By Blog | November 22, 2009 at 11:36 AM EST | No Comments
Article by Prof. James Mace, Consultant to The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 15, 2003
On June 24 the Pulitzer Prize Committee was sent an open letter by Dr. Margaret Siriol Colley and Nigel Linsan Colley, Bramcote, Notts, UK, too long to be recounted here in full, but which can be read on the Internet at http://colley.co.uk/garethjones/soviet_articles/duranty_revocation.htm.
The lady is the niece of one Gareth Jones (1905-1935), a journalist who had the courage to tell the truth about the despicable things he had seen in Ukraine in the spring of 1933. For his courage he paid with his professional reputation and being long all but forgotten.
The hatchet man in this tale was one Walter Duranty, winner of the 1932 Pulitzer Prize for writing stories from the Soviet Union, reportage that he had already freely confessed “always reflected the official Soviet point of view and not his own.” And here begins a tale of one journalist being crushed for his honesty and another rewarded for his mendacity. It is a tale that touches directly both on the ethics of journalism and the history of Ukraine.
Journalists often like to think of themselves as fearless fighters for the public’s right to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. To reward those who actually did so an extremely successful Hungarian-born American journalist named Joseph Pulitzer willed that his legacy be used in part to fund prizes in his name for outstanding achievements in drama, letters, music, and journalism. The prizes, modest in money but tremendous in terms of the honor they convey on their recipients, have been awarded annually since 1917.
In reality, journalists, like everyone else, are rarely completely faithful to the ideals they profess. And prizes, even prestigious ones like the Pulitzer, sometimes go to scoundrels. Dr. Colley demands the revocation of the Pulitzer Prize from the scoundrel that led a campaign for Stalin’s Soviet Union from the most prestigious newspaper in the United States, the New York Times, to discredit her uncle for honestly trying to do what journalists are supposed to do, for telling people the truth.
Walter Duranty, born in Liverpool (England) in 1884, was always something of a scoundrel and openly relished in being able to get away with it. In S. J. Taylor’s excellent biography, “Stalin’s Apologist: Walter Duranty: The New York Time’s Man in Moscow” (Oxford University Press, 1990), he is seen lying even about his own family origins, claiming in his autobiography to have been an only child orphaned at ten, neither of which was true: his mother died in 1916 and his sister fourteen years later, a spinster; when his father died in 1933, he left an estate of only 430 rubals.
After finishing his university studies, he drifted to Paris, where he dabbled in Satanism, opium, and sex on both sides of the bed-sheets. By the time World War I broke out, he had a job as a reporter for the New York Times and could thus avoid actual combat. Duranty seems to have known that the key to success in journalism can often be in first determining what the readers want and then gauging how the facts might fit in with it. His reportage was always lively, eminently readable, and usually – but by no means always – had some relationship to the facts.
Still, he realized that in the American free press, newspapers are made to make money for their owners, and the reporter’s job is to write something people would want to read enough that they would go out and buy his employer’s newspaper. It is the classic relationship between labor and management in a market economy: the more effective a worker is at helping his employer make more money, the better chance he stands of getting higher pay, a better job, or other attributes of worldly success.
For Duranty, this system seems to have worked quite well. After the war, he was sent to the new independent Baltic states and in 1921 was among the first foreign reporters allowed into the Soviet Union. This latter achievement was a major one, for the Soviet Union was never shy about exercising control over who could come or leave. A Western reporter in the Soviet Union always knew that if one wrote something offensive enough to the Soviet authorities, he would be expelled and never allowed to return.
There was thus a strong professional incentive not to be that person. Duranty understood this better than anyone else, but just in case someone among the journalists forgot this simple truth, there was a Soviet press officer to remind him. During the First Five Year Plan, the head of the Soviet Press Office was Konstantin Umansky (or Oumansky: he liked it better the French way).
Eugene Lyons, who had known Umansky at a distance since he had been a TASS correspondent in the United States and the latter chief of its Foreign Bureau, probably knew this little man with black curly hair and gold teeth as well as any of the foreign correspondents. He described the system as more one of give- and-take with the foreign correspondents sometimes backing the censor down through a show of professional solidarity (it would have been, after all, too much of an embarrassment for the Soviets to expel all the foreign correspondents), often in a spirit of give- and-take and compromise. But the telegraph office would simply not send cables without Umansky’s permission.
Moreover, convinced that the Soviet experiment was so much superior to the all too evident evils of capitalism, a huge segment of the West’s intellectuals wanted desperately to look with hope on the Soviet experiment, which, for all its failures, seemed to offer a beacon. And in a world where access to newsmakers is often the only thing between having something to print or not, access to power itself becomes a commodity. As Lyons himself put it his memoir, “Assignment in Utopia” (1937):
“The real medium of exchange in Moscow, buying that which neither rubles nor dollars can touch, was power. And power meant Comrade Stalin, Comrade Umansky, the virtuoso of kombinatsya, the fellow who’s uncle’s best friend has a cousin on the collegium of the G.P.U. To be invited to exclusive social functions, to play bridge with the big-bugs, to be patted on the back editorially by Pravda, to have the social ambitions of one’s wife flattered: such inducements are more effective in bridling a correspondent’s tongue than any threats… Whether in Moscow or Berlin, Tokyo or Rome, all the temptations for a practicing reporter are in the direction of conformity. It is more comfortable and in the long run more profitable to soft-pedal a dispatch for readers thousands of miles away than to face an irate censor and closed official doors.”
Both Lyons and Duranty knew the rules of this game so well that both had been rewarded before the Holodomor by being granted an interview with Stalin himself, the Holy Grail of the Moscow foreign press corps. Umansky knew how to award and punish foreigners. Perhaps this is why he would later move on into the diplomatic “beau monde” of Washington, DC.
Lyons, who came to Russia as an American Communist sycophant, then becoming a disillusioned anti-Communist, paid the price. His lady translator, it seems, brought to his attention an item in “Molot,” a newspaper from Rostov-on-the-Don, designed to cow the local inhabitants but not for foreign consumption, announcing the mass deportation of three Ukrainian Cossack “stanitsas” from the Kuban. Nine months after he broke the story, he was gone from the Soviet Union for good.
Into this world walked a young English socialist, Malcolm Muggeridge, who had married the niece of Sidney and Beatrice Webb, then icons in the Soviet Union for their work to turn the Soviet experiment into an icon for socialist intellectuals in the West. Coming from such a background, young Malcolm and his wife even sold their furniture, convinced that they would remain in the Soviet Union as he reported for the “Manchester Guardian.” Yet, when he arrived, he quickly saw that the Five Year Plan was not quite all it was cracked up to be.
Perhaps the first inkling of the panoply of characters he happened onto was at a reception at the British Embassy in Moscow in the fall of 1932 when he found himself sitting between old Soviet apologist Anna Louise Strong and the Great Duranty, the most famous foreign correspondent of his day and fresh from his Pulitzer Prize.
