Menu JTA Search

News Brief

A Jewish group in Ukraine is objecting to a list of officials blamed for the country’s Great Famine for being disproportionately Jewish.

The Ukrainian Jewish Committee claims the list of high-ranking Soviet state and Communist Party officials, as well as officials from the NKVD, the forerunner of the KGB secret service, released July 23 by the Security Service of Ukraine on its Web site (sbu.gov.ua), makes it appear that Jews and Latvians were responsible for perpetrating and executing the famine, or Holomodor, in 1932-33.

“The documents taken from SBU archives prove that the Famine 1932-1933 was engineered by the criminal totalitarian Stalin regime, but we should be very careful and in this case reveal the names of all high-ranking Soviet state and Communist Party officials and NKVD henchmen who perpetrated and executed the famine and repressions in 1932-1933,” said Jewish Ukrainian lawmaker Aleksandr Feldman, the leader of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, at a news conference Tuesday in Kiev.

The list of the Soviet officials is predominately, and in some cases artificially, Jewish. For example, some Jewish-sounding surnames were substituted for names that did not seem Jewish. In addition, some on the list could not have had a direct impact on the famine.

The Ukranian Jewish Committee said publishing the list is an attempt to hide the real offenders of the Great Famine. It said the list does not name some confirmed organizers, including Grigory Petrovsky, the chairman of the Presidium of the Parliament of the Ukrainian SSR, and Vlas Chubar, the chairman of the Council of People’s Commissariat.

The committee called on Ukrainian secret service to revise the list and clear up the “inaccuracy.” The service on its site thanked the committee for the feedback and said the list would grow.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund