It’s long past time to identify and shame Holodomor deniers

Holodomor (death by starvation) 1921-1922, 1932-1933, 1946-1947 In June 1933, 34170 each day, 1420 each hour, 24 each minute died from hunger in Ukraine. At least 4 million Ukrainians perished in Stalin's genocidal famine of 1932-1933.


History, More

One of the positive developments of recent decades has been the willingness of historians and those concerned with human rights to identify, shame and isolate those who deny the Holocaust. Today, it is long past time to do the same thing with those who deny the Holodomor, Stalin’s genocidal terror famine against Ukrainians and others.

On Saturday, Ukrainians and people of good will around the world paused to remember the victims of Stalin’s murderous attack by famine on the Ukrainian people which claimed as many as ten million lives, intentionally led to the russification of Ukraine, and thus set the stage for many of today’s problems there.

At the time of the famine, Soviet officials and useful idiots in the West like the notorious Walter Duranty denied that any famine was taking place. But the evidence for that crime was too great and was most usefully assembled by James Mace and the American commission on the Ukrainian famine in the 1980s.

Nonetheless, some Russian and Western intellectuals continue to deny that the Holodomor was a genocide either because of the view that Stalin may have done terrible things but he thereby prepared the USSR to win World War II or because of the desire not to extend the use of the term genocide beyond Hitler’s crimes lest it be somehow devalued.

Those view are wrong. On the one hand, Stalin’s actions in the 1930s weakened the Soviet Union and might have led to its defeat had it not been for the viciousness of Hitler’s hatred of the Slavs, the enormous sacrifice of the peoples of the USSR, and the aid that Moscow received from the US and other Western powers.

And on the other, while the Holocaust and the Holodomor are different, they were both undertaken by criminal leaders unrestrained by any moral principles to destroy groups defined by faith, language, and ethnicity. And consequently, they are both genocides; and those who deny that either of them are should be identified, shamed and shunned.

On its website, the US Holocaust Museum says that

“Holocaust denial is an attempt to negate the established facts of the Nazi genocide of European Jewry. Holocaust denial and distortion are forms of antisemitism. They are generally motivated by hatred of Jews and build on the claim that the Holocaust was invented or exaggerated by Jews as part of a plot to advance Jewish interests.”

The museum continues by pointing out that it is “important to confront denial” because “The Nazi persecution of the Jews began with hateful words, escalated to discrimination and dehumanization, and culminated in genocide. The consequences for Jews were horrific, but suffering and death was not limited to them. Millions of others were victimized, displaced, forced into slave labor, and murdered.”

And it notes that “The Holocaust shows that when one group is targeted, all people are vulnerable” and that “The denial or distortion of history is an assault on truth and understanding. Comprehension and memory of the past are crucial to how we understand ourselves, our society, and our goals for the future. Intentionally denying or distorting the historical record threatens communal understanding of how to safeguard democracy and individual rights.”

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Tragically, there are so many Holocaust deniers in the world, whose vicious inventions circulate widely on the Internet, that there is even a special article about them on Wikipedia. But the good news is that Jewish and human rights activists, historians and people of good will have fought back.

They have called out those who engage in Holocaust denial, they have shamed them in public and in the courts, and they have been remarkably successful in excluding them from the circle of decent society. Their victories over those who deny Hitler’s crimes can only be welcomed and supported.

Unfortunately, however, there has not been an equivalent effort by Ukrainians and others against those who engage in Holodomor denial; and there should be because what the Holodomor deniers are doing is exactly the same as what the Holocaust deniers are about and has exactly the same consequences.

They deny and degrade an entire human community, justify violence against it, and thus open the way for more such violence in the future.

Had there been a successful effort by Ukrainians and others to go after Holodomor deniers, it would have been far more difficult for Putin to engage in his criminal Anschluss of Crimea and his aggression against Ukraine.

Indeed, those who deny the Holodomor are among the most enthusiastic supporters of the Crimean Anschluss. If anyone doubts that, read the disturbing “arguments” of Moscow commentator Sergey Markov in today’s Vzglyad and their takedown by a Ukrainian commentator.

It is long past time for the world to denounce and isolate those who deny the Holodomor just as most of the civilized world now denounces the Holocaust. Both were genocides and denying that either of them was is wrong and even more dangerous. The best way to honor those who died in these genocides is to identify and denounce those who continue to deny them.



