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School Statistics as a Significant Source to Ascertain a Number of Losses during the Holodomor-Genocide of 1932-1933

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The authors of the publication:
Serhiychuk Volodymyr
Bibliographic description:
Serhiychuk, V. (2018) School Statistics as a Significant Source to Ascertain a Number of Losses during the Holodomor-Genocide of 1932–1933. Folk Art and Etnology, 5 (375), 5–16.


Serhiychuk Volodymyr

a Doctor of History, a professor at the Ukrainian Ancient and Recent History Department of the T. Shevchenko Kyiv National University


School Statistics as a Significant Source to Ascertain a Number of Losses during the Holodomor-Genocide of 1932–1933



The catastrophic mortality of children in Winter, 1933 has witnessed the danger of a large incompleteness of the primary school from September 1, especially the pupils of the first form, i. e. the youngest persons, whose bodies have been least prepared for the test of hunger. In order to create the well-being semblance, the National Commissar of Education of the Ukrainian SSR, Volodymyr Zatonskyi has initiated the registration of children not only of 1925 year of birth, who in September 1 should come to the first form, but also children, born in 1926 who have to go to school in 1934, as well as those who still have not been covered by school. He has also made a proposal to postpone the children's education at primary school from the age of 7 to the beginning of the school years 1933–1934.

In the archival collections there are materials from some regions, where children of 1925 and 1926 years of birth, who should sit at the desk on September 1, 1933, have been counted in Spring, 1933. For example, in the then Vinnytsia region, there are 188,302 such children (without Dunayevetskyi district), among which almost half has been born in 1926. At the same time, it is necessary to sit at the desk for children born in 1921–1924, who have not studied at all, – 14.436, and those pupils, who have gone to school, but leave education, – 17.303.

However, on September 1, 1933, it has become clear that the attempts to conceal the huge mortality of children are failed, as in most regions of the Ukrainian SSR the classes are incomplete. For example, out of 17 children of 1926 year of birth in only one corner of Khatski village in Smila district of the present Cherkasy region there have been only four survived. 20 pupils have perished from the 4A form of the local school during 1932–1933. In the primary classes of the Petrykivka district, Dnipropetrovsk region, 2,143 pupils have quitted. Large shortage of first-graders will be important in the following years. Instead of 780 thousand pupils of the first forms calculated in 1931, in 1938, there have not been enough at least 332.657. In the age groups of 12–14 years the lack has been of 272,060 pupils. That is, at least 2 million children of 8–14 years have been lost.

The situation with the fullness of primary school in the following years will become even more difficult. For example, in Abramivka of Mashivka district of Poltava region from 83 children born in 1931 only 25 pupils have gone to the first form in 1939, and in 1940, out of 78 natives in 1932, only 5 go to school. In Zhdany of the Chornukhy district, accordingly from 188 children to 36 and from 97 to 32, in Zasullia of Lokhvytsia district from 78 to 46 and from 44 to 20, in Iskivtsia of the same Lokhvytsia district from 104 to 49 and from 85 to 37, in Keibalivtsi of Pyriatyn district from 27 to 12 and from 39 to 4...

As in December 30, 1940, in 1–4 forms of schools in the Eastern regions there have been taught: in primary schools – 665.755 pupils, in incomplete secondary schools – 1.117.556 and in secondary schools – 840.038. Total – 2.623.349 pupils. In comparison with the Autumn of 1932 (3.678.600 children), this figure is less by 1.055.300.

The anterior estimations indicate that the losses of the pupils of primary school, which has been already a compulsory one at that time, amounts to about 2 million. In general, according to our assumptions, more than three million children of preschool and school age have not been counted after 1932–1933.



Holodomor-Genocide of 1932–1933, primary school, children’s mortality.



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  2. State Archives of Poltava Region.
  3. State Archives of Kharkiv Region.
  4. Coming in the Stead, Kharkiv (4 September 1932).
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  6. Central State Archives of Public Associations of Ukraine.
  7. State Planning Committee of the Ukrainian SSR (1937) Implementation of the National Economic Plan of the Ukrainian SSR for 1936. Kyiv: State Planning Committee of the Ukrainian SSR.
  8. Central Administration of Economic Accounting of Gosplan (1936) The 1937 All-Union Census of Population. Materials for Speakers. Moscow: Central Administration of Economic Accounting of Gosplan.
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