new_york_2010 by qingyunliuliu


Gareth Jones
Diaries in
‘The Living’
     Presentation Delivered by
       Nigel Linsan Colley
 The Ukrainian Institute of America
             New York
       on Sat 20th Nov 2010

     It was in 2003, when my mother and I first came to New York to
an International Conference on the Holodomor at Columbia
University. This was as part of the Postcard Campaign to have
Walter Duranty‟s Pulitzer Prize revoked.
     Hardly anybody outside of the Ukrainian Diaspora had heard of
the 1932-33 famine-genocide and perhaps only a handful of
academics had ever heard of Gareth Jones, the man who originally
exposed the atrocity to the outside world…
2003 - Duranty Postcard Revocation Campaign
     During my childhood the tragic murder of my great uncle in 1935 by
Chinese bandits was never mentioned within the family, as it was
obviously still too distressing for Gareth‟s remaining relatives, my
grandmother Eirian, my aunt Gwyneth as well as my mother Siriol.
     It was whilst clearing Gwyneth‟s home in 1988, after which she
moved in with her younger sister, my grandmother, that a small briefcase
was discovered which contained every „weekly‟ letter that Gareth had
sent to his parents from university through to his far off travels, plus
about 20 or 30 innocuous, journalist pocket diaries, which to us telling a
family story were far less important than his weekly letters and were
therefore overlooked, except for his final ones from China…
          Margaret Siriol Colley

          My mother who had been a doctor had
recently retired and decided to investigate her uncle‟s
rather mysterious murder…
            In 2001, after 3 years research I edited &
published a book on behalf of my mother, entitled “Gareth
Jones: A Manchukuo Incident”, based primarily on the British
Foreign Office records surrounding their own investigations
into Gareth‟s murder in Inner Mongolia, along with the letters
he sent home from his travels in the Far East.

             At that time we came to the conclusion that his
murder was probably politically motivated and the most likely
culprits were the Japanese in their then territorial expansion of
Northern China. Just two pages were devoted to his Soviet
reporting, though we did briefly mention in passing that he
had written some articles about Soviet famine conditions
which we considered to be merely „grim‟, but that was about
it… Neither of us had any idea of the importance of his role in
exposing the Holodomor when we first started investigating
the circumstances behind his mysterious murder.
2001 – ‘A Manchukuo Incident’

             Working Title!

              Before returning to my full time IT job, I decided to
create a little website to promote my mother‟s book on the
then new medium of the internet, though I still remember it
was against her wishes as she thought the internet would be
a complete waste of time for selling books.
              However, I have never done what my mother
wanted, so a website I went and made!
2003 – Morgan Williams at Columbia University
                         …And that is where the story
                      may well have ended… Except
                      that nearly two years later in the
                      late Summer of 2003, I received
                      an email out of the blue from a
                      Ukrainian activist called Morgan
                      Williams, enquiring whether our
                      Gareth Jones, was the fabled
                      Gareth Jones who exposed the
                      Ukrainian famine of 1932-33?
                           To which I replied, that all I
                      knew was that „our‟ Gareth had
                      written some articles on Soviet
                      famine conditions!
           Shortly thereafter through Morgan Williams we
were put in contact with Professor James Mace & Professor
Mark Von Hagen of Columbia University. Even today, I know
not why, perhaps call it blind faith, but through the auspices of
these two academics, my mother & I were invited to New
York in 2003 to speak at an International Conference on the
Holodomor at Columbia University.
2003 – Columbia University

Siriol Colley, Professor Von Hagen & Professor James Mace
           Around the same time as our 2003 trip to New
York, Martin Sieff of United Press penned the following and
most memorable opening to his article on Gareth supporting
the then revocation of Duranty‟s Pulitzer:
2003 – Martin Sieff – United Press
“What can you expect if you fearlessly expose
  the systematic, genocidal murder of 10
  million people?
You can expect to be branded as a liar in the most
  prestigious newspaper in the United States. You
  can expect to be murdered yourself by bandits
  probably in the pay of conspirators perpetrating
  equally colossal, monstrous crimes against
  humanity. And you can even to be betrayed after
  your death and airbrushed out of existence by
  one of your closest professional colleagues and
            On this same trip, I remember bringing along some of
Gareth‟s Soviet Diaries, which we showed Andrew Stuttaford at
the Columbia Conference and also around the offices of the
UNA… It was Irene Jarosewych the editor-in-chief of Svoboda
and Roma Hadzewycz of The Ukrainian Weekly , who suggested
without any basis of fact, that in their opinions, there was no
doubt that Gareth had been murdered by the Bolsheviks – this
was the very first time that I had considered this notion.
              2003 – First New York Trip

