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Between 1 and 15 Million Dead

In January 1964, Dana Dalrymple  published an article in Soviet Studies, entitled `The Soviet Famine of 1932--1934'. He claimed that there were 5,500,000 dead, the average of 20 various estimates.

One question immediately comes to mind: what are these sources of the `estimates' used by the professor?

One of the sources is Thomas Walker,  who made the famous `trip' to Ukraine, where he `presumably could speak Russian', according to Dalrymple. 

Another source was Nicolas Prychodko,  a Nazi collaborator who worked for the Nazi-controlled `Minister of Culture and Education' in Kiev. Prychodko  was evacuated West by the Nazis during their retreat from Ukraine. He provided the figure of seven million dead.

These are followed by Otto Schiller,  Nazi civil servant charged with the reorganization of agriculture in Nazi-occupied Ukraine. His text, published in Berlin in 1943 and claiming 7,500,000 dead, was cited by Dalrymple. 

The next source was Ewald Ammende,  the Nazi who had not been in Russia since 1922. In two letters published in July and August 1934 in the New York Times, Ammende  spoke of 7,500,000 dead and pretended that in July of that year, people were dying in the streets of Kiev. A few days later, the NYT correspondent, Harold Denny,  gave the lie to Ammende:  `Your correspondent was in Kiev for several days last July about the time people were supposed to be dying there, and neither in the city, nor in the surrounding countryside was there hunger.' Several weeks later, Denny  reported: `Nowhere was famine found. Nowhere even the fear of it. There is food, including bread, in the local open markets. The peasants were smiling too, and generous with their foodstuffs'.


New York Times, quoted in Tottle,  op. cit. , p. 50.

Next, Frederick Birchall  spoke of more than four million dead in a 1933 article. At that moment, he was, in Berlin, one of the first U.S. journalists to publicly support the Hitler  régime.

Sources six through eight are William H. Chamberlin,  twice, and Eugene Lyons,  both anti-Communist journalists. After the war both were prominent members of the American Committee for the Liberation from Bolshevism (AMCOMLIB), better known as Radio Liberty. AMCOMLIB funds were raised by `Crusade for Freedom', which received 90 per cent of its funds from the CIA. Chamberlin  gave a first estimate of four million and a second one of 7,500,000 dead, the latter number based on an `estimate of foreign residents in Ukraine'. Lyons'  five million dead were also the result of noise and rumors, based on `estimates made by foreigners and Russians in Moscow'.

The highest figure (ten million) was provided, with no details, by Richard Stallet  of Hearst's  pro-Nazi press. In 1932, the Ukrainian population was 25 million inhabitants.


Tottle,  op. cit. , p. 51.

Among the twenty sources in Dalrymple's  `academic' work, three come from anti-Soviet articles in Hearst's  pro-Nazi press and five come from far-right publications from the McCarthy  era (1949--1953). Dalrymple  used two German fascist authors, a former Ukrainian collaborator, a right-wing Russian émigré, two CIA collaborators, and a journalist who liked Hitler.  A great number of the figures come from unidentified `foreign residents in the Soviet Union'.

The two lowest estimates, dated 1933, came from U.S. journalists in Moscow, known for their professionalism, Ralph Barnes  of the New York Herald Tribune and Walter Duranty  of the New York Times. The first spoke of one million and the second of two million dead of famine.

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Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995