Miss Strong, he wrote in his memoirs, “Chronicles of Wasted Time” (1972), “was an enormous woman with a very red face, a lot of white hair, and an expression of stupidity so overwhelming that it amounted to a strange kind of beauty,” adding, “Duranty, a little sharp-witted energetic man, was a much more controversial person; I should say there was more talk about him in Moscow than anyone else, certainly among foreigners.
“His household, where I visited him once or twice, included a Russian woman named Katya, by whom I believe he had a son. I always enjoyed his company; there was something vigorous, vivacious, preposterous, about his unscrupulousness which made his persistent lying somehow absorbing. I suppose no one – not even Louis Fischer – followed the Party Line, every shift and change, as assiduously as he did. In Oumansky’s eyes he was perfect, and was constantly held up to the rest of us as an example of what we should be.”
“It, of course, suited his material interests thus to write everything the Soviet authorities wanted him to – that the collectivisation of agriculture was working well, with no famine conditions anywhere; that the purges were justified, the confessions genuine, and the judicial procedure impeccable. Because of these acquiescent attitudes – so ludicrously false that they were a subject of derision among the other correspondents and even (Soviet censor – Author) Podolsky had been known to make jokes about them – Duranty never had any trouble getting a visa, or a house, or interviews with whomever he wanted.”
Such subservience to a regime that was one of two truly evil systems of the twentieth century, for which the term “totalitarianism” is most often applied, was marked by a veneer of objective analysis and certainly not without insight – he was the first to have “put his money on Stalin,” as he put it, and is even credited with having first coined the word “Stalinism” to describe the evolving System – and he was always fascinating to read, even more to talk to.
He was the most famed foreign correspondent of the time; a nice apartment in Moscow complete with a live-in lover, by whom he did indeed beget a son, and an oriental servant to do the cooking and cleaning; was the social center of the life of foreigners in Moscow; and took frequent trips abroad, as he put it, to retain his sense of what was news.
Simultaneously, there was a strange sort of honesty to his privately admitting that he was indeed an apologist. In the 1980s during the course of my own research on the Ukrainian Holodomor I came across a most interesting document in the US National Archives, a memorandum from one A. W. Kliefoth of the US Embassy in Berlin dated June 4, 1931.
Duranty dropped in to renew his passport. Mr. Kliefoth thought it might be of possible interest to the State Department that this journalist, in whose reporting so much credence was placed, had told him “that, ‘in agreement with the “New York Times” and the Soviet authorities,’ his official dispatches always reflect the official opinion of the Soviet government and not his own’.”
Note that the American consular official thought it particularly important for his superiors that the phrase, in agreement with the “New York Times” and the Soviet authorities, was a direct quotation. This was precisely the sort of journalistic integrity that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932.
Into the world of Moscow journalism, a world where everybody had to make his own decision on the moral dilemma Lyons’ framed as “to tell or not to tell,” came one Gareth Jones, a brilliant young man who had studied Russian and graduated with honors from Cambridge and became an adviser on foreign policy to former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George.
At the age of 25, in 1930 he went to the Soviet Union to inform his employer what was happening there, his reports were considered so straightforward that they were then published in the London “Times” as “An Observer’s Notes.” The following year he returned and published some of the materials under his own names. Having gained a reputation for integrity in honestly trying to get to the bottom of things, in 1932 he wrote with foreboding about the food situation as people asked, “Will their be soup?”
By the early spring of 1933, the fact that famine was raging in Ukraine and the Kuban, two-thirds of the population of which happened to be Ukrainian, was common knowledge in Moscow among foreign diplomats, foreign correspondents, and even the man in the street. In response to Lyon’s “revelations” from the regional official Soviet press, a ban had imposed in foreign journalists traveling to the areas in question.
Upon checking with his colleagues in Moscow what they knew – on the understanding, of course, that their names would never be mentioned – Jones decided it was worth it to defy the prohibition and buy a ticket at the train station to the places affected as a private person, which was not forbidden. Once there, he employed his simple but logical method of getting off the train and walking for several hours until he was certain he was off the beaten track and start talking to the local.
He spent a couple of weeks, walked about forty miles, talked to people, slept in their huts, and was appalled at what he saw. Rushing back to Moscow and out of the Soviet Union, Jones stopped off first in Berlin, where he gave a press conference and fired off a score of articles about the tragedy he had seen firsthand. “I walked alone through villages and twelve collective farms. Everywhere was the cry, ‘There is no bread; we are dying.’ …” (“Manchester Guardian,” March 30, 1933).
Young Muggeridge, who would live to a ripe old age and become one of the most revered journalists of the twentieth century, had done much the same, sent his dispatches out through the British diplomatic pouch, and published much the same earlier but under the anonymous byline of “An Observer’s Notes,” created barely a ripple because his story was the unconfirmed report of some unknown observer.
Yet, now stood young Mr. Jones, the confidant of prime ministers and millionaires, a young man who was able to get interviews with Hitler and Mussolini. Here Mr. Umansky and his superiors in the Soviet hierarchy encountered a problem that could not be ignored. But Soviet officialdom already had a trump up its sleeve, one certain to bring into line any recalcitrant members of the Moscow press corps infected by an excess of integrity, at least for the duration of their stay.
A couple of weeks earlier, the GPU had arrested six British citizens and several Russians on charges of industrial espionage. Announcement was made that public trial was in preparation. This was news. Putting their own people in the dock was one thing, but accusing white men, Englishmen, of skullduggery was something else.
This promised to be the trial of the century, and every journalist working for a newspaper in the English-speaking world knew that this was precisely the type of story that their editors were paying them to cover. To be locked out would have been equivalent to professional suicide. The dilemma of to tell or not to tell was never put more brutally.
Umansky read the situation perfectly, and Lyon’s summed up what happened in a way that needs no retelling:
“On emerging from Russia, Jones made a statement which, startling though it sounded, was little more than a summary of what the correspondents and foreign diplomats had told him. To protect us, and perhaps with some idea of heightening the authenticity of his reports, he emphasized his Ukrainian foray rather than our conversation as the chief source of his information…
“Throwing down Jones was as unpleasant a chore as fell to any of us in the years of juggling facts in order to please dictatorial regimes-but throw him down we did, unanimously and in almost identical formulas of equivocation. 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.
“The scene in which the American press corps combined to repudiate Jones is fresh in my mind. It was in the evening and Constantine Umansky, the soul of graciousness consented to meet us in the hotel room of a correspondent. He knew that he had a strategic advantage over us because of the Metro-Vickers story. He could afford to be gracious. Forced by competitive journalism to jockey for the inside track with officials, it would have been professional suicide to make an issue of the famine at that time. There was much bargaining in the spirit of gentlemanly give-and-take, under the effluence of Umansky’s gilded smile, before a formula of denial was worked out.
“We admitted enough to sooth our consciences, but in round- about phrases that damned Jones as a liar. The filthy business having been disposed of, someone ordered vodka and zakuski, Umansky joined the celebration, and the party did not break up until the early morning hours. The head censor was in a mellower mood than I had ever seen before or since. He had done a big bit for Bolshevik firmness that night.”
