By Tomos Livingstone, Western Mail, Cardiff, Wales, UK, Fri, Nov 13,
- THE diaries of a daring Welsh
journalist, who alerted the world to famine in Stalin’s Soviet Union,
are to go on public display for the first time. Journals kept by Gareth
Jones, who travelled through Russia, Ukraine and China during the
1930s, will be on view at Cambridge University.
Jones, who wrote for the Western Mail, uncovered the 1932-33 Ukrainian
famine. Millions died, but the Soviet authorities – and some rival
journalists in the West – denied the tragedy had even taken place.
Jones and fellow reporter Malcolm Muggeridge are now revered in
Ukraine, and both were awarded the country’s Order of Freedom last year.
In March 1933 Jones, working in Russia, gave the Soviet authorities the
slip and crossed the border to Ukraine, determined to verify rumours of
widespread famine. His diaries, kept as he travelled from village to
village, tell of encounters with starving peasants, many saying they’d
had no bread for two months.
One entry, written in Kharkov near the Russian border, reads: “Queues
for bread. Erika [from the German Consulate] and I walked along about a
hundred ragged, pale people. Militiamen came out of shop whose windows
had been battered in and were covered with wood and said: ‘There is no
Jones’ great-nephew Nigel Colley said: “These diaries are the only
independent Western verification of what was arguably Stalin’s greatest
Discussion of the famine, known in the Ukraine as “Holodomor”, was
strictly suppressed, with many Ukrainians only becoming aware of the
truth after the fall of communism.
An estimated four million people died after Stalin’s decision to impose
farm collectivisation and then to seal the Ukrainian border to punish
peasants for supposedly “hoarding grain”.
Rory Finnin, lecturer in Ukrainian studies at the University of
Cambridge, said: “Jones was the only journalist who risked his
reputation to expose Holodomor to the world. His diaries are a stirring
historical record of an often forgotten tragedy.”
Jones managed to return from Ukraine to Germany at the end of March
1933, and announced at a press conference in Berlin on March 29 that
millions were starving. But several foreign correspondents
challenged his version of events, including the now-notorious Walter
Duranty of the New York Times.
Duranty had won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his own reports on
Stalin’s Russia, and dismissed Jones’ as the author of “a big scare
story” and insisted there was “no actual starvation”.
Jones was furious at what he perceived as a coterie of compliant
foreign correspondents in Moscow unwilling to admit the human costs of
the Stalinist regime. Born in Barry in 1905, Jones was regarded as one
of the most talented journalists of his generation. As well as writing
for the Western Mail, his work appeared in The Times and the Manchester
Guardian and the Berliner Tageblatt and American newspapers.
His life was tragically cut short when he was murdered in August 1935
while travelling in Mongolia. He was just 29-years-old.
Mystery still surrounds the exact circumstances of his death; he and a
companion were captured by bandits, and held for more than two weeks
before Jones was murdered. There are strong suspicions that
the Soviet authorities were involved, not least because his unharmed
companion, Dr Herbert Mueller, had known Soviet connections.
David Lloyd George – who had employed Jones as an aide – later wrote:
“That part of the world is a cauldron of conflicting intrigue. One or
other interests concerned probably knew that Mr Gareth Jones knew too
much of what was going on.”
A documentary about Jones by director Serhii Bukovs’kyi will be
premiered today as part of the Cambridge Festival of Ukrainian Film.
Gareth Jones’ diaries will be displayed at the Wren Library, Trinity
College, Cambridge, from today until mid-December.
4. UKRAINE FAMINE DIARIES ON SHOW
BBC, London, UK, Friday, November 13, 2009
LONDON - The 1930s diaries of a Welsh
investigative reporter who exposed Stalin's "terror famine" in Soviet
Ukraine are to go on public display for the first time. Gareth Jones,
who was an aide to David Lloyd George, risked his life to travel into
Ukraine via Moscow to verify the reports of a famine.
The Holodomor saw millions of Ukrainians starve to death as a result of
economic and trade policies instituted by Stalin. Mr Jones' diaries
cover the period from 1932-33.
