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Heroes and Villains

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David R. Marples

Chapter 1. Independent Ukraine Reviews the Past

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Rethinking Perspectives in Ukraine

  • 1 Mariya Bazelyuk, “Chy bude v Ukraini Nyurnberg-2?” Ukraina moloda, 12 May 2001, p. 4.

1There are several general indications of changing perspectives in Ukraine after independence, a period when the government was preoccupied with elaborating its new relationship with Russia, with its autonomous region of Crimea, and with overcoming a serious economic crisis. Initially, there was some emphasis on taking revenge against the former Soviet regime in the form of an international tribunal. The situation was described by the president of the Kyiv branch of the Memorial association, Roman Krutsyk, who noted the disastrous consequences of Soviet rule in Ukraine. In 1989, when the contents of mass graves—victims of Stalin’s terror—had been exhumed at Dem’yaniv Laz, Memorial activists gathered party cards from Communists disillusioned with the ruling party. He commented that the materials collected by Memorial were ready to be used as testimonies against the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) at a new international tribunal. His organization had also facilitated the return to Ukraine of several families deported to the east. What were Memorial’s main goals? They were to “hunt down” the perpetrators of Communist crimes, but the main task was to raise new citizens who would be aware of Ukraine’s tragic past. With this goal in mind, the association intended to create a museum that would document Communist crimes and organize a Nuremberg-type trial for Communist criminals.1

  • 2 S. Kul’chyts’kyi, “Istoriya i chas: Rozdumy istoryka,” Ukrains’kyi istorychnyi zhurnal, No. 4, (Ap (...)

2Stanislav Kul’chyts’kyi, an historian who will enter these pages frequently, is deputy director of the Institute of History with the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine. In the spring of 1992 he wrote an insightful article about the state of the historical discipline in Ukraine, noting that in the wake of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, historians found themselves in a state of confusion. Because the writing of history in Soviet times was directed toward service to the regime, it frequently led to the falsification of the events of the 20th century. Historians often did not know the true picture, being limited to a “Communist” vision of the past. Kul’chyts’kyi himself was misled regarding past events, and writes that only in 1988 did he comprehend that there were no secret Trotskyite circles in the country. However, from the perspective of 1992, he maintains that historians could attain a better idea of historical processes through ridding themselves of censorship and mounting an all-out attack on archival holdings. He perceives several “blank spots” in Ukrainian history, including the government of the Central Rada after the revolutions of 1917, as well as OUN-UPA.2

  • 3 Ibid., p. 7.
  • 4 Ibid., p. 8.

3Kul’chyts’kyi also urges caution when dealing with archival documents, as they are not completely reliable. As an example, he cites party documents—pronouncements of party leaders at official ceremonies. These statements, he notes, did not necessarily reflect the sentiments of the speaker, and it is better for the historian to use the testimony of simple people or official reports that reflect the real state of affairs, such as police reports on the mood of the population. He appears to ignore or be ignorant of the fact that unofficial sources can be equally as slanted as official ones, reflecting the values and outlook of their originators. He thus cites as a reliable example the memoirs of simple peasants, praising the work of the US Commission on the Ukrainian Famine, led by James E. Mace, precisely for collecting such valuable testimonies, and declaring that “The subjective element disappears when hundreds of people have to answer the same question.”3 The statement reflects a rather naïve view of the historical discipline, as such surveys might also be depicted as hundreds of subjective narratives rooted in past and present discourses. Kul’chyts’kyi also bemoans the fact that Ukrainian historians lacked methodology because they were completely oblivious to the ways in which Western historians carried out their discipline.4That comment is also revealing because it demonstrates an almost obsequious attitude to Western historians and the implicit need to emulate them, and that for several years at least, those working in the discipline would be over-reliant on works published in the West (see below) whose authors had much less access to archival sources than the admittedly slanted Soviet publications.

  • 5 Petro Vol’vach, “Kudy ta homu znykayut’ ukraintsi na neosiazhnykh prostorakh imperii?” Istoriya i (...)

4What might be considered an extreme example of how the national element could be inserted into the conception of the past was provided in a 1993 article by Petro Vol’vach. His article sets out to explain economic and social problems in contemporary Ukraine through references to the pernicious influence of the legacies of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. He writes that the wretched state of the Ukrainian economy and spiritual life should be sought in Ukraine’s “lengthy colonial enslavement.” This “enslavement,” he maintains, is responsible for the low level of national consciousness and lack of national pride, opportunism, and patronage that is especially common in the southern and eastern regions of the country. He portrays expansionism as something that is inherent to the development of the Russian state, and draws a direct line from the 16th-century wars of Ivan the Terrible to the post-Second World War subjugation of Eastern Europe. Thus in 1492, “Muscovia” covered 24,000 square kilometers, but by 1914 the Russian Empire encompassed 23.8 million square kilometers. Thus Russia increased its total area by 80 square kilometers per day. Vol’vach offers the following chronology of “Ukrainian enslavement” in the modern period, which is worth citing in full as representative of an anti-Russian or Russophobic version of the Ukrainian past:5

  • 6 The reference is to the last major Ukrainian peasant uprising against Polish lords. See, for examp (...)
  • 7 The author is presumably referring to both the Famine and the mass purges in Ukraine in the 1930s, (...)

1720—decree of Peter I prohibiting the printing of books in Ukrainian;
1729—decree of the Holy Synod concerning the confiscation from the population of elementary textbooks and church writings in Ukrainian;
1768—the conspiracy of Catherine II with Polish aristocrats about the subjugation of the Koliivshchyna rebellion;6
1768-1775—the destruction of the Ukrainian Cossacks in the Russo-Turkish war;
1775—the destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich;
1771-1783—the liquidation of the Hetmanate;
1811—closure of the Kyiv Mohyla Academy;
1816-1821—military occupation of Ukraine in the form of 500,000-strong military settlements;
1847—destruction of the Cyrillo-Methodius Brotherhood;
1854-55—the Crimean War, in which Ukraine was the major supplier of “cannon fodder”;
1876—the Ukaz of Ems banning Ukrainian publications and resulting in the exile of several prominent Ukrainian cultural figures;
1877-78—Russo-Turkish war that brought huge economic and human losses to Ukraine;
1904-05—Russo-Japanese war that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Ukrainians;
1907-08—post-revolutionary reaction in Ukraine and the closing of Ukrainian-language journals and newspapers;
1914-1917—the First World War, with heavy Ukrainian casualties;
1917-1920—the Bolshevik-White Guard assault on Ukraine and civil war;
1921-22 [sic!]—War Communism;
1928-32—collectivization and the destruction of prosperous peasants; deportations;
1932-33—the man-made famine to destroy the rebellious Ukrainian peasants;
1933—halting the process of “Ukrainization;”
1933-38—the total genocide of the Ukrainian people and the destruction of Ukrainian culture;7
1938—Stalin’s decree about the obligatory study of the Russian language;
1939—Winter war [in Finland] with human and economic losses for Ukraine;
1919-40—Soviet annexation of Western Ukraine;
1941-1945—the Second World War;
1944-45—the preparation of the Stalin-Beria plan for the deportation of all Ukrainians (22 June 1944);
1946-47—famine in Ukraine;
1947—the Soviet-Polish Operation Vistula;
1944-49—the destruction of the UPA; deportations;
1954-59—the Virgin Lands program—3 million young Ukrainians moved to Kazakhstan;
1964-83—the Communist Party reaction in Ukraine; the struggle against the Ukrainian renaissance;
1983—the decree of the CC CSU about the obligatory study of the Russian language;
1986—the nuclear disaster at Chornobyl.

5Vol’vach notes with regret that the ratio of Ukrainians in the total population of Ukraine has been declining, partly as a result of the influx of people of other nationalities which, he believes, leads to the destruction of the moral foundations of society and the loss of awareness of a common historical fate and culture.

  • 8 Ibid., 22 July 1993, p. 3.

6In another contribution on this same theme, Vol’vach documents the experience of “genocide” suffered by the Ukrainian-speaking population of the Kuban in 1933-39. In 1932, he writes, there existed some 240 Ukrainian schools in this region, and 20 Ukrainian-language newspapers were in circulation, along with five journals. The radio also broadcasted in Ukrainian. Early in 1933, the process of Ukrainization in the Kuban was halted, because it did not correspond to the cultural needs of the population, in the Soviet view, and provided the “class enemy” with the legal tools to organize resistance to the Soviet authorities. Within three days, Vol’vach writes, Ukrainian-language broadcasts were terminated and the entire Ukrainian-language press reverted to Russian. Many Ukrainian writers and teachers in the Kuban were arrested. Collectivization in this region in 1933 led to a peasant rebellion that was subdued by the NKVD. Famine claimed the lives of many Cossacks. For many centuries, concludes the article, with reference to all Ukrainian territories, governments have given priority to the development of Russian culture in the national land of Ukraine. Independent Ukraine, as a member of the community of nations, is therefore entitled to demand from Russia and the international community adequate protection of the interests of Ukrainians on their own territory. Should such protection not be forthcoming (and it is unclear how it would be manifested, but presumably by preventing “foreigners” from taking up residence in Ukraine), millions of Ukrainians, who survived by a miracle throughout many centuries of genocide and warped assimilatory policies, will disappear and be dissolved into a “Russian sea” as had happened to millions in the past. Without resolving this pressing problem, the Ukrainian-Russian relationship will remain one-sided, and the current conversations of Russian “new democrats” about people’s friendship and the spirit of internationalism will be the sequel to the treacherous Communist demagoguery.8

  • 9 S. V. Kul’chyts’kyi, “Nerozv’yazani problemy vykladannya istorii u seredni shkoli,” Istoriya Ukrai (...)
  • 10 Yaroslava Muzychenko, “Pidruchnyky: istorychni chy isternychi?” Ukraina moloda, 18 September 2002, (...)