Duranty took the point position in the campaign against Jones. On March 31, 1933, “The New York Times” carried on page 13 an article that might well be studied in schools of journalism as an example of how to walk the tightrope between truth and lie so masterfully that the two seem to exchange places under the acrobat’s feet.
It is called “Russians Hungry, But Not Starving” and begins by placing Jones’ revelations in a context that seems to make everything quite clear: “In the middle of the diplomatic duel between Great Britain and the Soviet Union over the accused British engineers, there appears from a British source a big scare story in the American press about famine in the Soviet Union, With ‘thousands already dead and millions menaced by death from starvation.’ ”
Of course, this put everything in its proper place, at least enough for the United States to extend diplomatic recognition to the Soviet Union in November of that year. So much so that when a dinner was given in honor of Soviet Foreign Minister Maksim Litvinov in New York’s posh Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, when it came time to pay tribute to Duranty, the cheers were so thunderous that American critic and bon-vivant Alexander Woolcott wrote, “Indeed, one quite got the impression that America, in a spasm of discernment, was recognizing both Russia and Walter Duranty.”
At the same time that Duranty was so actively denying the existence of the famine in public, he was quite open in admitting it in private. On September 26, 1933 in a private conversation with William Strang of the British Embassy in Moscow, he stated, “it is quite possible that as many as ten million people may have died directly or indirectly from lack of food in the Soviet Union during the past year.”
The little Englishman indeed seemed to have gotten away with it. But his further career was a gradual sinking into obscurity and penury, his Katia in Moscow berating him for taking no interest in the education of their son and asking that he send more money, that is, of course, when he could. He married on his deathbed in late September 1957.
A week later, on October 3, he died from an internal hemorrhage complicated by pulmonary emphysema at the age of seventy-three. Nothing further of his son is known. Jones had attempted to defend himself in a letter to the “New York Times” and Malcolm Muggeridge, once out of the Soviet Union declined to write a letter in support of Jones, although Jones had publicly commended Muggeridge’s unsigned articles in the Manchester Guardian. Various organizations, mostly on the Right, took up the cause of the telling the world about the Great Famine of 1932-1933, but within two or three years the issue faded into the background and was largely forgotten.
Gareth Jones was himself nonplussed. In a letter to a friend who intended to visit the Soviet Union, Gareth wrote: “Alas! You will be very amused to hear that the inoffensive little ‘Joneski’ has achieved the dignity of being a marked man on the black list of the O.G.P.U. and is barred from entering the Soviet Union. I hear that there is a long list of crimes which I have committed under my name in the secret police file in Moscow and funnily enough espionage is said to be among them. As a matter of fact Litvinoff [Soviet Foreign Minister] sent a special cable from Moscow to the Soviet Embassy in London to tell them to make the strongest of complaints to Mr. Lloyd George about me.”
Jones and those who sided with him were snowed under a blanket of denials. When one by one the American journalists left the Soviet Union, they wrote books about what they had seen. Muggeridge wrote a thinly disguised novel, “Winter in Moscow” (1934), in which the names were changed, but it was clear who everybody was. Only Jones, it seems, was really concealed in the fact that the character of such integrity, given the name of Pye by the author, was older, a smoker, a drinker, none of which the real Jones was.
In his memoirs, Muggeridge seems to have forgotten altogether the man who actually broke the story of the Ukrainian Holodomor Famine-Genocide under his own name. Perhaps he felt a little guilty that his courage in this situation was not quite as great as the Welshman who had the bad luck to have been murdered in China in 1935, probably to prevent him from telling the world that the new state of Manchukuo was not nearly as nice a place as its Japanese sponsors wanted the world to believe.
There is perhaps something of a parallel to the story of Gareth Jones. There was also in 1981 another young man, then twenty- nine years old and a newly minted Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, hired by the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute to study the Holodomor. After nearly a decade, when the Commission on the Ukraine Famine was wrapping up, he was informed that the fellowship he had been offered for an academic year had been cut back to a semester.
Having nowhere else to turn, he settled for that. “We expected he’d refuse, but he accepted,” a colleague was told. The next year he was invited for a yearlong fellowship to the University of Illinois. A fund of well-meaning Ukrainian-Americans was ready to donate a million dollars to endow a chair for this man. Those who taught Russian and East European history led him to understand, however, that, while they would be quite happy to take the money, whoever might get the chair, it would certainly not be he.
It is unknown who exactly played the role of Umansky in this particular tale or whether vodka was served afterward, but the carrot and stick are fairly obvious: access to scholarly resources in Moscow vs. the veto of any research projects. In a world where a number of scholars slanted their journal articles and monographs as adroitly as Duranty did his press coverage, I am tempted to someday venture my own counterpart to Winter in Moscow, based on the published works that make the players all too easy to discern. For I was that once young man. But in contrast to Jones, I have found a place to live, married the woman I love, teach, and have and a forum from which I can from time to time be heard.
Despite Duranty’s prophesies, the Ukrainians did not forget what had happened to them in 1933, and seventy years later the Ukrainian- Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Ukrainian World Congress, with support from a number of other leading Ukrainian diaspora organizations, have organized a campaign to reopen the issue of Walter Duranty’s 1932 Pulitzer Prize with a view to stripping him of it. They have sent thousands of postcards and letters to the Pulitzer Prizes Committee at Columbia University, 709 Journalism Building, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY, USA 10027.
We invite our readers who might have any thoughts on the matter to join them in so doing, in English, of course. Meanwhile, as a professional courtesy, the editors have already sent an e-mail of this article to all the members of the Pulitzer Prizes Committee in the hope that it might help them in their deliberations on this issue.
The whole story of denying the crimes of a regime that cost millions of lives is one of the saddest in the history of the American free press, just as the Holodomor is certainly the saddest page in the history of a nation, whose appearance on the world state was so unexpected that there is, in fact, a quite successful book in English, “The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation.”
Still, it would be only appropriate if that nation, which was for so long so safe to ignore and then appeared so unexpectedly, expressed itself on the fate of a man who also was victimized so unexpectedly, simply for trying honestly to find out and then tell the truth. Ukrainians abroad want justice done by stripping that young man’s chief victimizer of a Pulitzer Prize that makes a mockery of any conceivable ideals of journalism.
They have been joined by a host of respected journalists in the West. Is it not only right that the people most affected by the events in which the struggle between truth and falsehood, idealism and cynicism, were so blatant that it reads almost like a melodrama, also make its collective voice heard? By asserting justice in the past, we help attain it for ourselves.
By Blog | November 15, 2009 at 10:38 AM EST | No Comments
“Seventy six years ago, millions of innocent Ukrainians – men, women, and children – starved to death as a result of the deliberate policies of the regime of Joseph Stalin. Tomorrow, we join together, Ukrainian-Americans and all Americans, to commemorate these tragic events and to honor the many victims.
