Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Ukraine’s Genocide by Famine

Posted on 11/09/2013 5:53:14 PM PST by Dqban22


Eighty years later, there’s no denying the Soviet atrocity.

By Alec Torres NRO 11/9/2013

‘We went to a field. We had nothing to eat. Everything was taken from us. So my mother decided we would go to the field, find some half-frozen potatoes, some kind of vegetables, to make a soup. At that time the Soviet Union was teaching people to report on each other, to spy on each other. Somebody saw that we came with some vegetables, half-frozen, and they arrested my mother. That was the last time I saw her.”

So Eugenia Dallas, originally Eugenia Sakevych, began her story to me. Born in Ukraine around 1925 (she does not know her exact age), Eugenia lived through the Holodomor — genocide by famine — as a young girl.

Shortly before her mother was taken, her father was sent to Siberia, deemed a criminal because he owned a few acres of land.

In 1932–33, Ukraine was brought to its knees. After years of mass arrests and deportations had failed to bring the Ukrainians into line, Stalin decided to crush this proud nation with a new weapon: food. Ukraine, once the breadbasket of Europe, was stripped of its grain.

With its borders sealed and its citizens imprisoned, an estimated 4 to 14 million people starved to death as food rotted in silos or was sold abroad. Stalin wanted purity, and Ukraine’s nationalism threatened his perverse utopia.

“I would go to the store where the bread was; there were lines of no end, and people standing overnight waiting for a loaf of bread,” Eugenia told me of her time living in Kiev during the genocide. “One man came out of the store with a loaf of bread. As he was biting his bread, he dropped dead. He died immediately because bread on an empty stomach is like cement. And many, many people died. Nobody paid attention.”

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Holodomor. In remembrance of this crime, the Center for U.S.-Ukrainian Relations (CUSUR) hosted an academic conference, “Taking Measure of the Holodomor,” to try to answer the most basic questions about the genocide. Why? Where? How? Who carried it out? Who suffered? How many suffered?

A surprisingly small amount is known for certain about an event with a death toll that rivals that of the Holocaust. I spoke with Walter Zaryckyj, the coordinator of the conference and executive director of CUSUR, and asked him why answers to such basic questions remain indefinite. In short, he said, the records are spotty and, for a long time, the world press was not interested in bringing the truth to light.

“The Bolsheviks were never as efficient as the Nazis, and therefore evidence of the scope and ultimate meaning of the atrocity committed upon the Ukrainian nation, in contrast to the terror unleashed upon the Jews in Europe, has been harder to cull and identify,” Professor Zaryckyj told me. “As a consequence, it has been difficult to provide simple and succinct responses concerning the Holodomor that would allow for the kind of full-throated condemnation that the Holocaust justly receives.” Fortunately, archives — notably, formerly classified KGB archives — are finally making their way to the West.

However, the historiography of the Holodomor must overcome not only the relative deficiency of records but also a past of denial and deception. The USSR began its propaganda campaign to convince the world there was no famine before the genocide even ended. As the Ukrainian people starved, the country’s grain was gathered and sold to the West, fueling the Soviet industrial machine.

The word “famine” itself was banned from use in Ukraine Though reports of mass starvation leaked out, the West could not believe a food shortage would exist amidst such abundance. In those pre-Holocaust days, Westerners could not believe a regime would strategically murder its people.

Journalists, such as the now-infamous Pulitzer Prize winner Walter Duranty of the New York Times, told the world, “There is no famine or actual starvation nor is there likely to be.” And, as one speaker at the conference put it, the West, “either deceiving or wanting to be deceived,” looked away.

Later attempts to bring the Holodomor to public attention were denounced by the Soviets as lies and, at times, even denied coverage by Western media outlets. As Peter Paluch reported in NATIONAL REVIEW (“Spiking the Ukrainian Famine, Again,” April 11, 1986), Time and PBS, among others, refused to cover a critically acclaimed documentary on the genocide, Harvest of Despair.

Though some European papers reported on the Holodomor, “the American media were damningly silent,” Paluch wrote, “both about the genocide and about Soviet manipulation of the foreign press.” (Because of the lack of coverage, William F. Buckley Jr. hosted a special session of Firing Line on which he showed the documentary in full.)

Though the most basic questions haven’t been definitively answered, the legacy of the Holodomor lives on “We always heard about the genocide; now we understand that with the genocide we had an additional component called ‘ethnic cleansing,’” Zaryckyj told me in reference to the Soviet efforts to Russify Ukraine through reeducation, deportation, and immigration. “The long-term cultural and political consequences are to break the back of the Ukrainian nation in eastern Ukraine.”

Caught between East and West, Ukraine today is faced with the same choice as the other nations that were in the Soviet bloc. Will it be pulled back into Russia’s orbit or join the world of the democratic West? “Right after the famine, we discovered that the population of non-Ukrainians in Ukraine went from 7 or 9 percent to 21 or 22 percent,” Zaryckyj said. These non-Ukrainians, along with the Russified Ukrainians, “continue to vote, or did until recently, even after the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

Putin’s Russia has made little effort to hide its imperialistic ambitions, expanding its influence in Georgia, Syria, and beyond. Ukraine’s choice — whether to turn back to Russia or integrate into the West — will undoubtedly influence power dynamics throughout Eastern Europe and potentially greater Eurasia.

* * *

“We’re running against a time limit,” Zaryckyj told me. “This is the 80th anniversary, so even the youngest — the eight-year-olds and seven-year-olds who saw it and lived — are now 87 or 88. So there is a definite urgency to get the story out as quickly as possible.”

The event ended with a reception remembering those who died in the Holodomor and honoring those who survived.

Students from the Ukrainian Student Association of America read the testimonies of several survivors, five of whom were in attendance and were publicly recognized, as well as the names of all those who perished in a very small, unnamed village. As the room sat in silence, the reading continued for over ten minutes.

