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Execution by Hunger: The Hidden Holocaust
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Execution by Hunger: The Hidden Holocaust

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  286 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
In 1929, in an effort to destroy the well-to-do peasant farmers, Joseph Stalin ordered the collectivization of all Ukrainian farms. In the ensuing years, a brutal Soviet campaign of confiscations, terrorizing, and murder spread throughout Ukrainian villages. What food remained after the seizures was insufficient to support the population. In the resulting famine as many as ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published June 17th 1987 by W. W. Norton Company (first published September 25th 1985)
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This book was strangely tragicomic. On the one hand, the descriptions of starvation, abject suffering and the results (suicide, murder and cannibalism all feature within these pages) were physically painful to read. It had a stronger affect on me, in fact, than the books I've read about the Holocaust.

On the other hand, there were times when I felt like laughing because the Soviet officials brought in to maximize productivity on the collective farm knew NOTHING about farming and they were so stup
Jun 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It's very hard to imagine people starving from here in suburbia, counting calories and fighting the obesity war. This very personal account of the events in Dolot's village reads like a novel but is a chilling record of the Holodomor or death by starvation of millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s, which was both the results of failed economic policy of the Communists, and a deliberate act of genocide. Tough stuff to read...but essential knowledge.
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There aren't many books available from people who lived through the ukranian famine. As other reviewers have said, this is difficult to read because of its unbelievable horror. I really enjoyed a first person account of this completely under-reported atrocity. Why this isn't more in the forefront of all-time-world-horrors is beyond me.
Jonathan Deaux
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Coming soon to a country near you.
Any one of the 50,000,000+ Americans depending upon the State to feed, clothe and/or shelter them would be wise to revisit the human cost of instituting Marxism.
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As expected, this book was a hard read. Miron Dolot's memories and thoughts on Ukraine's Holodomor ruminated for 50 years before this book was published. Russian and Ukrainian history is not something that was taught to me in school. I had never heard of the Holodomor until I came to Ukraine as a Peace Corps volunteer. It was every bit as bad as Hitler's Holocaust and every bit as important to study. Dolot does an excellent job of explaining exactly how Stalin was able to execute millions of his ...more
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Man's inhumanity to man knows no bounds. The paranoia and power-hunger of Stalin's USSR used a systematic approach to annihilating Ukrainian farmers in the early 1930s as the collectivization of the "breadbasket of Europe" failed miserably. Ukrainian farmers were an independent lot, and the Soviets could not tolerate this. Thus the imposed famine that killed 7 million Ukrainian farmers and their families in a matter of two years. A survivor's tale tells all about the death of his village.
Chris Elkjar
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great memoir explaining first hand how Stalin's policies directly effected caused the death of millions of Ukrainian farmers between 1930 and 1933.

