Holodomor: How a female Jewish journalist alerted the world to Ukraine’s silent starvation

To Inform is to Influence

While driving through the Ukrainian countryside in 1932, Rhea Clyman, a Jewish-Canadian journalist, stopped in a village to ask where she could buy some milk and eggs.

The villagers couldn’t understand her, but someone went off and came back with a crippled 14-year-old boy, who slowly made his way to her.

“We are starving, we have no bread,” he said, and went on to describe the dire conditions of the previous spring. “The children were eating grass… they were down on all fours like animals… There was nothing else for them.”

To illustrate the point, a peasant woman began to peel off her children’s clothes.

“She undressed them one by one, prodded their sagging bellies, pointed to their spindly legs, ran her hand up and down their tortured, misshapen, twisted little bodies to make me understand that this was real famine,” recalled Clyman in a piece published by the Toronto…

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