Speaking with Eugenia, I asked her what it’s like to look back on the Holodomor as one of the last survivors and whether she can ever forgive the Russians for their crimes. At the mention of the Russians, Eugenia spoke more quickly, her brow suddenly furrowed. “They destroyed my life, they destroyed my family, they destroyed my country. My family was a good example of what they did with Ukraine. They’re bandits, I call them. And not one brought to justice. Look at the Germans; all were brought to justice. But for Ukraine, nobody.”

Outside of this brief moment, Eugenia was nonetheless upbeat.

She expressed great pride in Ukraine and told me that she thinks she lived in order to bring its message to the world. She is a public speaker on the Holodomor, has written an autobiography titled One Woman, Five Lives, Five Countries with a complementary documentary, and hopes to produce a film soon.

After her mother’s arrest, Eugenia was initially sent from Ukraine to a Nazi work camp and eventually fled to Italy; she has now settled in Los Angeles. “I am very happy that I came to the United States,” she told me. “Freedom for me is a joy. It’s a blessing. We have problems here, but they’re minor. People still live well. They’re free mentally. In Ukraine, they lived in open prisons under the Soviets.”

As other guests shuffled around us, anxious to speak with Eugenia themselves and hear her story in person, she pulled out a copy of her book and read to me one of her poems, called “My Childhood.”

Why was my life spared? . . . Ukraine by evil force was occupied. Million souls were crucified, The rest conveniently Russified. My parents were arrested, Their identity stripped. Why was their destiny so cruel? Today I ask for what reason were they punished?

— Alec Torres is a William F. Buckley Fellow at the National Review Institute.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Russia
KEYWORDS: bolsheviks; famine; famineussr; genocide; godsgravesglyphs; holodomor; holomodor; newyorkslimes; newyorktimes; russia; stalin; stalingenocide; starvation; ukraine; ussr; walterdurant; walterduranty
Walter Duranty epitomized the "professionalism" of the NY Times in the first half of the 20th century - pro-Communist.

SUMMARY: Even though Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 1932, he will be remembered most for what he did not report: the Ukraine famine. In "Stalin's Apologist," biographer S. J. Taylor explains how Duranty's need to succeed and his taste for high living led him to disregard the deaths of millions.

1 posted on 11/09/2013 5:53:14 PM PST by Dqban22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Dqban22

Communism seems to cause famines

North Korea is apparently having another right now.

2 posted on 11/09/2013 5:53:45 PM PST by GeronL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dqban22
Burnt by the Sun
3 posted on 11/09/2013 5:57:14 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dqban22
And to this day, the NY Slimes DEFENDS Duranty's work, and has never denounced nor returned the Pulitzer Prize based on those genocidal lies. Not only did he NOT report the genocide, he actively hid it, instead praising Stalin's USSR.


4 posted on 11/09/2013 5:58:12 PM PST by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dqban22

New York Times remains as an apologist for Communist tyrants to this day.

Remember Hebert Matthews

A beaming Fidel Castro said decorating Herbert Matthews during a visit to the New York Times offices in April 1959

“To our American friend Herbert Matthews with Gratitude. Without your help and without the help of the New York Times, the Revolution in Cuba would never have been.”

5 posted on 11/09/2013 6:05:01 PM PST by Dqban22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MarkL

Wake up America!
This is what Obamacare is bringing to you, one small step at a time. He studied commie system well.
He must be stopped NOW!!!!!

6 posted on 11/09/2013 6:06:02 PM PST by Leo Carpathian (FReeeeepeesssssed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Dqban22

7 posted on 11/09/2013 6:07:25 PM PST by Travis McGee (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dqban22

New documents on Katyn: Another portion of lies from US?


The National Archives of the USA have posted thousands of pages of documents “exposing” the real perpetrators of the tragedy in Katyn. The U.S. analysts believe that the main merit of the publication is the exposure of Roosevelt and Churchill, who hid the truth in favor of a coalition with Stalin. The Poles saw it as a confirmation of their favorite theory.

However, most likely, it is a political move designed to shift the blame, and hence the financial compensation, to Russia instead of Germany. Did the Duma acknowledged Stalin’s blame too soon? Most of the published documents were already known to historians, only some of them - about a thousand pages - were made public for the first time.

These pages are only a small part of the archives of the American commission of Madden of 1951-1952 investigating the “massacre in the Katyn forest.” The entire archive of the commission on the case contains nine volumes.

The publication of documents on Katyn in the U.S. has clear political overtones. The Poles remember the recent Polish-American incident caused by a slip of Barack Obama about “Polish death camps” during World War II. Poland believes that by this publication the U.S. president “rehabilitated” himself in the eyes of the Poles.

The US is not particularly concerned about its image, especially in the active phase of the election campaign. The American voters know about Katyn as much as the Polish people know about the uprising of black people in Birmingham. However, the U.S. State Department might have well provided financial help to Germany that may soon have to deal with the claims of Greece.

According to Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, “Polish historians have evidence that President Franklin Roosevelt knew about the non-participation of the Germans in the Katyn events, although publicly defended the opposite point of view.” Polish historian and political scientist Vojtech Matersky in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza said: “These documents show that the U.S. is fully aware that Katyn was the product not of Germany, but the NKVD.”

Matersky insists that this is the way out of the moral hangover after the initial omission from the time of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940s. The most important proof of the blame of the NKVD is allegedly contained in the testimony of two American prisoners of war - Captain Donald Stewart and Lt. Col. John G. Van Vliet, who in 1943 passed an “encrypted message” to the government about the truth about Katyn. The “truth” confirms the German version - the murder of Polish soldiers was committed even before the entry of the German troops into Smolensk region.

