Saturday, April 30, 2011

Scary Statistics II

As a serious student of history, I’m often appalled at the blind spot most people, even those with college degrees, have for what happened in the Ukraine in the early 1930s during Stalin’s forced collectivization. The Soviet government and their sympathizers in the West went to great lengths to hide the evidence of their crimes from the West. I’m appalled that 80 years later, it seems they have largely succeeded. I read Robert Conquest’s Harvest of Sorrow, which he wrote in the 1980s. He concluded that between Stalin’s terror famine and the liquidation of the gulags, the death toll was almost 15 million. Recent sources indicate the estimate may have been conservative.

I recently happened upon a chilling statistic from the Soviet Union’s Education ministry. In 1930, there were 4 times as many kindergarten students in the Russian Republic of the USSR as there were in the Ukraine. Five years later, there were eight times as many. The full implications of those two statistics chill my blood.

No comments: