Douglas Tottle

Douglas Tottle (born 1944, believed to have died 2003 or earlier)[1] was a Canadian trade union activist and the author of a book about the Holodomor entitled Fraud, Famine, and Fascism: The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard. Tottle asserts that fraudulent "famine-genocide" propaganda has been spread by former Nazis, anti-communists and Ukrainian nationalists, sometimes posing as academics in Canadian universities.[2] Tottle's critics regard him as a "Soviet apologist",[3] or a "denunciator" of the famine.[4] Tottle has been defended by the Stalin Society, author Jeff Coplon and the Swedish Communist Party, who insist that his book is valid historical research that exposed the "myth of the famine-genocide [...] once and for all".[5]


Tottle was born in Quebec, but later lived mainly in Western Canada. He had various jobs throughout his working life, including photo-lab technician, fine artist, miner and steelworker. As a trade union activist, he edited The Challenger, a journal of the United Steelworkers, from 1975 to 1985. Tottle also researched labour history and worked as a union organiser, for example among Chicano farm workers in California and Native Indian farm workers in Manitoba. Tottle has written for various Canadian and American publications.

Fraud, Famine, and Fascism: The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to HarvardEdit

Douglas Tottle is mostly known for his controversial book Fraud, Famine, and Fascism: the Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard in which he argues that claims that Holodomor was an intentional genocide are "fraudulent" and "a creation of Nazi propagandists".[6] Tottle argues that the major cause of the famine was the weather conditions, drought especially and suggests that greater blame can actually be placed on kulaks sabotage and hoarding of grain.[6] In addition, Tottle puts significant emphasis into claiming the invalidity of existing photographic evidence.[7]

Tottle writes that he is more interested in the "Nazi and fascist connections" and the "coverups of wartime collaboration" (p. 3). Critics argued that both of these topics, even if objectively treated, are not relevant to the study of the famine and can neither prove nor disprove the existence of the famine or define the nature of the tragedy. Critics also argued that Tottle's attacks on various segments of the Ukrainian diaspora constitute hate literature.[7]

In his book Searching for place: Ukrainian Displaced Persons, Canada, and the Migration of Memory, Lubomyr Luciuk comments: "For a particularly base example of famine-denial literature, see Tottle, Fraud, famine, and fascism [...]".[8]

In 1988, the International Commission of Inquiry Into the 1932–33 Famine in Ukraine was set up to establish whether the famine existed and its cause. Tottle was invited by the commission to attend the hearings, but did not respond.[citation needed] Tottle's book was examined during the Brussels sitting of the commission,[9] held between May 23–27, 1988, with testimony from various expert witnesses. The commission president Professor Jacob Sundberg subsequently concluded that Tottle was not alone in his enterprise to deny the notion of the "famine-genocide" on the basis that material included in his book could not have been available to a private person without official Soviet assistance.[10]

Recent research has shown that Soviet government institutes contributed to its writing and reviewed manuscripts; Soviet diplomats also promoted the book.[11] This may have been a political response specifically to The Harvest of Sorrow which was published in the preceding year.[11]


  1. ^ Year of birth from Library of Congress bibliographic authority record, died 2003 or earlier
  2. ^ Tottle, Douglas (1987). Fraud, Famine, and Fascism: The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard (PDF). Toronto: Progress Books. pp. 128ff., 135–40. ISBN 0-919396-51-8. OCLC 31968778. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  3. ^ Sysyn, Frank (1999). "The Ukrainian Famine of 1932–3: The Role of the Ukrainian Diaspora in Research and Public Discussion". In Chorbajian, Levon; Shirinian, George (eds.). Studies in Comparative Genocide. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 193. ISBN 0-312-21933-4. OCLC 39692229. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  4. ^ Marchak, Patricia (2003). Reigns of Terror. Montreal; Ithaca: McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 183. ISBN 0-7735-2642-0. OCLC 52459228. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  5. ^ "Kris i Ukraina 1932-1933". Klasskamp, historieförfalskning och den kapitalistiska förintelsen (in Swedish). Sveriges kommunistiska parti. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  6. ^ a b Douglas Tottle (1987). Fraud, Famine and Fascism: The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard. Progress Books. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-919396-51-7. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  7. ^ a b The Last Stand of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide Deniers Archived 2011-05-14 at the Wayback Machine by Roman Serbyn, Professor of Russian and East European History, University of Quebec, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, The Ukrainian Canadian Magazine, February, 1989
  8. ^ Lubomyr Luciuk, Searching for place: Ukrainian displaced persons, Canada, and the migration of memory, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000, p. 413. ISBN 0-8020-4245-7
  9. ^ Sundberg, Jacob W.F. "International Commission of Inquiry Into the 1932–33 Famine in Ukraine. The Final Report (1990)". The Stockholm Institute of Public and International Law. Archived from the original on 4 December 2004. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  10. ^ A.J. Hobbins, Daniel Boyer, "Seeking Historical Truth: the International Commission of Inquiry into the 1932-33 Famine in the Ukraine", Dalhousie Law Journalhh, 2001, Vol 24, page 166
  11. ^ a b Applebaum, Anne (2017). Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine (1 ed.). New York: Doubleday. p. 338. ISBN 9780385538855.