a
number of very good documentary films but really nothing of this
size or ambition. It was important to me to make a film that was
in the western tradition. You know, Hollywood-style for lack of a
better term, with reasonably well-known and accomplished western
stars, a great script, great cinematography, great music -- and
to bring it in a way that would be interesting for western
audiences. That had never been done before."
He stated further that "By moving audiences with this
drama, the Holodomor death-by-starvation program gets the
recognition and awareness that history demands. Although our film
is strictly about the Holodomor -- it ends in 1933 -- many, many
have told us that this awareness also provides contextualization
for a better of understanding of the challenges faced by
Newspaper owned by U.S. pro-Nazi William Randolph Hearst. Photos from
were later revealed to be frauds, many traced to the Russian famine of
the early 1920s following civil war and imperialist intervention by 14
countries. A 1988 Village
Voice article by Jeff Coplon notes that other photos "have their own
bastard pedigrees -- three from 1922 Geneva-based relief
bulletins, others from Nazi publications." The Hearst paper photos and
were provided by Thomas Walker, an alias for Robert Green, a con man,
forger and escaped convict from the Colorado State
Prison. (click to enlarge)
"I think that what our film will do is to raise the
of people because what is really scary in today's Russian
Federation is that Putin idolizes Stalin and they're bringing
back and glorifying him. He was, in fact, a monster. People in
the west should know that he was a monster. [He] killed many,
many people and made them suffer horribly. Putin [wants] to
recreate the Soviet Union, it seems ... It's something that the
west should be aware of and not underestimate and not sit by
seen in light of the fact
that according to his account in his interview with beliefnet.com, his
family fled Ukraine at the same time as the Nazis, as it was liberated
by the Soviet Union. Clearly life under Nazi occupation was not the
problem for Ihnatowycz who claims to have no doubt that his family's
decision to flee Ukraine along with the Nazis make them "victims of
Communism." How and why it was so good for his family is a question. He
also makes it clear that even his own family did not experience any
famines but only heard about them. Its possible that they heard of them
from the editors of Nazi newspapers like the one Chystia Freeland's
grandfather edited. His desire to use the film to address events today
is what shows how the whole campaign from the anti-communist memorial
to the discussion around Freeland's grandfather "just following orders"
is about introducing into the minds of the Canadian people acceptance
of waging war against Russia and Communism while at the same time
presenting those who collaborated with the Nazis as heroes and victims
time when Canadians are concerned
about their government's stepped-up military involvement in eastern
Europe, including in Ukraine and Latvia, and stepped warmongering
against Russia. By presenting Ukrainian fascists and other Nazi
collaborators in a heroic light and as "victims of communism," the aim
can only be to disinform the anti-war movement in Canada and,
furthermore, create conditions to say that all those who oppose war are
stooges of the Russians. It must not pass!
1. According to his biography Mendeluk was born on March
20, 1948 in Augsburg, Bavaria Germany. What his family was doing in
Germany is a question. The town of Augsburg was a major staging ground
during re-armament for the Nazis. After the war it became a U.S. base
2. Ihnatowycz's biography for the Ivey
School of Business states:
"Formerly President and Chief Executive Officer of
Investment Management Inc. and Acuity Funds Ltd., Ian founded
Acuity in 1990 to provide discretionary asset management for
pension, foundation and private clients as well as mutual and
pooled funds. A leader in sustainable investing, Acuity was the
first Canadian advisor to the United Nations on the integration
of environmental, social and governance factors within investment
management, and the firm had won many awards for investment
performance. On February 1, 2011, Acuity and its assets of $7.6
billion were sold.
"Ihnatowycz has served on the boards of numerous
not-for-profit and professional organizations and private
companies, is currently a member of the Board of Directors of
Zymeworks Inc., Myca Health Inc., Real Imaging Ltd., Fulcrum
Management Solutions Ltd., Trimel Pharmaceuticals Corporation and
the Royal Conservatory of Music, is Chair of the Royal
Conservatory Council, and a member of the Ivey Advisory Board,
the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership Advisory Board of
the Ivey Business School and a member of the Investment Advisory
Committee of Imperial Capital Acquisition Fund V."
3. The Ihnatowycz Family Foundation is
listed as having purchased a brick for the "Monument to the
Victims of Communism." An article in September of 2014 indicates
that the Ukranian Canadian Students' Association participated in
a fundraiser by " Tribute to Liberty" for its mission to build a
Canadian "memorial to the victims of communism" at which Prime
Minister Stephen Harper was the keynote speaker. The Students'
Association thanked Ihnatowycz for "their generosity in enabling
SUSK to be part of such an important initiative." This suggests
that he put up the donation through SUSK for them to be able to
attend the fundraiser.
