I witnessed yet another tragic phenomenon. Starving mothers brought their children into the city and left them on the streets, hoping that they would be saved if someone picked them up. There was a pediatric clinic not far from the place where I lived. On my way to work I passed by this clinic. During the famine I saw small children at the gate of the clinic. When the famine first started, there were five or six children there each day but with each day, more children appeared. They looked hor¬rible. They sat on the ground, emaciated, with strained, suffering faces. Many of them were bleeding from their intestines. Heartsick women from the local area knocked at the gate, shouting at the clinic to take these children. But the medical personnel were in no hurry to do this. But, when I returned home from work, these children would be gone. They took them in after all On subsequent days, the scene was the same, and the number of abandoned children increased. A sort of defensive protection was organized around the children. No one gave them bread or anything to eat, because, in the state these poor children were in, it was understood that this could kill them. And the bread at that time was of such poor quality that it was harmful, even for adults. In those days I had to go for a short time to Kharkiv, then the capital of the Ukraine. A conference of all the high-ranking employees of the industrial coopera¬tives was being held. As I noted, all craftsmen were forced into collectives also, just like the peasants. There in Kharkiv, I saw a large number of ragged-looking, swollen peasants. The 'commercial bread' was already on the market at that time, at very high prices. There were enormous lines for it The starving peasants tried to stand in the lines, but they were not allowed. I heard from the locals that the police took the living, the half-dead and the dead together out of the city in freight trucks and threw them into the snow. I mentioned, the Totem kin village' that caused the French minister Harriot to return home at the height of the famine and declare that he saw no hunger. There was another such Totem kin village' a little earlier, in 1931. At that time, for the management and organization of the collective farms, a 'Kolhosp Center' was founded. My good friend from school worked as a foreman there. The director of the center, a former secret policeman, was a hard drinker and confined everything to my friend. One day my friend was taken away—it looked as though he had been arrested. When his wife asked the N.K.V.D, what had become of him, they told her not to worry, that he would be home soon. After three days he returned, but he never told his wife or anyone anything. But later he told me what had happened. The director of the center sat in the car that took him away. They drove out to the Kolhosp Center, which was al¬ready a beehive of activity. All the unmatched, shoddy office furniture had been taken out and replaced with new furnishings. Pictures had been hung on the walls, and rugs lay on the floors. The director took my friend with him at night and made the rounds of factories where new beds, clothes and all sorts of things were already waiting for them. Then, in the day time, they travelled thirty kilometers to the village of Gren¬denitsa. There, the local school was swiftly repainted and converted into a dormitory for collective farm workers; the school furniture was removed, and beds and bedspreads, night tables with flowers, and plaques with the names of the workers were installed.
Curriculum Resources » General Archive » U.S. Congressional Commission on the Ukrainian Famine » 3 - Second Interim Report