7These articles can perhaps be dismissed as representing a polarized view of Ukraine’s past and a contribution to what has been termed “the cult of competitive suffering.” However, other observers have noted first that there are some “blind spots” in the approach to the past, and second, that there are problems in “harmonizing” the national histories of Ukraine and Russia as reflected in history textbooks. Kul’chyts’kyi remarks that some Second World War veterans remain convinced that there was no famine in Ukraine in 1932-33, that the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact never existed, and that the Katyn massacre was a fabrication of the German occupants of the Soviet Union.9 Another writer, Yaroslava Muzychenko, cites the chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of St. Petersburg, Tet’yana Lebedyns’ka, who decried the lack of dialogue between Ukrainian and Russian historians on the dramatic episodes of modern history. Lebedyns’ka recalled two conferences dedicated to the 1709 Battle of Poltava, one in Moscow and another in Ukraine. The Russian one cursed Ukrainians; the Ukrainian gathering cursed Russians; and there was no common ground. She suggested a Western approach through which authors present comments on historical events from a variety of political perspectives. The same article quotes a Ukrainian teacher, Viktor Rudii, who is convinced that history textbooks have to tell the truth, however unpleasant it might be. He is frustrated that students seem incapable of viewing historical events objectively: people from Western Ukraine are still referred to as “Banderites” in the eastern parts of the country, while easterners in the west are called Communists. The problem has arisen, in Muzychenko’s view, because of the lack of a state policy directed toward the reconciliation of citizens.10

  • 11 Ibid.
  • 12 S. V. Kul’chyts’kyi, “Vitchyzniana istoriya v shkolakh i VNZ Ukrainy: stannie desyatyrichchya,” Is (...)

8Another factor behind such disparate perceptions is reportedly the “propaganda of intolerance” emanating from Russia, which together with the lack of a state policy from Kyiv and increasing poverty in Ukraine contribute to the spread of ethnic intolerance in the contemporary state. Muzychenko has little time for “gung-ho patriots” who are afraid that Ukrainians will disappear from Ukraine. This attitude, she writes, is imperialistic, as Ukraine is a multi-ethnic state. However, the greatest challenge to the Ukrainian-Russian Commission, created to examine the interpretations of history, is “ethno-centralism.” Russian historians have adopted the Great Imperial conception of history, whereas simple Russians enjoy the memoirs of people like Pavel Sudoplatov, who by modern standards would be considered an international terrorist. She cites Ukrainian historian Serhii Kot, who maintains that any commission is meaningless unless Russian society is prepared to grant Ukrainians or any other nation the right to a distinct historical development. However, she is fearful that Ukrainian “gung-ho patriots” will also be unwilling to accept the conclusions of a commission. This gives rise to the danger that Ukrainian historians will be unable to prepare their own conception of the past for common textbooks.11 The same topic, albeit with reference exclusively to the situation in Ukraine, is the subject of a reflective article by Kul’chyts’kyi on the state of history as a discipline in Ukraine’s schools and universities. He feels that the current state of affairs (he is writing in 2003) has its origins in the year 1988. At that time, with Perestroika reaching its culmination and the liberalization in public life, there spread a movement for the reform of the educational system in Ukraine and a desire to make it national in character. This movement, in Kul’chyts’kyi’s view, was a reaction to the all-out Russification of the educational system. One of its manifestations was to be seen in the teaching of the history of the USSR, which was de facto the history of Russia, with the history of Ukraine relegated to a secondary status, with about 30 hours of the academic load.12

  • 13 Ibid.

9In Kul’chyts’kyi’s view, during the Perestroika period, the Communists lacked the power to stem the national-democratic wave and therefore opted to hijack the movement and take charge of it. In October 1988, at a Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CC CPU), party leader Volodymyr Shcherbyts’kyi announced that the teaching in the social sciences poorly reflected the needs of society, and the work for filling in gaps in history was not being carried out energetically enough. In February 1989 the CC CPU issued a resolution to formulate a republican program for the development of historical research and the improvement of how history was taught in Ukraine. It contained concrete measures, such as introducing a course on the history of the Ukrainian SSR in schools, colleges, and institutes, the training of teachers and the preparation of textbooks. However, says Kul’chyts’kyi, because of the difficulties of the transitional period in coming to terms with the recent history of the USSR no textbook could appear at that time. Ukrainians relied on the book by Canadian professor Orest Subtelny. Only by 1995-96 did the two-volume History of Ukraine based on archival study appear under the editorship of V. Smolii. By 1989-90, Ukrainian history had become an independent discipline and was taught parallel to the history of the USSR and general history in the upper four grades. At that point the lack of relevant materials to cover various topics was very keenly felt and the Ukrainian Ministry of Education asked the Institute of History (affiliated with the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences) to begin immediately to prepare appropriate material. Kul’chyts’kyi and Yurii Kurnosov had thus prepared a brochure on materials for studying the history of Ukraine for the ninth and tenth grades. These materials were subsequently used to replace some chapters in existing Soviet textbooks.13

  • 14 Ibid.

10Kul’chyts’kyi informs readers that in 1990-91, the Institute of History created a new program for the study of history and published a new textbook entitled Istoriya Ukrainy. At the same time the publishing house “Radyans’ka shkola” (Soviet school) changed its name to “Osvita” (education). When the new history appeared, however, it was hopelessly outdated because Ukraine had become independent. Therefore in the fall of 1991 the Ministry of Education radically reconfigured the structure of historical education in schools. Two independent courses were taught: world history and the history of Ukraine, with the latter being taught from grades 7 to 11. What place does history occupy in contemporary Ukraine? Kul’chyts’kyi believes that it is a critical discipline, the foundation stone that allows pupils to grasp the fundamentals of social developments, and which should take priority over other social sciences. Of all the humanities and social science subjects, only history has to be included on the list of comprehensive examinations at the end of high school. It should have two chronologically complete circles, Kul’chyts’kyi believes, with the first ending after the ninth grade and the second covering the tenth and twelfth grades so that for those students who decide not to go on to Grade 10, the history of Ukraine does not end in the nineteenth century. Further, Ukrainian history must be studied within the context of world history. Students must learn to develop pluralistic views in making historical assessments and be subjected to different methods of looking at history, rather than being confined to the traditionally predominant political narratives. The author concludes with a discussion of the contested harmonization of Ukraine’s history with that of its neighbors: Poland and Russia. The point is not to place heavy focus on one’s national history, but to ensure that the “other side’s” textbooks are not fostering the spirit of hatred.14

  • 15 Kost’ Bondarenko, “Istoriya, kotoruyu ne znaem ili ne khotim znat’?” Zerkalo Nedeli, 29 March-5 Ap (...)

11Other writers have addressed themes similar to those raised by Kul’chyts’kyi. Some recent problems were put into perspective by writer Kost’ Bondarenko in the spring of 2002. Having noted the recognition of the rights of members of the SS Division “Halychyna” as equal to those of veterans of the Great Patriotic War by the Ivano-Frankivs’k city council, he observes that in a country in which no civil peace or consensus had been reached, local decisions such as this one would stir public opinion long after the last veteran of the Second World War rests in peace. He anticipates that the next stage will be a struggle over tombs and monuments. The key fact, he states, is that the overwhelming majority of the population “is absolutely historically illiterate.” Worst of all, people are unwilling to fill in the gaps of their ignorance about the past, or even correct their misconceptions. Some are taking the side of the “exclusively correct” Soviet interpretation, recognizing the Red Army and CPSU as true heroes and condemning all those who stood on the other side of the barricade as traitors, enemies, and criminals. Others study history from textbooks published in the Diaspora and are interpreting everything linked to the Soviet Union as negative, and all that was directed against the Communist regime as positive. He cites a small group of intellectuals that has approved a recent attempt at a new evaluation of the past by L’viv historian Yaroslav Hrytsak. But they are a small minority since most of the population prefers easier reading.15

  • 16 Serhiy Makhun et al, “History as Taught in the Schools: Time to Decide,” Den’, The Day Weekly Dige (...)

12In October 2003, the newspaper Den’ introduced in its weekly digest a discussion forum entitled “How to make the past your own. History as taught in schools: time to decide” compiled by writers from different parts of Ukraine and featuring several well-known Ukrainian historians. The premise for the debate was that the creation of a civil society in Ukraine that is founded on the basis of democracy and a market economy requires the proper education of community members in the history of their national past. This is partly in order not to repeat the same mistakes but also because members of society must recognize the significance of acquiring a free society and how much it is needed, as demonstrated “by the tragic and controversial history of their own country.” The premise seems somewhat illogical from the perspective of the approach to history, in that if past history has already been pronounced “tragic” and “controversial” then to some extent the task of the historians has already been decided for them. In fairness, however, this does not necessarily denote adherence to what might be termed the Vol’vach school of thought cited above. Several authors from this discussion merit citation, as their comments are also relevant to the current volume and the reasons that lie behind it. One of the contributors is Professor Valery Stepankov, Chair of the Department of World History at Kamyanets’-Podil’s’kyi State University. He points out that on television and radio, and in newspapers the following rhetorical question is being posed constantly: “Are our children and grandchildren taught the true history of Ukraine? Isn’t this history falsified to fit the new ideological dogmas?” Much depends, Stepankov writes, on the quality of textbooks and the competency of the teaching staff. Regarding the former, authors had to write in very restricted conditions, when all facets of instruction were under the sway of the Great Russian conception of Ukrainian history, which brought about gross distortions and the lack of any real Ukrainian version. Thus Ukrainian writers first had to determine the scholarly inheritance of Ukraine and then start writing new textbooks. Now it is necessary to go through these new books and select the best ones, while at the same time avoid the writing of any textbooks jointly with scholars from neighboring countries, as this would result in a version of history that conforms only to the views of foreigners.16

  • 17 Ibid.

13The situation, however, has been exceptionally difficult in Ukrainian schools. A history teacher from an elementary school in Uzhhorod in Western Ukraine points out that the curricula have been extremely inadequate and students “are under a senseless academic burden.” There are no teaching aids, such as maps or charts featuring the history of Ukraine, and those that do exist are prohibitively expensive. Schools lack a sufficient supply of textbooks, and no one can find information about the Ukrainian hetmans or books about “Ukrainian feats of arms” during the Second World War. The teachers themselves are part of the problem according to Taras Honcharuk, Chair of Ukrainian History at the Odesa National University. Only some 20 % of graduates of his department become teachers, and as a result history is being taught by retired army officers or people well beyond pensionable age. These people have not studied Ukrainian history and know little about it, so their focus is on world history. This situation is occurring during a time when the supply of textbooks on the history of Ukraine is “excellent.” On this topic, Kul’chyts’kyi notes, “we haven’t been wasting time.” The recent textbooks are an example of how far Ukraine has come in the teaching of a national history. Today’s books are shorter than in the past, and Soviet stereotypes have been removed. All these new books are richly illustrated and have maps. Kul’chyts’kyi comments that for the past decade he has participated in a Ukrainian-Polish commission to upgrade school history and geography textbooks, which has enabled him to compare the situation in Ukraine to that in Poland. Even though the Poles have a reputation for the quality of their books, the Ukrainians today—in his view—have caught up. Notably, in passing, Kul’chyts’kyi comments that the history of the twentieth century in Ukraine needs to be learned “in greater depth than the recent past.”17 While the statement may reflect a personal bias, it adds credence to the view that the formation of a national history is based on the criterion of a tragic and “genocidal” past in the twentieth century.

