Velykа Bereziankа

Tаrаshchаnskyi district

Kyivskа region

Victims: 476

The population of Velyka Berezianka village (Tarashchanskyi district, Kyivska region) suffered from the Holodomor-genocide of1932-1933 in Ukraine.

Due to the archive data (State Archives of Kyivska Region, fund 5634, description 1, case 1184, pages 1-81; case 1198, pages132-263; case 1199, pages 1-264) and the eyewitnesses’ testimonies, 476 persons killed by famine were identified.

Local inhabitant Pavlo Yakovych Kulish (born on November 30, 1928) told that at the beginning of 1931, the so-called “twenty-five-thousanders” had come to the village in order to organize the collective farms. The families which processed more than five hectares of their own land were named “kulaks” and were deliberately exterminated as a class by imprisonments, exiles, expulsion from their houses. Those farmers who had less than five hectares of their own land were named “the servants of kulaks” (“pidkurkulnyky”) and forced to enter the kolkhoz.

Starting from spring of 1931, the parents of Pavlo Kulish were made to work in the collective farm. For their work, they got two sacks of rye siftings. However, in December of 1932, according to the order of the Stalinist authorities, the village activists came to the house of Pavlo’s father, as well as to the other collective farm members, in order to confiscate the grain. They were often called “the red broom.” They came with long sticks, punched the land in the house and it the yard. They did not find anything but removed two earned sacks of rye siftings.

In 1932, there were no mass deaths in the village yet. The dead were buried in separate graves. This year, cats and dogs were eaten. People exchanged jewelry and valuable goods for food products.

In January of 1933, the confiscations of products lasted. The planned total Holodomor began. Whole families died from famine. Local power organized collecting of the dead bodies. Three collective farms of the village assigned a dray and two kolkhoz members each. They were driving along the village, collected the bodies of those dead from the famine of the yards and on the fields. They were buried in the common pit at the local cemetery. When the pit was full of the corpses, the new pit was excavated. This repeated for many times. The father of Pavlo Kulish was working in the collective farm and was also bringing the dead to the cemetery.

At the cemetery, there are several places of the mass burials of the Holodomor-genocide victims. Here you can see the photo of one of them. In 2003, the memorial sing, a stone cross, was installed there.