However, the published documents do not contain the aforesaid encryption of Stewart and Van Vliet. The personal report of Colonel Van Vliet Madden’s Commission 1952 is not preserved either. It was recorded later (from memory) by the chairman of the committee.

Therefore, the publication of the American documents is unlikely to give a legal basis for a positive solution to the Poles of the Katyn crime in the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights (ECHR). In October of 2011 they filed a claim of inadequate investigation by Russia of the events that took place 70 years ago.

The essence of the claims is the following.

According to declassified memorandum of the chairman of the KGB Alexander Shelepin, NKVD, by the order of the Central Committee of the CPSU (B) of 5 March 1940, shot a total of 22 thousand Polish prisoners of war in Smolensk and Kalinin regions, as well as Ukraine and Belarus. The investigation started in the 1990s in Russia was terminated in 2004, pursuant to paragraph 4 of Part 1 of Article 24 of the Criminal Procedure Code (death of the guilty).

In this regard, the ECHR in 2011 accepted the complaint of 15 Polish citizens on Article 2 (right to life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment) of the “European Convention on Human Rights” on the grounds that the investigation into the shooting of Poles was conducted inappropriately.

According to a well-known lawyer Dmitri Agranovsky, the documents published by the Americans are falsified. He stated that the documents did not contain anything new. He said that the Polish side wanted the money, but could not get it from the Germans, so all the energy was diverted to Russia. He is convinced that the U.S. that is still feared of the Soviet Union has a motive and that it will go to great lengths to blame Katyn on the Soviet Union. With this “declassification” the Americans, he said, once again reminded Russia that it should not refuse to recognize the Katyn massacre.

Indeed, even without the current publication, it was known that the government of the Nazi Germany organized trips of citizens of neutral countries to Katyn graves open in the spring of 1943. It turned out that the American prisoners of war participated as well. The U.S. government then took a note of them, but could not trust them completely, because it understood the meaning of the German provocations in Katyn. Therefore, the noise initiated in the West today about the fact that Roosevelt knew the truth, but to please Stalin “deceived the entire world” is just a cover for the enactment of a different combination.

As soon as the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and head of the Polish bishops Denominations Jozef Michalik signed and announced the message of reconciliation between the peoples of Poland and Russia, the Americans “declassified” their materials on the Katyn case. Maybe we need to look ahead and think about the prospects of the U.S. missile defense in Europe, where Poland was the main ally of the United States. Is it time to cool down Donald Tusk, who suddenly decided to wait with the decision until after the U.S. presidential election?

And one more question. Were the documents from the so-called “special folder number 1” made public in 2010 by Rosarchiv falsified as well? On the basis of this folder the State Duma in a statement acknowledged that the execution of Polish officers was committed on the direct orders of Stalin and other Soviet leaders.

However, some experts, such as Dmitry Dobrov, say the documents from this folder, including the already mentioned note of Shelepin, were falsified, since the witnesses (Mikhail Gorbachev, Alexander Yakovlev, and Dmitry Volkogonov) describe three variants of its origin.

But if we acknowledge our guilt, we should calculate the effect of such confessions. Image is not everything, and, by careful “declassification” in the U.S., it is clear that the Americans know it better than Russians.

Lyuba Lulko

8 posted on 11/09/2013 6:14:28 PM PST by Dqban22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

There is a bark and grass shortage, right now. It’ll be okay by spring, though.

< /sarcasm>

9 posted on 11/09/2013 6:24:53 PM PST by carriage_hill (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Leo Carpathian
Wake up America!

This is what Obamacare is bringing to you, one small step at a time.

The steps are no longer small. They're growing larger and larger with repetition and deepening silence by the former "free" press.

10 posted on 11/09/2013 6:25:58 PM PST by Standing Wolf (No tyrant should ever be allowed to die of natural causes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: carriage_hill


11 posted on 11/09/2013 6:29:49 PM PST by GeronL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: E. Pluribus Unum

Communism causes shortages because its against human nature to work soley for others.

12 posted on 11/09/2013 6:44:20 PM PST by ully2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Dqban22
Please post a working link which goes to the original publisher of what you just posted:

"New documents on Katyn: Another portion of lies from US?"

Thank you.

13 posted on 11/09/2013 7:53:11 PM PST by Admin Moderator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: MarkL

One of the best books over the Ukrainian genocide is “The Harvest of Sorrow” Soviet Collectivization an the Terror-Famine by historian Robert Conquest, the first full history of one of the most horrendous human and social tragedies of the 20th century. As stated by Conquest “the number dying in Stalin’s war against the peasants was higher than the total deaths for all countries in World War I. They included women, children and the old.”

14 posted on 11/09/2013 8:04:38 PM PST by Dqban22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Admin Moderator

New documents on Katyn: Another portion of lies from US?

15 posted on 11/09/2013 8:09:08 PM PST by Dqban22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Dqban22

My Fathers Mother lived through that.

16 posted on 11/09/2013 8:15:21 PM PST by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MarkL

Duranty’s Deception
By: John Berlau / Insight Magazine
July 09, 2003

Walter Duranty’s lies covered up Stalinist evils — and won the New York Times a Pulitzer Prize. Decades later, the paper doesn’t want to return the award.

Reeling from a scandal involving alleged plagiarism and false reporting from former star reporter Jayson Blair, the New York Times is relying heavily on its carefully cultivated reputation for decades of integrity and objectivity in reporting. Even though its two top editors resigned in disgrace, Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. is telling shareholders and readers that this is a minor blemish for a newspaper that historically has held to the “highest standards of integrity and journalism.”