The author tells his story of surviving as well as dealing with the outrageous demands from the government. Excellent lesson in the outcome of communism and how absolute power corrupts.
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Collectivism and communism are EVIL.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Should be required reading for a history lesson in Marxism / Communism / Socialism. It's amazing what one human will do to another when an overreaching government promises goodies in exchange for loyalty to the system, whatever that system is, at the expense of the innocent. Also, a very important lesson in why the 2nd Amendment should never be taken lightly. Why this evil event in history is hardly mentioned is very puzzling!
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
To understand why communism does not work in real life, read this true account of forced collectivization and the starvation of the Ukraine in the early 1930s by the Soviet Union's agricultural policies. Be forewarned: graphic descriptions of starvation are in this memoir. A must read for history lovers.
Ekaterina Jaindl
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank Miron Dolot for his great work of revealing the inconvenient truth that Russia has been trying to hide for many years what the Communism really did for people, even for their own citizens. The Communism is the worst crime committed by humanity since we killed Christ.
Linda Ramsey
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the story of Stalin's forced collectivization of Ukranian farms in the early 1930's, which the author lived through as a teen. Seven million people in the "breadbasket of Europe" were deliberately starved to death at Stalin's command. Made even more interesting considering what Putin is doing in Ukraine now.
"The farmers had often witnessed the collapse of these types of collective farms (voluntary ones), and therefore laughed at the rumors of collectivization. Why would any government wi
Mar 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book was very powerful in it's descriptions of surviving a famine that is believed to be largely man made. The author's descriptions of his memories were so vivid that at times it made me feel sick to my stomach. This was a great book to inform me of an event that I never even knew took place.
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This story by a survivor of the 1932-1933 Execution by Hunger of at least 7 million Ukrainians by the Soviets was a very painful read for me because of a close personal connection. My maternal family lived through it in the same oblast of Ukraine as the author.
Valuable as a historical document, not so much as a piece of literature. The author tells instead of showing. As well, I found the language to be clunky, but perhaps that's unfair of me, considering English is probably the author's second/third/etc language.
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Best book Ive read this year, I cant believe it isnt more widely known.
Margaret Drake
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Less grim than the previous one I read on Ukraine
Hans Hoffmann
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Probably one of the most horrific books I have ever read. It is amazing this story is not better know. A detailed account of collectivization of farms and the atrocity of hunger
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An absorbing first person account of Stalin and Lenin's "Terror-Famine" aimed at exterminating their political enemies by starving them to death. A chilling and cautionary tale.
Sep 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Interesting but tragic. I am constantly amazed and bewildered by man's inhumanity to man.
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Genocide by hunger. The Communists, again, on amurder spree.
Susan Chu
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gut wrenching but unique first hand account of what happened to people in a Ukrainian village, where cynical/sinister Soviet policy combined with solipsism and fanaticism all the way down the line of party apparatchiks, caused mass deaths from starvation. This story was played out all over Ukraine, later all over China, and even more in Cambodia. There are other historical accounts and data from scholarly research, but this book tells a personal story. Another book I would recommend, which combi ...more
Autumn Kotsiuba
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Such a hard read, emotionally. Knowing that my husband's ancestors went through this made it all the more unbearable. A story everyone should know.
Jen Bertha
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Heavy read on the horror of government policy and its blind ignorance.
Patrick Peterson
This book provides a first person account of the tragedy of the forced Ukrainian famine of 1929-1933, where about "seven million people in the 'breadbasket of Europe' were deliberately starved to death."

Very gripping.
Incredible detail of how the Soviet system implemented their "voluntary" collectivisation of the Ukrainian farms. The methods described are all the more chilling, when one considers who our own "voluntary" tax system, and voluntary Obamacare system are implemented. The voluntary win
Kat Karpenko
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a difficult book to read at times. The facts revealed by the author who experienced the holocaust first hand, are hard to comprehend - calculated murder of the cruelest sort. Nevertheless, it is a story that must be exposed after being suppressed and denied by Stalin and his cohorts for many years. The book is part of the background research for the novel I am currently writing, but the personal story was absorbing. Truth IS stranger than fiction. I was left with a reinforced belief that ...more
Heather Angel
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
While this is a tragic event in History, I found it a very hard read, mainly because the story is quickly bogged down with names and ranks of anyone and everyone that contributed to it's occurance. The reader must weed the actual 'story' from the endless rhetoric and meetings that offer little insight into the personal struggles of the people living through this ordeal.
I lost interest when I could no longer follow the story for these very reasons and did not finish the book~
Fred Rose
Aug 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Given this was written long after the events in the early 1930s, it's hard to believe the detailed recall of conversations but ignoring that, the story is engrossing and at the same level as reading stories of similar famine in Mao's China. Inhumane political maneuvering by crazy dictators. Like the Holocaust, a horror.
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Not the happiest of reads. And the first hand experience of being a small farmer in the Ukraine during the start of collectivization goes so far as to explaining why my parents always bought bread in every trip to the grocery store, their passion for vegetable gardens, and their paranoia over neighbors "seeing or hearing" too much. Excellent read for anyone of Uki descent.
Jul 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-euro
Interesting history on a subject I never knew about, but was weighted down by too much little detail that left me wondering if Dolot added for effect. I do not doubt his testimony or what happened on large, but he recounts conversations 60+ years after the fact, as well as people's reactions.
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“At first, Comrade Professor described the injustices that the farmers had suffered at the hands of the rich. The time had come, he said, when the villagers could redress their wrongs. He called on the poor farmers to have no mercy on the karakuls, and, what struck us most, he called on us to destroy them. Killing the rich, he declared, was the only way for poor farmers to attain a better and more prosperous life.” 0 likes
“To break his spirit, the village officials and the collective farm organizers hesitated at nothing The most powerful weapon in their hands was the tax. They levied taxes payable in kind and money. Every time Shost thought he had paid all that was required, more items were taxed, and more of the produce of this hand was taken from him. Finally, the day came when he had no more money or grain.” 0 likes
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