The "Holodomor" and the Film "Bitter Harvest"
(Author's note: In this article I rely heavily on
evidence cited in the research of Mark Tauger of West Virginia
University. Tauger has spent his professional life studying
Russian and Soviet famines and agriculture. He is a world
authority on these subjects, and is cordially disliked by
Ukrainian nationalists and anticommunists generally because his
research explodes their falsehoods.)
The Ukrainian nationalist film "Bitter Harvest"
lies invented by Ukrainian nationalists. In his review Louis
Proyect propagates these lies.
Proyect cites Jeff Coplon's 1988 Village Voice
"In Search of a Soviet Holocaust: A 55-Year-Old Famine Feeds the
Right." In it Coplon shows that the leading "mainstream"
anticommunist Western experts on Soviet history rejected any
notion of a deliberate famine aimed at Ukrainians. They still
reject it. Proyect fails to mention this fact.
There was a very serious famine in the USSR, including
not limited to) the Ukrainian SSR, in 1932-33. But there has
never been any evidence of a "Holodomor" or "deliberate famine,"
and there is none today.
The "Holodomor" fiction was invented by Ukrainian
collaborators who found havens in Western Europe, Canada, and the
USA after the war. An early account is Yurij Chumatskij, Why
Is One Holocaust Worth More Than Others? published in
Australia in 1986 by "Veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army"
this work is an extended attack on "Jews" for being too
Proyect's review perpetuates the following falsehoods
the Soviet collectivization of agriculture and the famine of
• That in the main the peasants resisted
because it was a "second serfdom."
• That the famine was caused by forced
reality the famine had environmental causes.
• That "Stalin" -- the Soviet leadership --
created the famine.
• That it was aimed at destroying Ukrainian nationalism.
• That "Stalin" (the Soviet government) "stopped the
of "Ukrainization," the promotion of a policy to encourage
Ukrainian language and culture.
None of these claims are true. None are supported by
evidence. They are simply asserted by Ukrainian nationalist
sources for the purpose of ideological justification of their
alliance with the Nazis and participation in the Jewish
Holocaust, the genocide of Ukrainian Poles (the Volhynian
massacres of 1943-44) and the murder of Jews, communists, and
many Ukrainian peasants after the war.
Their ultimate purpose is to equate communism with
(communism is outlawed in today's "democratic Ukraine"); the USSR
with Nazi Germany; and Stalin with Hitler.
Collectivization of Agriculture -- the Reality
Russia and Ukraine had suffered serious famines every
years for more than a millennium. A famine accompanied the 1917
revolution, growing more serious in 1918-1920. Another serious
famine, misnamed the "Volga famine," struck from 1920-21. There
were famines in 1924 and again in 1928-29, this last especially
severe in the Ukrainian SSR. All these famines had environmental
causes. The medieval strip-farming method of peasant agriculture
made efficient agriculture impossible and famines
Soviet leaders, Stalin among them, decided that the
solution was to reorganize agriculture on the basis of large
factory-type farms like some in the American Midwest, which were
deliberately adopted as models. When sovkhozy or "Soviet
farms" appeared to work well the Soviet leadership made the
decision to collectivize agriculture.
Contrary to anticommunist propaganda, most peasants
collectivization. Resistance was modest; acts of outright
rebellion rare. By 1932 Soviet agriculture, including in the
Ukrainian SSR, was largely collectivized.
In 1932 Soviet agriculture was hit with a combination
environmental catastrophes: drought in some areas; too much rain
in others; attacks of rust and smut (fungal diseases); and
infestations of insects and mice. Weeding was neglected as
peasants grew weaker, further reducing production.
The reaction of the Soviet government changed as the
the crop failure became clearer during the Fall and Winter of
1932. Believing at first that mismanagement and sabotage were
leading causes of a poor harvest, the government removed many
Party and collective farm leaders (there is no evidence that any
were "executed" like Mykola in the film.) In early February 1933
the Soviet government began to provide massive grain aid to
The Soviet government also organized raids on peasant
to confiscate excess grain in order to feed the cities, which did
not produce their own food. Also, to curb profiteering; in a
famine grain could be resold for inflated prices. Under famine
conditions a free market in grain could not be permitted unless
the poor were to be left to starve, as had been the practice
under the Tsars.
