ONTARIO, 22 May 2015/ Professor Lubomyr Luciuk, editor of The
Holodomor Occasional Papers Series, is pleased to announce
publication of "Tell Them We Are Starving: The 1933 Soviet Diaries of
Gareth Jones," #2 in the series.
The new book provides high quality facsimiles of the 3
pocket notebooks as well as a transcription of the contents that Welsh
journalist Gareth Jones collected during a 3-week stay in the USSR
during March 1933, when famine was devastating areas of the USSR,
particularly Ukraine, the Kuban region of North Caucasus and the Lower
According to Dr Ray Gamache, a media historian
and co-transcriber (along with Nigel Linsan Colley, great nephew of
Gareth Jones), the diaries constitute one of the most important
independent, verifiable records of a horrific event, now known as the
Holodomor, recorded even as it was unfolding in Ukraine. As a result
of that journey Jones is now recognized as the journalist most
responsible for exposing the Great Famine that caused the deaths of more
than four and a half million Ukrainians.
his introduction to the book, Dr Gamache notes that transcribing the
notebooks was anything but easy, thanks to Jones’ tendency to quote
source material from Ukraine by using the Russian alphabet or vice
versa. A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, Gareth Jones was fluent
in Welsh, German, French, and Russian. That fluency is reflected in the
diaries, which contain passages in those languages and which Jones used
to publish more than 20 newspaper articles upon his return to Great
Britain. For Dr Gamache, the most compelling sections are those
chronicling Jones’ unescorted 40-mile walking tour through villages,
collective and state farms after Jones got off the train headed for
Kharkov. In these Ukrainian villages Jones found children with swollen
bellies, families without food, and unemployed workers without bread
cards, doomed to a slow, painful death by starvation.
"By the time Western journalists were allowed
back into Ukraine in the autumn of 1933, the worst of the famine was
over and a new crop was being harvested," Dr Gamache writes. "The fate
of the millions of Ukrainians starved to death became a contested,
politicized issue, and remained as such for decades."
Jones’ murder in Manchuria, in 1935 the diaries remained lost for more
than 50 years until Colley discovered them at the Jones’ family home in
Barry, South Wales. In 2003 his mother, Dr Margaret Siriol Colley,
delivered a speech on Jones’ reporting as part of the Ukrainian
Diaspora’s 70th anniversary commemorations of the Holodomor. The
diaries were first exhibited in November 2009 by Dr Rory Finnin at The
Wren Library, Trinity College, Jones’ alma mater. Stories about this
exhibition were published in over 200 newspapers worldwide.
Professor Luciuk observed that The
Holodomor: Occasional Papers Series is intended to disseminate
important documentary evidence and new research on the Great Famine of
1932-33. The first volume published was the 1953 speech by Raphael
Lemkin, "Soviet Genocide in the Ukraine," in which the ‘Father of the UN
Genocide Convention’ specifically identified the Ukrainian famine as a
classic example of a Soviet genocide.
Copies are available:
Publisher: for $45 + $10 postage and
handling from: The Kashtan Press, 849 Wartman Avenue, Kingston, Ontario,
Canada, K7M 2Y6.
In the UK & Europe: for £40 + £5
postage within UK (or at cost for other destinations), but please
contact me, Nigel Colley directly for payment details either on the
phone number or email link at the very bottom RHS of this web page.
Online images of these Soviet diaries (but
without transcriptions & translations) can be seen
of “Tell Them We Are Starving”: The 1933 Soviet Diaries of
Gareth Jones by Anne Applebaum in the New York Review of Books
(April 7, 2016), entitled 'The Victory of Ukraine' can be
HERE online. This joint review by Anne Applebaum also included; "The
Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine" by Serhii Plokhy, Harvard
University (pictured here on a visit to Cambridge in 2012, with myself,
Nigel Colley & Dr. Rory Finnin, Head of the Slavonic Studies
department, Cambridge University) and Dr Ray Gamache's own biography;
Gareth Jones: Eyewitness to the Holodomor.