Karolina Koziura

Articles by Karolina Koziura

Holodomor and the Double Logic of Soviet Archives

In the 1930s, holodomor was not yet “the Holodomor” as we know it today. In the flow of bureaucratic papers, letters, investigation orders, and administrative notes that circulated among different levels of the Soviet administration, the word “holod” (starvation) is almost never mentioned. In fact any records that relate to the Famine were subjected to severe discursive cleansing with carefully chosen wording and widespread uses of euphemisms such as “food difficulties,” “mismanagement,” or “temporary problems,” suggesting moments in which silencing entered the production of sources – and hence the archives. The central question becomes not of visibility but of secrecy. Not what the Soviet bureaucrats wanted to know about the situation on the ground — but how they pretended not to know and why.

Continue reading...