The Activity of Ukrainian Non-Governmental Organizations for the Assistance to the Starving Population of the USSR in 1932–1933

: pp. 94 - 98
Lviv Polytechnic National University
Lviv Polytechnic National University

The present paper aims to highlight particular activities of the Western Ukrainian society concerning its assistance

arrangements for the USSR people in 1932–1933. For this purpose, the author uses the electronic archive materials of the Ukrainian Liberation Movement, published collections of documents, press, memoirs and scientific articles.

In the spring of 1933, the information blockade, organized by the Soviet authorities regarding events in the Ukrainian lands, was disrupted. The world slowly found out about the terrible facts of famine in the USSR. Consequently, the representatives of public and political associations of Western Ukraine began to work on fundraising for the starving and took measures to inform the world community about the real situation both in the USSR and in a number of the Russian Federation regions.

In the beginning of 1933, in Western press has appeared more and more reports about suffering in sub-Soviet Ukraine that was caused not only by adverse climatic conditions but also by the overestimated state grain provision implementation plans and forced collectivization. At that time, the Galician periodicals wrote letters to relatives from the Greater Ukraine with terrible facts of the inhuman attitude of the Soviet state to the Ukrainian peasantry. So Galicians found out about the famine from the eyewitnesses of events that managed to cross the border, as well as from foreign journalists who visited the USSR. The information coming from abroad gradually changed the positive attitude of the Galicians to the USSR. The Western Ukrainian public presented incontestable evidence of the planned policy of the Bolshevik regime concerning the physical destruction of the Ukrainians for grain procurement and forced collectivization. At that time, the Galician periodicals wrote letters from Great Ukraine to relatives with terrible facts of the inhuman attitude of the Soviet state to the Ukrainian peasantry.

In 1933, the Ukrainian Public Committee of the Rescue of Ukraine was formed in Lviv. The structure of this organization included 36 Ukrainian cultural, educational and political organizations. Among them: Silskyj Hospodar (eng.Farmer), National Economic Society; Central Cooperative Bank; Ukrainian Association for the Support of Emigrants from Ukraine; Ukrainian Catholic Union; Teachers’ community in Lviv; Ridna Shkola (eng. Native school), etc.

The Ukrainian Public Committee of the Rescue of Ukraine has developed instructions on how to form Public Committees, how to organize protest actions, how to work with refugees from the USSR, how to collect donations, corn, etc. The people of Galicia and Volhynia responded sincerely to the call for help.

One of the measures to fight the Bolshevik state policy was to inform the world community about the situation in the USSR and to organize massive assistance to the starving people. However, during a rescue campaign in Ukraine, it became apparent that the Soviet government, which denied the very fact of the Holodomor, would not allow international assistance.

Thus, the Ukrainians of Second Polish Republic, who found themselves in difficult conditions in a foreign state, did not remain indifferent to the troubles of their brothers on the other side of the Zbruch River. The cruelty of the Soviet totalitarianism was not only in the planned Holodomor but also in the inhumane cynicism of the prohibition to accept the assistance for the starving from others. The pain and frustration of Ukrainians from the inability to save their brothers and sisters were unbearable. At the same time, it should be remembered that the Ukrainian people in the dramatic moment of their own history have proved: they are united. This is reflected in the solidarity movement of the Western Ukrainians with the starving population of the USSR in 1932–1933.

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