American Relief Administration (ARA) in Katerinoslav Region in 1922–1923: The Problem of Relations with the Government and the Population

Abstract

The aim of the article is an analytical reconstruction of the specific and contradictory dynamics of the ARA’s relations with local authorities and the population of Yekaterinoslav during the famine of 1921–1923. Research methods: dialectical, analytical, historical-systemic, comparative. Main results. It is established that during the years of independence domestic historiography has made a real breakthrough in the study of previously taboo topics of the so-called “naked nerves” of our Soviet history, in particular, the famine of 1921–1923 in the Southern Ukraine and the unique phenomenon of international support including Yekaterinoslav. It is proved that the undisputed leader among foreign charitable missions was the American Relief Administration (ARA), which effectively realized its powerful potential to create appropriate resources (financial, logistical, personnel), organized large-scale relief actions, saved lives of millions of Ukrainians. It is shown that the process of emergence, adaptation and deployment of ARA in the Yekaterinoslav region was not cloudless, sometimes contradictory, accompanied by certain misunderstandings and problematic situations in its relations with local authorities and the population, and even blocking certain actions of Americans. This course of events was largely explained by the novelty of the format of foreign humanitarian aid to starving citizens in the mysterious Bolshevik state, the manifestations of elements of ideological and mental “dissent”, suspicion and distrust on both sides. However, in general, this did not prevent the ARA branches from ensuring their uninterrupted and dynamic functioning throughout the campaign in order to organize broad support for the starving population of the Yekaterinoslav region and the Southern Ukraine. Originality: a significant array of mostly unpublished archival sources is discovered, systematized and impartially used. Scientific novelty: almost for the first time at the regional level the character, features and problematic situations in the relations of ARA with local authorities and the population of Yekaterinoslav region in the hungry 1922–1923 are revealed. Practical significance: the materials of the article can be used for further research of foreign charity organizations in Yekaterinoslav during the famine of the early 1920s, as well as during the writing of generalizing works on the history of the Soviet famines in Ukraine, in the educational process at the historical faculties of universities. Type of article: analytical.

Author Biographies

Valentyn Ivanenko, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University

Sc. D. in History, Professor, Professor at the Department of Eastern European History, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, Dnipro, Ukraine

Vladyslav Hovorukha, Local history museum of Spaske village

Master of History, Director of the communal institution “Local history museum of Spaske village”, Pidhorodne town council, Spaske village, Ukraine

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Published
2022-07-18
How to Cite
IVANENKO, Valentyn; HOVORUKHA, Vladyslav. American Relief Administration (ARA) in Katerinoslav Region in 1922–1923: The Problem of Relations with the Government and the Population. Universum Historiae et Archeologiae = The Universe of History and Archeology = Універсум історії та археології = Универсум истории и археологии ISSN 2664-9950 (Print) ISSN 2707-6385 (Online), [S.l.], v. 4, n. 2, p. 59–69, july 2022. ISSN 2707-6385. Available at: <http://uha.dp.ua/index.php/UHA/article/view/163>. Date accessed: 01 dec. 2022. doi: https://doi.org/10.15421/26210420.
Section
History of Ukraine