Gareth Jones

[bas relief by Oleh Lesiuk]



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The Western Mail [Cardiff]. August 30th 1933


Striking confirmation ‘of Mr. Gareth Jones’s revelations in the Western Mail & South Wales News of the famine conditions in Russia is provided by the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, who has issued the following appeal to the world: 

“No attempts at denial can flow hide the fact that hundreds of thousands - yes, millions men and women have in the last few months perished of hunger in Soviet Russia. 

“Hundreds of tragic letters from the famine areas of soviet Union, especially from the Ukraine and North Caucasus, point to this, and eye-witnesses about whose authority there can be no doubt have depicted terrible details of the tragedy which is in progress in Russia. 

“I draw your attention to the appeal of the Metropolitan (Archbishop) of Galicia, Andreas Scheptyckyj, who reports on the fearful sufferings of the population in the Ukrainian regions of the Soviet Union.  The Englishman Gareth Jones also confirms this. 


“Starvation in the Soviet Union is sweeping away members of all creeds and races. 

“It is already certain that the catastrophe is continuing, even at the time of the new harvest.  In order to make possible the supplying of the industrial centres with food, the grain is, as the Soviet press openly admits, being seized from the peasants in the Ukraine, in the North Caucasus, and elsewhere by the application of brute force.  The catastrophe of the Russian famine will, therefore, reach a new climax in a few months and then millions will perish. 

“To remain silent any longer would be to render tile civilised world responsible for part of the mass starvation; it would mean that we would be guilty of allowing men and women Soviet Russia to starve to death when large areas of the world are crammed to superfluity with grain arid food supplies. 

“In the name of humanity and charity I raise my voice and appeal to all to work for relief organised on a world scale and supported by all creeds to help those threatened by starvation in Russia.



Photographs of the famine-stricken population have been received in this office, but they are so appalling that no newspaper would venture to publish them.  They show mass burials of victims of the famine and distorted bodies of starved children.

Another confirmation of the famine is the report of Dr. Ammende, Secretary. General of the European Nationalities Congress, which represents 40,000,000 members of minority nations. 

Millions Dying 

He writes: “Already in February there reigned acute famine in what were formerly the richest granaries of the world, in the Ukraine, in the Volga areas, and, above all, in the North Caucasus.  Hundreds of thousands - indeed, millions - are dying.  Weak and stricken by diseases, they starve to death without revolting.  Millions have passed away without disturbing the terrible stillness which hovers over the famine areas.  Children, youths, and old men die with swollen limbs.  Everywhere one sees the same picture of painful death.” 

The Causes 

Dr. Ammende gives the following causes for the famine: “The uprooting of the peasant from his own land and his trans. formation into a proletarian of the State large-scale enterprise failed.  Robbed of all initiative, the peasant opposed the demands and the claims made upon him.  As a result of the refusal of the collectivised peasant to work and for other reasons (breakdown of tractors, &c.) last year’s harvest did not produce even a part of the amount stated.  A big part of the grain could not be collected because of the annihilation of live stock.  Before the peasants entered the collective farms they slaughtered their cattle and horses on a mass scale, and the number of cattle decreased between 1928 and 1933 from 70.6 millions to 29.2 millions of head. 

“The machines ruined and the live stock destroyed - can anything sum up the position of Soviet agriculture better? 

Moreover, in the carrying out of collectivisation one factor in production was completely ignored - Man.” 

The report of Dr. Schiller, agricultural expert at the German Embassy, Moscow, fully bears out the tragic conclusions of Dr. Ammende and of Mr. Gareth Jones.


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