International Commission of Inquiry Into the 1932–33 Famine in Ukraine

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The International Commission of Inquiry Into the 1932–1933 Famine in Ukraine was set up in 1984 and was initiated by the World Congress of Free Ukrainians to study and investigate the 1932-1933 Famine in Ukraine.[1][2][3] Members of Commission selected and invited by World Congress of Free Ukrainians.[4] None of them represent own country or country authority/institution and act as individual.[4] Most of them (5 out of 7) are retired jurists, one of them (Colonel G.I.A.D. Draper) died before Commission finish their investigations.[5] The Commission was funded by donations from the worldwide Ukrainian diaspora.[5]

The idea for the formation of an International Commission to investigate 1932-1933 Famine in Ukraine was suggested by Toronto lawyer V.-Yu. Danyliv at the 4th Conference of the World Congress of Free Ukrainians held in December 1983. According to the resolution the commission was to be initiated in New York City in December 1984 and headed by Ignat Bilinsky. Danyliv consulted with justice John Sopinka, lawyers Pavlo Chumak, Stepan Rozsokha and the Canadian Minister for Justice. The Commission had its first meeting in May 1988 in Brussels and was chaired by Professor emeritus Jacob Sundberg. His findings were delivered to the UN Under-Secretary for Human Rights in Geneva on May 9, and to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on May 10, 1990.

Documentary evidence exhibits entered into Commission[edit]

Documentary evidence exhibits entered into Commission presented predominantly by World Congress of Free Ukrainians, including “Harvest of Sorrow” by Robert Conquest and many other documents by same author, James Mace as also books Ukrainian Diaspora like “Ukrainian Holocaust of 1933” by Wasyl Hryshko, “Black Deeds of Kremlin” 2 Vol by Dobrus and Pidhaynyy, V.Kubiyovych work etc.

The Commission also examined Douglas Tottle's controversial book Fraud, Famine, and Fascism: the Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard, in which he asserts that claims the Holodomor was an intentional genocide are "fraudulent", and "a creation of Nazi propagandists".[6] Tottle was invited by the commission to attend the hearings, however he ignored the request. The commission president Professor Jacob Sundberg subsequently concluded that Tottle was not alone in his enterprise to deny the famine on the basis that material included in his book could not have been available to a private person without official Soviet assistance.[7]

Conclusions[edit]

World Congress of Free Ukrainians as petitioner invited a commission to find what the famine was an act of genocide. This invitation resulted in Commission splitting into a number of separate opinions. The Commission majority (5 out of 6) deems it plausible that the constituent elements of genocide were in existence at the time of the famine.[8]

In the commission's final report, published in 1990, it reached the following conclusions:

  • The famine in Ukraine took place from August–September 1932 to July 1933. The commission stated that a minimum of 4.5 million victims (while assumed Ukrainians as sole nation and inhabitants of the Ukrainian SSR [9]) perished with an additional three million outside the Ukrainian SSR. The responsibility of the famine was placed on the central government of the USSR which the commission concluded various Soviet authorities "carried out those measures that for 10 months occasioned a dire shortage of foodstuffs in Ukraine."[10]
  • The Commission stressed that "the polices applied to the Ukrainian people and led to the famine of 1932–33 disregard the precepts of basic morality which are binding on Soviet as on all authorities, and that the Soviet authorities must in consequence be vigorously condemned."[11]
  • A majority of the commission does not believe that the 1932–1933 famine was systematically organized to crush the Ukrainian nation once and for all. However, they concluded that Soviet authorities used the famine voluntarily, when it happened, "to crown they [sic] new policy of denationalization." [12]
  • The commission majority was unable to affirm the existence of a preconceived plan to organize a famine in Ukraine, in order to ensure the success of Moscow’s policy. However, the commission majority did conclude that Soviet authorities, without actively wanting the famine, most likely took advantage of it to force peasants to accept policies they strongly opposed.[12]

The final report was also published in Russian: The International Commission of Inquiry famine in Ukraine years 1932-1933 Final Report in 1990, Kiev - 1992 (Международная комиссия по расследованию голода на Украине 1932—1933 годов Итоговый отчёт 1990 г., Киев −1992).

The only dissenting opinion came from Professor Sundberg, who concluded that:

"the evidence shows that the famine situation was well-known in Moscow from the bottom to the top. Very little or nothing was done to provide some relief to the starving masses. On the contrary, a great deal was done to deny the famine, to make it invisible to visitors, and to prevent relief being brought.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sundberg, Jacob W.F. "International Commission of Inquiry into the 1932–33 Famine in Ukraine. The Final Report (1990): Commentary by Professor Jacob Sundberg". Stockholm Institute of Public and International Law (IOIR). Archived from the original on 26 November 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  2. ^ A.J.Hobbins, Daniel Boyer, Seeking Historical Truth: the International Commission of Inquiry into the 1932-33 Famine in the Ukraine, Dalhousie Law Journal, 2001, Vol 24,pp. 139-191
  3. ^ "International Commission of Inquiry into the 1932–33 Famine in Ukraine. The Final Report (1990)" (PDF). International Commission of Inquiry into the 1932-33 Famine in Ukraine. 1990. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 October 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Report of the Commission p.1 http://www.ukrainianworldcongress.org/Holodomor/Holodomor-Commission.pdf
  5. ^ a b Report of the Commission http://www.ukrainianworldcongress.org/Holodomor/Holodomor-Commission.pdf
  6. ^ Douglas Tottle, "Fraud, famine, and fascism: the Ukrainian genocide myth from Hitler to Harvard", Toronto: Progress Books, 1987. ISBN 0-919396-51-8
  7. ^ A.J.Hobbins, Daniel Boyer, Seeking Historical Truth: the International Commission of Inquiry into the 1932-33 Famine in the Ukraine, Dalhousie Law Journal, 2001, Vol 24, page 166
  8. ^ Report of the Commission p. 48 http://www.ukrainianworldcongress.org/Holodomor/Holodomor-Commission.pdf
  9. ^ Report of the Commission p. 3 http://www.ukrainianworldcongress.org/Holodomor/Holodomor-Commission.pdf
  10. ^ a b Report of the Commission p. 6 http://www.ukrainianworldcongress.org/Holodomor/Holodomor-Commission.pdf
  11. ^ Report of the Commission p. 9 http://www.ukrainianworldcongress.org/Holodomor/Holodomor-Commission.pdf
  12. ^ a b Report of the Commission p. 5 http://www.ukrainianworldcongress.org/Holodomor/Holodomor-Commission.pdf