From 1932 to 1933, the Ukrainian people suffered horribly during what has become known as the Holodomor – “death by hunger” – due to the Stalin regime’s seizure of crops and farms across Ukraine. Ukraine had once been a breadbasket of Europe. Ukrainians could have fed themselves and saved millions of lives, had they been allowed to do so. As we remember this calamity, we pay respect to millions of victims who showed tremendous strength and courage. The Ukrainian people overcame the horror of the great famine and have gone on to build a free and democratic country.
Remembering the victims of the man-made catastrophe of Holodomor provides us an opportunity to reflect upon the plight of all those who have suffered the consequences of extremism and tyranny around the world. We hope that the remembrance of Holodomor will help prevent such tragedy in the future.”
White House Web Site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/statement-president-ukrainian-holodomor-remembrance-day
TRUE EXTENT OF UKRAINE FAMINE REVEALED
IN BRITISH JOURNALIST’S DIARIES
By Jack Malvern, Times, London, United Kingdom, Fri, Nov 13, 2009
LONDON – Millions of peasants were starving. Children were turned against adults as they were recruited to expose people accused of hoarding grain. Stalin sealed the border between Russia and Ukraine to ensure that news of the famine would not spread, but one journalist was able to break through to discover the truth.
Gareth Jones, who revealed the story of the forced famine that claimed the lives of four million people in Ukraine in the 1930s, recorded the words of Stalin’s victims in his diaries, which he then used to prepare his dispatch.
The public can see the diaries for the first time today as they go on display at the University of Cambridge.
One entry from March 1933 describes how Jones illegally sneaked across the border from Russia to interview peasants. “They all had the same story: ‘there is no bread; we haven’t had bread for two months; a lot are dying’,” he wrote.
“They all said: ‘The cattle are dying. We used to feed the world and 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?’ ”
Jones escaped without being detected and sent a “press release” from Berlin, which was printed in Britain and America. The report included an encounter on a train with a Communist, who denied that there was a famine. “I flung a crust of bread which I had been eating from my own supply into a spittoon. A fellow passenger fished it out and ravenously ate it. I threw an orange peel into the spittoon and the peasant again grabbed it and devoured it. The Communist subsided.”
Despite his first-hand account of the starvation, the story of what has become known as the Holodomor (Ukranian for “the famine”) was not widely followed because it was disputed by other Western journalists based in Moscow who wished to placate their contacts.
Walter Duranty, a British-born correspondent for The New York Times, opined that Jones’s judgement had been “somewhat hasty”. He suggested that Jones had a “keen and active mind” and that his 40-mile trek near Kharkov had been a “rather inadequate cross-section of a big country”.
Jones, who wrote occasionally for The Times, was forced to leave the Soviet Union and was dead within two years after a mysterious encounter with bandits in China. He was 29.
Jones’s relatives, who discovered his diaries in the 1990s, believe that his kidnap in China may have been arranged by Soviet spies. David Lloyd George, who consulted Jones on foreign affairs after he stepped down as Prime Minister, hinted that Jones was killed because of something he knew. The diaries, which are on display at the Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge until mid-December, lay forgotten for more than 50 years.
Then Gwyneth Jones, who was 94, discovered a suitcase containing her brother’s belongings. Margaret Siriol Colley, 84, Jones’s niece, said: “I remember when he was captured, and the 16 days of awful agony as we waited to learn whether he would be released.”
Rory Finnin, lecturer in Ukranian studies at Cambridge, said that Jones’s diaries finally give a voice to the peasants who died as a result of Stalin’s collectivisation policies. Grain was requisitioned for urban areas and for export to countries including Britain.
Historians continue to debate whether Stalin was deliberately punishing Ukranian nationalists, but it is clear that he allowed the famine to occur. He sealed the border between Russia and Ukraine and punished peasants accused of “hoarding grain”.
Mr Finnin said: “There were a smattering of stories here and there [but] but I don’t know if Western historians gave [the famine] the serious attention that it receives today.”
“With a bearded peasant who was walking along. His feet were covered with sacking. We started talking. He spoke in Ukranian Russian. I gave him a lump of bread and cheese. ‘You could not buy that anywhere for 20 roubles. 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. You see that field. It was all gold but now look at the weeds.’”
“He took me along to his cottage. His daughter and three little children. Two of the smaller children were swollen… ‘They are killing us.’ ‘People are dying of hunger.’ There was in the hut a spindle and the daughter showed me how to make thread. The peasant showed me his shirt, which was home-made and some fine sacking which had been home-made. ‘But the Bolsheviks are crushing that. They won’t take it. They want the factory to make everything.’ The peasant then ate some very thin soup with a scrap of potato. No bread in house.”
“Talked to a group of peasants. ‘We’re starving. Two months we’ve hardly had bread. We’re from Ukraine and we’re trying to go north. They’re dying quickly in the villages.’”
“[In Karkhov] 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 bread’ and ‘There will be no bread today’.”
By Blog | November 13, 2009 at 01:23 PM EST | No Comments
1930s JOURNALIST GARETH JONES TO HAVE STORY RETOLD
Correspondent who exposed Soviet Ukraine’s manmade famine focus of new documentary
Trinity College, Cambridge Special Exhibition The Diaries of Gareth Jones
Mark Brown, Arts Correspondent, Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Friday 13 November 2009
LONDON – In death he has become known as “the man who knew too much” – a fearless young British reporter who walked from one desperate, godforsaken village to another exposing the true horror of a famine that was killing millions.
Gareth Jones’s accounts of what was happening in Soviet Ukraine in 1932-33 were different from other western accounts. Not only did he reveal the true extent of starvation, he reported on the Stalin regime’s failure to deliver aid while exporting grain to the west. The tragedy is now known as the Holodomar
and regarded by Ukrainians as genocide.
Two years after the articles Jones was killed by Chinese bandits in Inner Mongolia – murdered, according to his family, in a Moscow plot as punishment.
The remarkable story of Jones is being told afresh by his old university, Cambridge, which is putting on public display for the first time Jones’s handwritten diaries from his time in Ukraine.
They will go on display at the Wren Library alongside items relating to rather better known Trinity old boys such as Newton, Wittgenstein and AA Milne, coinciding with a new documentary about Jones and the famine – “The Living” – which gets its British premiere this evening.
The story of Jones, a devout, non-comformist teetotaller from Barry, often has elements of Indiana Jones and Zelig.
Rory Finnan, a lecturer in Ukrainian studies at Cambridge, called him “a true hero”.”He is a remarkable historical figure and it is also remarkable that he is not well known. Jones was the only journalist who risked his name and reputation to expose the Holodomor to the world.”
Jones became interested in Ukraine and learned Russian because of his mother who worked as a governess for the family of John Hughes, a Merthyr Tydfil engineer who founded a town in southern Ukraine called Hughesovka – now called Donetsk.
