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Western Journalism & the Holodomor - Research Update on …. Gareth Jones - A Man Who Knew Too Much www.garethjones.org. Walter Duranty. Moscow Correspondent for the New York Times & ‘Unofficial American Ambassador to Moscow’ . Early Life.
Gareth Jones - A Man Who Knew Too Much
Moscow Correspondent for the New York Times
& ‘Unofficial American Ambassador to Moscow’
1930 - Letter to Parents:“The winter is going to be one of great suffering there and there is starvation. The government is the most brutal in the world. The peasants hate the Communists.”
Gareth signed the Foreword:
“With knowledge of Russia and the Russian language, it was possible to get off the beaten path, to talk with grimy workers and rough peasants, as well as such leaders as Lenin’s widow and Karl Radek [editor of Pravda].
We visited vast engineering projects and factories, slept on the bug-infested floors of peasants’ huts, shared black bread and cabbage soup with the villagers - in short, got into direct touch with the Russian people in their struggle for existence and were thus able to test their reactions to the Soviet Government’s dramatic moves.”
1932 - Oct 14th - Letter to Parents - London Circles Knew of Raging Famine…
“On Friday, I had exceptionally interesting talks … with Prof. Jules Menken (LSE) a very well known economist. He was appalled with the prospects: what he had seen was the complete failure of Marxism. He dreaded this winter, when he thought millions would die of hunger.
He had never seen such bungling & such breakdowns. What struck him was the unfairness & the inequality. He had seen hungry people one moment & the next moment he had lunched with Soviet Commissars in the Kremlin with the best caviar, fish, game & the most luxurious wines.”
He prophetically wrote in the Western Mail:
“If this aeroplane should crash then the whole history of Europe would be changed. For a few feet away sits Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Germany and leader of the most volcanic nationalist awakening which the world has seen.”
Boy on train asking for bread.I dropped a small piece on floor and put it in spittoon. Peasant came and picked it up & ate it.
… grey cap). White expanse of snow.Moscow – Sebastopol train rattled past with sleeping wagon. Politdel party members, etc. Went into village. There is no bread. “We’ve had no bread for 2 months”. “Each dvor had one or 2 cows. Now none. There are almost no oxen left & the horses have been dying off.”
“How can I live? I got a lb of bread for all my family & we came here for a short time, there is no food here. My family is in Kharkoff & I don’t know how they’ll live.” “We’re all getting (swollen) nyxливi.”“In this village 5 or 6 kulak families were sent away to Siberia & to cut wood in the Northern forests…
In the Ukraine. A little later I crossed the border from Greater Russia into the Ukraine. Everywhere I talked to peasants who walked past – they all had the same story; “There is no bread – we haven’t had bread for 2 months – a lot are dying.” The first village had no more potatoes left and the store of БҮРЯК (beetroot) was running out…
They all said ‘the cattle is dying. (Nothing to feed.) НЕЧЕВОКОРМить.” We used to feed the world now we are hungry. How can we sow when we have few horses left? How will we be able to work in the fields when we are weak from want of food? Then I caught up…
…[with] a bearded peasant who was walking along . His feet were covered with sacking. We started talking. He spoke in Ukrainian Russian. I gave him a lump of bread and of cheese. “You could not buy that anywhere for 20 rubles. There just is no food.” We walked along and talked; “Before the war this was all gold. We had horses and cows and pigs and chickens. Now we are ruined. We are (the living dead) ПОГИБЛИ. You see that field. It was all gold, but now look at the weeds. The weeds were peeping up over the snow.” “Before the war we could have boots and meat and butter. We were the richest…
…country in the world for grain.We fed the world. Now they have taken all away from us. “Now people steal much more. Four days ago, they stole my horse. Hooligans came. There that’s where I saw the tract of the horse.” “A horse is better than a tractor. A tractor goes and stops, but a horse goes all the time. A tractor cannot give manure, but a horse can. How can the spring sowing be good? There is little…
…seed and the people are too weak. We are all weak and hungry. “The winter sowing was bad, and the winter ploughing was also bad.” He took me along to his cottage. His daughter and three young children. Two of the smaller children were swollen. “If you had come before the Revolution we would have given you chicken and eggs and milk and fine bread. Now we have no bread in the house. They are killing us.” “People are dying of hunger.” There was in the…
…hut, a spindle [which] the daughter showed me how to make thread. The peasant showed me his shirt, which was home-made and some of his sacking which had been home-made. “But the Bolsheviks are crushing that. They want the factory to make everything.” The peasant then ate some very thin soup with a scrap of potato. No bread in house. The white bread [of Gareth’s] they thought was wonderful.
Everybody on the track said the same: “Lots of people dying. Only beetroot. Too weak for spring sowing. One group: “There are thousands of unemployed. Their bread card is taken away and they have nothing. On April 1st there’ll be another (оқращєнue) cut.” “Go down to the Poltava district and there you’ll see hundreds of cottages empty. In a village of 300 huts only about 100 will have people living in them & others have died or gone away, but most have died.”
Queues for bread. Erika [from the German Consulate] and I walked along about a hundred ragged pale people. Militiaman came out of shop whose windows had been battered in and were covered with wood and said: “There is no bread today.” Shouts from angry peasants also there. “But citizens, there is no bread.” “How long here?” I asked a man. “Two days.”They would not go away but remained. Sometimes cart came with bread; waiting with forlorn hope.
Queues of 7000 stand. They begin queuing up at 3-4 o’clock in afternoon to get bread next morning at 7. It is freezing. – many degrees of frost.
First Famine Articles In Europe31st March 1933 – London Evening Standard; ‘Famine Rules Russia [Ukraine]1st April 1933 – Berliner Tageblatt by Paul Scheffer.Plus further Series of (20) Articles by Gareth, himself in London Daily Express, Financial News & Cardiff Western Mail in Early April 1933.
“There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation, but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition.”
New York American, Los Angles Examiner & Other Hearst Papers; coins phrase; ‘man-made famine’.
But in 1935, without ever mentioning Gareth’s name or even attacking his 1935 articles directly – Gareth’s eyewitness observations of 1933 were not only tarnished by the same brush as Walker’s, but were almost completely forgotten for nearly 70 years, but not quite...
German Company, Wostwag of Kalgan in North China, ‘kindly’ supplied vehicle for to make an extended trip into Inner Mongolia to witness imminent Japanese territorial expansion.
One man who didn’t forget Gareth was George Orwell in Animal Farm, [who based his Ukrainian famine chapter on Eugene Lyons’ book ‘Assignment in Utopia’, which he reviewed in 1938].
Remember Lyons: ‘Poor Gareth Jones must have been the most surprised human being alive when the facts he so painstakingly garnered from our mouths were snowed under by our denials.”
Orwell wrote: Nine [Ukrainian] hens had died of coccidiosis’ [A disease specific to chickens]
On Friday 16th August, upon hearing of Gareth’s murder, Lloyd George commented in The London Evening Standard:
“I was struck with horror when the news of poor Mr Gareth Jones was conveyed to me. I was uneasy about his fate from the moment I ascertained that when his companion, Dr Herbert Müller, was released he was detained…
“That part of the world is a cauldron of conflicting intrigue and one or other interests concerned probably knew that Mr Gareth Jonesknew too much of what was going on…”
“He had a passion for finding out what was happening in foreign lands wherever there was trouble, and in pursuit of his investigations he shrank from no risk.”
“…I had always been afraid that he would take one risk too many. Nothing escaped his observation, and he allowed no obstacle to turn from his course when he thought that there was some fact, which he could obtain. “
“He had the almost unfailing knack of getting at things that mattered.”