Despite his stories appearing in newspapers across the
western world, revealing the plight of Ukrainian peasants starving to
death, he was discredited by other journalists and banned from the
But his grand-nephew, Nigel Linsan Colley, said Mr Jones had
believed in exposing the truth of what was happening to the Ukrainian
Two years later, while working in China, Mr Jones was
murdered. He was 29.
His diaries had remained largely forgotten in the house of
his older sister and were not uncovered until she died in the 1990s. Mr
Jones' diaries are now on display in Trinity College, Cambridge.
THE STALINIST COLLECTIVIZATION CAMPAIGN
THE FAMINE-GENOCIDE OF 1932-3
Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine, Toronto, Ontario,
Canada, Wed, Nov 11, 2009
After Vladimir Lenin's death in 1924, Joseph Stalin managed to
consolidate his control of the Central Committee of the Communist Party
Moscow. One by one he expelled his allies and potential rivals from the
Party and then destroyed them.
In the late 1920s he announced the policy of 'socialism in
one country,' whereby he abandoned the New Economic Policy and embarked
on a program of rapid industrialization and collectivization, which was
enforced by means of widespread terror. During the collectivization
drive the land of the more prosperous peasants (labelled 'kulaks') was
confiscated to create collective farms.
At the same time, impossibly high grain delivery quotas were
levied on the peasants; this grain was then sold by the government at
high prices in order to pay for the implementation the First Five-Year
Plan. When the kulaks and other peasants refused or were unable to meet
these unrealistic quotas, practically all their grain stocks were
Special detachments of urban activists searched the homes of
collective and independent farmers and seized all the grain they could
find to fulfill the delivery quota. Peasants were forbidden to save
grain for seed, feed, or even human consumption; all of it was removed.
To minimize peasant opposition, a law introduced the death
penalty 'for violating the sanctity of socialist property.' This state
of affairs led to the terrible, man-made Famine-Genocide of 1932-3,
which resulted in several million deaths from starvation and related
diseases in Ukraine...
about the Stalinist collectivization
and the Famine-Genocide of 1932-3 by visiting:
or by visiting: http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com
searching for such entries as:
(real name: Yosif Dzhugashvili), b
21 December 1879 in Gori, Georgia, d 5 March 1953 in Moscow. Soviet
political leader and absolute dictator of the USSR. In 1922, as
people's commissar of state control and then general secretary of CC of
the Russian Communist Party, Stalin
rejected the concept of a union of independent and equal republics and
advocated instead the incorporation of the national republics into the
Although his idea was rejected, the Russian republic was
made the cornerstone of the new union. Stalin relied on the Russian
state bureaucracy to convert the Union into a centralized, totalitarian
After Lenin's death he created a mass personality cult that
glorified first Lenin and then himself as an all-powerful and
all-knowing leader. In the late 1920s he abandoned the New Economic
Policy and embarked on a program of rapid industrialization and
collectivization, which was enforced by means of widespread terror.
Millions of Ukrainian peasants were starved to death during the
Famine-Genocide of 1932-3, millions of people were imprisoned in
concentration camps, and hundreds of thousands were executed by the
In Soviet terminology the transformation of agriculture from
private-capitalist to collective-socialist production. The All-Union
Communist Party (Bolshevik) introduced forced collectivization because
here was not enough capital to fulfill the First Five-Year Plan of rapid
industrialization. Additional capital could be secured only by
increasing exports of farm products, and so large quantities of them
had to be purchased at low prices.
The Soviet government also wanted to deprive the peasants of
their own means of production and to draw excess labor resources from
the countryside into the cities. At first the government of the
Ukrainian SSR resisted the decisions coming from Moscow about an
accelerated, forced collectivization, but in November 1930 it agreed to
collectivize 70 percent of the land by the spring of 1931.
The extent of resistance among the Ukrainian
peasants can be seen in the official statistics: during 1931 alone
arson was reported on 24.7 percent of the new collective farms,
poisoning of cattle on 3.8 percent, destruction of machinery on 9.6
percent, and assault on Party activists on 44 percent. Revolts and
uprisings broke out in many villages...
