Entry on the Holodomor in the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine


Famine-Genocide of 1932–3 (Голодомор; Holodomor). The death through starvation of about four million people in Soviet Ukraine, mainly Ukrainian peasants, in a famine caused by the policies of Communist Party and Soviet government authorities headed by Josef Stalin. Recognized already in 1933 as a great national tragedy by Ukrainians living outside of the Soviet Union, discussion of the Famine was proscribed and its occurrence officially denied in the USSR until late 1987. The Famine was also largely neglected as a topic of study by scholars worldwide until the 1980s. Subsequently, and especially after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Famine of 1932–3 in Ukraine as well as other Soviet famines of the period, have been widely studied by scholars worldwide. In Ukraine, many scholars have depicted the Famine as a key event in the national historical narrative, and in 2006 Ukraine’s parliament and government recognized the Famine of 1932–3 as genocide. Since independence it has also become widely known as the Holodomor (from moryty holodom, ‘to cause suffering and death by means of starvation’). The terms Great Famine, artificial famine and organized famine were widely used in diaspora circles prior to the now widely accepted term Holodomor.

See full encyclopedia entry.