Gareth Jones

[bas relief by Oleh Lesiuk]



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Tell Them We Are Starving




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Gareth Jones 'Famine' Diaries - Chicago 2008


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Correspondence from Gareth Jones to his parents in August 1930

on the Dire Prospects for the Soviet People .




Gareth's personal four page letter of August 26th, 1930, to his parents from the safety of Berlin after leaving the USSR, where he predicted 'many deaths' through 'starvation' (as a result of the Five-Year Plan).


Please click on the links below to view legible pictures of individual pages - and if need be, copy the images on to your hard disk and then view them with any photo editor program.



Page 1

Page 2

Key Phrase: "Russia is in very bad state, rotten, no food, only bread, oppression, injustice, misery" Key Phrase: "The winter is going to one of great suffering there and starvation."
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Page 3

Page 4

Key Phrase: "...great suffering, many riots and many deaths". Key Phrase: N/A - signing off his letter to his parents
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[N.B. The small 'censorship' on the first page was made for unknown reasons by Gareth's mother, which we strongly believe reads 'G.B. Shaw' (George Bernard Shaw), who had just visited Moscow with Lady Astor, and to whom Gareth repeats this sentiment in his Berlin Famine Press Release in March 1933. (This could if necessary be proven scientifically at a later date).]

Full Transcript of above letter:

Hurray! It is wonderful to be in Germany again, absolutely wonderful.  Russia is in a very bad state; rotten, no food, only bread; oppression, injustice, misery among the workers and 90% discontented.  I saw some very bad things, which made me mad to think that people like [the Webbs (Sydney and Beatrice Web)] go there and come back, after having been led round by the nose and had enough to eat, and say that Russia is a paradise.  In the South there is talk of a new revolution, but it will never come off, because the Army and the O.G.P.U. (Soviet Police) are too strong.  The winter is going to be one of great suffering there and there is starvation.  The government is the most brutal in the world.  The peasants hate the Communists.  This year thousands and thousands of the best men in Russia have been sent to Siberia and the prison island of Solovki.  People are now speaking openly against the Government. 

In the Donetz Basin conditions are unbearable.  Thousands are leaving.  I shall never forget the night I spent in a railway station on the way to Hughesovka.  One reason why I left Hughesovska so quickly was that all I could get to eat was a roll of bread –and that is all I had up to 7 o’clock.  Many Russians are too weak to work.  I am terribly sorry for them.  They cannot strike or they are shot or sent to Siberia.  There are heaps of enemies of the Communist within the country. 

Nevertheless great strides have been made in many industries and there is a good chance that when the Five-Year Plan is over Russia may become prosperous.  But before that there will be great suffering, many riots and many deaths. 

The Communists are doing excellent work in education, hygiene and against alcohol.  Butter is 16/- a pound in Moscow; prices are terrific, boots etc. cannot be had.  There is nothing in the shops.  The Communists were remarkably kind to me and gave me an excellent time. 

Last Sunday I flew from Rostov to Moscow as their guest.  You will get this letter probably before my Sunday letter.  Germany is a fine place.  I am looking forward so much to seeing the Haferkorns and getting your letters there, because I have had very little news.  Thank goodness I am not a Consul in Russia – not even in Taganrog!  

Just had a fine lunch.  When I come back I shall appreciate Auntie Winnie’s [Gareth's 'live-in' aunt at his parent's home] dinner more than ever.

               Cariad cynhesaf 



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