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The Gareth Jones Diaries in


The Gareth Jones Diaries in The Living Presentation Delivered by Nigel Linsan Colley at The Ukrainian Institute of America New York on Sat 20th Nov 2010 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Gareth Jones Diaries in

The Gareth Jones Diaries in The Living
Presentation Delivered by Nigel Linsan Colley
at 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
    Durantys 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 Gareths remaining
    relatives, my grandmother Eirian, my aunt Gwyneth
    as well as my mother Siriol.
  • It was whilst clearing Gwyneths 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 uncles
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
    Gareths murder in Inner Mongolia, along with the
    letters he sent home from his travels in the Far
  • 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
    mothers 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 Durantys Pulitzer

2003 Martin Sieff United Press
  • What can you expect if you fearlessly expose the
    systematic, genocidal murder of 10 million
  • 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 Gareths 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

2003 First New York Trip
Andrew Stuttaford Cheryl Madden perusing the
diaries at Columbia University
At the Offices of The Ukrainian Weekly
  • A few months later I happened to read Andrew
    Stuttafords National Review blog in which he
    said he was currently reading Manchukuo
    Incident and quoted from Gareths 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 Police.
  • 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
    Gareths 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

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 Patricks but this time I chose to
    share my discoveries of quite probable Soviet
    culpability in Gareths murder and since then I
    have discovered more, but time does not permit me
    to elucidate here.

2005 St. Patricks Cathedral
  • In May 2006, Dr Ludomyr Luciuk encouraged his
    Canadian Communities to pay for a tri-lingual
    plaque to be unveiled at Gareths first
    university at Aberystwyth in Wales, from where
    Gareth received a 1st class degree in French

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 Gareths
    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
  • 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

(No Transcript)
From T. train, I walked about an hour, chatted
to all. Talked to men on track. It was getting
to sunset. One of them said- Youd better not
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 X?E?? HET? 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 overcome.
Theres seed in this village. Cattle
decrease disastrous. There used to be 200 oxen,
now 6 horses cattle here down by tremendous
Breakfasted, then sister of wife did
algebra lesson. The Communists realised
admitted that there was no grain. 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 snow. Moscow
Sebastopol train rattled past with sleeping
wagon. Politdel party members, etc. Went
into village. There is no bread. Weve had no
bread for 2 months. 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 dont know how theyll live.
Were all getting (swollen) nyx???i. In
this village 5 or 6 kulak families were sent away
to Siberia to cut wood in the Northern forests
also to build a railway in Murmansk. 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. Theyre
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 havent had bread for 2 months a lot
are dying. The first village had no more
potatoes left and the store of ????? (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 Gareths unique
    diaries which I now realised probably represent
    the only western independent verification of what
    is arguably Stalins greatest atrocity

2007 Holodomor Memorials at Calgary Winnipeg
Laying Daffodils at Holodomor Memorial, Winnipeg
City Hall
Calgary Holodomor Memorial
  • 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
    Gareths 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
    Gareths archives reside.

Mark Edwards. Producer of the Living at
  • 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 Gareths dairies and
    letters in their film

2008 June, Kyiv Sergiy Bukovsky Director of The
  • 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

From Nov 2008. Remembered in Sergiy Bukovskys
film The Living
  • On Location,
  • London, June 2008.

Film Premiere, 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, Gareths second
    alma mater from where he received a 1st class
    degree in Russian German language literature.
  • By now the worlds 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. Gareths website had over 100,000 hits
    that week. Conspicuous by its absence was The New
    York Times whose complicity in allowing Gareths
    name to be denigrated by Walter Duranty continues
    to this day. So much for the Grey Ladys maxim
    All the news thats fit to print.

Trinity College, Cambridge University - Nov 2009
  • Gareths Diaries exhibited The Wren Library at
    Trinity College along side Sir Issac Newtons
    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.

BBCs 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.