This study focuses on the first group targeted in the genocide known as the Holodomor: Ukrainian intelligentsia, the “brain of the nation,” using the words of Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term genocide and enshrined it in international law. The study’s author examines complex and devastating effects of the Holodomor on Ukrainian society during the 1920–1930s. Members of intelligentsia had individual and professional responsibilities. They resisted, but eventually they were forced to serve the Soviet regime. Ukrainian intelligentsia were virtually wiped out, most of its writers and a third of its teachers. The remaining cadres faced a choice without a choice if they wanted to survive. The author analyzes how and why this process occurred and what role intellectuals, especially teachers, played in shaping, contesting, and inculcating history. Crucially, the author challenges Western perceptions of the all-Union famine that was allegedly caused by ad hoc collectivization policies, highlighting the intentional nature of the famine as a tool of genocide, persecution, and prosecution of the nationally conscious Ukrainian intelligentsia, clergy, and grain growers. The author demonstrates the continuity between Stalinist and neo-Stalinist attempts to prevent the crystallization of the nation and subvert Ukraine from within by non-lethal and lethal means.
Victoria A. Malko was born in Ukraine and is faculty member in the Department of History and founding coordinator of the Holodomor Studies Program at California State University, Fresno.
List of Figures
List of Tables
Notes on Transliteration and Administrative Divisions
Introduction: Soviet Genocide against Ukrainians
Chapter 1. Preconditions
Chapter 2. Leadership
Chapter 3. Trial
Chapter 4. Extermination
Chapter 5. Denial
Biographical Sketches and Terminology
About the Author
Meticulously researched and documented, Victoria A. Malko’s outstanding study is an indispensable read for those who hope to acquire nuanced understandings about the genocide in Soviet Ukraine known as the Holodomor—a tremendous cultural disruption that occurred in Ukraine from the late 1920s, culminating in the 1930s, when a significant part of the Ukrainian intelligentsia was exterminated by the Soviet regime. This text reveals that the Holodomor-genocide was designed to subdue the crystallization of a new cultural and ethnic identity in Ukraine, and explores the strategies of denial employed by perpetrators of the genocide and their long-lasting effects they have had on the future of the nascent nation.
This excellent work is one of the most sustained scholarly books I know that examines Moscow's assault on Ukraine in the early Soviet period. From the beginning to the end, it makes a clear and forceful argument for how consistently violent Moscow's political treatment of Ukraine was. It demolishes Moscow's claims about its policy of promoting Slavic brotherhood and internationalism. It presents a convincing argument on Moscow's use of political terror as a weapon to subjugate Ukraine to its will. This impressive book is indispensable for the study of Ukraine and the Soviet Union and for genocide studies in general.
In what may be a foretaste of future trends in scholarship, Victoria A. Malko's excellent monograph unapologetically treats the famine of 1932–1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians as a genocide. Unlike much Holodomor literature, Malko shifts the focus of her analysis from the peasantry to the intelligentsia—and to teachers in particular—a wise move that enables her to broaden the focus of Moscow's genocidal policies as well as to incorporate Stalin's cultural revolution into her narrative. All in all, Malko's is a worthy contribution to the burgeoning literature on the Holodomor.
Victoria A. Malko's important new study of the Holodomor—the horrific Ukrainian killer famine of 1932–1933—is wide-ranging and deeply researched. Focusing primarily on the tragic fate of the Ukrainian intelligentsia and especially on the role of teachers in the events, Malko skillfully guides the reader through the multiple dimensions of the genocide, from its origins in the Soviet Leninist–Stalinist system to its effects on independent Ukraine today.
Malko’s book is highly recommended. It provides the reader with reliable and well-researched information on Ukrainian history that serves as a basis for understanding its current affairs.... This is a book that can truly be described as inter-disciplinary as it deals with a complex topic using an appropriate approach that integrates politics (power), history (Communism), linguistics (terminologies), economics (collectivization), and psychology (trauma). Malko illustrates how and why it is important to take a closer look at a tragic period of history, where the preconditions and aftermath are of equal importance (in terms of analysis) as the genocide itself. Anyone that is interested in the core of any conflict must go back and learn more about its origins and preconditions. For those interested in making sense of the ongoing conflict between Russian and Ukraine and the former’s aggression towards the latter, this means going back nearly a hundred years. Whether an expert or a novice, it is a worthwhile journey and Victoria Malko makes this journey as enjoyable and illuminating as any reader might hope for.