In 1929, in an effort to destroy the well-to-do peasant farmers, Joseph Stalin ordered the collectivization of all Ukrainian farms. In the ensuing years, a brutal Soviet campaign of confiscations, terrorizing, and murder spread throughout Ukrainian villages. What food remained after the seizures was insufficient to support the population. In the resulting famine as many as seven million Ukrainians starved to death.
This poignant eyewitness account of the Ukrainian famine by one of the survivors relates the young Miron Dolot's day-to-day confrontation with despair and death-his helplessness as friends and family were arrested and abused-and his gradual realization, as he matured, of the absolute control the Soviets had over his life and the lives of his people. But it is also the story of personal dignity in the face of horror and humiliation. And it is an indictment of a chapter in the Soviet past that is still not acknowledged by Russian leaders.