All totalitarian dictatorships have known that is easier to kill a man once torture or starvation has stripped him of his humanity. Starvation can serve as a political weapon. Whoever has food has loyal followers and loyal spies. Starvation was as essential to Stalin’s war against the peasant proprietors or kulaks of Ukraine as it was to Hitler’s subsequent war against the region’s Jews.
According to the historian Anne Applebaum, the Nazis knew a good deal about Stalin’s 1932-1933 terror-famine in Ukraine.