With the famously liberal paper citing its history to try to redeem its image, critics are taking the opportunity to hold the Times accountable for the journalistic crimes of its star foreign correspondent of 70 years ago. They cite the cover-up by Pulitzer Prize-winner Walter Duranty of mass murders and other atrocities ordered by Josef Stalin in the former Soviet Union. Despite evidence even the Times does not dispute which shows Duranty knew well that millions were being starved to death at the very time he used the newspaper to deny Stalin’s forced Ukrainian famine, the Times has refused to return the prize he won in 1932 for his Soviet reporting. In fact it still displays Duranty’s work in an in-house exhibit honoring the paper’s Pulitzer Prize winners.

“The Jayson Blair incident really put the Times out there in terms of journalistic integrity of one of its correspondents, and we’re looking at this as an inroad into the New York Times to speak about the atrocities Walter Duranty knew about but unfortunately did not write about,” says Michael Sawkiw Jr., president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, which has led the drive to convince the Times to return the award and persuade the Pulitzer Prize board to revoke it. “When it comes to journalistic integrity and ethics,” Sawkiw says, “anything that is written that undermines those ideals should be categorically denounced, and any prize or honor associated with publication of the offender should be given back.”

In the last few months, the Pulitzer board has received thousands of postcards, letters and e-mails from Ukrainian-Americans and others concerned about failure of the Times to come to grips with Duranty’s misreporting. The board has responded by forming a special subcommittee to review whether the prize awarded to Duranty should be revoked. “All aspects and ramifications will be considered,” said Pulitzer Prizes administrator Sig Gissler in a June statement.

While Gissler says the board never before has revoked a Pulitzer Prize, there is a precedent for one being returned. In 1981, Janet Cooke of the Washington Post was awarded a Pulitzer for her vivid story of an 8-year-old, inner-city, crack addict called “Jimmy.” But it later turned out that Jimmy existed only in Cooke’s imagination. The Post came clean and returned the Pulitzer.

The Times, however, says it already has done enough penance for the intentional misreporting. It claims that along with the exhibit of Duranty’s Pulitzer Prize in its hallway display, there is a caveat that states, “Other writers in the Times and elsewhere have discredited this coverage.” An e-mail sent to Insight by Catherine Mathis, vice president of corporate communications at the New York Times Co., explains: “The Times has not seen merit in trying to undo history” by returning the Pulitzer. The e-mail insists: “The Times has reported often and thoroughly on the defects in Duranty’s journalism, as viewed through the lens of later events.”

But Duranty’s reporting was not just “defective” when “viewed through the lens of later events.” It was in fact fraudulent and was contradicted by many of his contemporaries in the 1930s. Yet it wasn’t until the late 1980s, as the Soviet Union was imploding, that the Times was in the least critical of Duranty’s reports, as many scholars of the former Soviet Union note. They also question the Times’ sincerity in the matter of Duranty’s reporting, arguing that even today a strain of anti-anticommunism pervades the paper’s editorial page and much of its news reporting. They wonder to what extent this explains why the Times has been reluctant to return the Pulitzer.

“I’ve written a few columns about the Times’ love affair with communism, and I’m being somewhat sarcastic,” says Ronald Radosh, a historian whose works concluding that the Rosenbergs and other suspects were indeed Soviet agents were bashed by the Times through the years but have been vindicated by the opening of the Soviet historical archives.

“The Times constantly over the years makes unadulterated heroes of the victims of the blacklist. In their obituaries they always present communists in a positive light. The Times seems to have lost any critical faculty when writing about the issue of communism. They would never publish glowing obituaries for dead Nazis and fascists as they do for dead communists.” A recent Times obituary of novelist Howard Fast, for example, insisted that he was a victim of the 1950s blacklist without also noting that at the time he was an ardent Stalinist. He was a member of the Communist Party.

The newspaper makes much of the fact that in 1986 it gave a largely favorable review to Robert Conquest’s The Harvest of Sorrow, which depicted the horrors of the Stalin-engineered Ukrainian famine that killed more than 7 million people in the 1930s and criticized Duranty’s reporting for covering it up in the United States. Citing Duranty, Times reviewer Craig Whitney euphemized that “poor performance by some Western correspondents helped Stalin spread the lie.”

Yet, as Conquest notes in his book, just three years earlier the 1983 annual report of the New York Times Co. listed, along with other honors of which the Times is proud, Duranty’s 1932 Pulitzer Prize for “dispassionate, interpretive reporting of the news from Russia.” Conquest, himself a Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities, also points out that many other newspapers and journalists got the story right at the time. “In spite of everything, full or adequate reports appeared in the [British papers] the Manchester Guardian and the Daily Telegraph; [the French papers] Le Matin and Le Figaro; [the Swiss papers] the Neue Zuericher Zeitung and the Gazette de Lausanne; La Stampa in Italy, the Reichpost in Austria and scores of other Western papers,” he writes. “In the United States, wide-circulation newspapers printed very full firsthand accounts by Ukrainian-American and other visitors (though these were discounted as, often, appearing in ‘right-wing’ journals); and the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Herald Tribune (and the New York Jewish Forwaerts) gave broad coverage.” The now-defunct Chicago American even ran pictures of the pale, skeletal Ukrainian children and the fields littered with corpses.

And Duranty’s reporting was filled with more than just “defects,” the phrase in the Times’ 2003 apologies. It contained information that, by several accounts, he knew to be false. The Soviets did keep tight control over foreign journalists, but Duranty offered Stalin his eager cooperation.

In 1933, at the height of the famine, Duranty wrote that “village markets [were] flowing with eggs, fruit, poultry, vegetables, milk and butter. ... A child can see this is not famine but abundance.” Reports such as these were crucial, historians say, in the decision of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to grant the Soviet Union diplomatic recognition in 1933. But a British Embassy dispatch from 1933, reported in Conquest’s The Harvest of Sorrow and then in S.J. Taylor’s definitive 1990 Duranty biography, Stalin’s Apologist, quotes Duranty as admitting to British Embassy officials in Moscow that “the Ukraine had been bled white [and] the peasants were ‘double-crossed’ by the government.” In his words, it was “quite possible that as many as 10 million people may have died directly or indirectly from lack of food in the Soviet Union during the past year.”

