The Greatest Humanitarian Mission in History: America’s 1921 Famine Relief Expedition to Soviet Russia

Event Civil Society

December 2, 2021 The Greatest Humanitarian Mission in History: America’s 1921 Famine Relief Expedition to Soviet Russia

Virtual Event

In 1921, thanks to the communist policies of collectivization, the Soviet Union was in the throes of a famine that threatened the lives of millions of its citizens. Why did the United States decide to help its ideological enemy, the Soviet Union, at its moment of crisis, and what can we learn from this remarkable story in US diplomatic history? Join us for a lively discussion.

 

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October 1921: Americans distribute food from a relief train during the famine at the time of the Russian Civil War. Topical Press Agency / Stringer / Getty Images

Thursday, December 2, 2021

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

Online

Description

In 1921, thanks to the communist policies of collectivization, the Soviet Union was in the throes of a famine that threatened the lives of millions of its citizens. In desperation, the Kremlin turned to the United States for help. Led by Herbert Hoover, the American Relief Administration went into action, supplying millions of tons of food, clothing, and medicine. At its peak, the program fed 10.5 million Russians a day. It is estimated that the US effort rescued about 10 million Soviet citizens from certain death by starvation and disease. Why did the United States decide to help its ideological enemy, the Soviet Union, at its moment of crisis, and what can we learn from this remarkable story in US diplomatic history? Join us for a lively discussion.

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