Gareth Jones

[bas relief by Oleh Lesiuk]



Stop Press


Complete Soviet Articles & Background Information


Précis of Gareth's Soviet Famine Articles


All Published Articles




Tell Them We Are Starving




Eyewitness to the Holodomor



More Than Grain of Truth



Manchukuo Incident





'Are you Listening NYT?'  U.N. Speech - Nov 2009


Gareth Recognised at Cambridge - Nov 2009


Reporter and the Genocide - Rome, March 2009


Order of Freedom Award -Nov 2008


Premiere of 'The Living' Documentary Kyiv - Nov 2008


Gareth Jones 'Famine' Diaries - Chicago 2008


Aberystwyth Memorial Plaque 2006





Scholarship Fund


Site Map




Legal Notices


Sponsored Links





Hatred of Germany Bordering on Hysteria



Flashes of lightning streak across the Adriatic. Vague outlines of sailing craft glide through the darkness of the bay, while to the north a searchlight reveals every few seconds the red, white, and green funnel of a giant Italian liner. 

Here where I sit, in the principal square, rival orchestras clash with each other to allure the hundreds of Italians who stroll towards the quays. 

Such is Trieste, the port which makes Italy the Mistress of the Adriatic.  It is here that I wish to sum up my threefold impressions since my arrival in Italy from the Austrian province of Carinthia. 

My first impression is troops, troops, troops.  As soon as the train had crossed the pass from Austria and had arrived at the frontier station of Tarvis (a name which may well be important in the future, for Tarvis and the Brenner Pass are the two main entries from Italy into Austria) I saw in the pine forests for miles along the railway track hundreds upon hundreds of camouflaged tents of curious square shape like bathing tents painted grey, green, a dirty orange, and a smudged red.  The smoke of many camp fires hovered over the woods and Italian soldiers looked up at the passing express and waved.  In fields numerous powerful military lorries stood, as it ready at any moment to plunge into the foreign land a few miles away, while big guns waited near, pointing towards Austria. 

From village inns the men in their green-grey uniforms would come out in laughing groups of three or four and watch the workers who were rapidly constructing a new road leading directly to the frontier. 

As the train descended the valley was bordered by fortresses which showed signs of activity. 

About two hours later we were in the plain, and the region filled with troops lay to the east, an idyllic range of mountains shining in the evening sun. 


A dark, excitable Italian - an important Fascist of the district - entered my compartment, and when I talked with him I gathered vividly my second impression of Italy to-day, an impression of a way of hatred of Germany which borders on hysteria, and which is leading to a revolution in Italian foreign policy. 

What gestures of passion!  How vehemently his eyes flashed at the very mention of Germany!  Like a Machine-gun spitting out fire he exclaimed: “Germany! The Germans are savages. Hitler is a barbarian.  Mussolini will never forgive him, because he has broken all his promises.  The murder of Dollfuss has ended for ever and ever my friendship, we had for the Germans.” 

I described to him the Italian troops I had seen on the frontier.  His face gleamed with pride.  “They will march, too,” he declared, “the very moment Austria becomes Nazi and joins with Germany.  We have 40,000 soldiers ready.  The way they were mobilised was wonderful.  The men were working everywhere at the harvest, but Mussolini had only to give the word, and, presto! in a couple of hours they were travelling full speed towards Tarvis!” 


Fears of a future European war which might arise out of a union of Austria with Germany and out of the entry of Italian troops into Austria troubled me again.  Would not Germany send troops or aeroplanes into Austria to stop the Italians?  Would not the Yugoslavs do the same?  Surely the Italian policy would be the height of criminal madness, precipitating a European war?  I expressed my doubts to the Fascist. 

With that omniscience which characterises Nazis, Bolsheviks, and Fascists, he dismissed my objections with scorn.  “European war!” he laughed. “We’ll just walk in, that’s all.  The Germans will not prevent us; they are too weak.  We could crush them.  They have a hostile France on one side and a hostile Poland at their back.” 

“But the Yugoslavs?” I rejoined.

“They are too weak and uncivilised.  France will settle with them, and our way into Austria will be clear.” 

This optimism is certainly dangerous on the Italian side, but it is perhaps warranted by the new friendship between the Italians and the French. 

“France must be our ally,” declared the Fascist.  “It would settle everything to have an alliance with France.  She is a great nation, she is powerful; our differences could be easily settled.  We would then not need to quarrel about our navies in the Mediterranean; but France should give us land in Africa to colonise.” 

M. Barthou, the French Foreign Minister, is coming to see Mussolini in September and I have the impression that the result of their talks will be a cementing of Italo-French, friendship and another blow at Hitler. 


At this point of our conversation the brilliant lights along the Trieste shore appeared and we were approaching what was once the great port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the link between Central Europe and the East.  After the War Trieste became Italian and now it plays a vital part in Italian policy. 

My final impression is that Trieste is a clue to Italy’s policy of maintaining the Independence of Austria.  The Italians fear that if Austria joins with Germany the Germans will cast longing eyes at the port of Trieste, in the same way as the Russians coveted Constantinople before the War. 

An independent little Austria is no danger to Trieste.  Therefore, the Italians by recent agreement have allowed Austria a free harbour in Trieste, where the Austrians pay no customs duties and have extra-territorial rights. 

Italy’s fight for the independence of Austria is, therefore, Italy’s fight for Trieste. And because Trieste means Italy’s spearhead for expansion throughout Africa there are, for example, four Italian lines from Trieste which sail round Africa - and because Trieste means Italy’s mastery of the Adriatic, Mussolini is not likely, without a grim struggle, to allow Austria to join with Germany.  

Photo to be inserted.

HERR VON PAPEN, the newly appointed German Minister to Austria, arrived by air at Vienna yesterday








Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Germany.


Top of Page




Original Research, Content & Site Design by Nigel Linsan Colley. Copyright © 2001-17 All Rights Reserved Original document transcriptions by M.S. Colley.Click here for Legal Notices.  For all further details email:  Nigel Colley or Tel: (+44)  0796 303  8888