Letter of protest from 1933 against the genocide of Ukrainians

14 January 2019

In October 2018, the Newspaper of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine published a translation of the article of the Spanish magazine ABC about the letter of the youngest daughter of writer Lev Tolstoy Alexandra. The author of the publication noted that 1933 was “one of the most gloomy and bloody in the history of the Soviet Union, and Alexandra Tolstaya could not remain silent. It was a time of the Holodomor, when from six to seven million Ukrainians died from starvation because of Stalin’s fault. “


On April 26, 1933, the Spanish publishing house ABC issued an open letter of protest by Alexandra Tolstoy entitled “I can not keep silent!” against the Soviet government and condemned the Soviet Union’s policy towards the peoples of the republics. She sent the letter to various European publishers. In Spain, only ABC dared to print her text.


 The impetus for public protest in the media were evictions and executions of people in the North Caucasus in 1932, mass deportations of peasants and hunger: “Thousands of hungry peasants, leaving their homes and farms, ran Ukraine, where they are threatened with hunger death.” Alexander felt responsible, as the leader of minds, to draw world’s attention to the crimes of Soviet power, which were so skillfully masked with propaganda. She urged not to silence and to condemn all those who exalted Stalin and the Soviet regime: “Millions were deported, many died in prisons or concentration camps in the north of Russia, thousands were shot immediately. The Bolsheviks began with their class enemies, the old priests, just believers, professors, and scholars, and now they came to the peasants and workers. And again the world is silent “. The author named Romain Rolland, Henri Barbusse and Bernard Shaw, who praised the Soviet authorities, responsible for the spread of Bolshevism, which carries the destruction and death to the whole world.


In 1933, when millions of Ukrainians were dying from terrible starvation with their families, this letter was written. Tolstaya urged the world not to stand aside, not to remain silent: “Where are you, Christians, true socialists, pacifists, writers, social workers, why are you silent? Do you still need proof, evidence of people, statistics? Don’t you hear screams asking you for help, or maybe you yourself think that happiness can be achieved through violence, murder, the deprivation of liberty of the whole nation? “

As you know, the Holodomor was committed in peacetime and silence of the world community. Some foreign journalists, some politicians, public figures and others howled about more than 7 million Ukrainians murder, but this was not enough to stop the leadership of the USSR.

The original letter of Alexandra Tolstaya “I can not keep silent!” can be found on the website of the magazine ABC.