Issue of Authenticity of Peasant Memoirs Describing Holodomor of 1932-1933

Keywords: Ukraine, USSR, grain procurement, Holodomor of 1932-1933, historical sources, memoirs, peasants, collective farmers


In the offered paper the issue of reliability of the information stated in peasant memoirs concerning events of Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine is considered. The level of possibilities for processing peasant memoirs as an independent historical source in complex historical researches is studied. Factors influencing the authenticity of memoirs are determined: self-censorship, aberrations of various kinds, the influence of the social and cultural environment, etc. The scheme of classification of peasant memoir sources by groups according to their internal features and signs is offered.

Four groups of peasant personal sources are identified, depending on their information capabilities in studying of Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine issues. The peculiarities of peasant memoirs and trends of their further study are determined for each of the proposed groups. The conditions in which peasant memoir sources appear are analyzed.

According to the results of a comparative analysis of peasant memoirs and data from The National Memory Book of Holodomor Victims 1932-1933 in Ukraine, several new names are identified that are absent in the previously collected information and need to be included in The National Memory Book.

The studied peasant memoirs are a unique historical source, which allows to studying the events of Holodomor of 1932-1933 at first hand, from people who were the direct victims of the tragedy. Peasant memoirs contain valuable fragments of historical observations, reflect the likes and dislikes of the authors, their views, assessments, observations, distresses of soul, and allow a clearer understanding of the atmosphere that prevailed in the village at that time.

Using of peasant memoirs in the study of Holodomor gives the opportunity to distinguish a new layer of historical information from the direct participants in the events of the famine of 1932-1933. Such evidence adds authenticity to the image of history and allows to trace the effects of Soviet education and propaganda on the individual and allows us to take a fresh look at the specifics of the little man’s relationship with the totalitarian Bilshovyk regime, and better understand peasant thinking and mid-20th century life.


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How to Cite
AlieksieievO. (2020). Issue of Authenticity of Peasant Memoirs Describing Holodomor of 1932-1933. Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (3(31), 261-274.
Historiography, Source Study and Special Historical Disciplines