March 18, 2017 - No. 9

For the Record

Exposing the 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 Freeland's 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 Soviets.

Victim or Aggressor -- Chrystia Freeland's Family Record for
Nazi War Profiteering, and Murder of the Cracow Jews

- John Helmer -
Canadian 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
Family Record for 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 in 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 hero.

Just before Vienna fell to the Soviet forces in March 1945, 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 large 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 the 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 was born."

According to Freeland, "they were also committed to the idea, 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 alive."

The Edmonton, Alberta, newspaper obituary for Halyna Chomiak 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 story which 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 indicates he was the German administrator in charge of press in the region. When Gassner moved from Cracow to Vienna, he took Chomiak with him.

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.

Left: SS guards at Belzec; right: Ukrainian guards about to kill a Belzec inmate

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."

In print, according to this archive of Krakivsti Visti, when Chomiak was in charge, there were reports of the "success" 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 Australia and 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 Australia."

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 other legal Ukrainian-language publication under the German occupation."

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 this.

Chomiak didn't flee from the Ukraine in 1939, as Freeland 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 in March 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 was born.

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 "training 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 30th Field Hospital left a forward position at Ebsenee, Austria, where it had been caring for the survivors of the Ebensee-Matthausen concentration camp.

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 Worishofen 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.

"All the camps in Bad Worishofen were liquidated in May 1948 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 U.S. 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 1946.

Two years were to elapse before Chomiak left Bad Worishofen 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 tweet in celebration of Freeland's promotion:

This week Polish political analyst and journalist Stanislas 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 interests."

Regarding Bandera (right), the record of 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 about Grandfather Chomiak's war record. Her press spokesman, Chantal Gagnon, asked for more time, but then the two of them refused to answer.

"The sins of the grandfather can hardly be attributed to the 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 U.S. 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."

(Moscow, January 19, 2017)

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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 Bachynsky 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 movies.[1]

The aim of making this film is clearly to inspire the support 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.[2] 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.[3] 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 about his aims for 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 human 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 modern-day Ukraine."

Newspaper owned by U.S. pro-Nazi William Randolph Hearst. Photos from the publication
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 reports
were provided by Thomas Walker, an alias for Robert Green, a con man, convicted
forger and escaped convict from the Colorado State Prison. (click to enlarge)

"I think that what our film will do is to raise the awareness 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 idly."

The producer's hatred for Stalin should be seen in light of the fact that according to his account in his interview with, 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 of aggression.

The film is being released right at a 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 of operations.

2. Ihnatowycz's biography for the Ivey School of Business states:

"Formerly President and Chief Executive Officer of Acuity 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.


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The "Holodomor" and the Film "Bitter Harvest"
Are Fascist Lies

(Author's note: In this article I rely heavily on the 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" propagates lies invented by Ukrainian nationalists. In his review Louis Proyect propagates these lies.

Proyect cites Jeff Coplon's 1988 Village Voice article "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 (but 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 Nazi 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 pro-communist.

Proyect's review perpetuates the following falsehoods about the Soviet collectivization of agriculture and the famine of 1932-33:

• That in the main the peasants resisted collectivization because it was a "second serfdom."

• That the famine was caused by forced collectivization. In reality the famine had environmental causes.

• That "Stalin" -- the Soviet leadership -- deliberately created the famine.

• That it was aimed at destroying Ukrainian nationalism.

• That "Stalin" (the Soviet government) "stopped the policy 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 Nazism (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 few 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 inevitable.

Soviet leaders, Stalin among them, decided that the only 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 accepted 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 of 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 scope of 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 famine areas.

The Soviet government also organized raids on peasant farms 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) to help peasants in agricultural work. Tauger concludes: "The fact that the 1933 harvest was so much larger than those of 1931-1932 means that the politotdely around the country similarly helped farms work better." (Modernization, 100)

The good harvest of 1933 was brought in by a considerably 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 in 1933.

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 executed."

• "Millions of Ukrainians" were not "forced into state farms and collectives." Tauger concludes that most peasants accepted the collective farms and worked well in them.

• Proyect accepts the Ukrainian nationalist claim of "3-5 million premature deaths." This is false.

Some Ukrainian nationalists cite figures of 7-10 million, in 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 "Holocaust."

The latest scholarly study of famine deaths is 2.6 million (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 (2002): 249--64).

• 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" was 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 omelette 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, 1933)

Evidently Proyect simply copied this canard from some Ukrainian nationalist source. Garbage In, Garbage Out.

• Andrea Graziosi, whom Proyect quotes, is not a scholar of 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 1932 by 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 physically 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 the 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 unpalatable 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 Soviet 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 available at this page.

See also Chapter I of my book Blood Lies; The Evidence 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 Soviet Famine of 1946--1947, the Weather and Human Agency in Historical Perspective." Europe-Asia Studies, 64:6, 987-1005.

(Counterpunch, March 3, 2017)

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