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22.10.2007

75 years since the beginning of Holodomor

   

On 22 October 75 years ago the decision was taken in Moscow to send a special commission on grain requisitions, headed by Viacheslav Molotov, to Ukraine. As a result of the Molotov Commission’s activities, all reserves of grain were taken from the Soviet part of Ukraine.  This led to Holodomor [the Famine] and the death of millions of people.  Collectivization and the campaign against “kulaks” had already in 1931 resulted in a considerable reduction in the grain harvest in Soviet Ukraine. In October 1932 Ukraine only reached 22% of its monthly grain requisition quota.

In order to ensure that the full amount of grain was taken, the commission of five set up by the Politburo sent special brigades to villages to search the courtyards and remove stocks not only of grain, but of any food. The commission banned sales of grain, and so that villagers couldn’t travel to other regions of the USSR for food, villages were surrounded by military units.

In fighting the so-called “grain requisition sabotage”, the NKVD [then called GPU] arrested 3,525 village leaders. Then on 22 November the Moscow leadership approved Molotov’s proposal to create a “special commission” of three in Kharkiv to pass death sentences in cases involving grain requisitions.

On 23 November the Molotov Commission left Kharkiv for Moscow. Their activities lead to grain reserves being taken from Ukraine. By the end of November 1932 this resulted in a manmade famine which claimed the lives, according to different estimates, of between 7 and 10 million people in Ukraine.

Top Secret

From the Central Committee of the All-Soviet Communist Party to Comrade Stalin

We suggest giving the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, represented by a special commission, the final decision on whether to apply the highest measure of punishment during the period of grain requisitions.  It should report to the Central Committee of the All-Soviet Communist Party on its decisions every ten days.

Molotov, Chubar, Stroganov, Kalmanovych

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