Andrew Stuttaford & Cheryl       At the Offices of The Ukrainian
Madden perusing the diaries at   Weekly
Columbia University…
            A few months later I happened to read Andrew
Stuttaford‟s National Review blog in which he said he was
currently reading „Manchukuo Incident‟ and quoted from
Gareth‟s last letter home to his parents:
            " …we came to a huge collection of mud houses,
with some stone in the middle surrounded by hills. It was
Kalgan, the outpost for trade between the Mongols and China.
There, two magnificent cars were waiting for us. We were to
be the guests of Mr. Purpis, a Latvian, the "King of Kalgan"
who is the chief trader in Inner Mongolia and sells about
30,000 horses each year to the Chinese Army. Our chauffeur
drove us through the dirty town to a kind of mud-wall fortress
on the outskirts of the town. It was Wostwag, the company for
trading with the Mongols, a German firm…"
            Indiana Jones was, rather surprisingly, no relation.”
Public Records Office (PRO), Kew, UK
             Of all the pages in our Manchukuo Incident book,
I scratched my head & wondered why he chose this particular
one to quote, so as one does, I decided to consult the then
fledgling Google on the word; „Wostwag‟.
             Almost unbelievably, a single reference came
back from the Public Records Office in London and from the
online précis, it informed me that British secret service
records had been released into the public domain, literally a
few weeks before, indicating that the Brits had known from
1929 that Wostwag was a trading front of the Soviet Secret
             Furthermore, Mr Purpis „the king of Kalgan‟ and
head of Wostwag ‘was considered one of the cleverest &
shrewdest men in the Far East‟ & associated with the
„Cheka‟; the same man who had freely supplied Gareth with
their car at his disposal! Pure coincidence or perhaps with
more sinisterly intentional, I knew not?
Wostwag document at the PRO
             However, further circumstantial evidence of Soviet
culpability has subsequently come to light, including a 34-year
British dossier relating to the Soviet spying activities of Gareth‟s
travelling companion & co-captee, Dr Herbert Mueller who not
only assured Gareth before his fateful trip; „Absolutely Safe. No
Bandits!‟, but who was also conveniently and most unusually
released unharmed after two days in captivity.
Dr Herbert Mueller – Kidnapped but released!
             Moving on, I was fortunate enough to be invited by
the UCCA to NY again in 2005 to give a speech at St Patrick‟s
but this time I chose to share my discoveries of quite probable
Soviet culpability in Gareth‟s murder and since then I have
discovered more, but time does not permit me to elucidate here.
2005 – St. Patrick’s Cathedral
      In May 2006, Dr
Ludomyr Luciuk
encouraged his Canadian
Communities to pay for a
tri-lingual plaque to be
unveiled at Gareth‟s first
university at Aberystwyth in
Wales, from where Gareth
received a 1st class degree
in French & German.
2006 – May 2nd Gareth ‘Recognised’ in
        Aberystwyth, Wales

                 Ihor Kharchenko, London Ukrainian
                 Ambassador at the unveiling of a Tri-
                 lingual Plaque with Gareth's niece,
                 Siriol, myself, the University Vice
                 Chancellor, Chancellor, Lord Morgan
                 and Prof. Lubomyr Luciuk.
                 June 2006 Illinois
Ukrainian Museum Chicago

                    University of Chicago, Urbana-Champaign
             A month later, through Professor Federigo
Argentieri, professor of History at the John Cabot
American University in Rome, whom I knew through
James Mace, I was invited to a week-long Ukrainian
conference at the University of Chicago at Urbana
Champaign at which we would be giving presentations
on the final day.
             Due to my inability to speak Ukrainian, I took
the opportunity to hide myself away and for the very first
time, make a transcript of Gareth‟s famine diaries –
believe it or not, nobody, including ourselves, had taken
the time to study their contents, relying upon his edited
newspaper articles in order to prepare our speeches
about Gareth.
             Without repeating what you are about to see
in the film here are a few powerful diary entries which
were not included in the final edit of The Living:
From T. [train], I walked
about an hour, chatted to

Talked to men on track. It
was getting [to] sunset. One
of them said:- “You’d better
not go…
   …further, for hooligans will rob
you of your coat & your food & all.”