Little wonder Malcolm Muggeridge, one of the courageous left-wing journalists who reported the truth about the famine and who later became a famous author, editor, humorist and playwright, called Duranty “the greatest liar of any journalist I have met in 50 years of journalism.”

Yet, even half-a-century later, Duranty’s newspaper still was not ready to expose the nature of Stalin’s big lie. In the 1986 book review the Times sent Insight conceding that, yes, there was a famine because of Stalin’s collective agriculture policies, and maybe Duranty actively covered it up, the reviewer still argued against the view of Conquest and almost every other professional historian that Stalin deliberately was trying to kill off the Ukraine’s small farmers. “Far more debatable is the thesis that the famine was specifically aimed as an instrument of genocide against the Ukraine,” reviewer Whitney wrote, criticizing Conquest for tangential use of a book published by Ukrainian emigrés as a source.

In 1988 the bipartisan Congressional Commission on the Ukraine Famine would vindicate Conquest, using the word “genocide” (which Conquest actually did not use, calling it a “terror famine”) to describe the policy of deliberately killing off the Ukrainian kulaks. A joint resolution from both houses of the U.S. Congress ratified the commission’s conclusion, and in 2003 a House bill to establish a memorial to the victims referred to the deliberate starvation as “the famine-genocide in the Ukraine.” This bill was cosponsored, among others, by Democratic Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, and Nita Lowey of New York - all devoutly on the political left.

Evidence that Stalin’s collectivization policies were intended to wipe out all the Ukraine’s traditional small farmers includes the facts that the Soviet government confiscated nearly all food from a bumper Ukrainian crop, turned down aid from international relief organizations and refused to let the Ukrainian peasants flee to obtain food.

“The Ukrainians were nationally conscious, and they understood what freedom means,” Sawkiw explains. “For them to give up their land for this collectivization campaign meant that they had to give up a part of themselves, meant that they were giving up a part of their being as a nation. So they were very nationally conscious, and that’s why Stalin specifically targeted the [Ukrainian] peasants” to be starved to death.

Ironically, even as the Times continues to downplay the horrors of the Ukrainian famine in which so many millions were killed, its representatives argue that it doesn’t matter because Duranty’s Pulitzer was awarded for stories published in 1931, before they say the famine was noticeable. “Duranty’s prize was given for a specific set of stories in 1931, not in 1932 or 1933 when the famine in Ukraine struck with full force,” the Times e-mail states.

In letters and statements, Pulitzer administrator Gissler has taken a similar line. Yet in a Times column the paper sent with the e-mail, author Karl E. Meyer states, “The biggest Duranty lapse was his indifference to the catastrophic famine in 1930-31 [italics added].” The evidence in Stalin’s Apologist, published by the prestigious Oxford University Press, and other authoritative accounts, shows Duranty toed the communist line from the moment the Times assigned him to the Soviet Union in 1921.

In one of his first stories for that year, about the infamous New Economic Policy to get the West to build the communist economy, Duranty gushed that “[Vladimir] Lenin has thrown communism overboard ... abandoning state ownership, with the exception of a definite number of great industries of national importance - such as were controlled by the state in France, England and Germany during the war [World War I].”

As Harvard historian Richard Pipes wrote in his book Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime, Duranty’s stories stressing “Lenin’s alleged adoption of Western economic models ... was very important for Moscow to convey at a time when it actively sought foreign credits.”

An early supporter of Stalin, Duranty wrote for the Times until 1941and never wavered in his defense of the Soviet dictator, even defending horrendous atrocities such as the completely transparent show trials. A short, bald Englishman with a wooden leg, Duranty appears to have been handsomely rewarded by the Soviets for his loyalty. Taylor reports that his four-room Moscow apartment was stocked with vodka and caviar, and that he employed a chauffeur, a maid and a cook who became his mistress.

In 1953, after the death of Stalin, Duranty came briefly out of retirement to write a page-one obituary for the Orlando Morning Sentinel, in which he hailed Stalin for “lift[ing] himself and [his followers] to such heights of strength and influence as few mortals have ever known.” His health declined steadily, and four years later he died from an internal hemorrhage complicated by pulmonary emphysema at the age of 73. “It was as if, with Stalin’s death, Walter Duranty had nothing left to say,” Taylor wrote.

And Sawkiw points to new evidence of a formal agreement that Duranty, and possibly the Times itself, had with the Soviet Union concerning news coverage. In his new book, U.S. Intelligence Perceptions of Soviet Power 1921-46, historian Leonard Leshuk, citing State Department memos, writes, “In June 1931, Duranty admitted to A.W. Kleiforth of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin that, ‘in agreement with the New York Times and the Soviet authorities,’ his official dispatches always reflect the official opinion of the Soviet regime and not his own.” Sawkiw sees this as the smoking gun. “This proves his errors were errors of commission,” the Ukraine scholar says. None of the articles on Duranty that the Times sent to Insight to make its case so much as noted this new evidence.

Radosh and other critics say that while the Times argues it is not returning the prize because it does not want to “undo history,” the paper in fact is trying to cover up its own history of helping launch communist regimes that systematically oppress their people. Times correspondent Herbert Matthews was instrumental in Fidel Castro’s rise to power in Cuba through dispatches calling the future communist dictator “the rebel leader of Cuba’s youth” and asserting that “thousands of men and women are heart and soul with Fidel Castro.”

As former Times reporter John Corry recalled in his memoirs, My Times, “Castro’s people in Havana obtained thousands of reprints of Matthews’ articles and mailed them all over Havana. Perfectly ordinary Cubans who had not thought about Castro before read that he was now their new leader. ... [T]he White House and State Department listened.”

