[lbo-talk] Fwd: Douglas Tottle, Fraud, Famine and Fascism

Michael Pugliese debsian at pacbell.net
Sun Sep 7 15:26:58 PDT 2003

http://www.artukraine.com/famineart/bibliography.htm http://shevchenko.org/famine/ Date: Sun, 18 May 2003 15:24:15 -0600 From: "David R. Marples" David.Marples at ualberta.ca

Concerning Grover Furr's comments, on the annotated bibliography of the Ukraine Famine of 1932-33, I would suggest that non-academic works be excluded from the list altogether. If one does this, however, then while Tauger's works should be added to it, those of Tottle and Coplon and "The Hoax" article should not. Tottle in fact denied the existence of the Famine. His book (Progress Publishers, Toronto) appeared practically at the same time that Ukrainian party leader Shcherbytsky publicly acknowledged the Famine in December 1987 and the book was subsequently withdrawn from circulation. There were published reports about the Famine earlier in 1987 both in Moscow and Kyiv newspapers. 6. Holodomor Annotated Bibliography Response Six: by James Mace, Kyiv, Ukraine (Was not posted on H-RUSSIA)


Letter to the Editor of UKRAINE REPORT 2003, E. Morgan Williams Ukraine Market Reform Group, Washington, D.C.

By Prof. James Mace, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 2, 2003
> ...The argument was then brought to its fullest flower in book form by
> Douglas Tottle, "Fraud, Famine and Fascism: The Ukrainian Genocide Myth
> from Hitler to Harvard." The book was published in 1987 after a delay of
> over a year by Progress Books of Toronto, the publishing outlet of the
> Communist Party of Canada.

The delay had been caused, I later learned, because the opposition of certain Ukrainian Communists in Canada and the US. Obviously, they must have had something to do with Hitler as well, but due to their continued opposition, it was then withdrawn from circulation.

I agree with Grover Furr in that such works should be included with appropriate commentary in a bibliography on the Ukrainian genocide, just as any bibliography on the holocaust should have an appropriate selection on Holocaust denial.

What might be considered a transition work appeared in 1989: Stephan Merl, "Entfachte Stalin die Hungersnot von 1932-1933 zur Ausl&aumlng des ukrainischen Nationalismus?" Jahrb&uumlcher f&uumlr Geschichte Ostauropas, XXVII:4 (1989), which, relying on Tottle, describes my work and Conquest's as part of a campaign by Ukrainian nationalists to discredit the Soviet Union and pillory liberal journalists like Walter Duranty.

His main argument was that the famine in Ukraine could not have been aimed at Ukrainians because there was also famine in other parts of the Soviet Union.

He dismissed the Commission on the Ukraine Famine, as part of the Reagan campaign against the USSR as an evil empire without having bothered to look up the legislative history and its work without having bothered to read it, especially the chapter on famine outside Ukraine.

Is this serious scholarly discussion? Or is this simply an otherwise serious scholar of the Russian peasantry dismissing something about which he knows nothing without bothering to learn what the issues are?

How could the fate of Ukrainian peasants possibly have anything with the political situation in the Ukrainian SSR of the period? It must be my bias showing through again.

The work of Mark Tauger began with an article in Slavic Review in 1991 which makes the hardly original argument that the 1932 harvest was smaller than anticipated or admitted. This was not even news when it happened, because at the summer 1932 Third All-Ukrainian Party Conference the Communists in Ukraine were making it as clear as they possibly could that the quotas being imposed on them by Moscow could not possibly be met.

I wrote about this in the 1988 Report to Congress, that nobody seems to have actually read. Now we have learned that Stanislav Kosior appealed to Stalin as early as June of that year to lower the quotas.

However, Prof. Tauger goes on from this less than original discovery to argue that since there was a "famine harvest," famine was unavoidable and Stalin had no alternative but starve the peasants in order to feed the cities and sell as much grain as possible abroad to pay for his grandiose plans of industrialization.

Serious journals sometimes publish silly arguments, so please bear with me while I explain why I did not take the argument seriously in 1991 and cannot bring myself to do so today. There is a discipline called economics that was once dubbed the dismal science because it tells you that you can't always have everything you want when you want it.

You have to decide what you can afford now, what you will have to do without, and what you would like to get rid of. The argument then becomes why one choice or another is made and what the person making the choice wants to happen given the range of possibilities at a given point in time.

Did Stalin have to take so much food from the countryside after the harvest of 1932 that millions of people starve to death, blame the failure to find non-existent grain on the local Communists being infiltrated by Petliurists, Makhno supports, various other enemies, and use this to break the Ukrainian SSR as a thing that had earlier been able to do things its own way to at least some extent?

Did he have no alternative but orchestrate a mass hysteria against enemies in general in connection with the Shakhty trial of 1928, force the peasants into collective farms against their will while destroying the most prosperous segment of the peasantry?

Did he have no alternative but to unleash the Great Terror of the Yezhov period or turn against the Jews after World War II? Maybe we could also argue that Hitler had no alternative but to kill the Jews because he needed their property and gold teeth for his war effort to take over the world.

Somehow I find this line of argumentation prima facie specious. Yes, he has done work in the archives, but the argument, even if one accepts his facts, remains lame.

Sincerely, Jim

Letter to the Editor by Prof. James Mace, Kyiv, Ukraine

-- Michael Pugliese

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