In honor of the Independence Day of the United States of America, the “Memorial in Commemoration of Famines’ Victims in Ukraine” National Museum presents the international exhibit “American Relief to Famine-stricken Ukraine in 1921-1923”.
The presentation of the exhibition will take place at the Memorial (Kyiv, 3 Lavrska St.) on Wednesday July 9th at 3 p.m.
According to different estimates, the man-made Famine of 1921-1922 and the famine of 1923 killed from 1.5 million to 5 million people. Famine was rife throughout the South of Ukraine, in the regions that rebelled against the Bolsheviks and their regime.
It was the first time Bolsheviks used famine as a way to push down the riots of Ukrainian peasants. Up to 1922, grain supplies were being confiscated and sent to the Volga region and the Transurals where food situation was tough due to the consequences of the civil war and to unfavorable weather conditions in 1920 and 1921.
Ukrainian farmers were left with nothing to eat and started dying one by one. Not sooner than in 1922 did the Bolsheviks lift the taboo on famine in Ukraine and appealed to international charities that had only helped several Russian governorates before.
The lion’s share of all famine relief to Ukraine was sent by the US charities, such as the American Relief Administration (ARA), the American Joint Jewish Distribution Committee (JDC) and others.
These organizations focused on providing food products, medical supplies and clothing, distributing them among the population, maintaining soup kitchens for kids and adults and supporting orphanages.
The exhibit consists of information posters, copies of archival documents, a documentary and decorative wall covering.
The materials reveal facts about the cooperation between American relief organizations and the Soviet government and about the prosecution of charity organizations’ co-workers by Soviet secret police agencies. The exhibit helps restore historical justice about the contribution of United States to overcoming famine in the Soviet Union.
The exhibit was produced by the Memorial in Commemoration of Famines’ Victims in Ukraine, with support of the Embassy of the United States of America and with the assistance of the “Memorial in Commemoration of Famines’ Victims” in Ukraine Charity Foundation.
The materials were kindly provided by the Central Archives of the higher authorities of Ukraine, the Central State Archives of Public Organizations of Ukraine, the State Branch Archives of the Security Service of Ukraine, the Archives of the Judaica Center of the National Ukrainian Kyiv Mohyla Academy, the Archives of Ukrainian Voluntary Historic and Educational Charitable Organization “Vasyl Stus Memorial” and by the Archives of the American Joint Jewish Distribution Committee (JDC) in New York.