4 out of 4 stars
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I always wondered why an event like Holodomor didn't get so much attention. In terms of absolute death tolls, the mass murder ordered by Stalin surpassed the Holocaust. Why, then, are there no Hollywood movies about it? That was a question I always asked and had never found a satisfactory answer. All this reality, however, begins to change. Holodomor: Silenced Voices of the Starved Children by Lesa Melnyczuk is the equivalent of The Diary of Anne Frank, and I hope that soon some meaningful movie will also emerge.
It's a nonfiction book that tells the story of 39 different survivors who immigrated to Australia after World War II. They were from different social classes and regions of the then Soviet Union. I understand that it's unfair to compare Lesa Melnyczuk with Anne Frank because one is a Ph.D. and the author of the most famous Holocaust book ever was just a teenager who unfortunately couldn't reach her full potential. The analogy, however, helps to measure the quality of the work in question.
I won't even try to sum up what this book achieved in few sentences. What I liked the most about Holodomor: Silenced Voices of the Starved Children is that Lesa Melnyczuk has managed to create a book that has an appeal to ordinary people. Historical books usually only interest a specific group, but the author was able by interviewing dozens of diverse people, to explain in detail what was behind the Ukrainian genocide. I have read historical books about this historical fact, and I say without a doubt that this book has managed to achieve more than historical books over 1000 pages written by famous PhDs.
Although I had already read several books on Communism, some events described in this book shocked me. It's so surreal that it doesn't even seem possible. There are reports of a mother killing her 6-year-old daughter to have something to eat, people using human excrement as a fuel source for heating and descriptions of how common was to find pieces of human bodies on the street.
After reading the book carefully more than once, it is clear that Holodomor was an event designed to decimate the Ukrainian population. Stalin wanted the genocide of the Ukrainians to put Soviet agents in their place. The "kurkuls" suffered the most, but the reality was that anyone could be punished and sent to Siberia without even knowing why. This book reminded me of Dostoevsky's works. As in the writings of the immortal Russian writer, the Ukrainian stories of this book are very dignified and heroic and describe Slavs who, despite their adversities, never bow their heads and faced hunger and a hostile environment in a praiseworthy manner.
After all that has been said, there is no way to emphasize enough how Holodomor: Silenced Voices of the Starved Children is superb. There is nothing to criticize because the book is exceptionally flawless. It is superior to Anne Frank's Diary in every way imaginable. The graphic effects of the epub file are fantastic. Even the artistic quality of the cover and the paintings in the chapters are perfect. I have rarely seen such a well-edited book. As the author interviewed people from a wide range of social sectors and geographical areas, the book allowed a holistic understanding of the unprecedented historical event. Few historians could achieve such an impressive result. For all these reasons, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. It's such an honor to read this timeless masterpiece about how low human beings can decay. I recommend this book to all humanity. There is simply no contraindication.
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