  • 18 Ibid.

14The final comments came from Professor Volodymyr Panchenko, Vice-President of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy National University. He remarks on the dangers of not knowing one’s own history and advances what he calls a paradoxical fact, namely that the Russification of Ukrainian history is being carried out by Ukrainians, as exemplified by the closure of Ukrainian-language schools in Donets’k and Dnipropetrovs’k. He complains about the limited use of the Ukrainian language in literature, films, and television, which he refers to as a “suicidal act.” It is essential, in his view, through the younger generation, to avoid becoming a people without a memory—but in order to reach such a situation, much will depend on teachers of history. They in turn, will be reliant on adequate textbooks and reference materials. He provides a warning about two very different tendencies that have been occurring in the Ukrainian case. The first concerns what he calls “naïve myths” with reference to Ukrainian history, and figuratively speaking can be illustrated by the efforts “to prove that Jesus Christ was Ukrainian.” On the other hand, there is the more traditional tendency to examine the history of Ukraine from a foreign, i.e., Russian point of view. This may be applied to the history of Kyivan Rus’, and the fact that in a textbook about Tsar Aleksandr II, one cannot find a mention of the Ems Ukaz prohibiting the use of the Ukrainian language. Ukrainian values, he says, are not the same as Russian ones, and there is a great demand for new literature, particularly works on popular history which should be promoted, including on the pages of Den’ and in other formats.18

15Some comments can be made about new historical writings. First, the writers are to some extent stating the obvious when they reject the old traditional formats in which, essentially, Ukraine in the Soviet period did not have its own history. However, no distinction is made between Soviet and Russian writing, or between, for example, the writing of Soviet history and that of Russian history. Are they the same? Or was the history of Russia submerged too, in which case the role of Russians in Ukraine’s story might need revising? Second, Panchenko seems to make a vital point when he remarks that one does not need to prove that Jesus Christ was Ukrainian. In other words, one cannot glorify the past. One might add a third point, which is the modern tendency to regard the past unequivocally as an era of both glory and suffering: with Ukrainians as the perennial victims and Russians, Poles, or Germans as the persecutors. Most often it is the Russians who are placed in this position. Such a tendency (though not with Ukrainians as victims) is particularly marked in Soviet works and—paradoxically—writings of Ukrainians in the West. It may also take other formats. Thus in the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Detroit an entire room is taken up with an exhibit about the persecution of Ukrainians under Soviet rule, evidently with the assistance of historians from Ukraine. The same exhibit was then transferred to Ukraine and can be found today in Kharkiv and the historical museums of other cities. However, it is hardly an accurate reflection of the past because history cannot be written in this way. Why has this situation occurred, and why must Ukrainian history necessarily be written from the perspective of victims? Is it a result merely of the lack of statehood? It could be argued, and to some extent this monograph is a reflection of this tendency, that with the end of the Soviet period, Ukrainian historians lacked guidelines to construct a new history that included the main and tumultuous events of the 20th century. Until very recent times there had been no opportunity to examine many of these events. Even many occurrences during the Stalin period only came under review during the period of Gorbachev’s leadership of the USSR. The result—and it is a very obvious point—was the magnification of the works of those writing Ukrainian history in the West, and particularly those historians, writers, politicians, or polemicists who were of Ukrainian background. What did the “Diaspora” think?

The Ukrainian Diaspora: The Example of the Famine-Genocide

  • 19 Vasyl’ Plyushch, “Genocide of the Ukrainian People: Artificial Famine in the Years 1931- 1933,” AB (...)
  • 20 Mykhailo Horan, “Chyya pravda, chyya kryvda? Publitsystychnyi rozdum,” Literaturna Ukraina, 15 Jan (...)

16This focus on the “Diaspora”—and it is a point also raised by Bondarenko—was pertinent, and gives rise to the question of the impact of those of Ukrainian ancestry living outside Ukraine, particularly the generation that left the native land during or shortly after the Second World War. Included in the rather sweeping term Diaspora are also people who were born in DP camps in Central Europe but subsequently moved to North America, Australia, or Western Europe. By and large the productivity of scholars from this community has been considerable and in many ways it has come to dominate popular writing on Ukraine even while the various groups, such as OUN, brought many of their political squabbles to the West with them. One objective of such writing was to offer a perspective on Ukraine that differed from that propagated by the authorities, i.e., of Ukraine as a “little brother” of Great Russia, but bound to Russia in eternal friendship. Often, such writings could be categorized as overtly anti-Soviet, such as the ABN Correspondence, which allegedly monitored four serious revolts in Ukraine against Soviet collectivization between August 1930 and 1931, precisely in the areas in which famine later occurred, i.e., Kherson, Poltava, Dnipropetrovs’k, and Kharkiv regions.19 A later example of a “Diaspora perspective” might be that provided by a Ukrainian from Australia, Mykhailo Horan, writing in the newspaper Literaturna Ukraina early in 2004. Horan writes that even though Ukraine has been “free” for more than twelve years, one cannot feel free. The culture of fear had developed over generations, destroying initiatives, free thought, and national pride, and turning people into meek, submissive, and complacent individuals. In order to ascertain the reasons behind such a phenomenon, he notes, it is necessary to know the history of Ukraine to answer the question why Moscow exploited Ukraine for centuries and now seems unwilling to do without her.20

  • 21 Ibid.

17Continuing in the same vein, Horan writes that the Russian Empire used Ukrainian labor to undertake various projects, from the building of Petrograd [sic!] to the development of the Siberian taiga, and many died as a result. With the creation of the Bolshevik regime, the “genocide” of Ukrainians entered a new phase. The artificial famine resulted in 8 million victims. In 1947, the authorities would not permit Ukrainians from the famine-infected eastern regions to migrate to the western areas because at that time Soviet forces were fighting Ukrainian insurgents. The terrorized and oppressed Ukrainian people were transformed into “homo sovieticus,” a new form of spiritual slavery. In order to ensure that Ukrainians did not recognize their miserable lot, the authorities resorted to scaremongering tactics to keep them divided, using phrases such as “Westerners” and “Easterners” to ensure that they never joined forces against foreign occupants. Communist propaganda meanwhile disseminated the lie that OUN leader Stepan Bandera collaborated with the Nazis when in fact the Germans had issued a secret instruction to arrest Bandera on trumped-up criminal charges. Horan comments that the Ukrainian Diaspora is baffled by the apparent inability of Ukraine’s officials to govern the country properly but appears oblivious to the fact that Ukraine is ruled, to a large extent, by people hostile to the Ukrainian state.21

18The excerpt is instructive because it encapsulates what might be termed a more partisan Diaspora view of the recent past: that of the Ukrainian being duped, exploited, and oppressed by the regime based in Moscow. It also implies that if a regime does not adopt the perspective of what Horan perceives to be the Diaspora viewpoint, then it is not representing the interests of the Ukrainian people. A similar perspective can be found in the writings of American analyst Myron B. Kuropas in the New Jersey newspaper, The Ukrainian Weekly. Kuropas, writing in June 2005, bemoans the way Ukrainian history is taught in many US universities, noting that the Ukrainian Holodomor is not considered genocide and the OUN is seen as something initiated by the Nazis. He then goes on to write:

What does the world really know about the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), that glorious group of dedicated freedom fighters who emerged during World War II to fight both the Nazis and the Soviets? Why is it that we rarely hear of their exploits outside our own community? … The UPA story is one of unequaled heroism. These were men and women who were willing to put their lives and sacred honor on the line against brutal and merciless enemies.

  • 22 Myron B. Kuropas, “UPA and the Ukrainian Identity Problem,” The Ukrainian Weekly, 19 June 2005, p. (...)

19Kuropas maintains that scholars have declined to examine available primary sources, such as the Litopys UPA collection, edited by Canadian political scientist Peter J. Potichnyj.22 In fairness, what Kuropas is asking is that scholars should write a history of the UPA that corresponds to his particular viewpoint, which is not really writing history per se, but rather a polemic. Nevertheless, his article is instructive in offering a clearly delineated perspective of the UPA as heroes, one that eventually began to penetrate writing in Ukraine.

20The impact of the Diaspora on changing interpretations of modern Ukrainian history can also be illustrated by a campaign, held during the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Famine-Holodomor, to demand that The New York Times should strip its former Moscow correspondent, Walter Duranty, of his Pulitzer Prize for his reporting from the USSR. The campaign was coordinated by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), which declared that the year-long protest was part of a wide-ranging effort to counter “Holodomor deniers.” Hundreds of letters were solicited from the community, as well as from residents of Ukraine. The UCCA initiative evidently coincided with and worked alongside a similar campaign by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which started a worldwide postcard campaign in April 2003 to the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, Sig Gissler. Its claim was that Duranty had deliberately lied about the real situation in Ukraine by denying the existence of the famine, while at the same time collaborating closely with the Soviet authorities, even going so far as to venerate Stalin.23 The late James E. Mace claimed that the campaign actually originated in Canada, when Lubomyr Luciuk, a geography professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, conceived the idea and secured backing from various Ukrainian organizations in Canada and the United States, which then deluged the Pulitzer Committee with postcards.24

21Evidently on Mace’s initiative, the Ukrainian newspaper Den’ (The Day) also sent a letter to The New York Times, which stated:

  • 25 James Mace, “Remembrance and Justice,” Den’; The Day Weekly Digest, 28 October 2003; [http://www.d (...)

We highly appreciate the New York Times’ glorious history and its unique role in the history of the American press. However, here in Ukraine, a newly independent state in the process of developing its own independent journalism, we believe that you should consider voluntarily giving up the Pulitzer Prize received by your correspondent Walter Duranty in 1932. His denying the 1932–1933 Holodomor Manmade Famine in Ukraine and acting as Stalin’s apologist during the period for which he received this prize are evidence that, of the numerous prizes won by NYT journalists, this one only clouds the reputation of those honestly earning their award for the ideals championed by Joseph Pulitzer.25

22This letter is somewhat unusual in that an American correspondent is writing on behalf of a Ukrainian newspaper, but it is illustrative of the way a demand for redress in North American could be transferred to Ukraine and then back again. That the Times limited itself to rebuking Duranty’s stance without revoking the prize ultimately meant very little because the awareness of the issues generated by the postcards and the publicity around them alerted thousands to the controversy. The Diaspora campaign for the Famine to be recognized as genocide is likewise an illustration of rewriting history by publicity and pressure—the justice of the case notwithstanding.

