HOLODOMOR – the state sponsored famine brought about in Ukraine enacted by Joseph Stalin and his Soviet Government to cause a genocide of Ukrainians in 1932 to 1933 during which an estimated 12 million (one author); or 7 to 10 million (2003 UN statement); or 3.3 to 7.5 million (other experts) died from starvation.
MISTER JONES – A movie about a young man from Wales named Gareth Jones who was characterized as a young idealist who was naive. He was fluent in French, German and Russian called an “extraordinary linguist.” When in the Soviet Union he heard from a couple of women about the famine he went there to see it first hand and reported on it. He would later be murdered by the NKVD the day before his 30th birthday.
AMERICA – under Democratic President FDR the United States recognized the Soviet Union in November 1933 as if the Holodomor had never happened. Many in the United States fell for the writings of NY Times Russian columnist who wrote that “these condition are bad, but there is no famine.” FDR was anxious to please Stalin and placed the recognition upon agreements with the Soviets as to actions they would undertake which they never did. His desire to get along with Stalin has him send Joseph Davies as ambassador replacing Christian Bullitt,Jr who was disgusted at Stalin’s brutality and repression. Davies would write: “Communism holds no serious threat to the United States” and that it was “protecting the Christian world of free men.” FDR went so far to please the Stalin that he covered up the Katyn Forest massacre of 22,000 Polish officers and intellectuals by the Soviet NKVD IN 1940 by suggesting the Germans did it.
The N Y Times and many New York City intellectual took a shine to the Soviets. Parades led by the Communists were not an infrequent happening in that city during the Thirties. After FDR died if it had not been for the big city Irish politicians blocking Henry A. Wallace, another Soviet admirer, from continuing on as vice-president he would have become president.
I grew up in Boston as an Irish Catholic strongly imbued with an anti communist attitude from my church and parents. It was the Cold War time. I had a clear eyed understanding that Russia is our enemy. I suppose that led me into the Marines. I would marry a woman who emigrated from Ukraine and whose parents lived through the Holodomor. She repeated stories of hr mother hiding food under rocks in the river so it would not be taken from them by the Soviets. She lost family in that famine. Obviously she too shared my feelings about the Communists.
Her dad was a Republican believing the Democrats did not appreciate the dangers of Communism. Though a Democrat I too recognized there seemed to be a lot of a pink tinge to the party. I often thought the Democratic States should have been the “red” states and Republicans the blue. Such thoughts were reinforced after President Reagan who seemed to share my attitude toward Russia.
You can imagine then my surprise with the advent of Trump. Suddenly – astonishingly – the “red states” became red. Russia was no longer our enemy even though it continued its attacks on our way of life infiltrating and undermining us. How could what I thought the core beliefs of many undergo such a radical change?
It was not only the folk in the red states but also the Catholic Church in America and the majority of its members. To ingratiate itself with Trump it silenced its opposition to the infiltration of our country by Russia as if somehow in spite of all the evidence to the contrary it changed under the leadership of a KGB colonel.
I have ended up believing how brilliant George Orwell was and how tenuous our freedom is.