Skip to comments.Diaries of Stalin's horrors on display
Posted on 11/13/2009 5:30:22 AM PST by Schnucki
The diaries of a British reporter who risked his reputation to expose the horrors of Stalin's murderous famine in Ukraine are going on display in England.
Welsh journalist Gareth Jones entered Ukraine in March 1933, at the height of an artificial famine engineered by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin as part of his campaign to force peasants into collective farms.
Millions starved to death between 1932 and 1933 as the Soviet secret police emptied the countryside of grain and livestock.
Jones' reporting was one of the first attempts to bring the disaster to the world's attention.
"Famine Grips Russia - Millions Dying" read the front page of the New York Evening Post on March 29, 1933.
"Famine on a colossal scale, impending death of millions from hunger, murderous terror ... this is the summary of Mr Jones's firsthand observations," the paper said.
As starvation and cannibalism spread across Ukraine, Soviet authorities exported more than a million tonnes of grain to the West, using the money to build factories and arm its military.
Historians say that between four million and five million Ukrainians perished in what is sometimes referred to as the Great Famine.
Walking from village to village, Jones recorded desperate Ukrainians scrambling for food, scribbling brief interviews in pencil on lined notebooks.
"They all had the same story: 'There is no bread - we haven't had bread for two months - a lot are dying,"' Jones wrote in one entry.
"We are the living dead," he quoted one peasant as saying.
Jones' eyewitness account had little effect on world opinion at the time.
Stalin's totalitarian regime tightly controlled the flow of information out of the USSR, and many Moscow-based foreign correspondents - some of whom had pro-Soviet sympathies - refused to believe Jones' reporting.
(Excerpt) Read more at watoday.com.au ...
Great! Gareth Jones was one of a small number
of reporters to tell the truth of the horrors
Hope they put them on line, I would love to
We will all be forced into national health insurance. Fines and prison terms await those who will not join the collective. And if the fines and prison terms prove insufficient, there are other, cruder methods.
The Left kills its opponents whenever they feel they can get away with it.
Read the first chapter of Tom Rob Smith’s novel,”Child 44”. It describes the conditions in Ukraine during the famine, and what people were forced to do to stay alive.
Hello New York Times. New York Times, please pick up the white Courtesy phone.
“...many Moscow-based foreign correspondents - some of whom had pro-Soviet sympathies - refused to believe Jones’ reporting.”
NYT, i’m looking in YOUR direction!
Another most excellent read is Miron Dolot’s
Execution by Hunger: the Hidden Holocaust.
Here is a review.
EXECUTION BY HUNGER: THE HIDDEN HOLOCAUST by Miron Dolot. New York: W.W Norton & Company, 1985, xvi + 231 pp. ISBN 0-393-01886-5
Reviewed by Arthur S. Ward
“Holocaust studies” are now being added to school curricula across the country. Yet, as syndicated columnist Joseph Sobran pointed out recently, one of the ghastliest examples in history, the Soviets deliberate starvation of nearly eight million Ukrainians in 1932-33, is largely overlooked.
Execution by Hunger is the first book-length account of this mass murder to be written by one who lived through these terrible events. The author, Miron Dolot (a pseudonym), is a language teacher in California, who as a 15-year-old boy, lived through the winter of 1932-33 in a Ukrainian village that became “a ghost town” that looked “as if the Black Death had passed through.”
What sets the Ukrainian famine apart from others is that it was a politically-induced catastrophe. Ukraine (not “the” Ukraine, anymore than China is “the” China) at one time was known as “the Breadbasket of Europe.” Ukrainians, who are not Russians and have their own language and culture, proclaimed their independence from Russia during World War I. But in 1921, the Red Army reconquered the area and a year later the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed by Lenin.
Ukraine had a history of free peasant farming. This fierce spirit of independence continued even after Ukraine was incorporated into the Soviet Union. But in 1928 Stalin began his program of collectivizing Ukrainian agriculture. The author describes how city-dwelling Communists, who had virtually no knowledge of agriculture and exhibited utter contempt for farmers, took over rural villages and began to enforce collectivization on the hostile populace. In the process, the deeply religious Ukrainians witnessed their churches torn down or turned into Communist Party offices, priests murdered, and religious objects, such as crosses confiscated.
In 1930, Stalin announced a stepped-up campaign of collectivization and declared that all “kulaks” (so-called rich farmers, often paupers by comparison with American farmers) were to be liquidated “as a social class.” Collectivization was organized by Communist offcials (with one Communist functionary for every six villagers) who were assisted by police agents and Red Army units. In Dolots village, a Comrade Livschitz oversaw collectivization and elsewhere, “strangers” as the author euphemistically dubs their non-Ukrainian taskmasters, managed the Red reign of terror. Villagers were divided into units of fives and tens, to keep better surveillance over them and root out those who were reluctant to join the collectives. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians were deported for forced labor in the far northern regions of the Soviet Union.