The Soviet government organized political departments (politotdely)
larger than those of 1931-1932 means that the politotdely around
the country similarly helped farms work better." (Modernization,
The good harvest of 1933 was brought in by a
smaller population, since many had died during the famine, others
were sick or weakened, and still others had fled to other regions
or to the cities. This reflects the fact that the famine was
caused not by collectivization, government interference, or
peasant resistance but by environmental causes no longer present
Collectivization of agriculture was a true reform, a
breakthrough in revolutionizing Soviet agriculture. There were
still years of poor harvests -- the climate of the USSR did not
change. But, thanks to collectivization, there was only one more
devastating famine in the USSR, that of 1946-1947. The most
recent student of this famine, Stephen Wheatcroft, concludes that
this famine was caused by environmental conditions and by the
disruptions of the war.
Proyect's False Claims
Proyect uncritically repeats the self-serving Ukrainian
fascist version of history without qualification.
• There was no "Stalinist killing machine."
• Committed Party officials were not "purged and
• "Millions of Ukrainians" were not "forced into state
and collectives." Tauger concludes that most peasants accepted
the collective farms and worked well in them.
• Proyect accepts the Ukrainian nationalist claim of
million premature deaths." This is false.
Some Ukrainian nationalists cite figures of 7-10
order to equal or surpass the six million of the Jewish Holocaust
(cf. Chumatskij's title "Why Is One Holocaust Worth More Than
Others?"). The term "Holodomor" itself ("holod" = "hunger", "mor"
from Polish "mord" = "murder," Ukrainian "morduvati" = "to
murder) was deliberately coined to sound similar to
The latest scholarly study of famine deaths is 2.6
(Jacques Vallin, France Meslé, Serguei Adamets, and Serhii
Pirozhkov, "A New Estimate of Ukrainian Population Losses during
the Crises of the 1930s and 1940s," Population Studies 56, 3
• Jeff Coplon is not a "Canadian trade unionist" but a
New-York based journalist and writer, The late Douglas Tottle's
book Fraud, Famine and Fascism, a reasonable response to
Robert Conquest's fraudulent Harvest of Sorrow, was
written (as was Conquest's book) before the flood of primary
sources from former Soviet archives released since the end of the
USSR in 1991 and so is seriously out of date.
• Walter Duranty's statement about "omelets" and "eggs"
not said "in defense of Stalin" as Proyect claims but in
criticism of Soviet government policy:
"But -- to put it brutally -- you can't make an
without breaking eggs, and the Bolshevist leaders are just as
indifferent to the casualties that may be involved in their drive
toward socialization as any General during the World War who
ordered a costly attack in order to show his superiors that he
and his division possessed the proper soldierly spirit. In fact,
the Bolsheviki are more indifferent because they are animated by
fanatical conviction." (The New York Times, March 31,
Evidently Proyect simply copied this canard from some
Ukrainian nationalist source. Garbage In, Garbage Out.
• Andrea Graziosi, whom Proyect quotes, is not a
Soviet agriculture or the 1932-33 famine but an ideological
anticommunist who assents to any and all anti-Soviet falsehoods.
The article Proyect quotes is from Harvard Ukrainian
Studies, a journal devoid of objective research, financed
and edited by Ukrainian nationalists.
• Proyect refers to "two secret decrees" of December
the Soviet Politburo that he has clearly not read. These stopped
"Ukrainization" outside the Ukrainian SSR. Within the
Ukrainian SSR "Ukrainization" continued unabated. It did not
"come to an end" as Proyect claims.
• Proyect cites no evidence of a Soviet "policy of
destroying the Ukrainian nation, especially its intelligentsia"
because there was no such policy.
A Triumph of Socialism
The Soviet collectivization of agriculture is one of
greatest feats of social reform of the 20th century, if not the
greatest of all, ranking with the "Green Revolution," "miracle
rice," and the water-control undertakings in China and the USA.
If Nobel Prizes were awarded for communist achievements, Soviet
collectivization would be a top contender.
The historical truth about the Soviet Union is
not only to Nazi collaborators but to anticommunists of all
stripes. Many who consider themselves to be on the Left, such as
Social-Democrats and Trotskyists, repeat the lies of the overt
fascists and the openly pro-capitalist writers. Objective
scholars of Soviet history like Tauger, determined to tell the
truth even when that truth is unpopular, are far too rare and
often drowned out by the chorus of anticommunist falsifiers.
Mark Tauger's research, especially "Modernization in
Agriculture" (2006); "Stalin, Soviet Agriculture, and
Collectivization" (2006); and "Soviet Peasants and
Collectivization, 1930-39: Resistance and Adaptation." (2005),
all available on the Internet. More of Tauger's articles are
See also Chapter I of my book Blood Lies; The
that Every Accusation against Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union
in Timothy Snyder's Bloodlands Is False (New York: Red Star
Press, 2013), here.
On the 1946-47 famine see Stephen G. Wheatcroft, "The
Famine of 1946--1947, the Weather and Human Agency in Historical
Perspective." Europe-Asia Studies, 64:6, 987-1005.
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