When Corry wrote an article in which communists looked bad, he incurred the wrath of editors and prestige reporters. Corry recalls a 6,500-word piece he wrote in 1982 exposing a disinformation campaign launched by the communist government in Warsaw that claimed Polish emigré novelist Jerzy Kosinski was a CIA agent and didn’t write his own books. The article produced angry reactions from veteran Times reporters David Halberstam and Harrison Salisbury. “How could you?!” Corry recalls Halberstam yelling at him.

When it comes to protecting the left the Times apparently has a double standard. For instance, it recently ran an editorial-page explanation backing away from a fine series of stories by Jeff Gerth and James Risen alleging that Los Alamos nuclear-lab employee Wen Ho Lee might be a Chinese spy, even though Lee pleaded guilty to some of the related charges. But it has yet to publish an explanation of Matthews’ stories lionizing and promoting Castro.

Even today, this enormously powerful U.S. newspaper continues to harp on McCarthyism without holding American communists accountable for their active infiltration of U.S. institutions and support for brutal regimes, Radosh says. He recounts an incident in 1991 when, he says, he was commissioned to write a review of Guilty by Suspicion, a movie about the Hollywood blacklist of communists in the 1950s.

Radosh was critical of the film, saying it did not reveal that many of those blacklisted were ardent supporters of Stalin. The Times spiked his review but ran an article by Victor Navasky of the far-left Nation magazine attacking Radosh’s unpublished piece. “They didn’t even run the two pieces side by side,” says Radosh, whose piece eventually ran in the conservative American Spectator. (Although a letter from Radosh protesting Navasky’s use of his words was published in the Times, Mathis tells Insight that “None of the editors I discussed this with had a recollection of the events you described.”)

More recently the Times ran an editorial claiming that historians who were writing about the now-definitive linking of the American Communist Party to the Soviet Union were trying to rehabilitate the reputation of Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.). “We were not trying rehabilitate McCarthy,” Radosh says. “We were trying to separate McCarthyism from anticommunism and show the validity of anticommunism, and they, of course, totally mixed the two together and attacked us without us having a say in the matter.”

In her new best-selling book, Treason, conservative Ann Coulter notes that when the Venona Project was declassified and intercepted, Soviet cables were seen to prove that many long-suspected government officials such as Alger Hiss were indeed Soviet spies as charged. She found through a database search that not one article on Venona ever appeared on the front page or editorial page of the New York Times, and only 13 articles in the Times since the 1995 revelation have so much as discussed Venona.

Indeed, on the 50th anniversary of the Rosenbergs’ execution this June, the Times ran an editorial saying they were not “as guilty as the government alleged,” despite Venona and tons of evidence to the contrary. “They still want to give them the benefit of the doubt and say they were well-meaning and what they did wasn’t bad,” Radosh says. “In truth, Julius [Rosenberg’s] KGB control [officer] said he was one of the most effective Soviet spies. I thought it was an outrage.”

Radosh doesn’t expect the Times’ blind spot for communism to change overnight, but he says at the very least it ought to try to right historical wrong by returning Duranty’s infamous Pulitzer. “Ostensibly, prizes like the Pulitzer are given for solid, serious journalism that has proven responsible,” he says. “What Duranty did is so far more dangerous and scurrilous than what Janet Cooke did that it’s crazy to say they shouldn’t give back the Pulitzer Prize.”

Joseph Goulden, author of a book on the New York Times, crusaded for years in the 1980s and 1990s as director of media analysis for the journalistic watchdog group Accuracy in Media to get the paper to return the Duranty Pulitzer.

Now, with the Blair scandal, he says, critical mass finally may be building. “It’s sitting there at the Times stinking like rotting garbage,” Goulden tells Insight. And if they don’t give it back, Radosh says, the New York Times should at least add another caveat to its display. “What they should say is that the Times did not give back this Pulitzer, because the Times loves getting Pulitzers, even though Duranty was a propagandist for Stalin and everything he wrote was a lie.”

17 posted on 11/09/2013 8:30:45 PM PST by Dqban22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

how’s Detroit?

up next.... the entire US

(minus those regions found to be ‘politically correct’)

18 posted on 11/09/2013 9:11:37 PM PST by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

Thanks Dqban22.
"We went to a field. We had nothing to eat. Everything was taken from us. So my mother decided we would go to the field, find some half-frozen potatoes, some kind of vegetables, to make a soup. At that time the Soviet Union was teaching people to report on each other, to spy on each other. Somebody saw that we came with some vegetables, half-frozen, and they arrested my mother. That was the last time I saw her." So Eugenia Dallas, originally Eugenia Sakevych, began her story to me. Born in Ukraine around 1925 (she does not know her exact age), Eugenia lived through the Holodomor -- genocide by famine -- as a young girl. Shortly before her mother was taken, her father was sent to Siberia, deemed a criminal because he owned a few acres of land.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 Remembering Holodomor -- Current estimates based upon an analysis of recently revealed Soviet census data suggest, "that no fewer than ten million men, women and children perished"; 10 million people who died from forced starvation during a period of abundant harvest in their homeland, a country known as the Breadbasket of Europe. Apologists of totalitarian dictators would have you believe that what occurred in Ukraine in the years of 1932-33 was a famine of large proportion due to a drought. And for decades, information about the HOLODOMOR was repressed and denied by the Soviet regime despite eyewitness accounts by Western diplomats and journalists. In fact, the unusually large number of deaths from starvation in Ukraine was reported by a number of foreign journalists, while conversely others, most notably Walter Duranty of the 'The New York Times' accepted the rhetoric and supported the Soviet lie that the number of deaths were minimal and due to a natural catastrophe.

