If yesterday’s entry for Liberty Literature didn’t make a good cast for liberty maybe you need a first hand telling of atrocities committed under authoritative governments. Execution by Hunger: The Hidden Holocaust (once again I couldn’t find a legal free copy) is written by a survivor of the Ukrainian famine initiated by the Soviet rule.
The famine was caused by the agricultural collectivization program that was started in the Soviet Union. Collectivization works by having all farmers surrender all of their farming land, livestock, and crops to one central collective farm. Although Soviet propaganda claimed that participation in collective farms was voluntary this book explains that is far from the truth. Although you didn’t have to join collective farms large taxes (so large that it was known farmers couldn’t pay it) were levied if you refused. If you resisted long enough you’d simply be declared an “enemy of the people” and shipped off to a labor camp somewhere in Siberia.
This collectivization process was even more sinister in Ukraine. The Communist Part in Russia wanted to wipe out feels of national identifies which was strong in Ukraine. Although programs had been implemented to reduce Ukrainian nationalism they weren’t successful. Thus the Communist Party decided it would be best to just starve the people in Ukraine and wipe them out.
That’s exactly what was attempted and it was largely successful. This book actually becomes incredibly difficult to read at the end as it describe the sheer number of dead bodies that were littered about Dolot’s village towards the ending years of the famine. Dolot also explains many of the tricks the Communist Party used to break the will of the independent farmers of Ukraine and make them bow to the will of the state. Although the book is a bit graphic (what book about a holocaust wouldn’t be?) it explains very well the tyranny experienced by those living in the Soviet Union.