"The failure of Western newspapers to do all that they could to inform their readers about conditions in Russia was never more
apparent than during the Soviet (genocide) famine of the early 1930's. Although the home newspapers were aware of the travel restrictions
placed on their correspondents at the start of 1933, there was no outcry from them. Moreover, while there were clues enough even before the
travel ban that conditions were not satisfactory in the countryside and that there might be a food shortage, only the most conservative
newspapers in the West gave the early reports of famine the attention they deserved. It was almost as if the Western press itself was willing to
accept a role in the (genocide) famine cover-up.
The New York Times' role in this dismal press coverage of the Soviet Union seems to have been especially onerous. While the Times was (and
is) widely regarded as one of the world's best newspapers, its reputation for accuracy and fairness was clearly not deserved in the case of its
coverage of the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1933."
James William Crowl, Anqels in Stalin's Paradise: Western Reporters in Soviet Russia, 1917 to 1937, A Case Study of Louis Fischer and Walter Duranty
(Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1982) p. 198.
* * *
"Americans who suppose that editors are inclined to cheer their correspondents in the fearless pursuit of truth have a naively idyllic view of
modern journalism. They forget that the principal commodity of the newspapers is news, not truth, and the two do not always coincide."
Interview with Eugene Lyons, July 17, 1972. Cited in Angels in Stalin's Paradise, op. cit. pp. 197-198.
* * *
Examples of press cover-ups of the Genocide Famine by Western reporters:
1. MASSES IN SOVIET LOOK TO FUTURE - Walter Duranty
“Enemies and foreign critics can say what the please. Weaklings and despondents at home may groan under the burden, but the youth and
strength of the Russian people is essentially at one with the Kremlin's program, believes it worthwhile and supports it, however hard be the
Taken from: "Masses in Soviet Look to Future," New York Times (December 19, 1932).
2. RUSSIANS HUNGRY BUT NOT STARVING - Walter Duranty
“There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation, but there is wide-spread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition.”
Taken from "Russians Hungry But Not Starving," New York Times (March 31, 1933).
3. BIG UKRAINE CROP TAXES HARVESTERS - Walter Duranty
“This visitor has just completed a 200-mile trip through the heart of Ukraine and can say positively that the harvest is splendid and all talk of
famine now is ridiculous.
Everywhere one goes and with everyone with whom one talks - from Communists and officials to local peasants - it is the same story: "Now we
will be all right, now we are assured for the winter, now we have more grain that can easily be harvested."
This ‘now’ is significant. It contrasts with ‘then’ - last winter - which, they will tell you ‘was hard’. Hard it was and the correspondent saw empty
houses that bear witness - people ran away to find work and food elsewhere.
The populace from babies to old folks, looks healthy and well nourished...”
Taken from: Walter Duranty, "Big Ukraine Crop Taxes Harvesters," New York Times (September 18, 1933).
4. THE ISSUE OF RESPONSIBILITY: THE PEASANTS WERE TO BLAME - Louis Fischer
“The peasants brought the calamity upon themselves. Yet one can understand what prompted this suicidal action. The Bolsheviks had
launched the ambitious Five Year Plan. It had to be financial. It was to cost something like forty-two billion rubles. That colossal sum had to
come from within the country, for foreign nations refused loans and gave limited credits at usurious rates. The workers and the peasants had
to pay. The worker paid in the form of reduced consumption goods. The peasant paid in the form of huge taxes. In many cases, the government
took thirty, even fifty, indeed even sixty percent of his crop. Without such high-handed measures, the city could not have been industrialized
quickly and foreign obligations could not have been met. But the result was that the peasant said: What is the use of plowing, planting and
harvesting when the authorities seize a large part of my crop?...
It was a terrible lesson at a terrific cost. History can be cruel. The Bolsheviks were carrying out a major policy on which the strength and
character of their regime depended. The peasants were reacting as normal human beings would. Let no one minimize the sadness of the
phenomenon. But from the larger point of view the effect was the final entrenchment of collectivization. The peasantry will never again
undertake passive resistance. And the Bolsheviks - one hopes - have learned that they must not compel the peasantry to attempt such
In the final analysis, the 1932 famine was a concomitant of the last battle between private capitalism and socialism in Russia. The peasants
wanted to destroy collectivization. The government wanted to retain collectivization. The peasants used the best means at their disposal. The
government used the best means at its disposal. The government won.”(15)
(15)Taken from: Louis Fischer, Soviet Journev (New York, 1953) p. 172. The author, a journalist, sympathized with the Soviets in the 1930s.
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|1932-1933: THE GENOCIDE FAMINE IN UKRAINE
A Teacher's Curriculum Guide
THE GENOCIDE FAMINE COVER-UP