The other, a handsome, determined
young Communist, said “ Yes its
dangerous. Come and stay with us in
our village.”

Communist took me along to the
Selsoviet; full of young people &
children. One of them belly swollen.
All people say same ”XЛEБА HETУ
BCE nyxnoie” (Bread Not Available)
– One woman said:- “We are looking
forward to death.”
Then to the cottage of the
young Pres. of Village Soviet,
decent fellow with smile, ruddy
face, 27 yrs of age. His wife
was there, with closely
cropped hair with gold round
earrings. V. kind.
Two soldiers came and they asked
heaps of questions…….

They had come to arrest a peasant
thief who had killed another. The
thief had gone to steal potatoes
from the hut of [an] other. The
owner of the hut had come out and
the peasant had stabbed him with a
knife. There were many cases of
that happening.
   Went to bed late, slept on floor.
In one bed; Pres., his wife & her
sister; & small bed for child.
    Woke up next morning before 8.
The Communist leader of next
Kolkhoz was there – a keen
Revolutionary [who said]; “We have
difficulties, but they have to be
    “There’s seed in this village.”
    Cattle decrease disastrous.
There used to be 200 oxen, now 6
horses & cattle here down by
tremendous amount.
     Breakfasted, then sister of
wife did algebra lesson.
     The Communists realised &
admitted that there was no
    That was in Bockrenchenka
in the Black Earth region. Lower
down it is much worse.
     Talked to all the people as I
tramped along the railway track.
Ravens or crows (with…
… grey cap). White expanse of
Moscow – Sebastopol train rattled
past with sleeping wagon. Politdel
party members, etc.
     Went into village. There is no
bread. “We’ve had no bread for 2
     “Each dvor had one or 2 cows.
Now none. There are almost no
oxen left & the horses have been
dying off.”
      “How can I live? I got a lb of
bread for all my family & we came
here for a short time, there is no
food here. My family is in Kharkoff
& I don’t know how they’ll live.”
     “We’re all getting (swollen)
    “In this village 5 or 6 kulak
families were sent away to Siberia &
to cut wood in the Northern
…also to build a railway in
    But some of the kulaks live
better than those who remain in
the villages because there is
now more bread in the towns.
    “In the south 20% of the
population have died of hunger”
said the young worker “and in
some parts 50%. They’re
murdering us.”
    In the Ukraine. A little later I
crossed the border from Greater
Russia into Ukraine.
    Everywhere I talked to peasants
who walked past – they all had the
same story;
   “There is no bread – we haven’t
had bread for 2 months – a lot are
   The first village had no more
potatoes left and the store of
БҮРЯК (beetroot) was running out.
      2006 - Signing the 'Book of Honour' at the
       Montreal City Hall on behalf of Gareth

        One member of the audience in Chicago was Zorianna Hrycenko-
Luhova, the wife of Yurij Luhovy who co-directed The Harvest of Despair in
the 1980s and she arranged for me to make a trip to Toronto, Ottawa and
Montreal to repeat this same diary presentation in November 2006.
             2007 was the start of the two year-long 75th
anniversary commemorations, and I was invited to Calgary, then
Winnipeg for a week and again to Montreal to spread the word of
Gareth‟s unique diaries; which I now realised probably represent
the only western independent verification of what is arguably
Stalin‟s greatest atrocity…
2007 – Holodomor Memorials at Calgary & Winnipeg

