Author Topic: The 1921 Famine  (Read 5723 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

rosieposie

  • Guest
The 1921 Famine
« on: November 14, 2011, 11:00:12 PM »
Hi all,

I decided to read some of my old Russian Rvolution books and was wondering what your thoughts are on the famine?   If the country was still Tsarist Russia do you think the people would not have gone into a famine?

Just asking as I came across a few photographs of people that had to revert to cannibalism.

aleksandr pavlovich

  • Guest
Re: The 1921 Famine
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 11:15:30 PM »
Duplicate post- expanded below for relevance/clarity.   AP.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 11:26:27 PM by aleksandr pavlovich »

aleksandr pavlovich

  • Guest
Re: The 1921 Famine
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2011, 11:18:37 PM »
Hi all,

I decided to read some of my old Russian Rvolution books and was wondering what your thoughts are on the famine?   If the country was still Tsarist Russia do you think the people would not have gone into a famine?

Just asking as I came across a few photographs of people that had to revert to cannibalism.

Yes, there ARE sadly such photographs.  Without going into the total grisly detail, I remember in conjunction with the topic, a decapitated head being displayed with people of differing ages nearby, but it has been a NUMBER of years ago, and I chose not to earmark the source.  Enough said.   AP.

Offline Petr

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
Re: The 1921 Famine
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2011, 12:30:48 PM »
My Great Grandfather perished in Moscow in that famine. It wasn't just that there was no food but that winter was bitterly cold and there was no fuel as well. People today forget that Herbert Hoover, while being blamed for the depression, was actually a great humanitarian and was involved in famine relief in Russia. As Wikipedia points out:

"After the war [WWI], as a member of the Supreme Economic Council and head of the American Relief Administration, Hoover organized shipments of food for millions of starving people in Central Europe. He used a newly formed Quaker organization, the American Friends Service Committee, to carry out much of the logistical work in Europe.
 
Hoover provided aid to the defeated German nation after the war, as well as relief to famine-stricken Bolshevik-controlled areas of Russia in 1921, despite the opposition of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge and other Republicans. When asked if he was not thus helping Bolshevism, Hoover retorted, "Twenty million people are starving. Whatever their politics, they shall be fed!" At war's end, the New York Times named Hoover one of the "Ten Most Important Living Americans"."

Petr
     
Rumpo non plecto

Rodney_G.

  • Guest
Re: The 1921 Famine
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2011, 05:06:16 PM »
Yes, Petr, the Russian  famine relief effort (as well as the food relief to Belgium most notably) led by Hoover was the latter's real breakthrough to prominence on the American political scene.

As for  the Russian famine; it wasn't manmade as in the Ukrainian/Northern Caucasus/ Kazakhstan Terror famine of 1932-33 orchestrated by Stalin, but it was aggravated by Bolshevik grain confiscations which were still being carried out about that time. Maybe worse, Lenin opposed domestic Russian relief efforts, primarily by the Russian Orthodox Church, but even by prominent Soviet stalwarts like Maxim Gorky who caught hell from Lenin. A disaster of this magnitude made the 4 year old Bolshevik regime look awful  and incompetent , to put it mildly , in the eyes of the world. That world was looking with hope and curiosity at the Soviet "experiment" and was seeing the real face of communism, namely massive human suffering. It was a major failure, not only in its occurence in the first place, but  also in the necessity of having to rely on Western, bourgeois, capitalist (the horror!) agricultural bounty and generosity to feed the Russian population.
The Lenin regime allowed Western aid and its administrators into Russia, but , in its typical paranoia, saw the Quaker relief workers as potential capitalist spies and saboteurs, or at the least purveyors of the ugly Soviet truth back home in the US. The Aid workers were constantly hassled in their movements and limited as to their contact with the actual famine victims.

The lesson learned, there would be no similar foreign famine relief in the Ukraine in 1932-33, though the West offerred.