  • 26 James Mace, “Is the Ukrainian Genocide a Myth?” Den’; The Day Weekly Digest, 25 November 2003; [ht (...)
  • 27 Editorial, The Ukrainian Weekly, 14 July 2002, p. 6.
  • 28 Taras Kuzio, “Denial of Great Famine Continues a Decade after the Collapse of the USSR,” The Ukrai (...)

23Mace pointed out that the US Commission on the Ukraine Famine, which he headed for four years prior to moving permanently to Ukraine, had collected eyewitness accounts, and that to these had now been added thousands more from Ukraine. Their collective accounts, he noted, “cannot fail to move even the most scientific of historians.”26 Evidently though, it did. An editorial in The Ukrainian Weekly a year earlier had commented that it “may seem incredible” but “denial of the Great Famine continues to exist.” The phrase signified not the occurrence of famine per se, but the denial of what this news paper saw as its certain cause: the intention of the Soviet leadership to eliminate Ukrainians. It cited a discussion on the H-Russia Internet list in which two American scholars, Mark B. Tauger and Grover Furr, disputed the view that the Famine of 1932-33 was an act of genocide perpetrated against Ukrainians by the Stalin regime. Tauger had offered the perspective that the Famine developed out of a grain shortage that encompassed the Soviet Union in these years. The editorial demanded that the Famine deniers should “cease their repulsive activity” in the face of incontrovertible evidence that the event constituted one of the “most grisly episodes of genocide” ever known to the world.27 Again, the emotional outpouring is understandable, but the continuing debate at the same time suggested that the evidence presented to that point had not convinced everyone, particularly the two scholars in question. Taras Kuzio, a prominent political scientist on contemporary Ukraine, pointed out that Tauger maintained that oral testimonies were unreliable. More controversially, Kuzio added that after the US Commission on the Ukraine Famine closed, Mace had been unable to obtain academic employment because “his cards had been marked” as a “biased Ukrainian nationalist émigré.” Bohdan Krawchenko, a Canadian political scientist who moved to Ukraine after 1991, is cited in Kuzio’s article as remarking that the entire discussion about the origins of the Famine was “absurd and fundamentally immoral” and a “total abrogation of the responsibilities of intellectuals.”28 Krawchenko did not elaborate on these comments, but presumably they can be taken to mean that it is no longer feasible to question how and why the Famine took place. Such discussions have also been featured frequently at academic gatherings in North America, such as panels at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, in which Tauger, the late James Mace, and Robert Conquest offered their perspectives.

  • 29 Editorial, The Ukrainian Weekly, 7 July 2002, p. 6.
  • 30 James Mace, “A Historic Motion,” The Day Digest, 24 June 2003.

24The Diaspora’s contribution to the study of the Famine developed further during the 70th anniversary year. Though the debate on the Famine’s origins continued, the community in North America launched several initiatives that had an impact on perspectives in Ukraine regarding the centrality and significance of this tragedy in national history. One was for the creation of a memorial complex that included an educational and research center in Kyiv to be established on the 75th anniversary (2008), an idea of an American public relations professional living in Kyiv, Morgan Williams.29 On 19 June 2003, the Canadian Senate adopted unanimously a motion from Senator Raynell Andreychuk calling for the Canadian government to recognize the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-33. The motion called for the condemnation of any effort to deny or distort “this historical truth” as being anything less than genocide, and requested that historians, educators, and members of parliament should include the “true facts” in Canadian records and in educational material.30 Four months later, the US House of Representatives followed suit, stating in Clause 2 of the resolution that “this man-made famine was designed and implemented by the Soviet regime as a deliberate act of terror and mass murder against the Ukrainian people.” Clause 4 declared that

  • 31 HRES 356 EH, 20 October 2003.

the official recognition of the famine [as an act of genocide] by the Government of Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada represents a significant step in the reestablishment of Ukraine’s national identity, the elimination of the legacy of the Soviet dictatorship, and the advancement of efforts to establish a democratic and free Ukraine that is fully integrated into the Western Community of nations.31

25The wording is significant in that it demonstrated the sentiments of many in the Ukrainian community that the Famine was clearly linked to the formation of national identity in Ukraine. Moreover, in Canada and the United States, the Ukrainian community successfully took the debate out of the hands of historians and declared that no further discussion should take place. But can debate be ended on historical questions in this way? And, if so, who is to make such a decision, the community at large or professional historians? And do such decisions render historical research in recently opened archives in Ukraine, Russia, and elsewhere meaningless?

26However, the response from Ukraine and other countries was initially quite limited. In November 2003, Ukraine and 26 other nations signed a joint declaration of the United Nations “in connection with the 70th anniversary of the Great Famine in Ukraine of 1932-33.” The opening statements at once broadened the impact of the Famine and suggested that it was a tragedy that went beyond the borders of Ukraine: “In the former Soviet Union millions of men, women, and children fell victims to the cruel actions and policies of the totalitarian regime.” Having noted that the Famine was a “national tragedy” for the Ukrainian people, the declaration continued as follows:

  • 32 Morgan Williams, “Ukrainian issues joint declaration at the United Nations in connection with the (...)

Honoring the 70th anniversary of the Ukrainian tragedy, we also commemorate the memory of millions of Russians, Kazakhs, and representatives of other nationalities who died of starvation in the Volga river region, North Caucasus, Kazakhstan, and in other parts of the former Soviet Union, as a result of civil war and forced collectivization, leaving deep scars in the consciousness of future generations.32

27For some in the North American community, such comments were simply unacceptable in that the UN resolution declined to focus exclusively on Ukraine, probably in order to acquire the signatures of other nations such as Russia and Kazakhstan. On the other hand, within Ukraine, as is illustrated by examples in Chapter 2, there were a number of ethnic minority communities that were directly affected by the Famine and who suffered losses on a similar scale to those of the Ukrainians, most notably the Jewish community, the Mennonites, the Greeks, the Bulgarians and the Germans (the latter did receive some aid directly from Germany, a rare instance of Stalin’s regime permitting aid from abroad). The question that arises therefore is whether these groups were incidental to the ostensible purpose of the government to strike at Ukrainians, or whether they were also included as part of a genocidal campaign. On the whole, however, the awareness of the international community about the 1932-33 Famine in Ukraine was heightened as a result of campaigns initiated by Ukrainian communities in North America, Australia, and elsewhere. Moreover, these campaigns intensified debates within Ukraine itself, as did contacts between Westerners and Ukrainians that had opened up since the late 1980s as a result of exchanges, travel, and a large coterie of prominent community members from the West who took up residence, either for the short or long term, in Ukraine.

Western Scholarship

  • 33 Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (Lond (...)
  • 34 Anthony D. Smith, Myths and Memories of the Nation (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp (...)
  • 35 Hugh Seton-Watson, Language and National Consciousness (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1981) (...)

28The events dealt with in detail in the remainder of this book have all been subjected to research by scholars resident in the West. This brief survey will be limited to works that have appeared in English over the past 20 years, a period roughly equivalent to the time span of the interpretations cited in Ukraine in subsequent chapters. Throughout this monograph there are cited articles that deal with the question of nationalism and nationalist thought, and the term “nationalist” is frequently used without explanation. There is an extensive literature on nationalism and little consensus among those who perceive the nation as a “construct of imagination,” those who insist that national and nationalism are a modern phenomenon, or those who stress the important role of historical continuity, and long-term attachment to culture and traditions. One of the most eloquent theorists, Anthony D. Smith, emphasizes the important role of memory, symbols, and history in the rise of nations and nationalism in offering an alternative perspective to the so-called modernists, represented by scholars such as Benedict Anderson and Eric Hobsbawm.33 Smith maintains that the latter have failed to recognize the “properties of territory and the role of ancestral homelands” in the construction of a nation. Nationalism is a process in which “the idea of an historic and poetic landscape” converges with “the culture and history of a group,” signifying in his view that the link between people and territory must be analyzed. Special events contribute to the formation of experiences and memories, which develop over generations of a sacred land that encompasses myths of ancestors, memories, and symbols.34 Hugh Seton-Watson makes a distinction between “national consciousness,” “nationalism,” and “the nation.” The first is a state of mind when community members feel they belong to a nation, whereas nationalism is a political movement to promote the nation’s interest. The nation is a community of people that has national consciousness and an elite group to lead them. Nation-building in turn is divided between “old nations” that emerge after state formation and “new nations” that form the state. Language and historical myths are far more important in new nations than in older ones.35

  • 36 Ronald G. Suny, The Revenge of the Past: Nationalism, Revolution, and the Collapse of the Soviet U (...)
  • 37 Ibid., especially pages 124-126.

29Applying nationalist theories directly to the former Soviet Union, Ronald G. Suny examines inter alia the case of the non-Russian peoples in tsarist Russia, including the Ukrainians. He perceives a gap between national and class consciousness among many groups. Ukrainian nationality often overlapped with membership of the peasant class, and in the 19th century, Ukrainians developed a distinct culture and language. By the early 20th century Galicia had become the center of Ukrainian popular nationalism, but national discourse had not yet surfaced. Suny notes the lack of agreement in assessing Ukrainian nationalism in the revolutionary period of 1917-18, with some authors maintaining that events in Ukraine reflected the initiative of the middle class, others focusing on the peasantry, and a third view being that the elite in Ukraine was supported by nationally conscious peasants in a single class movement. Suny’s view is that the peasantry was not prepared for a sustained political movement and eventually went over to the side of the Bolsheviks. He maintains that the common dichotomy between class and nationality, the bourgeoisie and the peasantry, and town and country do not apply here as the categories were intertwined, fluid, and situational. The chances of success for the nationalist elite were enhanced when they could combine social reform with programs of self-definition, autonomy, or independence.36 In the later Soviet period, under Gorbachev, Suny writes that the formation of nations occurred as a direct consequence of state-building through a pseudo-federal system or policies of nativization. He sees Soviet policies as being a direct cause of the rise of nationalism—as opposed to the idea that primordial nations were waiting to be emancipated.37

  • 38 Mark Von Hagen, “Does Ukraine Have a History?” Slavic Review, Vol. 54, No. 3 (Fall 1995): 658-673. (...)