                              Laying Daffodils at Holodomor
 Calgary Holodomor Memorial
                               Memorial, Winnipeg City Hall
            Early in 2008, I was contacted by Mark
Edwards, the Parisian-based, American producer of The
Living saying that he had been commissioned by the
Pres. Yushchenko and his wife to research and then
produce a definitive documentary about the Holodomor.
He mentioned he had come across our commemorative
Gareth Jones website and would like discuss the
possibility of our cooperation. Despite both of us living in
Europe we eventually met up on a bitterly cold night in
February 2008 at the Ukrainian National Home
Restaurant in New York; where seemingly he became
smitten by Gareth‟s heroic story!
            Nothing was heard until early June 2008,
when he asked if he could come with a researcher to
look at our Gareth Jones materials including the „famine‟
diaries… This he did and we went to Aberystwyth, Wales
together where most of Gareth‟s archives reside.
Mark Edwards. Producer of the Living at Aberystwyth
              A fortnight later, I had again been invited by
Professor Federigo Argentieri, to speak in Kyiv. Sergiy
Bukovsky the director of The Living, and his wife came to see
my presentation at the University and then asked me to their
studio the next day, where I thought I would just be meeting of
the rest of their film crew, prior to their filming trip to Wales a
fortnight later. To my utter surprise, when I arrived at the
studio I discovered that they had hired the best HD equipment
in Kyiv with the intention of „screen-testing‟ me to read
Gareth‟s dairies and letters in their film…
2008 June, Kyiv – Sergiy Bukovsky
      Director of The Living
            The film was premiered in Ukraine in Nov 2008. I had
three hours sleep before hot-footing it back to London on the first
plane out of Kyiv so as to attend a lunchtime ceremony at
Westminster, where Gareth and Malcolm Muggeridge were both
posthumously awarded the Ukrainian Medals of Freedom.
 From Nov 2008. Remembered in Sergiy
     Bukovsky’s film; The Living

  On Location,          Film Premiere,
London, June 2008.      Kyiv, Nov 2008.
       Ukrainian Order of Merit
   Posthumously Awarded to Gareth
at Westminster Central Hall, Nov 2008
              The British premiere of the film was in November 2009, in
Cambridge together with a special exhibit of some of his diaries in the
Wren Library at Trinity College, Gareth‟s second alma mater; from where
he received a 1st class degree in Russian & German language & literature.
              By now the world‟s media were paying attention and 200
articles were published by the worldwide press, including The London
Times and The Washington Post, along with BBC TV and radio coverage.
Gareth‟s website had over 100,000 hits that week. Conspicuous by its
absence was The New York Times whose complicity in allowing Gareth‟s
name to be denigrated by Walter Duranty continues to this day. So much
for the „Grey Lady‟s maxim; „All the news that‟s fit to print‟.
  Trinity College,
Cambridge University
    - Nov 2009

• Gareth‟s Diaries exhibited The
  Wren Library at Trinity College
  along side Sir Issac Newton‟s
  personally annotated copy of
  his Laws of Motion
  Masterpiece; The Principia

                                    Rory Finnin, Lecturer in Ukrainian
                                    Studies, Cambridge University.
              Less than a week later through an invitation by the
UCCA to attend the opening of an event at the United Nations;
I was able to remind Arthur Sulzberger, the Publisher of the
New York Times that the spectre of Gareth will continue to
hover over them until they do the decent thing and hand back
their ill-gotten Pulitzer.
              Credit where credit is due; I must hereby thank
Victor Rudd, a very long term „friend of Gareth Jones‟ for his
erudite contributions to that speech in warning the world that
the „history of the past matters‟!
2009 Nov - UCCA United Nations Exhibit
     In Sept 2010, in a 50-year old „national institution‟, academic
TV quiz show on the BBC called „University Challenge‟, which still
regularly gets an audience of over 3m viewers, both Gareth & the
Holodomor were the subject of a „General Knowledge‟ question…
     Though the undergraduate contestants were clearly ignorant of
the correct answer, that the question appeared on mainstream
national prime-time television at all, shows that both Gareth and the
Holodomor have together moved from airbrushed obscurity to
academic recognition in the matter of a few years.
BBC‟s „University Challenge‟ October 2010

Gareth & the Holodomor - From Airbrushed Obscurity to International &
Academic recognition in 7 years!
      2010 November – New York & New Jersey

     In the 7 years since my first visit to NY, the terrible atrocity of the Holodomor
has finally been acknowledged, together with the key role that Gareth played in
telling that story more than 75 years ago. The film you are about to see shows
how the two stories are inextricably entwined and is a lasting legacy from those
who suffered the tragedy first-hand to be passed on to those who did not,
ensuring that the lessons of the past will never be forgotten.

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