April 16 - May 31, 2010
Jeremy Richard Library
UConn Stamford Campus
A starving girl in Kharkiv, then capital of Ukraine, 1933. Photo: Winnerberger, Institute of Ukrainian History, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Cover of the Soviet magazine Kolhospnytsia Ukrayiny ("Collective Farm Woman of Ukraine"),
Famine and Fiction
Censorship, politics, ideology and egos drove press coverage of the 1932-1933 famine that ravaged Ukraine and the Kuban region of the USSR. While six to ten million people starved to death during the Holodomor (literally, extermination by famine), Stalin's regime exported millions of tons of grain to the West and repeatedly denied the existence of famine.
This deliberate act of genocide received scant and very uneven coverage in the world press. U.S. and British reporters were sequestered in Moscow. Some who managed to venture into the Ukrainian countryside and succeed in sending uncensored dispatches on the horrific conditions they encountered were promptly expelled by Moscow. Others did not write what they knew to be true until they left their posts for the safety of the West, and a few denied the existence of the famine outright. Most notably, Walter Duranty, the celebrity correspondent of The New York Times, consistently dismissed the claims of famine by other reporters while privately admitting death tolls in the millions.
The exhibit summarizes the historical events surrounding the Holodomor and explores the factors that affected reporting of the famine: the political climate and priorities of the day, the censorship and deception by Moscow, and the ideological persuasions and personal ambitions of the reporters.
Based primarily on materials created by the Ukrainian Museum of New York, the League of Ukrainian Canadians and Kyiv Memorial Societyin Ukraine, the exhibit also includes a continuous running of the classic 1984 documentary, “Harvest of Despair.”
Jeremy Richard Library, UConn Stamford Campus
Friday, April 16, 2010