Pre desetak dana postavio sam blog o Holodomoru, velikoj gladi kojom su boljševici desetkovali Ukrajinu početkom tridesetih godina prošlog veka. Poslao sam link prijatelju čija žena je Ukrajinka. Juče mi je stiglo njeno pismo, u kome mi iznosi priču njene familije. Prenosim ga u celini, verujući da će nekome biti interesantno.
It has been quite a surprise for me to get a question about famine in Ukraine. I am not an expert on this topic and I think nobody is because of the lack of information, but there is something I am able to tell you and moreover it will be my pleasure to do so.
What I am going to try and retell is a family story that I heard from my great grandmother. I have also asked my mom for the details that I might not remember, so now I guess I have the whole picture.
My great grandmother was called Kseniya Shimanskaya and she was the eldest child born in the village Maliy Bobrik, Yanishevskiy village council, Lyubashovskiy region, Odessa area. By the end of the nineteen twentieths she had already got married and moved to Odessa city. She had a daughter in 1929. However her mother and three sisters stayed in the village. In 1933 “bolsheviki” or communists, however you wish to call them, have confiscated all the food. They took everything up to the last piece of grain. They checked every barn, cellar, pile of straw and every possible hiding place. People were burying food in order to survive. My great great grandmother, Dominikiya Shimanskaya, managed to hide some of the collected grain. They wanted to execute her but somehow she got away with it. So she and her three other daughters Mariya, Nina and Lidiya have spread out this food to survive and not to die of starvation. Terribly on one of the days Lidiya betrayed her mother and sisters, picked up the remains of the food and went away leaving them to die. Although I do not have the information about the way how my great grandmother found out about their situation. But the fact is that she managed to get to the village from the city with a toddler daughter on her arms bringing the food through the starving areas where people were supposingly eating each other. She reached the place right before their deaths. Mariya was still able to move around, but Nina was already lying down motionless. She fed them slowly and cautiously gradually bringing them back to life.
But she had never forgiven Lidiya for the betrayal. They heard from her when things moved on. Lidiya left to Donbas with somebody and they lived in Donetsk city. Which is understandable since that area is rich in coal, has a lot of mines and has been strategically important for the Soviet Union, therefore well supplied.
This brings me to the global picture. In spite of the fact that those events are terrifying and my heart is bleeding when I think about it, I am far from the opinion that it was a genocide targeted against the Ukrainian nation. The reasons are simple; the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic had its own government which consisted of Ukrainians and Russian soldiers did not come to the villages, this lovely job was done by the local “brothers and sisters”. Moreover, similar tragedies were happening all over the former Soviet Union republics including Russia. The area where my family lived was inhabited solely by the people of the Polish origin, what do they have to do with Ukrainian nationalism? And last by not the least; we were not occupied by Russia. We welcomed and embraced revolution as a source of freedom from the regime the people hated and could not stand any longer. My home town, Odessa, was one of the most prominent revolutionary centers. So we have accepted socialist ideas and truly believed in the glorious future brought by the communist government.
But the government believed that all means are good when there is a global goal shining in front of us. They prioritized for urbanization and industrialization against the interests of the rural areas and this was one but of many crucial mistakes we had in our history. I do pray for the victims and I wish the people of the world have wisdom not to fight over was has happened in the past, but move on and make this world a better place for our descendants.
Well, I hope this can help a little, let me know if you have any other questions.