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Documents show massive export of products from Ukraine during Holodomor

The once-secret documents from the Russian State Archives of Economy have been posted online in the Electronic Archive of the Liberation Movement Research Centre on the eve of the 82nd anniversary of the Holodomor.
Documents show massive export of products from Ukraine during Holodomor
Translated by: Christine Chraibi

The documents classified ‘Top Secret’ and “Confidential” from the Russian State Archives of Economics (Moscow) on the export of various products from Ukraine during the Holodomor have been published online. Most of the products were exported to Germany, England, Holland, Denmark and Poland.Historians say that these 252 documents are key testimonials to understanding the scope of food export from the Soviet Union, especially from famine-wracked Ukraine.

Professor Gennady Boryak, Doctor of History, deputy director of the Institute of History of Ukraine:

“Even a cursory review of these documents allows us to see the terrifying exploitation of Ukrainian regions, which were turned into territories of death in 1932-1933. The Plan for exporting products from Ukraine in 1933 was estimated at 107 mln. rubles. and was fulfilled by 85%. Compared to 1932, export of products increased by 24%! A particularly significant increase was observed in the food sector – the plan was executed by 126%. The Plan of Plodexport (fruit export) was quite substantial, reaching 137.8%!”

Tons of apples, tomato paste (according to reports, it accounted for 2/3 of all products exported abroad, particularly in the fourth quarter of 1932), and barrels of Nizhyn pickles were exported during the Holodomor. In other reports, we read the following cynical statements: “Honey production in Ukraine in 1933 … was exceptionally good, which explains the important over-fulfillment of the Plan…”

The documents show that Germany received the largest shipments of products in 1932-1933. Many exports also went to the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Poland. “Vegetables were exported mainly to England and Afghanistan, tomato paste – to Germany and Estonia, milk – to Mongolia, peas to Holland.” says the historian.

Most of the documents come from the archives of the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Trade (file 413), some from the People’s Commissariat for Food Supplies (file 8043) and the Russian State Archive of Economics (Moscow).

Documents are available at the E-archives of the Liberation Movement Research Centre:

The Electronic Archive was opened in March 2013 It is a joint project of the Liberation Movement Research Centre, the Ivan Franko Lviv University, and the National Museum Prison on Lonskoho. 23,103 copies of documents are currently available at the E-archive. The mission of our project – making the past accessible.

Export of various products in September 1932
Translated by: Christine Chraibi
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