The Stalin regime confiscated the entire 1932 crop inculding even the seed grain. The bolders were then sealed. Even after starvation set in, agents of the “Bread Procurement Commission” continued to conduct periodic raids on all homes suspected of holding small amounts of food. The author describes what took place;
Faced with statvation, the villagers tried everything possible to save themselves and their families. Some of them started eating dogs and cats. Others went hunting for birds: crows, magpies, swallows, sparrows, storks, and even nightingales. One could see starving villagers searching in the bushes along the river for birds’ nests or looking for crabs and other small crustaceans in the water. Even their hard shells, though not edible, were cooked and the broth consumed as nourishment. One could see crowds of famished villagers combing the woods in search of roots or mushrooms and berries. Some tried to catch small forest animals.
Driven by hunger, people ate everything and anything: even food that had already rotted - potatoes, beets, and other root vegetables that pigs normally refused to eat. They even ate weeds, the leaves and bark of trees, insects, frogs and snails. Nor did they shy away from eating the meat of diseased horses and cattle. Often that meat was already decaying and those who ate it died of food poisoning.
By 1933 there were numerous incidents of cannibalism, and this despite the fact that the 1932 Fall harvest had been a good one. States Dolot, “From the very start of the harvest to the end, not a single pound of wheat had been distributed to the village inhabitants. Nothing was left for them. We were told that all the grain had to be transported to the railroad stations. We also learned that there it had been dumped on the ground, covered in tarpaulins, and left to rot.”
The Soviet-created famine in Ukraine was apparently intended to break the independent spirit of the Ukrainians once and for all. In this effort, they seem to have failed. During the Second World War, many Ukrainians fought along side the Axis forces. Ukrainians are still persecuted in the USSR, at least in part because they retain their sense of awareness that they are indeed Ukrainians and not Russians.
It should be noted that this heart-rending account of the death of a once peaceful and a self reliant Ukrainian village is open to verification. As one who has taught Russian History at the college level, this reviewer can testify that the dates and details coinicide with other records. Adam Ulam, Director of the Russian Research Center at Harvard University, has written the Introduction to this work, and includes a concise overview of the historical context of Dolot’s narrative. This is an important work, dealing with another chapter of what the distinguished Revisionist historian, James J. Martin, has chosen to call “inconvenient history.”
Source: Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 229-231.
“...(Robert)Conquest’s sharp criticism of Western intellectuals for what he saw as their blindness towards the realities of the Soviet Union, both in the 1930s and, in some cases, even in the 1960s. Figures such as Beatrice and Sidney Webb, George Bernard Shaw, Jean-Paul Sartre, Walter Duranty, Sir Bernard Pares, Harold Laski, D. N. Pritt, Theodore Dreiser and Romain Rolland were accused of being dupes of Stalin and apologists for his regime for various comments they had made denying, excusing, or justifying various aspects of the purges. Furthermore, Conquest’s comment about the poet John Cornford, who had been killed in the Spanish Civil War and was a hero of the British intellectual Left, that “not even high intelligence and a sensitive spirit are of any help once the facts of a situation are deduced from a political theory, rather than vice versa,” was widely quoted, and sparked its own controversy. A widely known anecdote says that later, when asked by his publisher how to name the revised version of The Great Terror, Conquest responded, “How about, ‘I Told You So, You F**king Fools’?”
For your list.
I fear that Obama has something like this in mind for the obstinate American people who refure to quietly into that goodnight....
I bought it at Heathrow, and read as much as I could on the way home. Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag Archipelago” should be read along with “Gulag.” One is from inside, one is from outside.
What a sad legacy.
Even though Gareth revealed the truth, he was publicly
denounced as a liar by several Moscow resident Western
journalists, including The New York Times’ and incumbent
1932 Pulitzer Prize Winner, Walter Duranty.
In 1937, Eugene Lyons, a Moscow based correspondent,
who repudiated Gareth four years earlier, was
apologetic for his actions in his book “Assignment in
A small note:
As Mr.Dolot describes, the Ukranians were even forced to eat Nightinggales which were the Ukranian national bird.
That was if they could even find them because the Komsomol
went about killing every one they could find to prevent
the Ukranians from being able to tell when spring had
“Faced with statvation, the villagers tried everything possible to save themselves and their families. Some of them started eating dogs and cats. Others went hunting for birds: crows, magpies, swallows, sparrows, storks, and even nightingales...”
It’s interesting too what happened to the villager’s
gold. After starving for a while the government opened
special shops where the villagers could turn in family
gold, icons etc for food. Later when the people returned
home the Komsomol was waiting for them so they could
search their homes further for more hidden articles.
Jones was in the same elite group as Malcolm Muggerudge - trying to get the truth out.
That was probably “Gulag.” by Anne Applebaum.
A complete overview of the gulag system but not
as many first person accounts as I would have liked,
not that there are that many survivors.
Another good book is Kolyma by Conquest or
other books about Magadan, the transfer point
to the gold camps. Truely a horror.
The survivors of Kolyma had a little saying:
Kolyma, Kolyma, Amazing Planet.
Twelve months of Winter
The rest is Summer.