Holodomor- Mister Jones – America

One should initially define terms:

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.




9 thoughts on “Holodomor- Mister Jones – America

  1. One of my early rude awakenings centered around the McCarthy controversy. I suddenly realized that my aunts and uncles and my Dad didn’t always agree and the disagreements got pretty heated. My Uncle Charlie and Uncle John squared off against my father and my uncle Will. The rest had opinions but not as well defined. (The dispute was settled by my grandmother. After the hearings were shown, she forbade his name to be mentioned in her house. For this attitude, she was promptly kicked out of her bridge club.)

    1. Hutch:

      My Mom and Dad were big Joe McCarthy fans which I suppose made me one. Those were the days when suggesting one was a communist was enough to destroy a person – remember the loyalty oath folks had to take to work in the gvt. The GOP which is enamored of Russia now uses the communist word along with “socialist” to gin up the same fears as McCarthy did. At least back on McCarthy days Russia was seen as the enemy unlike today.

      Your grandmother was right. I’m thinking maybe I will forbid the name Trumo from being uttered in my house.

      1. Matt
        It was worse than tagging someone as a commie. The whisperers destroyed people professionally, financially, and socially. One of the worst was a friend of my Uncle Will, a teacher at Latin School and a Harvard Grad. George had attended a few communist meetings while at Harvard in the ’30s. He dismissed the movement out of hand and moved on. Twenty years later he’s accosted about this silly event and and loses his job, is blackballed at several clubs, and begins a downward spiral of tragic consequences.

  2. Wa-llahi! “Communism and the Conscience of the West” Fulton Sheen, SJ. I think I have a copy out in the barn. It’s buried under a mountain of history books. I got it as a present for my 13th birthday. I remember its lessons well. The Jesuits were adept in the administration of intellectual poisons. Sheen was no exception. The silken-tongued devil had his own talk show playing on Sunday afternoon. Him, in his dress, and, red beanie, pontificating away about the dangers of socialism. I wonder if someone’s put him on U-tube?

    1. Khalid: you added two letters to Fulton’s name that should not be there. They are SJ. He was not a Jesuit as best I recall.

      Too bad the lessons he taught you at 13 never took hold. He was quite something in those simple days with his beanie- I didn’t own a color television so I didn’t know its color – but I know I watched him alot and can see him with his cape and fancy gear turning to the blackboard and simplifying our world.
      I bet he is on youtube so I’ll
      have to look him up.

      We in Boston also had Archibishop Cushing who had immense power and the rabble rouser Father Feeney.

  3. wa-llahi! Don’t forget about those socialist domestic subversion programs like MEDICARE/MEDICAID and Social Security’ It’s bad stuff like that, that keeps our oblivious American people in the pink.

    1. Khalid. – the pink was the pro Soviet strain in the party. Yes FDR did hold Stalin in high regard but his mind had deteriorated by then- the social programs you mentioned were good but they were incorporated into the ongoing system. We did not tear everything down to get them.

  4. “Though a Democrat I too recognized there seemed to be a lot of a pink tinge to the party.”
    Now that there is an understatement.

    1. Not so. The Democrats always leaned more to the center. Unlike the GOP that has gone mostly Red – 7 senators in Moscow on the 4th – can’t get worse than that.

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