On this day: Genocide deniers in America in 1933

Communists_attacking_a_parade_of_Ukrainians_in_Chicago__17_12_1933American communists attack a group of Ukrainians in Chicago who were demonstrating to raise awareness of Stalin's genocide of the people of Ukraine.

In a photograph dated the 17th of December, 1933, American communists attack a group of Ukrainians in Chicago, USA. The Ukrainians were demonstrating to raise awareness of the Holodomor, Stalin’s genocide of millions of people in Ukraine.

Between 1932 and 1933 Soviet authorities confiscated the food and crops of millions of ethnic Ukrainians, deliberately starving them to death. A similar genocide was also committed in Kazakhstan, where 42% of the ethnic population was killed and replaced with Russian colonists.

Unlike the Holocaust, there was very limited Western media coverage of the Holodomor, despite conservative estimates putting Ukraine’s death toll on par with it, and other estimates putting it even higher. This was because prominent journalists were either friends of Stalin or communists themselves, and they refused to report on it.

Amongst these genocide deniers was The New York Times’ Walter Duranty, while Welsh reporter Gareth Jones risked his life to get the truth out.

Holodomor Awareness

2018_-_Комплекс_Києво-Печерської_лаври Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Ukraine and Holodomor Genocide memorial stalin communism communist

This time in November is typically designated as an awareness week for the Holodomor, Stalin’s forced famine-genocide of millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s.

Above is the Lavra monastery complex in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city. The golden tower/flame on the right is the memorial to the genocide.

The deaths of tens of millions in the Soviet Union should serve as a reminder why communism should never again be revived or allowed to thrive – something generations born after the fall of the USSR seem unable to fully understand.

Holodomor Remembrance Day

Today is Holodomor Remembrance Day, an international day to remember Stalin’s atrocities in Ukraine in the 1930s. The peasants’ food and grain were confiscated and the borders were closed as millions of ethnic Ukrainians were deliberately starved to death.

The dead were replaced with Russian settlers, creating a situation that still has massive repercussions today.

The genocide is still denied by Russia.

Holodomor Stalin's Genocide in Ukraine 1930s Communism

The Holodomor, Stalin’s genocide in Ukraine that killed millions in the 1930s.

‘At that time I lived in the village of Yaressky of the Poltava region. More than a half of the village population perished as a result of the famine. It was terrifying to walk through the village: swollen people moaning and dying. The bodies of the dead were buried together, because there was no one to dig the graves.

There were no dogs and no cats. People died at work; it was of no concern whether your body was swollen, whether you could work, whether you have eaten, whether you could – you had to go and work. Otherwise – you are the enemy of the people.

Many people never lived to see the crops of 1933 and those crops were considerable. A more severe famine, other sufferings were awaiting ahead. Rye was starting to become ripe. Those who were still able made their way to the fields. This road, however, was covered with dead bodies, some could not reach the fields, some ate grain and died right away. The patrol was hunting them down, collecting everything, trampled down the collected spikelets, beat the people, came into their homes, seized everything. What they could not take – they burned.’

(From the memories of Galina Gubenko, Poltava region)

 

 

Memorial to the Great Purge

KurapatyforestgravesnearMinsk,Belarus_%2Today is Dziady in Belarus, which is both a Slavic feast day and the day Belarusians commemorate hundreds of thousands killed in St

(Repost from two years ago.)

Today is Dziady in Belarus, which is both a Slavic feast day and the day Belarusians commemorate hundreds of thousands killed in Stalin’s Great Purge during Soviet control of the nation.

Not long before the collapse of the Soviet Union, historian Zianon Pazniak revealed the extent of the executions in the Kurapaty forest near the capital city, Minsk.

At least 30 000 people were killed in Kurapaty between 1937 and 1941, but some estimates put the number as high as 250 000.

People who attended the first commemoration – in 1988 – were attacked by the police, and to this day Kurapaty is not publicly mentioned by the pro-Russian government (run since the 1990s by dictator Alexander Lukashenko).

Pazniak fled the country in 1996 and was granted political asylum in the United States.

On this day: the RAF Balloon Command was Formed

The RAF Balloon Command was formed in Britain on the 1st of November, 1938. The organisation was formed in anticipation of German air raids if war broke out.

The Command operated over the skies of the United Kingdom until February of 1945.

Balloons over London during the war.

Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial can be seen.

Barrage_balloons_over_London_during_World_War_IIPhotograph of Barrage balloons over London during World War II. Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial can be seen in the middle ground.

80 Years Ago: the Outbreak of War

 

Civilians gather outside 10 Downing Street in London on the 1st of September, 1939, following the news of the German invasion of Poland and the beginning of the Second World War.

Britain declared war on Germany two days later, as did Australia and New Zealand (then both part of the British Empire).

On this day: the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force is Formed

Waaf Australian Auxiliary Air Force REcruitment Poster Second World War Two 1940s

Second World War recruitment poster.

Britain’s Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, whose members were known as WAAFs, was formed on the 28th of June, 1939, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. Conscription of women began in 1941.

Women in the organisation worked in many fields, from parachute packing to meteorology, aircraft maintenance, and work with codes, in addition to catering and nursing.

Two WAAF cooks at an Royal Air Force aerodrome, following recipes for a hundred pies and a hundred scones. September 1940.

Two WAAF cooks at an Royal Air Force aerodrome, following recipes for a hundred pies and a hundred scones. September 1940. X

By 1943 over 2000 women were enlisting a week, bringing the force’s numbers to a peak of over 180 000.

At the end of the war numbers reduced significantly, and the WAAF was turned into the  Women’s Royal Air Force in 1949.

On this day: Frenchwomen finally vote

After decades of campaigning, the women of France voted for the first time on the 29th of April, 1945, when municipal elections were held. Legislation for women’s suffrage had been passed in October the year before.

While late, France wasn’t the last European country to grant women the vote. Women’s suffrage came even later in Italy, Greece, San Marino, Monaco, Andorra and Switzerland. Liechtenstein was the last to adopt equal voting rights – only in 1984.

This image from May of 1935 is of French suffragette Louise Weiss demonstrating alongside women holding papers saying The Frenchwoman Must Vote.

Suffragettes in France demonstrate in May of 1935. French women didn't win the vote until the mid-1940s. Louise Weiss along with other suffragettes in 1935. The bold text on the newspape

Eighty Years Ago

15 December 1939 Australian Women waving farewell to troop ship RMS Strathallan Advance Party of the 6th Division to service overseas. Include George Alan Vasey's wife Jessie Vasey. Vase

15th December 1939: Australian women wave farewell to troop ship RMS Strathallan. World War Two.

Second from left is Jessie Vasey, the wife of George Alan Vasey, who did not survive the war. Before her husband’s death Vasey had devoted years for fighting for the rights of war widows.

Australia had joined the conflict over three months before the image was taken.