Victims and Executioners: Social History of the Holodomor of 1932 and 1933

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Yurii Prysiazhnyuk
Oleksandra Komirenko


Introduction. Delusions, which bring grief and suffering, have a profound effect on the course of history. Large-scale poverty was accompanied by people always, but in the twentieth century they first received a broad public response, became the subject of international recognition and justice, formed historical memory. Understand the logic of thinking and actions of the organizers of the Holodomor in the early 1930s will mean finding out the true preconditions, causes, real scales and even recurrences of the memory of the great misfortune that Ukrainian historians call national and universal human beings today, at the end of the 2010s.

Relevance of research topic is determined, firstly, by the increased interest that persists in society to the events Holodomor-genocide, and secondly, the challenges faced by modern humanities, first of all historic. In formulating the problem, the authors deliberately shift the emphasis on those cognitive aspects that make it possible to trace, assess the social essence of the tragedy as irreparable grief and, at the same time, terrible in its scale and consequences of the crime.

Purpose. The purpose of the article is an in-depth study of the Holodomor of 1932 and 1933, the anthropological aspect of which the authors and represent with two social strata: the ruling Communist Party nomenclature headed by a leader and deprived of food supplies by the peasantry.

Methods. The methodology of reconnaissance is social history. She is aimed to answer the question: what social processes took place in Ukrainian society (village) in the early 1930’s.

Results. It was clarified that the social premise of the Holodomor was the formation of a stratum of the population who perceived the godless Bolshevik ideology. These were the people who often acted independently of their social backgrounds, former religious and ideological beliefs. Among the executioners, there were many native peasants, as well as «highly educated» intelligentsia. The second prerequisite was the creation of the methods of the same social engineering of the strata of «collective farmers». Before the threat of terrible extinction from artificial food deprivation, they were psychologically intimidated, limited in movement, localized from the support of the authorities and the public.

Extreme cruelty of officials was caused either by their fear of higher authority, or by sadistic pleasure of the omnipotence of peasants. As a result of a terrible experiment, mentality has changed, with both the executioners and the victims. In the minds of others, social fear, political apathy and social passivity have been entrenched.

Originality. The authors reviewed the problem of interpreting the chronological boundaries of the Holodomor. Between the two catastrophes of 1932 and 1933 there was a period of several months, when the deaths became less and the authorities could critically understand the consequences of the first wave of «pressure on the peasant». But she did not do it that. The subdivision of catastrophe into two parts creates the opportunity to treat the course of events more objectively as well as to display the camps of executioners with less prejudice.

Conclusion. The consequences of the Holodomor of 1932 and 1933 were: mass extinction of people, deformation of traditions of management, customs, rituals, devaluation of family values, which negatively affected moral and ethical principles of behavior, strengthened the instincts of adaptation of people, led to their indifference, conformism and cynicism.

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