19 posted on 11/10/2013 7:43:27 AM PST by SunkenCiv (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Dqban22

——Stalin wanted purity, ——

So do Obama, Pelosi, Dingy Harry.

They are all mortal American enemies, just like Stalin was to the Ukraine

20 posted on 11/10/2013 8:28:53 AM PST by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Travon... Felony assault and battery hate crime)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

The Won can now take away even our dog’s food

21 posted on 11/10/2013 8:32:52 AM PST by Salamander (Blue Oyster Cult Will Be The Soundtrack For The Revolution.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Salamander

“Those are not beef cattle sir, we raise rodeo bulls.”

(Of course we can eat them but they are a little tough) :)

22 posted on 11/10/2013 8:37:29 AM PST by Ditter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Dqban22

Visualize the executive order granting the fubar-in-chief full authority over food supplies and the means of production.

23 posted on 11/10/2013 8:52:19 AM PST by Silentgypsy (Mondays should be outlawed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

Conquest’s Harvest of Sorrow is excellent and describes
the complete plan.

For a good first person account one can read
“Execution by hunger” from Miron Delot.

The tactics used by the communists to break up communities
and collectivise them, is mirrored in the infestation of
socialism in our society today. The soviets of course
were much more heavy handed as they gained control, which
is what we can look forward to as the democrats consolidate
their position.

The use of young komsomol members from the cities to search and seize grain and food stuffs from the farmers in isolated
communities, lead to starvation,cannibalism, and death.
All while mountains of grain stolen for export, lay
rotting beside the rail heads for lack of transportation.

The Ukraine was also cordoned off so that even when peasants
could travel to the cities to sell or trade their family
heirlooms for food, it would be confiscated on the way
back and many times they would just be sent to the gulag
and never return. It became law that possession of gold
was a crime although it could be sold or exchanged for
food at government offices only. Search parties would
invade homes, looking for grain, or valuables, encluding
the grain kept as seed for the coming spring so there
was no crop that year and theft of crops from the
collective farm even gleanings of left over turnips
and grain was subject ot imprisonment or death from
guards posted around the fields.

The people ate everything, dogs, cats, small birds,rodents.
The government agents even went so far as to kill the
song birds so that the people would not know when it
was spring time.(the national bird of Ukraine.)

24 posted on 11/10/2013 9:09:41 AM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.


25 posted on 11/10/2013 10:31:05 AM PST by SJackson (if you want to test a manÂ’s character, give him power A Lincoln)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: tet68

Thanks tet68.

26 posted on 11/10/2013 3:39:49 PM PST by SunkenCiv (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Dqban22
Duranty: (in response to questions regarding the famine) "to make an omelette you have to break a few eggs."

Roosevelt: he had a love affair with the Soviets during the 30s.

27 posted on 11/12/2013 2:47:07 PM PST by eleni121 ("All Along the Watchtower" Book of Isaiah, Chapter 21, verses 5-9)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dqban22; SunkenCiv
10 million is also the number I have heard. IIRC, that's what the Black Book of Communism had too.

Most of Russia's land had been held by aristocrats in vast estates worked by serfs, who were only freed in the mid-19th Century. It was fairly easy for the Communists to reassemble estates into communes. In contrast, Eastern Ukraine had been part of Lithuania and later Poland for centuries. Russia only acquired Eastern Ukraine in the Partitions of Poland late in the 18th Century. That history produced a land ownership pattern of small holdings by independent farmers. The farmers were understandably reluctant to let the Communists steal their land and assemble communes. So, what this was really about was using famine to break the will of the Ukrainians to end any opposition to the Communists extending their program of communal farming under tight Party control. And they killed millions doing it.

28 posted on 11/12/2013 5:10:41 PM PST by colorado tanker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker

“liquidation of the kulaks as a class”

29 posted on 11/12/2013 6:22:17 PM PST by SunkenCiv (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: tet68

Walter Duranty won his prize in 1932, early in Pulitzer history. While his celebrity faded long ago and his name is largely unknown to younger generations, Duranty occupies what his biographer, S. J. Taylor, considers to be a uniquely infamous place in history.

By 1932, the Briton had served 10 of his 14 years as the Times Moscow correspondent, achieving international renown as the foremost journalist of his day. Duranty’s eminence was such that Franklin D. Roosevelt, a candidate for president, deemed it politically prudent to summon him publicly to confer with him on the state of Soviet affairs.

Duranty’s autobiography, published in 1935 and ironically titled “I Write As I Please,” would become a best-seller. And when the United States formally recognized the Soviet Union in 1933, the first public toast went to President Roosevelt; the second went to Walter Duranty.

But when presented with the biggest story of his career - the Ukraine famine of 1932-33, one of greatest man-made disasters in history in which millions perished during the forced collectivization of agriculture - Duranty chose not only to miss the story but to cover it up.

And, Taylor believes, by virtue of the reporter’s clout and his paper’s prestige, that meant the tragic loss of an opportunity “to change the course of history for the better.”

“There was the chance to save, millions of lives,” she says. “And he did not do it.”

Her recently published biography of Duranty, “Stalin’s Apologist” (Oxford University Press), sets out to explain why. Duranty’s journalistic sins of omission and distortion, as cataloged by Taylor, are staggering. Never a Marxist, Walter Duranty believed only in Walter Duranty.

After Stalin indirectly boosted Duranty’s star by succeeding Lenin in 1924, as the reporter had predicted, the murderous dictator could do no wrong in Duranty’s eyes.

This fact soon earned The New York Times the nickname “The Uptown Daily Worker.” Conversely, Duranty could do no wrong in his host country - or else risk the hobnailed boot.

And leaving his post would mean leaving the life of sybaritic luxury - women, caviar and opium - that he enjoyed in Moscow and risking the fame he had chased after with such success.