30How do these post-Soviet states, involved in nation-building, view the past? In an article that focuses primarily on the question of whether Ukraine has a history, Mark von Hagen also pays attention to the issue of Ukraine’s situation, caught between two powerful and dominant historiographies: that of the Germans and the Russians (Soviets). The postwar political order also served to reduce the significance of East and Central Europe in the academic world of North America. He maintains that the history of the region that includes Ukraine was linked with “nationalism, anti-Semitism, and ethnic irredentism,” and that nationalism was demonized because of its association with collaboration with German National Socialism and Fascism. Two nationalisms thus emerged in the world: the good nationalism of the NATO countries and the bad nationalism equated with Eastern Europe (Ukraine) and the Third World. Ukraine’s situation was also worsened by its secondary role within the former Soviet Union. After 1991, however, Ukrainian leaders began to turn to the past in a quest to “build legitimacy.” One possibility was the adoption of the primordial and integral nationalist perspective that is espoused by the Diaspora, which links the struggle of the past to the present state, and perceives Ukraine as a victim of other nations in its quest for independence. Von Hagen seems rather perturbed by the fact that when independence did come, “the teaching staff remained almost entirely unchanged.” In other words, the teachers of Marxism-Leninism could now become the instructors of a new national history. The problem is that Marxists had trust in a single version of “true history,” and the black-and-white version of the past is now being repeated, but in reverse. Further, the evolution of anti-Stalinist views has resulted in the inclusion of the entire Soviet period as one of an occupation regime, and, from Ukraine’s perspective, uniformly negative.38

  • 39 Iaroslav Isaievych, “Ukrainian Studies—Exceptional or Merely Exemplary?” Slavic Review, Vol. 54, N (...)
  • 40 Serhii M. Plokhy, “The History of a ‘Non-historical’ Nation: Notes on the Nature and Current Probl (...)

31Von Hagen’s comments sparked several responses in the pages of the same issue of Slavic Review, two of which merit citation here as relevant to the topic under review. Yaroslav Isayevich (Iaroslav Isaievych) writes that he was educated in an environment in which “the term ‘nation’ meant exclusively an ethnic nation mostly… with a territory and not necessarily with a state.” He feels that Von Hagen’s implicit condemnation of party historians is too sweeping because they included a variety of people, some of whom have managed to combined patriotism with the duties of a historian. In a footnote, he says the following: “It is strange that authors who have forgiven so many contemporary democratic Ukrainian politicians for their communist past will not extend that forgiveness to historians who are now sincere and serious critics of totalitarianism.” He feels that no matter which country is being portrayed, native historians will write, to some extent, a patriotic version of history (including the United States).39 Isayevich’s response is very defensive and overlooks the basic question of whether historians who have made a career out of writing propaganda have not retained some of that same methodology in a newer era. Serhii M. Plokhy, an historian who moved from Eastern Ukraine to Canada, feels that the triumph of the pro-independence forces in Ukraine in 1991 resulted from the success of two “historical myths”: first, the notion that Ukraine was an old nation with a “glorious past” that had been denied its legitimate statehood by the Russian tsarist and Soviet Communist regimes; and second, that Ukraine was an economic power house, both in terms of being the “breadbasket of Europe” and a major industrial power. He points out accurately that the modern Ukrainian nationalism is not xenophobic and indeed that Ukrainians and Russians in particular share a well-developed Cossack mythology.40

  • 41 Ibid., pp. 712-715.

32Plokhy notes the portrayal of Ukraine as the main victim of the Soviet regime through events such as the Famine of 1932-33 and the nuclear accident at Chornobyl in 1986. The most important aspect of such depictions has been their all-inclusiveness, i.e., the view that all citizens of Ukraine, no matter what their background, were victims of the Communist government. However, after 1991, it became very difficult to develop an all-inclusive model of historical mythology. Nationalistic myths, such as the feats of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, could not penetrate Eastern Ukraine, and the attempt by Ukraine’s first two presidents, Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma, to include the Great Patriotic War in an official conception of history did not meet with favor in Western Ukraine. Plokhy thinks that Ukraine needs a new historical myth in order to advance further, but it has run up against virtually unsolvable problems in interpreting the events of the Ukrainian Revolution (1917-1920) and the Second World War. He also brings up an important question that is frequently overlooked, namely the declining state of history as a discipline in independent Ukraine. Whereas Soviet historians were powerful figures, well-paid and often the arbiters of state ideology; post-Soviet historians are impoverished and of a lower social status. Outside the country Ukraine has faced the problem of a deeply entrenched perspective in the American scholarly community that has adopted the views of émigré historians from Russia. In addition, the fall of the Soviet Union brought about a sharp reduction in government funding and the collapse of what was known as “Sovietology.”41 Plokhy might have added a qualifying remark, namely that when a discipline is based on government funding then it contains an inherent political purpose; in other words it is not necessarily a bad thing for the writing of Ukrainian history that it is not sponsored by governments: East or West.

  • 42 Andrew Wilson, Ukrainian Nationalism in the 1990s: a Minority Faith (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ (...)
  • 43 Andrew Wilson, The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000) (...)

33Andrew Wilson has written two books that deal with similar questions and are extensive in their scope. The first, published in 1997, was the more controversial because it deals with Ukrainian nationalism in the 1990s and argues that an ethnically based nationalism will never hold sway in many parts of Ukraine. It is a fairly negative view that attempts to incorporate historical events dating from the period of Kyivan Rus’ to the present state, and posits that modern Ukraine is a deeply polarized society that may well face insuperable problems in the future if it tries to found the state on a conception of ethnic nationalism. Like some other scholars, Wilson attributes a large role in state-building to the issue of language, and he doubts whether the large group of Russian speakers in Ukraine (both Ukrainians and Russians) can ever be persuaded to adopt “modern ethno-nationalism.”42 This line of argument raises the question of whether state-building is exclusively the privilege of Ukrainian speakers or ethno-nationalists, and also leads to the question, whether, what can be termed rightist political thought in Ukraine today, is as pervasive as integral nationalism was in Western Ukraine in the 1930s and the war years. His second book also delves into the past, largely to debunk the notion of Ukrainian antiquity and the perspective that the Kyivan Rus’ state could be described as the exclusive origin of modern Ukraine. Wilson does accept that the roots of the modern state are very old, but he adheres to the view that Ukraine evolved from a common experience of empire (under Lithuanian, Polish, and Russian rule). In the 20th century, he considers that there were different possible paths to statehood, and that it was not a foregone conclusion which would succeed. He cites the example of the “Skoropadsky Project,” which attempted to form a state based on loyalty rather than on a linguistically Ukrainian population. More debatable is his analysis of contemporary political issues, because at times he seems to overstress the significance of ethno-nationalism in modern debates, such as when he states that Kuchma’s victory in the 1994 presidential race was a result of “ethno-linguistic and geopolitical” rather than economic factors.43 Overall the book contains many perceptive and even brilliant insights, and the reader gets the impression that Ukrainian statehood is a fairly recent phenomenon and by no means preordained. In this sense, and for our purposes, the direct link between the efforts to form an independent Ukrainian state in the war years and the current state can be seriously questioned.

  • 44 Robert Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine (Oxford: Oxford (...)
  • 45 James E. Mace, Communism and the Dilemmas of National Liberation: National Communism in Ukraine, 1 (...)
  • 46 Recently, Conquest has distanced himself from the “genocide” school of thought on the Famine of 19 (...)
  • 47 Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow, pp. 306, 326. For a recent debate on the intent and the origins of th (...)
  • 48 Roman Serbyn and Bohdan Krawchenko, ed. Famine in Ukraine, 1932-1933 (Edmonton, Canadian Institute (...)

34Turning to more specific studies, early works on the Famine of 1932-33 were commissioned by the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University (HURI) and the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS). In the case of the former, Robert Conquest, a senior scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, produced the book (cited above) Harvest of Sorrow, a careful study of the Famine based mainly on documents available in libraries of the West,44 with the assistance of James E. Mace, who had recently completed a PhD and published a book on a related topic.45 Conquest argues that the Soviet leadership, and specifically Kaganovich, Molotov, and Stalin, were well aware of the severity of the Famine, even if it cannot be proved definitively that it had planned such an event.46 Conquest estimates 11 million peasant deaths in the Soviet Union between 1930 and 1937, with a further 3.5 million arrested and dying in camps, or a total of 14.5 million victims. Of this figure, he writes, 5 million died in the 1932-33 Famine in Ukraine.47 The Canadian production was a volume of essays on the famine, edited by Roman Serbyn and Bohdan Krawchenko, which also included Duranty’s cover-up.48 The US Commission on the Ukraine Famine also published several volumes of analysis and eyewitness testimonies upon the completion of its work in 1990. Thereafter there was little work that focused on the Famine specifically. Notably it was the US Commission, rather than Conquest, that first sought to establish that the Famine constituted an act of genocide.

  • 49 Johan Dietsch, Making Sense of Suffering: Holocaust and Holodomor in Ukrainian Historical Culture (...)

35A new study by Swedish scholar Johan Dietsch offers a very critical look at writings on the Famine. Specifically he uses the phrase “making facts fight” and argues that scholars such as Robert Conquest and James E. Mace have expanded the traditional role of the historian, which Dietsch describes as “essentially a scientific scholarly one, whereby the past is recorded as it happened by establishing historical facts.” Once that job is completed, however, the historian takes on a new role of making moral judgements, and in the case of the new interpretations by Conquest and Mace the task was to use the Famine to illustrate the victimization of Ukrainians by the Soviet regime with explicit comparison with the Jewish Holocaust. In Dietsch’s view, the description of Ukraine by Conquest as “one vast concentration camp” led others “engaged in the struggle” [!] to make a direct analogy with the Holocaust, which in turn undermined the image of Ukrainians welcoming German troops in the summer of 1941. He also maintains that the purpose of the new attention to the Famine that began among Ukrainian groups in the West from 1983 was, first of all, to make the subject known to a wider audience, but secondly, to strengthen the notion that the third-wave of emigrants had departed from Ukraine because of “political and cultural persecutions.” Dietsch editorializes that “such an existential use of history simply confirmed an understood image of victimhood.” Dietsch also believes that within Ukraine, the Holocaust and Jewish victimization per se has never received due attention, and he points out that this crucial event of 20th century Europe is mysteriously absent from Ukrainian textbooks, which often provide a narrative on Ukraine in the Second World War without mentioning the assault on Jews. He attributes this omission not to some inherent anti-Semitism, but rather the issue of “opposing martyrdoms” and the fact that Ukrainian suffering would thereby be overshadowed by its Jewish counterpart.49

  • 50 Orest Subtelny, Ukraine: A History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988).
  • 51 Terry Martin, The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-193 (...)
  • 52 Mark B. Tauger, “The 1932 Harvest and the Famine of 1933,” Slavic Review, Vol. 50, No. 1 (Spring 1 (...)
  • 53 R. W. Davies and Stephen G. Wheatcroft, The Years of Hunger: Soviet Agriculture, 1931-1933 (London (...)
  • 54 Michael Ellman, “The Role of Leadership Perceptions and of Intent in the Soviet Famine of 1931-193 (...)

