- Sep 23, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Ukraine Marks Soviet-Era Forced Famine By ANNA MELNICHUK, Associated Press Writer
Sat Nov 26, 7:43 PM ET
KIEV, Ukraine - Olena Tuz was 6 years old when she saw a neighbor throw the body of a naked woman into a pit on the edge of a remote forest in 1932. Flesh had been cut from the body.
"People ate people, mothers ate their own children. They didn't realize what they were doing, they just were hungry," said Tuz, standing at a thousand-strong rally in the capital Kiev to commemorate victims of the Soviet-era forced famine that killed up to 10 million Ukrainians.
On Saturday, relatives and survivors lit 33,000 candles in Kiev — representing the number of people who were dying daily at the famine's height.
The Soviet dictator Josef Stalin provoked what the Ukrainians called the Great Famine in 1932-1933 as part of his campaign to force Ukrainian peasants to give up their land and join collective farms. During the height of the famine, which was enforced by methodical confiscation of all food by the Soviet secret police, cannibalism was widespread.
"The state system that made possible such crimes should be punished by the court of history," Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko told the crowd.