Victoria A. MalkoMay 13, 2022
The Ukrainian Intelligentsia and Genocide
The Struggle for History, Language, and Culture in the 1920s and 1930s
Lexington Books 2021
Victoria A. Malko's book The Ukrainian Intelligentsia and Genocide: The Struggle for History, Language, and Culture in the 1920s and 1930s (Lexington Books, 2021) focuses on the first group targeted in the genocide known as the Holodomor: Ukrainian intelligentsia, the "brain of the nation," using the words of Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term genocide and enshrined it in international law. The study's author examines complex and devastating effects of the Holodomor on Ukrainian society during the 1920-1930s. Members of intelligentsia had individual and professional responsibilities. They resisted, but eventually they were forced to serve the Soviet regime. Ukrainian intelligentsia were virtually wiped out, most of its writers and a third of its teachers. The remaining cadres faced a choice without a choice if they wanted to survive. The author analyzes how and why this process occurred and what role intellectuals, especially teachers, played in shaping, contesting, and inculcating history. Crucially, the author challenges Western perceptions of the all-Union famine that was allegedly caused by ad hoc collectivization policies, highlighting the intentional nature of the famine as a tool of genocide, persecution, and prosecution of the nationally conscious Ukrainian intelligentsia, clergy, and grain growers. The author demonstrates the continuity between Stalinist and neo-Stalinist attempts to prevent the crystallization of the nation and subvert Ukraine from within by non-lethal and lethal means.
Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University