36Two other works merit citation for their analysis of the Famine. The first is Orest Subtelny’s Ukraine: a History, which first appeared in 1988, and was widely distributed in Ukraine in its Ukrainian translation.50 It is discussed in context in Chapter 2, as is Terry Martin’s The Affirmative Action Empire.51 Neither work lays great emphasis on the Famine as an act of genocide, though Martin conducts a long discussion concerning the national element of the Famine, and the extent to which Stalin’s campaign against peasants coincided with a campaign against Ukrainians as a national group. Those who reject the theory of genocide, overtly or implicitly, are led—at least in terms of output—by the aforementioned Mark B. Tauger, a historian at the University of West Virginia, who believes that the famine (he refers to it as the “famine of 1931-33”) arose mainly from environmental factors.52 The lengthy series on the economic history of the Soviet Union by E. H. Carr and R. W. Davies, and more recently by Davies and Stephen G. Wheatcroft, has included a recent volume entitled The Years of Hunger: Soviet Agriculture, 1931-1933, which emphasizes both food shortages and distribution problems as the main factors behind the famine.53 The article on the topic published in 2005 by Michael Ellman, an economist based at the University of Amsterdam, declines even to engage the literature on the Famine as genocide (though he takes a more critical stance than Davies and Wheatcroft vis-à-vis the Soviet regime), and should be considered in the same category of genocide-rejection theory. It also extends the famine period from 1931 to 1934.54 Thus from the field of academic historians working specifically on the Famine and basing their findings on former Soviet archives, only Conquest’s work (indirectly) supports the genocide theory among the works that have appeared in English. Clearly there is a significant split between those who rely on eyewitness testimonies and those who prefer to focus on Soviet documents or Politburo correspondence from the period.

  • 55 John A. Armstrong, Ukrainian Nationalism, 3rd ed. (Englewood, Colorado: Ukrainian Academic Press, (...)
  • 56 Armstrong, Ukrainian Nationalism, p. 163.
  • 57 Taras Hunczak, “OUN-German Relations, 1941-1945,” in Joachim Torke and John-Paul Himka, ed., Germa (...)

37One can find similar disputes in English-language scholarship when it comes to OUN-UPA, a topic that covers a much longer period and a plethora of events, including a world war, a civil war, and a nationalist insurgency over a time span of more than 15 years. One of the earliest works in the field has retained its importance despite the passage of five decades since its first appearance, namely John A. Armstrong’s book, Ukrainian Nationalism.55 He focuses on the origins and structure of the OUN in a difficult period faced by a Ukrainian minority under Polish rule. Based primarily on OUN-M newspapers, he provides a detailed account of the collaboration between the two branches of the OUN and the Germans during the period of occupation. Concerning the nature of OUN’s ideology, Armstrong notes how it modeled itself on German National Socialism and Italian Fascism, and that the leadership principle remained intact even after the Third OUN Congress (which some sources maintain resulted in the democratization of the organization with the adoption of more moderate views), and that its origins were fundamentally anti-democratic.56 When the third edition of the book appeared in 1990, archives in the Soviet Union, as well as those of OUN leaders such as Mykola Lebed’, were still unavailable to Western researchers. The most notable addition to the earlier editions was a postscript on the development of the OUN in the Diaspora since 1960. Perhaps the most glaring omission from Armstrong’s magisterial book is a detailed discussion of the Volhynia massacres of 1943. A different perspective is offered by Taras Hunczak, who maintains that the OUN-B was in opposition from the very beginning of Operation Barbarossa. On June 30, 1941, its leaders were arrested following the declaration of an independent Ukraine in L’viv. The OUN was “a vibrant force which played a most important role in the Ukrainian resistance movement against the German occupation.”57

  • 58 Timothy Snyder, The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (New (...)
  • 59 Karel Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine under Nazi Rule (Cambridge, Massachu (...)

38Two younger scholars have offered new perspectives on the issues under discussion in this book. Timothy Snyder’s The Reconstruction of Nations offers a fairly detailed account of the massacres of Poles in Volhynia by the UPA in 1943. The author is very scathing about UPA, and in attempting to bring the story into his narrative, he offers several critiques of the way its members operated. He states, for example, that UPA insurgents killed as many Ukrainians as they did their opponents, particularly members of the OUN-M. Through the UPA, ethnic cleansing was established, and its policies inspired Stalin, who completed the process that was begun during the war years to bring about states that were ethnically homogeneous. Since the UPA considered the Poles agents of both Hitler and Stalin, it felt justified in its attitude. Snyder indicates that Mykola Lebed’ was one of the main architects of the policy of ethnic cleansing. He also depicts OUN-UPA as an organization that was far from popular among native Ukrainians—with the UPA a repository for many former collaborators with the German occupants. These emanated from an estimated 12,000 Ukrainian auxiliary police who reportedly assisted 1,200 German police in the destruction of the Volhynian Jews. Snyder estimates that 40,000-60,000 Poles were killed by UPA, which also conducted massacres of Jewish citizens who had survived the Holocaust.58 The Dutch scholar, Karel Berkhoff, generally concurs with Snyder’s interpretation, though his concentration is primarily on the German occupation regime. Berkhoff’s documentation of the Volhynia massacres is drawn from a wide variety of sources, including UPA, Soviet, and German accounts. He emphasizes that both wings of the OUN sought out and killed Poles, and that few Ukrainians seemed willing to assist Poles or Jews. He also notes the internal conflicts of August 1943, when the internal security force—the Sluzhba Bezpeky (SB)— executed hundreds of UPA members. Like Snyder, he maintains that neither the Communists nor the Nationalists had mass appeal among the Ukrainian population.59

  • 60 Frank Golczewski, “Poland’s and Ukraine’s Incompatible Past,” Jahrbuecher fuer Geschichte Osteurop (...)

39German scholar Frank Golczewski has also focused on the “incompatible pasts” of Poland and Ukraine from the perspective of historical narratives. He notes that “different discourse groups create their own reality.” After 1991 in Ukraine (as elsewhere) it was theoretically possible to have a pluralism of positions. However, he feels, in reality what has occurred is adhesion to the view that there is only one possible “truth.” Whereas Western historians dealt with a variety of approaches from Benedict Anderson’s “imagined communities” and Eric Hobsbawm’s “invention of traditions,” in the new countries of Europe, more often, it was a case of making black white and white black. But the Second World War has proved particularly problematic in terms of producing new and “correct” narratives. It is manifested in new textbooks in Ukraine (see Chapter 7), which tend to combine Soviet triumphs along with the resistance of UPA, even though the two seem mutually contradictory. Since OUN-UPA is now identified with a liberation struggle of Ukrainians, Golczewski maintains, its collaboration with the Germans is either ignored or concealed. He focuses in particular on efforts to present the SS Division Halychyna as a Ukrainian movement that did not have close links with the Germans, commenting that historian Taras Hunczak portrays its members as heroes at the time (1943) when even the OUN felt obliged to moderate its views from its more rigid integral nationalism. He finds that the deconstruction of historical narratives is more advanced in Poland. In Ukraine, because of the difficulties entailed in combining the historical positions in Western and Eastern Ukraine (the former with a tendency to a nationalist perspective and the latter Soviet), negative aspects of the war years are omitted and some collaborationist acts are interpreted as “nationally positive.”60

  • 61 Peter J. Potichnyj, “Ukrainians in World War II Military Formations: An Overview,” in Yury Boshyk, (...)

40From the opposite perspective, political scientist Peter J. Potichnyj has authored or edited numerous works on UPA, including the multi-volume Litopys UPA series, which is widely available today in Ukraine. In an article written more than two decades ago, Potichnyj makes the case that the approach to the question of the Ukrainian underground in the West has been oversimplified. Its members were depicted as Fascists because of its creation by Nationalists, many of whom had been placed in military units linked to the Germans. Another thorny issue is UPA membership, because in Potichnyj’s view, UPA members derived from “all organized nationalist groups.” They included members of the Ukrainian police who had deserted, as well as members of the SS Division Halychyna defeated at the Battle of Brody by the Red Army. Consequently, “uninformed writers” in the West as well as Soviet propaganda organs worked to create the impression that the Ukrainian underground was a German-created body, intended for fighting the Soviet Union, and made up of numerous war criminals. In fact, Potichnyj writes, UPA’s membership included even Red Army soldiers, and its leaders came from the regions that were controlled by the Soviet Union prior to the outbreak of war in September 1939. He cites the memoirs of former political prisoner Danylo Shumuk, who recalled that members of the Communist Party of Western Ukraine also found their way into UPA ranks. Few Ukrainians in German military units, Potichnyj reflects, were sympathetic to German racist ideology and most Ukrainian nationalists had one overriding goal: the creation of an independent Ukraine.61

  • 62 Peter J. Potichnyj, “The Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and the German Authorities,” in Himka and (...)
  • 63 Peter J. Potichnyj and Evhen Shtendera, ed. Political Thought of the Ukrainian Underground: 1943-1 (...)
  • 64 Peter J. Potichnyj, ed. English Language Publications of the Ukrainian Underground: Litopys UPA, V (...)
  • 65 Howard Aster, “Reflections on the Work of Peter J. Potichnyj,” Journal of Ukrainian Studies, Vol. (...)

41In a later article on UPA and its relations with the German authorities, published in 1994, Potichnyj depicts the army’s actions as independent from those of the Germans and downplays any links with the occupation regime. If there were such contacts, which developed during the final months of the German occupation, they were “sporadic and tactical in nature.” Accusations of collaboration derived mainly from members of the OUN-M who attempted to denigrate the image of the UPA.62 A collection of articles on the political thought of the Ukrainian underground, edited by Potichnyj and Yevhen Shtendera and issued in 1986, contains essays highly critical of Fascism, including one by an anonymous UPA publicist from 1946. There are no statements in this volume that could be identified as anti-democratic, and thus the impression gained of the Ukrainian underground is that it operated according to democratic principles. In one essay, for example, Ukraine as a whole is described as the “most dangerous opponent of Germany’s imperialist plans.”63 This position is also emphasized in Volume 17 of the Litopys UPA series, which reiterates that there was no UPA collaboration with the Germans, but rather a determined struggle against them. The Akt of 30 June 1941 marks the beginning of this struggle and was an expressly anti-German declaration.64 Potichnyj’s position is explained by his McMaster University colleague, Howard Aster. Writing in 1996, Aster comments that Potichnyj adheres to the Diaspora view that there was a genuine democratic transition in the OUN-UPA in 1943-44. By studying the Litopys UPA, he adds, “one can secure the sources of the genuinely pluralistic, democratic Ukrainian society that [Potichnyj] values.”65

  • 66 John-Paul Himka, “Krakivs’ki Visti and the Jews,” Journal of Ukrainian Studies, Vol. 21, No. 1-2 ( (...)
  • 67 John-Paul Himka, “Ethnicity and the Reporting of State Violence: Krakivs’ki Visti, the NKVD Murder (...)

42John-Paul Himka, an historian based at the University of Alberta, has authored several articles that focus on what he has called a “blank spot in the collective memory of the Ukrainian Diaspora,” i.e., the denial of war crimes, anti-Semitism among Ukrainian nationalist groups, and the anti-democratic nature of the OUN and UPA. In the case of the OUN, Himka does not believe that its nature changed in this regard, even after the end of the war. He argues that among the Ukrainian Diaspora, there is a marked preference for victimization, and the perception of Ukrainians as sufferers rather than as perpetrators of some of the misdeeds that occurred. In an examination of the wartime newspaper Krakivs’ki visti, Himka claims that this source exhibited a callous disregard concerning the maltreatment of Jews. The three main trends of the newspaper, in his view, were in fact a profound animosity toward Jews; the abnormality of their moral and political universe; and a failure to comprehend the magnitude and horrors of the Holocaust.66 In a later article, he comments that the anti-Semitic stereotypes were particularly central to the ideology of the OUN-M, and that Volodymyr Kubiiovych and other leading nationalists published anti-Semitic materials and were well aware of the Holocaust. Again he focuses on the way the Ukrainians were consistently portrayed as victims within the Diaspora narrative, and that the perpetrators of crimes were Russians and Jews.67 The central tenet of Himka’s recent studies appears to be aptly represented in the following statement:

  • 68 John-Paul Himka, “War Criminality: a Blank Spot in the Collective Memory of the Ukrainian Diaspora (...)

I object to instrumentalizing this memory with the aim of generating political and moral capital, particularly when it is linked to an exclusion from historical research and reflection of events in which Ukrainians figured as perpetrators not victims, and when “our own” evil is kept invisible and the memory of the others’ dead is not held sacred.68

43Himka’s case is an unusual example of a modification of earlier views and a rejection of what might be considered accepted views within the Ukrainian community of North America. Not surprisingly his articles and letters engendered a sustained debate on the pages of The Ukrainian Weekly.

  • 69 Wilfried Jilge, “The Politics of History and the Second World War in Post-Communist Ukraine,” Jahr (...)

44Wilfried Jilge’s study of the politics of history and the Second World War in contemporary Ukraine observes how the nationalist version of history is developed through discourse, rituals and symbols, using the past to establish political legitimacy and as a foundation for future actions. He discusses how the Soviet collective myth of the Great Patriotic War was rivaled by new national symbols after 1990, particularly in Western Ukraine where Lenin monuments were swiftly replaced by nationalist equivalents and streets were renamed after the heroes of the OUN and UPA. In July 1991, he notes, Viktor Koval’ published a “sweeping apologetic view” of the history of the OUN and UPA, which linked national history with a correct version of the memory of the people of Ukraine. In similar fashion, the Grade 10 textbook for schools by Fedir Turchenko, Novitnaya istoriya Ukrainy, also portrayed the OUN and UPA as the only true standard bearers of Ukrainian culture and identity. In Jilge’s view the issue of regional attitudes toward the OUN and UPA—which have always been very hostile in the east and south of Ukraine—are simply dismissed. He also takes issue with the view that OUN-B turned against the German invaders of Ukraine immediately after the German refusal to countenance an independent Ukrainian state in June 1941. He points out that the OUN-B’s part in the pogroms that took place in Western Ukraine against the Jewish population in the summer of 1941 is excluded from the new textbooks, as is the fact that in 1940-41 anti-Semitism was a prominent part of the OUN platform. He maintains that in today’s Ukraine there is a “fixation” on the state, which has rendered it feasible to include military formations that fought alongside the Germans within a tradition of a Ukrainian national army and as part of a nation-state perspective of history. UPA, for example, is depicted as maintaining the traditions of the Ukrainian Cossacks and is regarded as the “third force” in the war that equally fought both the Germans and the Soviet occupiers. Jilge acknowledges, however, that the Kuchma regime has tried to resurrect some of the traditions of the Soviet era, particularly with regard to the commemoration of the Great Patriotic War. This was linked to a watereddown version of the national-state view of the Ukrainian past. The Partisan movement was deployed in an attempt to unite the two polarized views of the war, but with limited success to date.69

  • 70 Catherine Wanner, Burden of Dreams: History and Identity in Post-Soviet Ukraine (University Park: (...)
  • 71 Nancy Popson, “The Ukrainian History Textbook: Introducing Children to the ‘Ukrainian Nation’,” Na (...)
  • 72 Not all scholars agree with this assessment of local variations. See, for example, Peter Rodgers, (...)
  • 73 Popson, “The Ukrainian History Textbook”, p. 342.

45This book is focused in part on the notion of creating a collective memory based on historical narratives, a topic that is dealt with in the now classic work of Catherine Wanner.70 In a pioneering article devoted to the 1997 history textbook by Viktor Mysan, Nancy Popson remarks that this survey, produced for fifth-grade schoolchildren in Ukraine, reflects the version of events that is accepted by the Ukrainian elite: one that provides a vision of a nation that is broader than simple ethnicity, but which nevertheless assigns priority to the past of the leading ethnic group, i.e., Ukrainians.71 Ukrainian history is taught earlier than world history, and in Popson’s view will be perceived by pupils as “one’s own” history. She notes that the textbooks in use in Ukraine have to be approved by the Ministry of Education, which along with several other agencies—including the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine— runs annual competitions for new textbooks. Therefore regional variances do not have a major influence.72 Popson discusses how Mysan’s book, Opovidannya z istorii Ukrainy, discusses Kyivan Rus’ (according to Hrushevsky’s interpretation), the Cossack period, and then jumps immediately to the twentieth century, thereby omitting the pivotal nineteenth century and Ukrainian development under the empires of Russia and the Habsburgs. Popson maintains that in this way, the textbook is permitted to avoid the debates over the various types of nationalism. While the text reveres Ukrainian heroes such as Bandera and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and highlights Bolshevik tyranny, it omits the treatment of non-Ukrainian populations such as the Jews: “The history of the non-Ukrainian nationalities is not woven into the historical chronology.”73 While the history of other groups is not excluded, it is secondary. The author therefore sees this representative text as corroboration for her claim that the Ukrainian elite seeks to establish a “civic nation” along the lines suggested by the model of British scholar Anthony D. Smith, that is inclusive of all ethnic groups living in Ukraine, but in which the decisive role is played by ethnic Ukrainians:

  • 74 Ibid., p. 346.

[As] long as Opovidannia continues to be used in fifth-grade classrooms across Ukraine, we can conclude that the message of the Ministry of Education stresses two characteristics of “nation”: inclusiveness and the leading role of Ukrainian ethnic history, culture, and language.74

46This brief survey of recent, as well as some older writings on the Stalin years in Ukraine reveals the disparate and widely conflicting views that have not been diminished with time. Indeed, the debates if anything seem more bitter and sustained today than in the past, despite—or perhaps because of—enhanced access to the archives and more detailed information. But throughout the polemics, it is possible to discern with ever more clarity the connections between the discussions and the nature and world-view of the current independent state in Ukraine. The link between the demands of the OUN in the 1930s, for example, the quest of UPA insurgents, and the more recent Rukh, as well as the onset of Ukrainian independence is stressed repeatedly. The conflict and differences of opinion lie in the legacy of the past, and the role played by people who on one hand are regarded as freedom fighters and on the other as collaborators and agents of the German occupation regime. Similarly, the Ukrainian Famine might be regarded as the pivotal example of the Soviet persecution of Ukrainians, as a nation, but is regarded by several Western scholars as reflective of difficulties in the countryside without reference to any national dimension. Just as the modern Ukrainian state’s historical past was welded together ingeniously by nationalist historian Mykhailo Hrushevs’kyi, so there is a need to link the most recent past—the crucial and tragic events of the Stalin years—in the makeup and the conception of the modern state. It is a form of nation-building, and historical and political narratives are a critical component of that process. At the time of writing, about 18 years had transpired since the Gorbachev regime permitted new investigations into the Stalin years as part of an official program of de-Stalinization. These years can provide a profound reflection of the changing historical narratives, the differences in approach and conclusions, and an examination of how far Ukraine has come in its self-examination and construction of a national identity.

Notes

1 Mariya Bazelyuk, “Chy bude v Ukraini Nyurnberg-2?” Ukraina moloda, 12 May 2001, p. 4.

2 S. Kul’chyts’kyi, “Istoriya i chas: Rozdumy istoryka,” Ukrains’kyi istorychnyi zhurnal, No. 4, (April 1992): 4-6.

3 Ibid., p. 7.

4 Ibid., p. 8.

5 Petro Vol’vach, “Kudy ta homu znykayut’ ukraintsi na neosiazhnykh prostorakh imperii?” Istoriya i natsiya, 17 June 1993, p. 5.

6 The reference is to the last major Ukrainian peasant uprising against Polish lords. See, for example, Orest Subtelny, Ukraine: A History, 3rd ed. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000), pp. 192-193.