After graduating, Jones was introduced to David Lloyd George and quickly became his foreign adviser, visiting the USSR for the first time as the former prime minister’s eyes and ears.
It was in 1932-33 though that Jones would make his name, walking alone along a railway line visiting villages during a terrible famine that killed millions.
He sent moving stories of survivors to British, American and German newspapers but they were rubbished by the Stalin regime – and derided by Moscow-based western journalists, men like the New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty, who wrote: “There is no famine or actual starvation, nor is there likely to be,” and dismissed Jones’ eyewitness accounts as a “big scare story”.
The only other reporter writing about the extent of the famine was Malcolm Muggeridge in the Manchester Guardian, although his three articles were heavily cut and not bylined.
In the Ukraine, Jones is something of a national hero and last year both he and Muggeridge were awarded the highest honour Ukraine gives to non-citizens, the order of freedom, for their reporting during 1932-33.
But there is more to Jones’s story and a Zelig-like quality to his life. For example, he was once on a 16-seat aircraft with the new German chancellor, Adolph Hitler, and Joseph Goebbels, on their way to a rally in Frankfurt. Jones wrote for the Western Mail that if the plane had crashed the history of western Europe history would have changed forever.
Another time, outside the gates of the White House, he saw the one-time American president Herbert Hoover preparing to have his photograph taken with schoolchildren. Soon enough, somehow, Jones is in the photograph.
After his Ukraine articles Jones was banned from the USSR and, in many eyes, discredited. The only work he could get was in Cardiff on the Western Mail covering “arts, crafts and coracles”, according to his great-nephew Nigel Linsan Colley. But again his life changed.
He managed to get an interview with a local castle owner: William Randolph Hearst who owned St Donat’s Castle near Cardiff. The newspaper magnate was obviously taken by Jones’s accounts of what had happened in Ukraine and invited the reporter to the US.
Jones dutifully arrived at Hearst’s private station – as Chico Marx was leaving the estate – and wrote three articles for Hearst and used, for the first time, the phrase “manmade famine”.
Again the articles were damned and wrongly discredited. Banned from the USSR, Jones decided he wanted to explore what was going on in the far east and, in particular, what Japan’s intentions were. The day before his 30th birthday Jones was kidnapped and killed by Chinese bandits. Jones’s descendants believe it happened with the complicity of Moscow. “There is no direct proof,” said Colley, “but plenty of indirect proof.”
Colley is pleased that his great-uncle is getting the recognition he believes is deserved and the family is clearly proud. “I don’t know whether he was brave or stupid. He knew the risks he was taking, I think, but because he was a British citizen he thought he was indestructible.”
By Blog | October 15, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT | No Comments
October 15th, 2009 is the 50th anniversary of Stepan Bandera’s assassination in Munich, Germany at the hands of KGB assassin Bohdan Stashinsky.
Some of you may remember the day and perhaps a few might even remember that LIFE Magazine published an article on his assassination on the third anniversary of his death(Sept 7, 1962). Through the modern wonder of digitized archiving this article is now available on line at:
http://books.google.com/books?id=-k0EAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA72&dq=Bandera&as_pt=MAGAZINES#v=onepage&q=Bandera&f=false (The article starts on page 70)
Many thanx to Bohdan Romaniuk for tracking it down for a new generation of readers.
By Blog | June 12, 2009 at 03:40 PM EDT | No Comments
OP-ED: by Janusz Bugajski, Director, New European Democracies program
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington D.C.
The Wall Street Journal Europe, London, UK, Thursday, June 11, 2009
As European democracies celebrate the 20th anniversary of their liberation from communism and the Soviets, Moscow seeks to restore its dominance over former satellites. Rewriting Russian history is part of this plan. The Putinist notion of a progressive Soviet system in the past is designed to provide justification for Russia’s current assertiveness in the region.
Take Moscow’s annual May 9 parade, which celebrates the “victory over fascism” on the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s surrender to the Allies. The entire exercise is based on a monumental national delusion fostered by the Kremlin. Although Russia was one of the victorious powers at the end of World War II, Moscow continues to disguise the historic record that the Soviet Union itself helped launch the war in close alliance with Nazi Germany. Through the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, Stalin schemed with Hitler to carve up Eastern Europe.
Russia has recently intensified its revisionist campaign, claiming that it voluntarily gave up communism and the Soviet Bloc and that the Cold War ended in a draw with the West. Russia’s state propagandists maintain that the USSR never occupied its neighboring states after World War II, but rather liberated them from tyranny. And they minimize the Kremlin’s imposition of a totalitarian system over the region that stifled its political and economic progress for almost half a century. Unlike post-war Germany, Moscow has never paid reparations for Soviet crimes and expropriations in Central and Eastern Europe.
Moscow also disguises the fact that Stalin murdered more Russians and other Soviet citizens than Nazi Germany. Its official figure of 27 million war dead includes several millions of Stalin’s victims during Soviet civilian deportations and military purges.
Instead of admitting that it was a perpetrator and an opportunist in the destruction of Europe, Russia, as the successor state to the Soviet Union, depicts itself as a victim and a victor.
Moscow took another step to revise its history last month when it formed a presidential inter-departmental commission to promote the Soviet version of history and to tackle alleged “anti-Russian” propaganda that damages the country’s international image. The commission’s mandate is to formulate policy options to “neutralize the negative consequences” of what they consider to be historical falsifications aimed against Russia.
This is in particular a response to steps by neighboring governments in Estonia, Poland, Ukraine, and elsewhere to talk openly about Soviet repression and to remove monuments that glorify the Soviet occupation.
The committee has no independent historians, and is comprised of bureaucrats from government ministries, representatives from military and intelligence agencies, several pro-Kremlin spin-doctors, and nationalistic lawmakers.
The chairman of this “historic truth” commission, Sergei Naryshkin, is chief of staff in President Dmitry Medvedev’s administration and a loyal supporter of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. As Russian liberals have pointed out, this commission bears an eerie resemblance to Soviet institutions that established a monopoly over scientific and scholarly truths.
Additionally, legislators from the ruling United Russia Party have proposed amendments to the penal code that will make the “falsification of history” a criminal offence. If passed by the Duma, this could result in mandatory jail terms for anyone in the former Soviet Union convicted of “rehabilitating Nazism.”
This draft bill is not designed to fight neo-Nazis or fascist ideology. Instead, it would allow the criminal prosecution of individuals who question whether the Soviets really “liberated” Eastern Europe toward the end of the war or whether countries such as Georgia welcomed their annexation by the Czarist Empire.
This would open the door to possible legal campaigns against political leaders in neighboring countries, including Ukraine, Georgia, and the three Baltic states, who challenge Russia’s distorted version of history.
Last month’s parade, where soldiers in Czarist-style uniforms carried the red flag with the yellow hammer and sickle across the Red Square, was an almost exact reenactment of Soviet-era self-glorification. The spectacle sent an unmistakable message to all formerly occupied territories that Russia remains the strongest military continental power and continues its Czarist and Soviet traditions.
