Introducing a new page on our website:

Primary Sources related to the Holodomor:

What is a primary source?    A good definition is found in Wikipedia:  “In the study of history as an academic discipline, a primary source (also called original source or evidence) is an artifact, a document, diary, manuscriptautobiography, a recording, or any other source of information that was created at the time under study. It serves as an original source of information about the topic.”

Primary sources are generally created by witnesses to the event being studied, or by its participants – voluntary or involuntary.  While official documents and newspaper reports from that time are obvious examples, the testimony and a variety of documentation by victims, perpetrators, and others inadvertently caught up in the event are also considered important primary sources.

Credit: Institute of History of Ukraine: Gareth Jones. Diary Notes relating to Soviet Ukraine Famine, p.169.

[caption] these pages describe starving villagers begging for food outside a torgsin, an exclusive currency shop; also an article in the Soviet communist newspaper, Pravda, about the arrest and trial of members of a supposed subversive organization accused of causing failures in agricultural production

The items selected for this new page include major collections devoted entirely to primary sources in English translation, mostly of an official nature, along with 3 of the most important collections in the Ukrainian language. The page also features 2 memoirs published in the 1930s (now available in their entirety online ) by English speaking witnesses that include their experiences of the Holodomor, and a most important diary.

For additional important primary sources, please see SURVIVOR ACCOUNTS AND MEMOIRS for a wide selection of these materials in a variety of formats. The closer the testimony is taken to the time of the actual event, the more accurate it is likely to be. Diaries are particularly valuable. However, in the case of the Holodomor, where survivors were not permitted to voice their memories of an event that was officially denied as long as they had to live under Soviet rule – the likelihood of finding fresh testimony was very small.

Photographs are of course another important type of primary source. For sources of legitimate photographs documenting  the Holodomor, please see the section: Sources for authenticated photographs of the Holodomor here: AUTHENTIC HOLODOMOR PHOTOGRAPHS AND OTHER VISUAL RESOURCES

Take a look!

Lana Babij