HREC Grants 2015
In 2015, HREC held a second grants competition to support research, preservation and publication of materials related to the Holodomor. Grant applications were considered in amounts up to $5,000. Submissions were evaluated for their relevance to the stated aims of the competition; soundness of the proposal, including methodology; and preparedness to undertake the proposal (based on CV, letters of recommendation and demonstrated preparedness). HREC awarded nine grants for a total of $25,395, ranging from $1000 to $5,000.
A Social History of the Holodomor: Voices from the Kharkiv oblast, 1926-1934Dr. Bertelsen examines archival materials that shed light on the everyday lives of the Ukrainian peasantry in the Kharkiv oblast from 1926 to1934, their attitudes toward Soviet power, and toward each other. The study examines behavioral changes under conditions of physical abuse, state violence and hunger. Letters of complaint, protocols of the inter-district oblast court for 1932-1933 and the GPU’s reports constitute the evidential base for the analyses. The study will include an exploration of women’s, men’s, children’s and the elderly’s behavioral patterns and strategies of survival, and an analysis of their individual and collective sensibilities, and attitudes toward the regime.
Documentary and oral historic evidence of purposeful genocide by hunger (Holodomor) during 1932-1933 in UkraineThe research project “Documentary and oral historic evidence of purposeful genocide by hunger (Holodomor) during 1932-1933 in Ukraine” aims at examining the social and psychological consequences of the Holodomor, including: deformation of national traditions and devaluation of values, which had a negative influence on moral and ethical behavioral norms and caused conformity and spread a culture of fear that persists today. Little known documents will be examined, including those from the Luhansk region (Starobilsk, 1933) that indicate that all of the children of an orphanage there died of “hunger disease.”
Support for publication of Tell Them We Are Starving: The 1933 Diaries of Gareth Jones.This book contains both transcriptions and facsimiles of the notebooks of Welsh journalist Gareth Jones, written during a three-week stay in the USSR in March 1933, as famine devastated Ukraine, the Kuban region and the Lower Volga. Jones used these notebooks to write a series of newspaper articles upon his return to Great Britain. The diaries constitute an important independent record of the famine now known as the Holodomor, recorded as it unfolded. The diaries went unnoticed for 50 years after Jones’ death in 1935 until they were discovered by his nephew. They were first exhibited in 2009 at Trinity College, Jones’ alma mater.
Interdisciplinary examination of cultural memory of the HolodomorThis project, drawing on archival data and oral (post)memory on the republican and village level in two villages, focuses on the rank-and-file perpetrators of the famine: their identities, activities and their traces in the cultural and memorial texts created after the Holodomor. While Stalin and Kremlin functionaries organized the famine and loom large in memorial and historical discourse, party plenipotentiaries and local activists made it possible on the ground but are forgotten or reduced to prosopographical reading as an aberrant group devoid of agency. By looking at personal narratives of lower rung perpetrators from published memoirs, testimonies of their descendants as well as those of survivors, this project seeks to reconstruct the fragmented memory of the perpetrators.
“Torgsin in Ukraine: documented history”This research will examine the establishment, functioning and consequences of the Torgsin trading network within Soviet Ukraine in 1931–1933. While officially organized to service the needs of foreigners, the “Torgsin” system served to “mobilize currency reserves” during the Famine, through which starving people were deprived of their family values. The Torgsin system saw its peak activity during the years of the Famine. The project will examine the spread of the Torgsin network on Ukrainian territory; the system for collecting the valuables and the amounts targeted; personnel of the Torgsin; and the consequences and impact of the Torgsin system on society.
Ukrainian famine of 1932–33 as presented in the Russian émigré discourse of the interwar periodThe project examines the Ukrainian famine of 1932–33 as presented in the Russian émigré discourse of the interwar period.Viewing Ukraine through an imperial prism and critical of its “separatism,” the Russian émigré discourse was quite consistent in exposing the totalitarian nature of the new Soviet state and, thus, may serve as a reliable source on these tragic events in Ukraine, following their dynamics and providing unique insight. Research will address issues of how the imperial views of the Russian emigration framed perceptions of the Ukrainian famine, how Russian émigrés saw the famine in the context of Soviet industrialization and international developments, how perception of the famine in Ukraine was different from that in other regions, attitudes to Ukrainian nationalism and the politics of Ukrainization, and responses to Soviet propaganda.
Establishment and functioning of the Torgsin system in the Chernihiv region (1932-36)This project aims to produce a regional history of the Soviet state-run “Torgsin” stores (1930 – 1936), which were at the height of their activity during the Holodomor 1932-1933. This project, focusing on previously unstudied sources, is the first to focus on the Chernihiv regional division of “Torgsin” and the first overall regional study of the Soviet state-run “Torgsin” system. The project will result in preparation of a monograph that will describe the Chernihiv regional “Torgsin” system as it operated in the period 1932-1936; and research in regional archives on the specifics of Torgsin operations on the territory of Ukraine. The publication will include information on employees of the system, analysis of data on the purchase of gold, silver, platinum, diamonds and foreign currency by the Torgsins, and rare photographs of the first half of the 1930s.
Lynching and “mob justice” in Ukrainian villages during the Holodomor (1933) and post-Holodomor period (1933-1936)This project examines instances of lynching and “mob justice” in Ukrainian villages during the Holodomor (1933) and post-Holodomor period (1933-1936) in the context of social, moral, and psychological consequences of the Holodomor. The project aims to analyze criminality in Ukrainian villages during the Holodomor and post-Holodomor period; define the social cohort of criminals; research methods the authorities employed to fight crime during the Holodomor and the periods1934-1935 and 1936-1937; to determine the scale and scope of lynchings, who participated and the ramifications; analyze methods the authorities employed to combat lynchings, their effectiveness and outcomes; and define the social, moral and psychological consequences of the lynchings.
Holodomor of 1932-1933 within the Soviet policy of “compulsory amnesia” and its memorialization in modern Ukraine.This project will support research of a number of sources in preparation of a selection of documents about the suppression of and informational manipulations around the topic of famine in the USSR. A significant portion of the documentation will be collected from the archives in Moscow of Glavlit (General Directorate for the Protection of State Secrets in the Press under the Council of Ministers of the USSR) fund., the repository to which documents were sent.