During the May display President Medvedev warned unnamed adversaries who were supposedly contemplating “military adventures” against Russia — a thinly veiled threat to keep Ukraine and Georgia out of NATO. The Kremlin’s new historiography of Russia as a proud, virtuous neighbor to those in its sphere helps provide an intellectual underpinning for such posturing.
Western countries, including the former Soviet satellites, can take steps to expose Russia’s historical revisionism by sponsoring international conferences and symposia, by opening up all pertinent state archives to scholars, by educating the younger generation about communist crimes, and simply by talking openly about the Soviet era.
As Russia glosses over its dark past and flexes its muscles, the fear is that those who rewrite history may also be determined to repeat it.
By Blog | June 03, 2009 at 02:51 PM EDT | No Comments
By Blog | April 23, 2009 at 02:35 PM EDT | No Comments
LEMKIN ON THE UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE
‘Soviet Genocide in Ukraine’
Introductory Note: by Roman Serbyn, Professor of History, Universite du Quebec a Montreal
Raphael Lemkin’s essay, ‘Soviet Genocide in Ukraine’, is one of the earliest writings on the subject by a non-Ukrainian scholar. A note ‘Begin here’, scribbled in before the second paragraph, which begins with the words ‘What I want to speak about’, suggests that the text was originally composed for Lemkin’s address at the 1953 Ukrainian Famine commemoration in New York.
Later Lemkin added it to the material he was gathering for his elaborate History of Genocide which was never published. (1) Lemkin’s views on the Ukrainian tragedy are virtually unknown and hardly ever figure in scholarly exchanges on the Ukrainian famine of 1932–1933, or on genocides in general. (2) Yet his holistic approach to the Soviet regime’s gradual destruction of the Ukrainian nation is enlightening and makes a valuable, if belated, addition to scholarly literature.
After studying on a scholarship in Germany, France and Italy, he returned to Poland and pursued a career in the Polish courts of law, mainly in Warsaw. He continued his preoccupation with the problem of legal sanctions against perpetrators of mass exterminations and developed his ideas, which he later presented at various international conferences.
In 1930, Lemkin was appointed assistant prosecutor at the District Court of Berezhany, Tarnopil Province of Eastern Galicia (Western Ukraine) where he must have become aware of the collectivization, ‘dekulakization’ and the eventual Great Famine then devastating Soviet Ukraine. Some time later he obtained a similar position in Warsaw, where he also practised law and continued his writings on international law.
After the invasion of Poland by German and Soviet troops in 1939, Lemkin fled to Vilnius and then to Sweden where he lectured at the University of Stockholm. In early 1941, he managed to obtain a visa to the USSR, but then via Japan and Canada went to the United States. In April 1941, he was appointed ‘special lecturer’ at Duke University Law School in Durham, North Carolina. In 1944 he published “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe,” which he had started writing in Sweden. (4) The study is a thoroughly documented exposé on German crimes in Europe.
The book contains the first mention of the term ‘genocide’, which has become a generic name not only for the Nazi atrocities but for all mass destructions. The author’s relentless lobbying, backed by the prestige of the book, finally succeeded in swaying the United Nations Organization to adopt the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, whose fitting 60th anniversary we are commemorating this year.
After World War II, Lemkin devoted his life to the further development of legal concepts and norms for containing mass destructions and punishing their perpetrators. After the fall of Nazism, Lemkin saw the main threat in Communism, which had overrun his native Poland. Towards the end of his life, he had close relations with the Ukrainian and Baltic communities in the United States. In 1953, he took part in the commemoration of the Great Famine by the New York Ukrainian community.
His essay on the Ukrainian genocide shows his empathy for the plight of Ukrainian victims of Communism and Russian imperialism, not only of the Great Famine of the early thirties but also of the periods that precede and followed this tragic event. Lemkin’s essay, based on personal observations and supplemented with emotionally charged testimony provided by the Ukrainian community, may appear sketchy and naïve today.
Yet his comments offer an insight that is often lacking in the work of recent authors who can benefit from the documentation unavailable to Lemkin. He rightly extends the discussion of Ukrainian genocide beyond the peasants starving in 1932–1933, and speaks about the destruction of the intelligentsia and the Church, the ‘brain’ and the ‘soul’ of the nation. He puts emphasis on the preservation and development of culture, beliefs and common ideas, which make Ukraine ‘a nation rather than a mass of people’.
Lemkin’s essay is being reproduced here with minor updating of terminology (Ukraine instead of ‘the Ukraine’, Romanian instead of ‘Rumanian’ and Tsarist instead of ‘Czarist’) and the transliteration of Ukrainian names from Ukrainian.
“SOVIET GENOCIDE IN UKRAINE”
By Rafael Lemkin (5)
You cannot love other peoples
Unless you love Ukraine. (6)
The mass murder of peoples and of nations that has characterized the advance of the Soviet Union into Europe is not a new feature of their policy of expansionism, it is not an innovation devised simply to bring uniformity out of the diversity of Poles, Hungarians, Balts, Romanians — presently disappearing into the fringes of their empire. Instead, it has been a long-term characteristic even of the internal policy of the Kremlin — one which the present masters had ample precedent for in the operations of Tsarist Russia. It is indeed an indispensable step in the process of ‘union’ that the Soviet leaders fondly hope will produce the ‘Soviet Man’, the ‘Soviet Nation’ and to achieve that goal, that unified nation, the leaders of the Kremlin will gladly destroy the nations and the cultures that have long inhabited Eastern Europe.
What I want to speak about is perhaps the classic example of Soviet genocide, its longest and broadest experiment in Russification — the destruction of the Ukrainian nation. This is, as I have said, only the logical successor of such Tsarist crimes as the drowning of 10,000 Crimean Tatars by order of Catherine the Great, the mass murders of Ivan the Terrible’s ‘SS troops’ — the Oprichnina; the extermination of National Polish leaders and Ukrainian Catholics by Nicholas I; and the series of Jewish pogroms that have stained Russian history periodically. And it has had its matches within the Soviet Union in the annihilation of the Ingerian nation, the Don and Kuban Cossacks, the Crimean Tatar Republics, the Baltic Nations of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Each is a case in the long-term policy of liquidation of non-Russian peoples by the removal of select parts.
Ukraine constitutes a slice of Southeastern USSR equal in area to France and Italy, and inhabited by some 30 million people.7 Itself the Russian bread basket, geography has made it a strategic key to the oil of the Caucasus and Iran, and to the entire Arab world. In the north, it borders Russia proper. As long as Ukraine retains its national unity, as long as its people continue to think of themselves as Ukrainians and to seek independence, so long Ukraine poses a serious threat to the very heart of Sovietism. It is no wonder that the Communist leaders have attached the greatest importance to the Russification of this independent[-minded] member of their ‘Union of Republics’, have determined to remake it to fit their pattern of one Russian nation. For the Ukrainian is not and has never been, a Russian. His culture, his temperament, his language, his religion — all are different. At the side door to Moscow, he has refused to be collectivized, accepting deportation, even death. And so it is peculiarly important that the Ukrainian be fitted into the Procrustean pattern of the ideal Soviet man.