FARM (Ukrainian: kolhosp; Russian:
kolkhoz). In the Ukrainian SSR collective farms were introduced in
1928-33 during the
government-enforced collectivization drive. Collectivization was
achieved by the abolition of privately owned farms and the intervention
of political and police agencies. Apart from the land, which belonged
to the state, members of the collective farms owned their principal
means of production in common.
The main purpose of the collective farms in the Soviet
economic system was to provide the state with the maximum
cost-free capital for developing heavy industry, arming the military,
and maintaining the bureaucracy. Taking into account the demand for
agricultural products inside the country and abroad, the government
assigned maximal delivery quotas and minimal delivery prices.
The government then sold the products delivered by the
collective farms at the highest prices, thus reaping a huge profit. The
profits of this operation were appropriated by the state treasury
through the turnover tax. These profits were to a large extent absolute
rents that the state exacted from the collective farms...
KULAK (Ukrainian: KURKUL). A Russian term
for a peasant who owned a prosperous farm and a substantial allotment
of land, which he worked with the help of hired labor. In the Soviet
period the term 'kulak' became an ambiguous Party construct but with a
fundamentally negative connotation.
At times it was applied to all well-to-do peasants; at other
times it was used to tar all peasants who opposed Soviet rule. Soviet
leaders regarded the prosperous peasant strata as their chief internal
enemy. Any rural revolt was attributed to 'kulaks.' At the beginning of
the collectivization drive in 1929 the Party decided to 'liquidate the
kulak as a class.'
The law allowing land leasing and hired labor was abolished
and the confiscation of the kulaks' property and their arrests and
deportation to Siberia was allowed. Beginning in February 1930,
government orders were zealously pursued by special armed
dekulakization brigades. Peasants were informed that their property no
longer belonged to them and were forbidden to leave their villages
By 10 March 1930, 11,374 peasant families--one-third of all
those dekulakized--had been arrested and deported from the 11 regions
targeted for rapid collectivization in Ukraine...
PROCUREMENT. The means by which the state
obtains large grain reserves to feed the armed forces, the civil
service, and the industrial
work force, to use as export, and to be fully able to satisfy the
consumption needs of the population. In 1920-1, when the main
anti-Bolshevik forces had been defeated, Ukrainian grain deliveries to
the Soviet state amounted to 2.6 million t out of a gross harvest of
about 8.6 million t.
This expropriation, combined with drought and reduced
sowings, led to the famine of 1921-2 and millions of deaths in the five
southern gubernias of Ukraine. After collectivization began in the late
1920s, extremely high delivery quotas were levied. When the kulaks and
other peasants refused or were unable to meet them, practically all
their grain stocks were confiscated.
After the 'liquidation of the kulaks as a class,' the
collective farms and state farms assumed the burden of grain
deliveries. Peasant opposition to collectivization caused agricultural
production to decline dramatically, yet the state continued to demand
delivery of the same and even greater grain quotas. This state of
affairs led to the terrible, man-made Famine-Genocide of 1932-3...
OF 1932-3 (Holodomor). The mass murder by
Stalin's Soviet regime of millions of Ukrainian peasants. This tragic
(1) a planned repression of the peasants of Soviet Ukraine for
massively resisting the Stalinist state's collectivization drive;
(2) a deliberate offensive aimed at undermining, terrorizing, and
neutralizing the nucleus and bulwark of the Ukrainian nation and recent
(3) the result of the forced export of grain, other foodstuffs, and
livestock in exchange for the imported machinery the USSR required for
implementation of the Stalinist policy of rapid
In 1932 Ukraine had an average grain harvest of 146.6
million centers (15.5 million centers more than in 1928), and there was
no climatic danger of famine. Yet, because of onerous forced grain
requisition quotas that the Bolshevik state imposed upon the Ukrainian
rural population, the peasants already experienced hunger in the spring
The grain collections were brutally carried out by 112,000
special Bolshevik agents sent to Ukraine to extract grain by using
terror against both collectivized and independent farmers. Consequently
mass starvation and disease became rampant, resulting in millions of
The preparation, editing, and display of the IEU entries featuring the
Stalinist collectivization campaign and the Famine-Genocide of 1932-3
made possible by a generous donation from ARKADI MULAK-YATSKIVSKY of
Los Angeles, CA, USA.
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