Stanford Famine Research


Robert Conquest Honored at Stanford Famine Symposium

Historian Robert Conquest, Senior Research Fellow and scholar-curator of the Russian and CIS Collection at the Hoover Institution, was honored at Stanford University for his pioneering research on the Ukrainian Famine. The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES) at Stanford held a symposium, "Famine in Ukraine: 70 Years After - A symposium honoring Robert Conquest for his contribution to the study of the famine" November 13, 2003. The Symposium was co-sponsored by the Hoover Institution at Stanford.

The symposium included a lecture by Amir Weiner, Associate Professor of History at Stanford University, on "The 1932-33 Famine: Sources, Course and Legacies;" and a lecture by Volodymyr S. Lozytskyi, Director of the Central State Archives of Public Organizations of Ukraine, "Secret Documents about the 1932-33 Famine in the Archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine." A reception followed the presentations.

In addition to a moving tribute to his life's work delivered by Nancy Kollmann, CREEES Director and Professor of History, Dr. Conquest was honored in the traditional Ukrainian fashion, with bread and salt. Following this tribute, bandurists Oksana Herasymenko of Lviv, and Ola Herasymenko-Olijnyk of San Francisco performed two pieces in his honor: a renditino of Taras Shevschenko's "Reve ta stohne Dnipr shyrokij," and an original piece composed by Oksana Herasymenko in commemoration of the Harvest of Sorrow.

Robert Conquest is the author of seventeen books on Soviet history, politics, and international affairs, including the classic "The Great Terror" (1968) and the acclaimed "Harvest of Sorrow" (1986). He served through World War II in the British infantry and thereafter in His Majesty's Diplomatic Service, being awarded the Order of the British Empire. Conquest is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a fellow of the British Academy, an adjunct fellow of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., and a research associate of Harvard University's Ukrainian Research Institute. Conquest is also a poet and novelist, the author of six volumes of poetry and one of literary criticism, a science fiction novel, and another novel authored jointly with Kingsley Amis.

In her remarks honoring Dr. Conquest, Nancy Kollmann stated: "In "Harvest of Sorrow""Professor Conquest showed that the Famine that swept across Ukraine and Ukrainian ethnographic territories in the Kuban was a deliberate policy intended to accomplish what the campaign of collectivization in Ukraine had started - that is, the systematic elimination of social classes and national groups who posed a threat to Soviet power. In Ukraine, the target was peasants who rejected communistic collectivization of agriculture and who were regarded as the bedrock supporters of Ukrainian national culture. . Conquest has put the Famine on the map as one of the most damning episodes in the tragic history of Soviet power."

Historian Robert Conquest is pictured above with CREEES Associate Director Mary Dakin and Oksana Komar-Sullivan.

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