Ukraine is highly susceptible to racial murder by select parts and so the Communist tactics there have not followed the pattern taken by the German attacks against the Jews. The nation is too populous to be exterminated completely with any efficiency. However, its leadership, religious, intellectual, political, its select and determining parts, are quite small and therefore easily eliminated, and so it is upon these groups particularly that the full force of the Soviet axe has fallen, with its familiar tools of mass murder, deportation and forced labour, exile and starvation.
The attack has manifested a systematic pattern, with the whole process repeated again and again to meet fresh outbursts of national spirit.  The first blow is aimed at the intelligentsia, the national brain, so as to paralyse the rest of the body. In 1920, 1926 and again in 1930–1933, teachers, writers, artists, thinkers, political leaders, were liquidated, imprisoned or deported. According to the Ukrainian Quarterly of Autumn 1948, 51,713 intellectuals were sent to Siberia in 1931 alone. At least 114 major poets, writers and artists, the most prominent cultural leaders of the nation, have met the same fate. It is conservatively estimated that at least 75% of the Ukrainian intellectuals and professional men in Western Ukraine, Carpatho–Ukraine and Bukovina have been brutally exterminated by the Russians (ibid., Summer 1949).
 Going along with this attack on the intelligentsia was an offensive against the churches, priests and hierarchy, the ‘soul’ of Ukraine. Between 1926 and 1932, the Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalous Church, its Metropolitan (Lypkivsky) and 10,000 clergy were liquidated. In 1945, when the Soviets established themselves in Western Ukraine, a similar fate was meted out to the Ukrainian Catholic Church. That Russification was the only issue involved is clearly demonstrated by the fact that before its liquidation, the Church was offered the opportunity to join the Russian Patriarch[ate] at Moscow, the Kremlin’s political tool.
Only two weeks before the San Francisco conference, on 11 April 1945, a detachment of NKVD troops surrounded the St George Cathedral in Lviv and arrested Metropolitan Slipyj, two bishops, two prelates and several priests. (8) All the students in the city’s theological seminary were driven from the school, while their professors were told that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church had ceased to exist, that its Metropolitan was arrested and his place was to be taken by a Soviet-appointed bishop. These acts were repeated all over Western Ukraine and across the Curzon Line in Poland. (9) At least seven bishops were arrested or were never heard from again. There is no Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church still free in the area. Five hundred clergy who met to protest the action of the Soviets, were shot or arrested.
Throughout the entire region, clergy and laity were killed by hundreds, while the number sent to forced labour camps ran into the thousands. Whole villages were depopulated. In the deportation, families were deliberately separated, fathers to Siberia, mothers to the brickworks of Turkestan and the children to Communist homes to be ‘educated’. For the crime of being Ukrainian, the Church itself was declared a society detrimental to the welfare of the Soviet state, its members were marked down in the Soviet police files as potential ‘enemies of the people’. As a matter of fact, with the exception of 150,000 members in Slovakia, the Ukrainian Catholic Church has been officially liquidated, its hierarchy imprisoned, its clergy dispersed and deported.
These attacks on the Soul have also had and will continue to have a serious effect on the Brain of Ukraine, for it is the families of the clergy that have traditionally supplied a large part of the intellectuals, while the priests themselves have been the leaders of the villages, their wives the heads of the charitable organizations. The religious orders ran schools, and took care of much of the organized charities.
 The third prong of the Soviet plan was aimed at the farmers, the large mass of independent peasants who are the repository of the tradition, folklore and music, the national language and literature, the national spirit, of Ukraine. The weapon used against this body is perhaps the most terrible of all — starvation. Between 1932 and 1933, 5,000,000 Ukrainians starved to death, an inhumanity which the 73rd Congress decried on 28 May 1934. (10)
There has been an attempt to dismiss this highpoint of Soviet cruelty as an economic policy connected with the collectivization of the wheat-lands, and the elimination of the kulaks, the independent farmers, was therefore necessary. The fact is, however, that large-scale farmers in Ukraine were few and far-between. As a Soviet politician Kosior (11) declared in Izvestiia on 2 December 1933, ‘Ukrainian nationalism is our chief danger’, and it was to eliminate that nationalism, to establish the horrifying uniformity of the Soviet state that the Ukrainian peasantry was sacrificed.
The method used in this part of the plan was not at all restricted to any particular group. All suffered — men, women and children. The crop that year was ample to feed the people and livestock of Ukraine, though it had fallen off somewhat from the previous year, a decrease probably due in large measure to the struggle over collectivization. But a famine was necessary for the Soviet and so they got one to order, by plan, through an unusually high grain allotment to the state as taxes. To add to this, thousands of acres of wheat were never harvested, and left to rot in the fields. The rest was sent to government granaries to be stored there until the authorities had decided how to allocate it. Much of this crop, so vital to the lives of the Ukrainian people, ended up as exports for the creation of credits abroad.
In the face of famine on the farms, thousands abandoned the rural areas and moved into the towns to beg food. Caught there and sent back to the country, they abandoned their children in the hope that they at least might survive. In this way, 18,000 children were abandoned in Kharkiv alone. Villages of a thousand had a surviving population of a hundred; in others, half the populace was gone, and deaths in these towns ranged from 20 to 30 per day. Cannibalism became commonplace.
As C. [read instead W.] Henry Chamberlain, the Moscow correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor, wrote in 1933: The Communists saw in this apathy and discouragement, sabotage and counter-revolution, and, with the ruthlessness peculiar to self-righteous idealists, they decided to let the famine run its course with the idea that it would teach the peasants a lesson.
Relief was doled out to the collective farms, but on an inadequate scale and so late that many lives had already been lost. The individual peasants were left to shift for themselves; and much higher mortality rate among the individual peasants proved a most potent argument in favor of joining collective farms.
 The fourth step in the process consisted in the fragmentation of the Ukrainian people at once by the addition to the Ukraine of foreign peoples and by the dispersion of the Ukrainians throughout Eastern Europe. In this way, ethnic unity would be destroyed and nationalities mixed. Between 1920 and 1939, the population of Ukraine changed from 80% Ukrainian to only 63%.12 In the face of famine and deportation, the Ukrainian population had declined absolutely from 23.2 million to 19.6 million, while the non-Ukrainian population had increased by 5.6 million. When we consider that Ukraine once had the highest rate of population increase in Europe, around 800,000 per year, it is easy to see that the Russian policy has been accomplished.
These have been the chief steps in the systematic destruction of the Ukrainian nation, in its progressive absorption within the new Soviet nation. Notably, there have been no attempts at complete annihilation, such as was the method of the German attack on the Jews. And yet, if the Soviet programme succeeds completely, if the intelligentsia, the priests and the peasants can be eliminated, Ukraine will be as dead as if every Ukrainian were killed, for it will have lost that part of it which has kept and developed its culture, its beliefs, its common ideas, which have guided it and given it a soul, which, in short, made it a nation rather than a mass of people.
