Stalin and the Question of Soviet Genocide

  • Norman M. Naimark


In the introduction to one of his classic works The Harvest of Sorrow, on collectivization and the Ukrainian Famine of 1932–1933, Robert Conquest wrote:

Fifty years ago, as I write these words, the Ukraine and the Ukrainian, Cossack, and other areas to the east—a great stretch of territory with some forty million inhabitants—was like one vast Belsen. A quarter of the rural population, men, women, and children, lay dead or dying, the rest in various stages of debilitation with no strength to bury their families or neighbours. At the same time, (as at Belsen), well-fed squads of police or party officials supervised the victims.1


Political Group Mass Murder Soviet Regime Mass Killing Genocide Convention 
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    On Lenin, see the introduction to Richard Pipes, ed., The Unknown Lenin: From the Secret Archive (New Haven, CT, 1996), pp. 1, 8, 11. Pipes emphasizes that Lenin was a “heartless cynic,” “a thoroughgoing misanthrope,” and had an “utter disregard for human life.” He also cites Molotov’s assertion that Lenin was “more severe” than Stalin.Google Scholar
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    Paul Hollander, ed., From the Gulag to the Killing Fields: Personal Accounts of Political Violence and Repression in Communist States (Wilmington, DE, 2006), pp. 20–24.Google Scholar

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© Paul Hollander 2008

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  • Norman M. Naimark

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