Grain Seizures

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hay cart

A Ukrainian peasant has crawled into this hay cart to die


In 1932, with Ukraine on the verge of mass starvation, Stalin's government announced that the full quotas would be demanded. Once the harvest was in, there wasn't enough to meet the quotas. In spite of the pleading of Ukrainian officials, the grain seizures continued. 

On August 7, 1932, the Soviet state announced that the death penalty would be imposed for "theft of Soviet property." Ukrainians were executed for taking even small quantities of grain.

On December 6, 1932, the state stipulated a complete blockade of villages for allegedly sabotaging the grain procurement campaign, thereby guaranteeing that these villages would starve. Russian peasants were then encouraged to settle into the empty villages.

In spite of the fact that 1933 was a very good harvest year, the famine continued. The greatest number of deaths were reported in the provinces that were the most productive.


Part of The Ukrainian Famine Genocide exhibit