And yes, those photos of what were after all cannibals were (are) pretty sickening.

Offline Petr

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
Re: The 1921 Famine
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 04:38:02 AM »
As for the Russian famine; it wasn't manmade as in the Ukrainian/Northern Caucasus/ Kazakhstan Terror famine of 1932-33 orchestrated by Stalin, but it was aggravated by Bolshevik grain confiscations which were still being carried out about that time.

It's true that the famine was not manmade to the extent that the Holodomor was but Bolshevik grain confiscations led to the Tambov Rebellion, the largest peasant revolt. As Wikipedia states:   

"The rebellion was caused by the forced confiscation of grain by the Bolshevik authorities, a policy known in Russian as "prodrazvyorstka". In 1920 the requisitions were increased from 18 million to 27 million poods in the region. This caused the peasants to reduce their grain production knowing that anything they did not consume themselves would be immediately confiscated. Filling the state quotas meant death for many by starvation.[2] The revolt began on 19 August 1920 in a small town of Khitrovo where a military requisitioning detachment of the Red Army appropriated everything they could and "beat up elderly men of seventy in full view of the public".[2]"

It always amazes me how the West could be so blind to what was going on.

Petr
Rumpo non plecto

Offline Kalafrana

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2912
    • View Profile
Re: The 1921 Famine
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2011, 05:18:29 AM »
The west knew the famine was going on, but unless westerners were on the spot and able to report what was happening, governments would not know the causes.

The British writer Nicholas Monsarrat (author of The Cruel Sea) was 11 in 1921, and records in his autobiography that whenever he or his brother didn't want to eat something they were told, 'Remember the starving Russians'. During the First World War it had been 'the starving Belgians'.

Ann

Offline AGRBear

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6611
  • The road to truth is the best one to travel.
    • View Profile
    • Romanov's  Russia
Re: The 1921 Famine
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2011, 12:52:08 PM »
"Russia embarked upon an orgy of destruction, the deliberate crushing of a culture, the civilization of imperial Russia." p. 201, The Flight of the Romanovs by Perry and Pleshakov.  "With the Bolsheviks in power, any act of violence seemed justifiable.  The revolutionaries rejected everything created by or belonging to the 'exploiters'."  On p. 202 they go on to say:  "Mobs of peasants sacked and then destroyed, sometime mindlessly, sometimes with meticulour thouroughness, the country mansions of aristocracy.  Mobs used fine carpets to start fires.  Objects of art were smashed and burned: rare books, tapestries, sculptures, rare plants...all destroyed....."

"The rage of the assailants did not stop with the great homes but extended to the outbuildings as well.  Farm implements and machinery, herds of oxen, studs of workhorses and thoroughbreds alike, forges, shops and mills... The seed corn of an agriculutral civilization, and all that the black earth had yielded over the generations, was swept away in the mad frenzy...."

Life didn't go on as usual.

AGRBear


Who were the "exploiters"? In the eyes of the Bolshviks it was anyone who had something they wanted which was everything from a big house to a peasant who had  boots.

SIDE NOTE:

Tomorrow, those of us who can, will be having a Thanksgiving Dinner in our homes here in the US.  I encourage those who can to  give cans of food or  help serve  the many shelters who will be feeding those who haven't any place else to go for their meal.  A little bit of goodwill goes a long way.  

AGRBear
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 12:59:06 PM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

Offline Petr

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
Re: The 1921 Famine
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2011, 02:39:21 PM »
The west knew the famine was going on, but unless westerners were on the spot and able to report what was happening, governments would not know the causes.

The NY Times Bureau Chief in Moscow, Walter Duranty, who consistently downplayed the extent of the famine in the Ukraine was recently shown to have been on the NKVD payroll forcing a decades later apology (buried) from the Times.  The 1921 Famine and Stalin's later efforts in the Ukraine didn't fit the left's picture of a socialist paradise.

Petr
Rumpo non plecto