On November 30, the session of Dniprovsky Historical Club took place. The event was timed to the Holodomor Remembrance Day, which is marked in Ukraine on November 22nd. Lyudmyla Hrynevych, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Head of Ukrainian Center for Holodomor Studies run by Kyiv Mohyla Academy became the guest of the session. Prof. Hrynevych is lead researcher of the Holodomor in Ukraine, head of research projects in Canada, the US and Europe, the author of fundamental research “Chronicle of Collectivization and the Holodomor in Ukraine” in four volumes, the first of which is dedicated to the famine of 1928-1929. The lecturer decided to discuss this little-known famine during the meeting of Historical Club. So the topic of the meeting sounded like “Unknown Famine in Ukraine in 1928-1929”.
Professor Hrynevych described the facts about the famine in 1928-1929, including why it does not take up much space in the historical memory of Ukrainians. The lecturer explains that in memoirs of contemporaries of those events contain the evidence of the famine of 1928–1929, but they fade away in front of upheavals of earlier period (revolution, civil war) and the late period (the Holodomor, World War II). In addition, it is not the only case of poorly researched famine in Ukraine’s history: Prof. Hrynevych stated the following dates – 1921–1922, 1924–1925, 1935–1936. And if we include in this list the aforementioned famine in 1928-1929, the Holodomor in 1932-1933 and postwar famine in 1946-1947, we will have, in fact, the 20-year history of half-starving Ukrainians. It is not surprising that eyewitnesses not always distinguish the famine in 1928-1929 as a separate event.
A professor highlights the genocidal character of these famines. It is proved that in those tragic years there war poor harvest really caused by adverse weather conditions. However, the Soviet government not only made no effort to solve the problem, but also made the Ukrainian lands a donor food for the other “hungry regions” of the USSR.
Lyudmyla Hrynevych focuses on the fact that Ukrainians and national minorities who lived on Ukrainian territory, including Jews, suffered from the famine. Separately lecturer stops on the issue of Jewish towns, whose inhabitants suffered from famine not less than the peasantry.
The audience at the Historical Club was not just interested, but “professionally motivated”, if we can say so. Among the listeners there were tutors of Dnipropetrovsk universities, teachers, students of Departments of History and journalists. Therefore, the discussion of the topic was held on the high level. There were questions of historiography, source base of research, and the role of the diaspora in covering the topic of Ukrainian famines. Prof. Lyudmyla Hrynevych in her speech provides answers to these and other questions. We offer our readers full audio recording of the meeting of Historical Club so hear everything from the first hand.