7 The author is presumably referring to both the Famine and the mass purges in Ukraine in the 1930s, which resulted in the elimination of the republic’s cultural elite.

8 Ibid., 22 July 1993, p. 3.

9 S. V. Kul’chyts’kyi, “Nerozv’yazani problemy vykladannya istorii u seredni shkoli,” Istoriya Ukrainy, No. 11 (1998): 1-2.

10 Yaroslava Muzychenko, “Pidruchnyky: istorychni chy isternychi?” Ukraina moloda, 18 September 2002, p. 12.

11 Ibid.

12 S. V. Kul’chyts’kyi, “Vitchyzniana istoriya v shkolakh i VNZ Ukrainy: stannie desyatyrichchya,” Istoriya Ukrainy, No. 15, (2003): 1-6.

13 Ibid.

14 Ibid.

15 Kost’ Bondarenko, “Istoriya, kotoruyu ne znaem ili ne khotim znat’?” Zerkalo Nedeli, 29 March-5 April 2002; [http://www.zn.kiev.ua/ie/index/387/].

16 Serhiy Makhun et al, “History as Taught in the Schools: Time to Decide,” Den’, The Day Weekly Digest, 14 October 2003; [http://www.day.kiev.ua/261121/].

17 Ibid.

18 Ibid.

19 Vasyl’ Plyushch, “Genocide of the Ukrainian People: Artificial Famine in the Years 1931- 1933,” ABN Correspondence, Vol. 24, No. 3 (May-June 1973): 31.

20 Mykhailo Horan, “Chyya pravda, chyya kryvda? Publitsystychnyi rozdum,” Literaturna Ukraina, 15 January 2004, p. 1.

21 Ibid.

22 Myron B. Kuropas, “UPA and the Ukrainian Identity Problem,” The Ukrainian Weekly, 19 June 2005, p. 7.

23 Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, 28 October 2003, [http://ucca.org].

24 James Mace, “A Historic Motion,” Den’; The Day Weekly Digest, 24 June 2003; http://www.day.kiev.ua/260728/]

25 James Mace, “Remembrance and Justice,” Den’; The Day Weekly Digest, 28 October 2003; [http://www.day.kiev.ua/261177/].

26 James Mace, “Is the Ukrainian Genocide a Myth?” Den’; The Day Weekly Digest, 25 November 2003; [http://www.day.kiev.ua/261343/].

27 Editorial, The Ukrainian Weekly, 14 July 2002, p. 6.

28 Taras Kuzio, “Denial of Great Famine Continues a Decade after the Collapse of the USSR,” The Ukrainian Weekly, 7 July 2002, [http://ukrweekly.com/Archive/2002/270203/shtml].

29 Editorial, The Ukrainian Weekly, 7 July 2002, p. 6.

30 James Mace, “A Historic Motion,” The Day Digest, 24 June 2003.

31 HRES 356 EH, 20 October 2003.

32 Morgan Williams, “Ukrainian issues joint declaration at the United Nations in connection with the 70th Anniversary of the Great Famine in Ukraine of 1932-1933,” The Action Ukraine Report, 11 November 2003, http://www.artukraine.com/famineart/ukr_un_decl.htm.

33 Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983); Eric Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

34 Anthony D. Smith, Myths and Memories of the Nation (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 49-50.

35 Hugh Seton-Watson, Language and National Consciousness (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1981), p. 13.

36 Ronald G. Suny, The Revenge of the Past: Nationalism, Revolution, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1993), p. 79.

37 Ibid., especially pages 124-126.

38 Mark Von Hagen, “Does Ukraine Have a History?” Slavic Review, Vol. 54, No. 3 (Fall 1995): 658-673. The comments cited are mainly from pages 660-666.

39 Iaroslav Isaievych, “Ukrainian Studies—Exceptional or Merely Exemplary?” Slavic Review, Vol. 54, No. 3 (Fall 1995): 702-708. The citations are from pages 704-705.

40 Serhii M. Plokhy, “The History of a ‘Non-historical’ Nation: Notes on the Nature and Current Problems of Ukrainian Historiography,” Slavic Review, Vol. 54, No. 3 (Fall 1995): 709-716. This citation is from page 711.

41 Ibid., pp. 712-715.

42 Andrew Wilson, Ukrainian Nationalism in the 1990s: a Minority Faith (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 1.

43 Andrew Wilson, The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000). The citation is from page 193.

44 Robert Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986).

45 James E. Mace, Communism and the Dilemmas of National Liberation: National Communism in Ukraine, 1918-1933 (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1983). In this same year, 1983, Mace delivered the Shevchenko Lecture at the University of Alberta in Edmonton to commemorate the Famine’s 50th anniversary.

46 Recently, Conquest has distanced himself from the “genocide” school of thought on the Famine of 1932-33. In a letter of September 2003 to R. W. Davies and Stephen G. Wheatcroft, he wrote that he did not believe that “Stalin purposely inflicted the 1933 famine. No. What I argue is that with resulting famine imminent, he could have prevented it, but put ‘Soviet interest’ other than feeding the starving first—thus consciously abetting it.” Cited in R. W. Davies and Stephen G. Wheatcroft, “Stalin and the Soviet Famine of 1932-33: A Reply to Ellman,” Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 58, No. 4 (June 2006): 629.

47 Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow, pp. 306, 326. For a recent debate on the intent and the origins of the Famine, see Michael Ellman, “The Role of Leadership Perceptions and of Intent in the Soviet Famine of 1931-1934,” Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 56, No. 6 (September 2005): 823-841; as well as a response in R. W. Davies and Stephen G. Wheatcroft, “Stalin and the Soviet Famine of 1932-33: a Reply to Ellman,” Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 58, No. 4 (June 2006): 625-633. In the latter article (p. 628), the two authors state: “We have found no evidence, either direct or indirect, that Stalin sought deliberately to starve the peasants.”

48 Roman Serbyn and Bohdan Krawchenko, ed. Famine in Ukraine, 1932-1933 (Edmonton, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1986).

49 Johan Dietsch, Making Sense of Suffering: Holocaust and Holodomor in Ukrainian Historical Culture (Lund, Sweden: Department of History, Lund University, 2006), pp. 136-139, 144, 232.

50 Orest Subtelny, Ukraine: A History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988).

51 Terry Martin, The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2001).

52 Mark B. Tauger, “The 1932 Harvest and the Famine of 1933,” Slavic Review, Vol. 50, No. 1 (Spring 1990); Mark B. Tauger, “Natural Disaster and Human Action in the Soviet Famine of 1931-1933,” Carl Beck Papers in Russian and East European Studies, No. 1506, 2001.

53 R. W. Davies and Stephen G. Wheatcroft, The Years of Hunger: Soviet Agriculture, 1931-1933 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).

54 Michael Ellman, “The Role of Leadership Perceptions and of Intent in the Soviet Famine of 1931-1934,” Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 57, No. 6 (September 2005): 823-841. In a book review in a later edition of the same journal, Ellman writes in parentheses: “The notion that Ukraine was uniquely victimized by Soviet famines is just a nationalist fantasy.” Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 58, No. 6 (September 2006): 986.

55 John A. Armstrong, Ukrainian Nationalism, 3rd ed. (Englewood, Colorado: Ukrainian Academic Press, 1990).

56 Armstrong, Ukrainian Nationalism, p. 163.

57 Taras Hunczak, “OUN-German Relations, 1941-1945,” in Joachim Torke and John-Paul Himka, ed., German-Ukrainian Relations in Historical Perspective (Edmonton: CIUS Press, 1994), pp. 178-186. The quotation is from page 183.

58 Timothy Snyder, The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2003), pp. 201, 203.

59 Karel Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine under Nazi Rule (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2004), pp. 286, 305, 312.

60 Frank Golczewski, “Poland’s and Ukraine’s Incompatible Past,” Jahrbuecher fuer Geschichte Osteuropas, Vol. 54, No. 1 (2006): 37-49.

61 Peter J. Potichnyj, “Ukrainians in World War II Military Formations: An Overview,” in Yury Boshyk, ed. Ukraine during World War II: History and its Aftermath (Edmonton: CIUS Press, 1986), p. 65.

62 Peter J. Potichnyj, “The Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and the German Authorities,” in Himka and Torke, German-Ukrainian Relations in Historical Perspective, pp 168-171.

63 Peter J. Potichnyj and Evhen Shtendera, ed. Political Thought of the Ukrainian Underground: 1943-1951 (Edmonton: CIUS Press, 1986), p. 50.

64 Peter J. Potichnyj, ed. English Language Publications of the Ukrainian Underground: Litopys UPA, Volume 17 (Toronto: Litopys UPA, 1988), pp. 140, 144.

65 Howard Aster, “Reflections on the Work of Peter J. Potichnyj,” Journal of Ukrainian Studies, Vol. 21, No. 1-2 (Summer-Winter 1996): 226-227.

66 John-Paul Himka, “Krakivs’ki Visti and the Jews,” Journal of Ukrainian Studies, Vol. 21, No. 1-2 (Summer-Winter, 1996): 89-92.

67 John-Paul Himka, “Ethnicity and the Reporting of State Violence: Krakivs’ki Visti, the NKVD Murders, and the Vinnytsia Exhumation,” paper presented at the Holocaust Workshop, University of Alberta, 15 January 2005.

68 John-Paul Himka, “War Criminality: a Blank Spot in the Collective Memory of the Ukrainian Diaspora,” Spaces of Identity, Vol. 5, No. 1 (2005): 13.

69 Wilfried Jilge, “The Politics of History and the Second World War in Post-Communist Ukraine,” Jahrbuecher fuer Geschichte Osteuropas, Vol. 54, No. 1 (2006): 50-81 (my comments here pertain mainly to pages 51-67).

70 Catherine Wanner, Burden of Dreams: History and Identity in Post-Soviet Ukraine (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998), pp. xxiv-xxv.

71 Nancy Popson, “The Ukrainian History Textbook: Introducing Children to the ‘Ukrainian Nation’,” Nationalities Papers, Vol. 29, No. 2 (2001): 325-350.

72 Not all scholars agree with this assessment of local variations. See, for example, Peter Rodgers, “Rewriting History in Post-Soviet Ukraine: Contestation and Negotiation of Ukraine’s Eastern Borderlands,” Paper presented at the International Graduate Student Syposium, Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, University of Toronto, 17 March 2006.

73 Popson, “The Ukrainian History Textbook”, p. 342.

74 Ibid., p. 346.

© Central European University Press, 2007

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