Educational Resources on the Holodomor in Genocide Studies

Newly revised (April 2019) listing of top resources for teaching and learning about the Holodomor, particularly in the context of broader genocide studies.

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Educational Resources on the Holodomor in Genocide Studies. April 2019.

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Educational Resources on the Holodomor in Genocide Studies. April 2019.

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The Holodomor – death by starvation imposed on millions of Ukrainians during 1932-33 – was the centerpiece of the Soviet Union’s ruthless campaign against nationally conscious Ukrainians opposed to Stalinism. Besides decimating Ukraine’s political, intellectual, cultural, and religious leadership, Joseph Stalin’s communist regime deliberately starved Ukraine’s majority population, its farmers.

After deporting Ukraine’s most successful farming families, Stalin forced those remaining to surrender their property and join government-run farms. Given impossible grain quotas, the farmers resisted, and communist enforcers eventually stripped households of any food. Countless villages were blocked off from receiving any goods, internal passports were issued, and the borders of Ukraine were sealed, thereby dooming the rural population to a slow and tortuous death by starvation. Meanwhile, grain and other food products were exported to the outside world.

At the height of the famine in June 1933, 28,000 Ukrainians were dying each day.

The Soviet Union denied that a murderous famine had taken place and compelled its subject Ukrainians to live this lie. To speak of the famine was a crime. Most of the world learned of the Holodomor only after the USSR’s collapse in 1991.

Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term genocide and was the initiator of the United Nations Convention on Genocide, stated that the Soviet attack on Ukraine “is a case of genocide, of the destruction, not of individuals only, but of a culture and a nation.” [This note is adapted with modifications from a 2015 Holodomor Memorial Dedication Committee text].


A. Start here:

Holodomor 1932-33. Provides basic historical information along with a regularly updated guide to 200+ resources, including films, maps, collected survivor testimony, authentic photographs and teaching materials suitable for the secondary and college level – most with links to instant online access:

The Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC). Canadian based site with a well developed curriculur resources component:

Kuryliw, Valentina. Holodomor in Ukraine: The Genocidal Famine, 1932-1933: Learning Materials for Teachers and Students. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, 2018.

Genocide Never Again [Ukrainian Genocide] Teacher and Student Workbook, by Vera Bej, Ihor Mirchuk, and C. R. Shwed, 2007.

Melnyk, Motria. Curriculum Guide for Teaching Genocides with a focus on the Holodomor, the Famine Genocide in Ukraine. 2011.

Wolny, Philip. Holodomor: The Ukrainian Famine-Genocide. First ed., Rosen YA, 2018. [Grades 7+]

B. A few key Holodomor focused resources:

Applebaum, Anne. Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine. First United States ed., Doubleday, 2017.

Conquest, Robert. The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-famine. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Klid, Bohdan, and Alexander J Motyl. The Holodomor Reader: A Sourcebook on the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine. CIUS Press, 2012.

Lemkin, Raphael. “Soviet Genocide in the Ukraine.” 1953.

Naimark, Norman. “How the Holodomor Can Be Integrated into our Understanding of Genocide.” East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies ( 2, no. 1 (2015).

Naimark, Norman M. Stalin’s Genocides. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2010.

United States. Investigation of the Ukrainian Famine, 1932-1933 Report to Congress. Washington: U.S. G.P.O., 1988.

This final report includes the “Executive Summary,” which presents the “Findings” of the U.S. Commission on the Ukraine Famine, among them the often quoted #16, which states: “Joseph Stalin and those around him committed genocide against Ukrainians in 1932-1933.” Several other valuable reports comprise this volume.;view=1up;seq=8

Werth, Nicolas. “The Great Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33, Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence.” April 18, 2008.


Voices into Action. Online program offering curriculum-based teaching resources and tools for teachers and students on issues related to prejudice, human rights, and social justice. Unit 2 offers lessons on genocide. By FAST: Fighting Anti-Semitism Together. 2014 -.

Altman, Linda Jacobs. Genocide: The Systematic Killing of a People. Rev. and expanded ed. Issues in Focus Today. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2009. [Grades 6+]

Genocide. Contemporary Issues Companion. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007. [Grade 7+]

Hewitt, William. Defining the Horrific: Readings on Genocide and Holocaust in the 20th Century. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2004.

Jones, Adam. Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction. 3rd ed., Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2017.

Modern Genocide: Understanding Causes and Consequences. ABC-CLIO [subscription database].

Snyder, Timothy. Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin. New York: Basic Books, 2010.

Stone, Dan. The Historiography of Genocide. Basingstoke England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Totten, Samuel, and William S Parsons. Century of Genocide. 4th ed.,Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2012.

Totten, Samuel, editor. Teaching about Genocide: Insights and Advice from Secondary Teachers and Professors. Volume 2 /, Rowman & Littlefield, 2019.

Valentino, Benjamin A. Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the Twentieth Century. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2004