Edited by: A. N.

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  1. Avatar Terry Washington says:

    There ARE some who deny the Holodomor(such as “historian” Eric Hobsbawm_ but I would add a cautionary note: remember that the likes of “Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy did more harm than good to the Western democratic cause by their irresponsible charges in the 1950s.

    1. Avatar Fortranz says:

      “- remember that the likes of “Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy did more harm than good to the Western democratic cause by their irresponsible charges in the 1950s.-”

      Hardly, all this did was give more fodder for the propaganda mills of Russian State Media to deny any Russian responsibility for any of it’s violence and crimes of political excesses against humanity.

      1. Avatar Terry Washington says:

        Counter espionage- much like counter terrorism nowadays( see my society’s experiences vis a vis Northern Ireland “Troubles”) calls for patience, sublety and tact. McCarthy arguably did MORE harm to the Western democratic cause than all the spies and “useful idiots” ever could have dreamed- even Richard Nixon admitted as much in his memoirs!

        1. Avatar Fortranz says:

          If you ask me all McCarthy arguably did, was to give the likes of Jesse Ventura and all other conspiracy theory nuts something to talk about, and, hate the US government for. But you can see it that way you like.

  2. Avatar Turtler says:

    “Soviet lackey GBU-Chekist-NKVD Jews killed Innocent Ukrainians in the Holodomor.”

    You do realize that being a Soviet was almsot diametrically opposed to being a JEw, right? That the Soviets embraced atheism and in fact ruthlessly opposed religion?

    The most that can be said of people like Kaganovich was that they were of Jewish descent. And they weren’t even the most senior people in the pecking order.

    “All part of anglo-American corporate war strategy for power and profit”

    Seriously moron?

    In the inter war period the US and UK were woefully unprepared for war. They were hardly planning it. If they really WERE so involved in a “war strategy for power and profit” you’d have thought they’d have noticed a little something like the Japanese Empire.

    Flagged, Reported.

    1. Avatar Fortranz says:

      This one is obviously a product of the Russian school system. And is brainwashed by the Brezhnev Russian [East Europe] history revision. Flagging him will I doubt amount to much, however, berating his stupidity might work, good job.

  3. Avatar Fortranz says:

    Does being a useful-idiot come naturally to you or do you have to work at it?

  4. For more on WC Bullitt. Read his Papers at Yale Archives. Which I did extensively. So many other secondary sources too many to cite. See reference section at Taboo Genocide. I started studying Bullitt 40 years ago in unpublished Mss on John Reed. His lover and Bullitt wife Louise Bryant also interesting source mother of Bullitt child Anne. Bryant biographer Virginia Gardner gave me many of her primary research as well. Bullitt a disastrous primodana. With many at State who detested him re. Stimson .Phillips etc…

  5. Avatar Turtler says:

    “Don’t be confused.”

    I am not.

    “Soviet lackey GBU-Chekist-NKVD”

    It was GPU, not GBU.

    But hey, great to know you can deliver that quality, fact checked info!

    “Jews killed Innocent Ukrainians in the Holodomor.”

    Ah, here we go…

    Again, the Soviet Union and the Bolsheviks were a totalitarian atheist regime. Religion was persecuted, and the number of practicing Jews in the regime was about as numerous as the number of practicing Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists. Near Zero.

    At most many of them were ethnically Jewish, but they had cast aside the Jewish community and religion long before.

    “Well documented by embassy observers and lying propaganda western and proSoviet Journalists. giving Hitler a lesson in peacetime !! on how to exterminate during a world war.”


    “Gorbachev Khruschev lost family members…Soviet estimates as high as 14 million killed”


    “All part of anglo-American corporate war strategy for power and profit”


    How the freaking Heck did any of this profit the West? Because whatever feeble profit the genocide might have provided British and American industry was MORE than wiped out by the attempts to give charity to the victims (which instead wound up in Soviet resources). Especially since Anglo-American war strategy SUCKED DURING THE ANTEBELLUM.

    They were caught ALMOST COMPLETELY FLAT FOOTED when actual war broke out, both in Europe and in the Far East. They spent the first years of the war being outmaneuvered by the aggressors and generally getting ROLLED by German and Japanese forces. Are you serious?