The mass, indiscriminate murders have not, however, been lacking — they have simply not been integral parts of the plan, but only chance variations. Thousands have been executed, untold thousands have disappeared into the certain death of Siberian labour camps.
The city of Vinnitsa might well be called the Ukrainian Dachau. In 91 graves there lie the bodies of 9,432 victims of Soviet tyranny, shot by the NKVD in about 1937 or 1938. Among the gravestones of real cemeteries, in woods, with awful irony, under a dance floor, the bodies lay from 1937 until their discovery by the Germans in 1943. Many of the victims had been reported by the Soviets as exiled to Siberia.
Ukraine has its Lidice too, in the town of Zavadka, destroyed by the Polish satellites of the Kremlin in 1946. (13) Three times, troops of the Polish Second Division attacked the town, killing men, women and children, burning houses and stealing farm animals. During the second raid, the Red commander told what was left of the town’s populace: ‘The same fate will be met by everyone who refuses to go to Ukraine. I therefore order that within three days the village be vacated; otherwise, I shall execute every one of you.’ (14)
When the town was finally evacuated by force, there remained only 4 men among the 78 survivors. During March of the same year, nine other Ukrainian towns were attacked by the same Red unit and received more or less similar treatment.
What we have seen here is not confined to Ukraine. The plan that the Soviets used there has been and is being repeated. It is an essential part of the Soviet programme for expansion, for it offers the quick way of bringing unity out of the diversity of cultures and nations that constitute the Soviet Empire. That this method brings with it indescribable suffering for millions of people has not turned them from their path. If for no other reason than this human suffering, we would have to condemn this road to unity as criminal. But there is more to it than that.
This is not simply a case of mass murder. It is a case of genocide, of destruction, not of individuals only, but of a culture and a nation. If it were possible to do this even without suffering we would still be driven to condemn it, for the family of minds, the unity of ideas, of language and of customs that form what we call a nation that constitutes one of the most important of all our means of civilization and progress.
It is true that nations blend together and form new nations — we have an example of this process in our own country — but this blending consists in the pooling of benefits of superiorities that each culture possesses. (15) And it is in this way that the world advances. What then, apart from the very important question of human suffering and human rights that we find wrong with Soviet plans is the criminal waste of civilization and of culture. For the Soviet national unity is being created, not by any union of ideas and of cultures, but by the complete destruction of all cultures and of all ideas save one — the Soviet.
(1) Raphael Lemkin Papers, The New York Public Library, Manuscripts and Archives Division, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation, Raphael Lemkin ZL-273. Reel 3. The paper by Lemkin reproduced here has been published in L.Y. Luciuk (ed.), “Holodomor – Reflections on the Great Famine of 1932–1933 in Soviet Ukraine” (Kingston, Ontario: The Kashtan Press, 2008), Appendix A, and will be republished in a new Journal: “Holodomor Studies (2009).”
(2) A notable exception is J.L. Panné, ‘Rafaël Lemkin ou le pouvoir d’un sans-pouvoir’, in R. Lemkin (ed.), “Qu’est-ce qu’un génocide? Présentation par Jean-Louis Panné” (Monaco: Édition du Rocher, 2008) 7–66.
(3) Bibliographical data gathered from R. Szawlowski, ‘Raphael Lemkin (1900–1959) The Polish Lawyer Who Created the Concept of “Genocide” ’, 2 “Polish International Affairs” (2005) 98–133; Panné, supra note 2.
(4) R. Lemkin, “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation, Analysis of Government, Proposals for Redress” (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1944), xii–xiii.
(5) If no indication to the contrary is given, footnotes are by Prof. Serbyn.
(6) Verse by Volodymyr Sosyura added in pencil. Sosiura wrote the patriotic poem in 1944, during the German–Soviet war. At first it was praised by the authorities, but in 1948 it was condemned for Ukrainian nationalism. The two verses in the Ukrainian original: [would not reproduce here]
(7) According to the 1959 census there were then a little over 40 million people.
(8) The Charter creating the United Nations was signed by the delegates of 50 countries, including the USSR and the Ukrainian SSR, at the Conference held on 25–26 April 1945.
(9) The Curzon Line proposed by the British as a border between Poland and the Soviet state after the First World War eventually served as the basis for the post-World War II border between Poland and the USSR. The border left a large Ukrainian minority in the Polish state.
(10) On 28 May 1934, Congressman Hamilton Fish of New York introduced a Resolution (H. Res. 309) in the House of Representatives, in Washington. The document stipulated that ‘several millions of the population of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic died of starvation during 1932 and 1933’. The resolution further proposed:
that the House of Representatives express its sympathy for all those who suffered from the great famine in Ukraine which has brought misery,
affliction, and death to millions of peaceful and law-abiding Ukrainians;
‘that … the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics … take active steps to alleviate the terrible consequences arising from this famine,
‘that … the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Government … place no obstacles in the way of American citizens seeking to send aid in form of
money, foodstuffs, and necessities to the famine-stricken regions of Ukraine.
The Resolution was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations (Resolution reproduced in “The Ukrainian Quarterly” (1978) 416–417).
(11) Erroneously identified by Lemkin as ‘Soviet writer Kossies’, Stanislav Kosior was the First Secretary of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine (CP(b)U). In a speech delivered at the Joint session of the Central Committee and the Central Control Committee of the CP(b)U, on 27 November 1933, Kosior stated that ‘at the present moment, local Ukrainian nationalism poses the main danger’.
(12) There was no census in 1920. The official figures from the 1926 and 1939 census are somewhat different from Lemkin’s. In 1926, there were 22.9 million ethnic Ukrainians in Ukrainian SSR and the falsified 1939 figure showed 23.3 million, or an increase of 435,000 ethnic Ukrainians. However, the rise in over-all population of Ukrainian SSR by 3.3 million reduced the ethnically Ukrainian portion from 80% to 73%.
(13) On 10 June 1942, 172 males over the age of 16 years were liquidated, the women and children deported and the village of Lidice razed to the ground in reprisal for the assassination of the Nazi dictator of Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich. Zavadka Morokhivs’ka, Sianits’kyi povit, Lemkivshchyna, now Zawadka-Morochowska, in Poland.
(14) From W. Dushnyck, “Death and Devastation on the Curzon Line” (note by R.L.).
(15) Lemkin had in mind the United States.
NOTE: The Journal of International Criminal Justice aims to promote a profound collective reflection on the new problems facing international law.
Established by a group of distinguished criminal lawyers and international lawyers, the Journal addresses the major problems of justice from the angle of law, jurisprudence, criminology, penal philosophy, and the history of international judicial institutions. It is intended for graduate and post-graduate students, practitioners, academics, government officials, as well as the hundreds of people working for international criminal courts.
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