Letter sent from:
Koziatyn, Vinnytsia oblast
Letter describes events in (1932-1933):
Village of Vilshka, Brusyliv raion, Kyiv oblast
Current location name:
Village of Vilshka, Korostyshiv raion, Zhytomyr oblast
Author was 6 or 7 years old at the time of the Famine. His father was one of the first to enter the local “Spartak” collective farm. They were struggling to make ends meet because of meager workday pay and taxes. and then came 1932 and things got worse.
In the fall of 1932 all the grain in the collective farm was requisitioned, and then the authorities started collecting grain from households, which led to starvation.
Korupii's uncle in Kyiv worked for the police (militsiia) and was able to place into an orphanage a number of his extended family's children, including the author's sisters' children, so that they would not die. One of his sister's children died; two cousins went missing. Their fates were never discovered.
Faux (mock) foods mentioned such as frozen potatoes, oilcakes, early rye spikelets. Mentions torgsin sales and cow milk as helping their family survive.
Their cow was guarded closely against more than one attempt to steal it.
The author worked on the collective farm.
A special meal (ration) once a day was provided at the kolhosp for those who worked there. The school also provided some food in winter. Their family also got some leftover food from their grandmother, whose daughter Natalka was a field leader (lankova) at the collective farm.
He recalls a story of some “mystery meat” given to them by a neighbor that was allegedly dog meat. The author says he feared for his life when he was sent over to the neighbors' to check out the meat’s provenance. He also cites a case of an elderly couple killed and robbed by a neighbor, who then set their house on fire.
Ukrainian transcription and English translation are available.