Psychophysical Consequences of 1921-1923 Famine in Children of Ukraine
The epidemiological situation among children in Ukraine during the years of 1921-1923 famine, the reasons for the spread of cholera, typhus, and other diseases, and the long-term consequences of prolonged starvation on the child’s body are studied in the research paper.
The purpose of the paper is to analyze the epidemiological situation in the starving hubernias of Ukraine during the years of the 1921-1923 famine and to clarify its psychophysical consequences.
The methodology of the work is based on an interdisciplinary approach. Methods of historical, sociological, statistical, and demographic sciences, content analysis, method of sociocultural dynamics, microhistorical approach, and methods of historical anthropology are applied.
The scientific novelty is in the fact that, based on historical sources, it has been proven that the children of Ukraine became the most numerous victims of the 1921-1923 famine. There were almost no children born between 1915 and 1918 left in the settlements of the Ukrainian SSR. The prolonged consequences of the said tragedy also became noticeable. Children who were in a state of constant starvation for a long time had broken health, a traumatized psyche, and a deformed worldview because every day they had to fight for survival, and their loved ones and acquaintances died in their sight.
Conclusions. The famine that raged in the Ukrainian hubernias in 1921-1923 became the main cause of the mass death of children. That phenomenon led to the deterioration of the epidemiological situation in the Ukrainian SSR, as it led to physical and psychological exhaustion of children’s bodies and a decrease in their immunity. The communist regime could not provide the children of Ukraine with adequate medical care and sanitary assistance. The children who survived alive had damaged health and a broken psyche. The hungry everyday life of Ukrainian children in 1921-1923 turned into a gray, impersonal routine, constant wandering in search of food and shelter. Apathy, hopelessness, despair, and futility became the companions of daily existence.
Many children lost contact with their families, ended up in homeless shelters, and joined the category of social orphans. Ukrainian society changed under the influence of the 1921-1923 famine. However, an even greater transformation of national origins and mental foundations occurred during the Holodomor of 1932-1933.
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