Ukrainian Homodor

Ukrainian “Homodor”

(Murder by Hunger)

Images of starving Ukrainian peasant children, c. 1932-1933

Animosity between Russia and Ukraine has deep roots. This “Father Stalin” children’s song is from the 1930s when Soviet Union policies created famine in Ukraine. Father Stalin is Josef Stalin, head of the Communist Party and government in the Soviet Union that was dominated by Russia. The author of the poem is unknown. This version is from the 2012 book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (Basic Books, 2012: 36) by Timothy Snyder. A “kolkhoz” is a collective farm.

Father Stalin, look at this

Collective farming is just bliss

The hut’s in ruins, the barn’s all sagged

All the horses broken nags

And on the hut a hammer and sickle

And in the hut death and famine

No cows left, no pigs at all

Just your picture on the wall

Daddy and mommy are in the kolkhoz

The poor child cries as alone he goes

There’s no bread and there’s no fat

The Party’s ended all of that

Seek not the gentle nor the mild

A father’s eaten his own child

The Party man he beats and stamps

And sends us to Siberian camps.

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