College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Arts in History - Thesis (MA)
Martin S. Catino
Genocide, Holodomor, Ukraine
Diplomatic History | European History | History | Oral History | Other History
Whisman, Amy, "Unwritten: The Hidden History of the Holodomor" (2018). Masters Theses. 520.
Between 1930 and 1933, Joseph Stalin unleashed an assault on Ukraine that resulted in the starvation of 5 million people. Their story went untold for decades. The fact that Soviet propaganda was largely successful in suppressing the truth speaks less to its sophistication than to the gullibility and complicity of Westerners. Although there were truth-tellers from Great Britain, the United States, and even Europe who accurately reported on the Ukrainian famine, Stalin understood that such voices could be effectively neutralized. Because the story of the Holodomor remained essentially unwritten, the West did not recognize it as the legitimate offspring of Communist ideology. The oversight allowed space and time for Communist doctrine to proliferate outside the bounds of historical judgment. Western intellectuals espoused and promoted Soviet ideology, granting it a measure of acceptability that would have been precluded by the accurate historical account of Communism as a conveyer of immeasurable injustice and suffering.