And so, the show trials of 1928, 1934 and 1936 according to Duranty? Nothing more than justice served. Stalin’s purges? Duranty had an answer for every atrocity: “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” All this, compounded above all by his refusal to report the slaughter of millions in the Ukraine, made British writer Malcolm Muggeridge tell Taylor that Duranty was “the greatest liar of any journalist I have met in 50 years of journalism.”

Muggeridge should know. He was there. Then a young, zealous socialist who went to the Soviet Union with the intention of settling there, he saw the Ukraine famine, wrote about it and sent his dispatches to the Manchester Guardian, a socialist newspaper in Great Britain.

Buried in the back pages of the paper, Muggeridge’s searing story of monumental tragedy was dismissed all around. No one wanted to hear bad news about the brave new world. “His reward was he couldn’t get work,” says Taylor.

“Mostly bunk” was the phrase Duranty chose to describe the famine. Even after he finally ventured into the devastated regions, his dispatches remained optimistic in tone.

His private report to the British Embassy was another story, grimmer and far more realistic, estimating that “as many as 10 million people may have died directly or indirectly from lack of food.”

As Taylor notes in the book, “This estimate was the highest ventured of the famine of 1932-33.” Why the British Embassy, among others with more than an inkling of what was going on, did nothing is yet another travesty.

Duranty was not alone in his behavior, although his special position made him unique. James E. Mace, staff director of the Commission on the Ukraine Famine, puts it this way: “Duranty was probably the most effective public relations agent that Stalin had in terms of making his denial of the famine stick in the West.”

With this background in mind, the irony in the citation that appears in the Times Pulitzer pantheon is all the more mordant: Duranty is commended for “dispassionate interpretive reporting of the news from Russia.”

Duranty, who died in 1957, “actually won that Pulitzer for economic reporting, and his economic reporting was very good indeed. Right after he won it, the famine occurred,” explains Taylor, a native Oklahoman, in a telephone interview from London, where she has lived for the past 10 years. “If he had told the truth, he quite possibly would have faced the same problems as Malcolm Muggeridge. But if he had, he would have been one of the greatest figures in the 20th century. But he didn’t.”

There is a trace of wistfulness in Taylor’s voice, a note of sadness that out of her decade of research on Duranty emerged so amoral and reprehensible a figure - in spite of his legendary charm.

“I have to tell you I read his autobiography and was completely taken in,” she says. “Each time I saw evidence to the contrary [disproving his word], I looked for excuses. It came as a shock when I found the opposite to be true. I felt I was personally betrayed. It caused me personal pain.”

After Taylor journeyed to the Ukraine herself, “the pain cut deeper than before. I didn’t see how anyone could see these human beings and continue to operate out of self-interest. I don’t think he ever regretted anything in his life except having fallen from the pinnacle of his success.”

With the Soviet Union struggling to reveal and revise the distortions and lies from which its history is fashioned, Duranty’s largely forgotten case becomes increasingly pertinent. Is there anything The New York Times should do about him? Drop his name from the honor roll (a Stalinist technique in itself)? Add an asterisk? Return the Pulitzer?

Abe Rosenthal does not care to give much thought to the subject. A Times man since 1944, Rosenthal served as executive editor from 1977 until 1986, snagging his own Pulitzer for “perceptive and authoritative reporting” from Poland in 1960. Sure, he knows who Walter Duranty is, and yes, he is familiar with “Stalin’s Apologist” through a book review or two, but no, he does not want to discuss the matter - not, he adds, because he finds the matter too controversial but because “I don’t know much about it.”

“Thank God, [it was] before my time,” says Rosenthal. “I have really given no thought to Walter Duranty. I assume he was a lousy correspondent.” (Does this remind us of Pontius Pilot washing his hands prior to the Jews killing Jesus Christ?)

That’s more than Executive Editor Max Frankel will say. Although the 38-year veteran of the Times is reading the book, Frankel, 60, declines to comment on the subject except to say, through his secretary, “He didn’t know him and doesn’t know his writing, so you’ll have to look elsewhere.”

Some Times men are better acquainted with the subject. Karl E. Meyer , 62, a member of the paper’s editorial board (which, in Duranty’s day, was in disagreement with its Moscow correspondent), wrote a June editorial about the correspondent and his work - “some of the worst reporting to appear in this newspaper” - which ran on the same Sunday the newspaper (favorably) reviewed the biography.

“I think it’s fabulous they’ve done the review,” says Taylor. “I think it’s wonderful they’re bringing attention to it. It’s important that everyone know what happened in that decade. I’m really happy at long last it’s happening.”

What is no longer happening, according to writer Peter Braestrup, is the creation of Duranty-style reporters. “When I was starting out in the ‘50s, everybody knew Duranty had been a shill for the Soviets. That was no big deal,” says Braestrup, a former journalist whose two-volume study, “Big Story,” chronicled the rampant misreporting of the Vietnam War’s Tet offensive. “I don’t think anybody at The New York Times would leave anybody like Duranty in place now. The mystery to me is how they left him there so long at the time.”

Today, Braestrup points out, foreign correspondents rotate with a frequency that prevents one from digging in for 14 corrupting years. In addition, he says, the “semimonopoly” The New York Times used to have on the news is long broken. “The importance of any single news organization or correspondent is vastly diminished,” he says.

Still, Taylor sees in Duranty a cautionary tale that remains relevant.

“We attribute to our newspeople almost godlike status, and they’re only human beings.

Today we seem to have transferred our adulation to the broadcast media, and there’s simply no basis for this. When we consider these people’s interpretations of reality, we should always look a little at who they are and what their motivations may be.”

Chandlers of the Los Angeles Times

Grahams of the Washington Post

30 posted on 11/13/2013 2:45:50 PM PST by Dqban22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson