Revisiting History

The Famine-Genocide in Ukraine 1932-1933


Historians write about an issue, event or person from a particular point of view and if they reach similar conclusions this view of history becomes the “standard” interpretation. However, over time, a new generation of historians re-examines the event and because of different evidence, values, biases, comes to a substantially different interpretation.


1. Working in a group of 4 students, create a list of 10 issues, events or people that you think have undergone a substantial change in interpretation as a result of the passage of time. Group your examples and explain reasons for the change.


2. In your group discuss the following: If you want the most reliable information on the Ukrainian Famine/Genocide would you prefer to have a person who was involved in the event itself or would you prefer to have a person who is removed by 50 or more years from the event? Can you suggest advantages and disadvantages to both approaches? What strengths and weaknesses would each have? This may be done in chart form.


3. Write a one page essay called Searching for Truth. Do we get nearer to the truth thecloser we are to the event or the more removed we are from it? Suggest reasons to support your position using the Ukrainian Famine/Genocide of 1932-1933 as your example.


4 . Read this quotation. What does it mean? How does it relate to the Ukrainian Genocide – “The Holodomor"?

“ The intrusion of history is not just theoretical.
It is also the legacy of being an accomplice
or a victim, or just an onlooker. In each
case, history entails the uncomfortable
presence of earlier unresolved roles.”

Charles S. Maier