Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The notorious head of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory Vladimir Vyatrovich solemnly declared that together with the Poles and the Brits he intends to make the thriller “Gareth Jones”…
Judging by the pathos of the statement, the British journalist Gareth Jones (who was also notoriously known at his time) will be presented in this movie as a certain epic warrior who heroically battled alone against the Soviet State machinery and who revealed to the world the truth about the famine in Ukraine. According to Vyatrovich, Jones in 1933, “despite the danger of death, went to the Soviet Ukraine to reveal and bring to the world community the entire truth on the tragedy of Holodomor“.
So who is this Jones? At the beginning of the 1930’s the British journalist was indeed known for his sensational reports, the truthfulness of which was often called into question by his colleagues. But he became famous most of all for his frank glorification of Adolf Hitler and the German nazis. It is interesting to know whether or not Jones’ passion will be reflected in the thriller by the authors?
The Brit was one of the few foreign journalists who was in “Hitler’s pool”. In February, 1933, Jones accompanied the leaders of NSDAP on a flight across Germany, describing with delight the “great Hitler”. In the mass of his articles he admired nazis and their leaders more than once.
Probably, it’s not surprising that the fan of nazi collaborators Vyatrovich is so interested in the biography of this fan of nazis.
But what did Jones write about the period known in Ukraine as “Holodomor”? In reality, a number of disappointments await Vyatrovich & Co. Jones described the horrible famine in the USSR for the first time in his memories about his trip to the Country of Soviets in 1931, when there was no famine in Ukraine. Nevertheless, in Jones’ stories it’s as if everyone around there was already terribly starving.
The culmination of the publication of these diaries of Jones is a quote from a certain worker who the journalist allegedly met on the train: “Very many Russians will never forgive the Americans, British, and Germans for trading with the Soviets. They are trading with crooks. And they are crooks! All the best stuff is sent abroad – we starve”. At the same time, these words were said on a comfortable train with a dining-cart in which there was both enough food and vodka.
We will emphasise, Jones wrote about a “horrible famine” in the USSR during the period when there wasn’t yet any hunger. In the early 30’s in the German (especially in the nazi) press there was a big request for such articles about the Soviet Union.
A considerable part of the photos that are used now by Ukrainian propagandists as photos from the period of 1932-33 taken in the starving Ukraine appeared at first in the German press.
For example, in many books about Holodomor photos printed in 1935 in the “Chicago American” rag by the notorious journalist Thomas Walker are used as proof. According to official legend, Walker also miraculously arrived in the Soviet Ukraine and made reports about famine there.
Moreover, none of the propagandists are especially confused by the fact that Walker allegedly visited Ukraine in the autumn of 1934 when there was no more famine, as well as the fact that he writes about visiting settlements with the typically Ukrainian names “Tambov” and “Voronezh” [the names of actual Russian, and not Ukrainian cities – ed]. And the photos used by him as an illustration in general are unlikely to have been taken in Ukraine. The photo with fallen horses that is now used by almost all Ukrainian propagandists was at first captioned “Belgorod” [Russian city – ed]. However, in the latest publications they started to caption it “Kharkov” [a city that is today in Ukraine – ed]. Hence there is the impression that Walker wasn’t even at these places.
The story with Jones’ mysterious trip to the starving Ukraine in March, 1933, is very much reminiscent of the story of Walker’s trip. In general it is difficult to imagine that western journalists at the beginning of the 1930’s could “secretly” travel across the USSR without attracting the attention of the special services. In any case, even in Jones’ diaries there are no hints that he hid himself, escaped surveillance, and ciphered himself.
And the chronology of the “Ukrainian” trip of Jones that allegedly took place in 1933 causes one to ponder even more. Judge for yourself: on March 2nd, 1933, he declared that he only intends to go to the USSR from nazi Germany, and on the road he was going to visit Poland, East Prussia, Lithuania, and Latvia. On March 23rd, in Moscow he interviewed the People’s Commissar M. Litvinov, and already on March 29th Jones, being in Berlin, issued his well-known press release about a severe famine in Ukraine, which he allegedly was a witness to.
It’s not a surprise that a number of well-known western journalists, including Pulitzer winners, questioned Jones’ stories, and even frankly called him a “liar” who obviously exaggerated the scale of starvation in the USSR.
Judging by Jones’ recently published diaries (if they aren’t indeed a fake), he didn’t go further than Kharkov, spent some days there, and also nowhere in his notes will you find descriptions of corpses on the streets (while it is precisely in this way that today’s propagandists present starving Kharkov). Jones describes in detail the food prices in Kharkov, from which it is possible to assume that they were there. And all talk about famine documented by the journalist in the diary was mainly based on rumours.
But even if to assume that all the rumours were correct, there are a number of annoying moments for Ukrainian supporters of the theory of “genocide”. In his publications the Brit constantly proved that the famine of 1932-33 was a general phenomenon for the USSR, and not just for Ukraine. “There is no bread,” he wrote in his notorious publication. “We die. These shouts come from all parts of Russia — from the Volga, Siberia, Belarus, the North Caucasus, and Central Asia”.
This phrase alone (while Jones repeated similar ones in his publications more than once) puts a cross on the theory of Holodomor as an instrument of the conscious extermination of Ukrainians, because it proves that back then the famine was universal, and not just a Ukrainian phenomenon — a fact that in Ukraine attempts are now made to refute. Moreover, in this same article that Vyatrovich & Co now try to present as the “beginning of the disclosure of the truth about Holodomor”, Jones writes more about famines in Kazakhstan, without mentioning Ukraine at all.
Undoubtedly, the famine of 1932 in the USSR was considerable and claimed many of the lives of our fellow citizens both in Ukraine and in many other regions of the country. But to speculate on this tragedy, to considerably exaggerate the number of its victims, and to present an apologist of Hitler to the public as a hero is immoral.
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