Dr.KUROPAS: Very quickly, how old was the boy? Mr. K.: Twenty-two to twenty-four probably, a very good looking boy. Senator DeCONCINI: Thank you very much. Let me just say that the next witness will be Mr. Pylypenko. We will hear from him. We do have several witnesses that asked to be heard, the Kuzins, Mike and Halyna, I think it is, and Ms. Kysil. I'm not sure we're going to get to all of those witnesses. I want to assure you that we're interested in that testimony, and we will leave the record open and give you an address where you can send it As you can see, we have the capacity to translate if we cannot get to them all. Unfortunately I have to leave. Unless the Commissioners want to stay until after 4:00,1 know they're from out of town and have schedules too. We will now proceed to Mr. Pylypenko. TESTIMONY OF MR. IVAN PYLYPENKO OF PHOENIX, ARIZONA My parents were villagers. They lived in Poltavshchyna. They had 28 desiatynas (one desiatyna = 2.7 acres) of land, and they never used hired help, because they had five sons who did all the labor by themselves. But, in 1932 and 33, my father died of hunger, my brother, and my brother's wife. Only my mother and two small children of my brother's, approximately 50 percent of my family which existed, and my brother and his wife died being members of the col¬lective. My mother and father had much earlier fled so as not to be taken. I was at work in Poltavshchyna at that time. Frequently I saw graves, many dead bodies of people who had already died of starvation, those still in the process of dying, and at the same time in Poltava, there was a torgsin ('trade with foreigners') store. In this torgsin, in the store, as in other places, like Poltava, in these stores were prac¬tically all of the foodstuffs that existed at that time, milk products, meat products, fruit, dried fruit and others. They were placed on display, and they could be found in¬side. But, these could only be purchased by foreign currency, which very few people had. These foods were sold for gold and silver, earrings, chains, and coins. Those people who had brought in the gold and the silver were given coupons for a particular sum, and through that coupon from bringing in his gold and silver, he was able to buy all types of food, according to the prices designated. The majority of the starving peasants bought generally the cheapest kinds of food, corn, groats and other types of grain. If somebody arrived and had too much gold or silver, then he would be followed by a secret agent, who followed him home, wrote down his address, and then afterward, people from the secret police would arrive at his home, and these people would interrogate him, asking why do you have so much gold and why haven't you admitted before to having so much gold, where are you keep¬ing it? Generally they would not find any more gold or silver, because usually people would bring their last bits of gold and silver to the torgsin. In addition to what I myself saw in Poltava, my mother visited me in Poltava, and she would tell me about the hor¬rors of starvation in the village which she herself saw along the road.
Curriculum Resources » General Archive » U.S. Congressional Commission on the Ukrainian Famine » 3 - Second Interim Report