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Artem Kharchenko

CENTER FOR INTERETHNIC RELATIONS (UKRAINE)

Artem Karchenko is the founder and project coordinator at the Center for Interethnic Relations Research in Eastern Europe. Karchenko works as an associate professor at the Department of Ukrainian Studies of the National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute”.  Karchenko has been a participant of international projects devoted to Jewish history and heritage. 

PRESENTATION

Abstract

Educators and Inmates:
Orphanages in Soviet Ukraine during the Holodomor

ARTEM KHARCHENKO

In accordance with the UN Convention on Genocide (1948), this paper argues that the functioning of the Soviet orphanage’s system included the implementation of the practice of Forcible Transfers of Children. Accordingly, these actions are argued to be instrumental to the Holodomor (1928-1935). The system of orphanages, except for its regular social functions, fulfilled the role of educating the “soviet people” : fighting with language, religion, and culture, etc. The research has three key objectives: analyze the practices by the Soviet state concerning children, create a collective portrait of the participants of the process, and assess the value of the similar institution in confrontation of Soviet authority to national identities in the USSR. An intersectional approach is used throughout. Through this system, inmates of these orphanages felt different levels of oppression, relating to their age, social, cultural, and national backgrounds. The paper presents collective portraits of the inmates of the orphanage system and their staff, understood as being accomplices and even perpetrators of the totalitarian system.