“Welsh hero of Ukraine recognised” na BBC News
A British man who became a hero in Ukraine for highlighting the famine there in the 1930s is being recognised by his former university.(…) His name, until relatively recently, has been virtually unknown in the West. But in Ukraine, he is held in the highest regard. Ukraine suffered a terrible man-made famine between 1932 and 1933. Between seven and ten million people are thought to have died. Ukraine now uses Gareth Jones’s ground breaking reports in its efforts to secure international recognition of the famine, known in Ukrainian as the Holodomor, meaning genocide.(…) At the time, in Britain, and in the West, the Holodomor, like other tragic chapters in Soviet history, was hardly acknowledged outside the Ukrainian community. Even in Ukraine itself, people only began to speak about “The Great Famine” in final years of Communism. To this day, Holodomor remains a sensitive subject not only for politicians, but for some Western historians as well.(…)
His articles in The Times, however, did not stir public opinion, nor did the articles in The Manchester Guardian by another British journalist, Malcolm Muggeridge. Many Moscow-based foreign correspondents chose instead to publish similar-sounding denials of the famine, which was part of Joseph Stalin’s programme to crush the resistance of the peasantry to the collectivisation of farming. The British journalist, Walter Duranty, for example, writing for The New York Times, in his article “Peasants Hungry, Not Starving” denied Jones’s reports of famine and claimed that Stalin’s Five Year Plan was a great success despite “some minor difficulties”. Duranty is now recognised to have given uncritical, often biased coverage to Stalin’s propaganda. Many Western historians consider him to have been a liar.(…)
America, still recovering from the Great Depression, did not want to listen to the unlikely story of a government, even a Communist one, deliberately starving millions of its own people.Furthermore, many pro-Soviet Western intellectuals at the time, including the writer George Bernard Shaw, were vocal in their admiration of the Soviet Union. Jones’s reports of expropriations, famine and deaths at a time when the West was buying cheap Soviet grain and other foods did not change their minds. Despite his reports having little impact, Jones was accused of espionage and banned from the Soviet Union.He went to the Far East and, according to his family, was murdered in suspicious circumstances in Inner Mongolia in 1935. He was just 30 years old. It wasn’t until decades later, in 2008, that he and Malcolm Muggeridge were posthumously awarded the Ukrainian Order Of Freedom medal in a ceremony at Westminster Central Hall in London.