Skip to comments.Diary that helped expose Stalin's famine displayed
Posted on 11/19/2009 12:10:38 PM PST by CutePuppy
The diaries of a British reporter who risked his reputation to expose the horrors of Stalin's murderous famine in Ukraine were put on public display for the first time Friday.
Welsh journalist Gareth Jones sneaked into Ukraine in March of 1933, at the height of a famine engineered by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Millions of people starved to death between 1932 and 1933 as the Soviet secret police emptied the countryside of grain and livestock as part of a campaign to force peasants into collective farms.
Jones' reporting was one of the first attempts to bring the disaster to the world's attention.
"Famine Grips RussiaMillions 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 tons of grain to the West, using the money to build factories and arm its military.
Historians say that between 4 million and 5 million Ukrainians perished in what is sometimes referred to as the Great Famine.
Walking from village to village, Jones recorded conversations with desperate people scrambling for food, scribbling brief interviews in pencil on lined notebooks.
"They all had the same story: 'There is no breadwe haven't had bread for two monthsa lot are dying,'" Jones wrote in one entry.
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 U.S.S.R., and many Moscow-based foreign correspondentssome of whom had pro-Soviet sympathiesrefused to believe Jones' reporting.
The New York Times' Walter Duranty, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, dismissed Jones' article as a scare story.
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...
Shameful, but not much has changed since. If anything, the "news" business as ideological opinion-making and propaganda delivery mechanism has become only more subtle and sophisticated.
Similar propaganda techniques are alive and well in US and elsewhere today. "No news is good news" or "Truth by omission of facts" is the same as making up "facts" and "statistics" and polling data or concentrating on "bad news" by the media. "Telling truth to power" degenerated into the power of telling lies and manipulating the opinions of the otherwise uninformed hoi polloi.
I have a letter to my grandfather from Ukraine with a Stalin stamp...I forget what year...
Found a thread Diaries of Stalin's horrors on display - FR / Western Australia Today, 2009 November 13, posted by Schnucki. many good replies there.
Amazing facts, and just wondering how long do we have to wait for discrediting what permeates the so-called "mainstream" press today, and who will pay attention: Eugene Lyons, an American wire agency reporter who gradually went from communist sympathizer to fierce critic of the Soviet regime, later acknowledged the role that fellow journalists had played in trying to destroy Jones' career. "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," Lyons wrote in his 1937 autobiography, "Assignment in Utopia." Lyons' admission came too late for Jones, who was killed by bandits in 1935 while covering Japan's expansion into China in the run-up to World War II. The full circumstances of his death remain murky. .....
"Conditions are bad, but there is no famine," Duranty wrote. Other correspondents chimed in with public denials, and with his colleagues against him, Jones was discredited. I hope these diaries and these matters are given more widespread attention - there is way too much romanticizing of Utopian fantasies about socialism and communism and not enough examples of horrible realities, except under the label of fascism (which many perversely associate with something opposite of socialism).
Eugene Lyons, an American wire agency reporter who gradually went from communist sympathizer to fierce critic of the Soviet regime, later acknowledged the role that fellow journalists had played in trying to destroy Jones' career.
"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," Lyons wrote in his 1937 autobiography, "Assignment in Utopia."
Lyons' admission came too late for Jones, who was killed by bandits in 1935 while covering Japan's expansion into China in the run-up to World War II. The full circumstances of his death remain murky. .....
... but not much has changed since.
Not only with the news business, but also the way tyrants control people: Haile Mengistu in Ethiopia, Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Kim Jong Il in North Korea...
Hey, give Communism another chance. After killing 100 million people?
When reality meets the fantasy...
But it's just the small number of people at the top, the neo-Malthusians who hijacked the movement who are at fault for these atrocities, not "the system" or "the ideas". One can't blame "the system" for a small sample of rotten scoundrels who are really "fascists" not "socialists".
And yes...as other despots have done, they also confiscated valuables and precious metals from the people along the way:
The closing line is chilling.
“Is there any place for graves on the cemetery of destroyed illusions?”.
Socialism is the cemetery of destroyed illusions.
Obama wants to build one here.
Socialism is the cemetery of destroyed illusions.
So true and so beautifully expressed. Thank you.