This is a story of how a New York Times journalist by the name of Walter Duranty, a British political action organization and others assisted in an attempt to cover up the largest man-made famine in history.
Many people are aware of the Holocaust.
This was a horrific event that featured the deaths of millions. There is another event in history that a surprising amount of people have likely never heard of. That event is known as Holodomor.
The word Holodomor is Ukrainian. “Holo” means hunger or starvation and “mor” means death or to inflict death. This event was given this name because of the brutality and cruelty enacted and enabled by Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin.
From 1932 through 1933, Stalin intentionally targeted Ukrainians for systematic starvation. There were reports that some victims of the intentional famine were so emaciated that they looked like skeletons with flesh. There have been monuments erected in remembrance of this event.
The reason why Stalin wanted to get rid of freedom-minded Ukrainian farmers and small Ukrainian towns was the desire for complete totalitarian control. Anyone who Stalin believed to be an enemy of the state was eradicated with extreme prejudice. The punishments would range from beatings, executions and, in cases such as Holodomor, starvation that decimated whole cities.
The farmers and many in Ukraine, which was a Soviet territory at the time, resisted Stalin’s collectivization efforts to bring about complete communism. Stalin wanted the farmers and all within his grasp to submit to collectivization.
Failure to comply destroyed at the hands of the dictator. These farmers who resisted were referred to as “kulaks” or they were painted as well to do farmers. To an extreme communist at that time, the label of kulak or the view of someone being a part of the bourgeois crowd.
Oleh Wolowyna, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, conducted research that revealed that during Holodomor an estimated 3.9 million people lost their lives. That equals 13% of the population of Ukraine at the time.
How could the United States of America not notice that the Soviet Union was perpetrating such a horrific crime? The answer is a series of disinformation campaigns perpetrated by a New York Times journalist and a British Marxist organization with quite the collective reach.
The British Fabian Society
The Fabian Society is the oldest political think tank in the UK as their website describes. The Fabian Society is also known to have strong Marxist roots.
Here is a quote from the Fabian Society’s website.
The Fabian Society emerged in 1884 as an off-shoot of the Fellowship of the New Life. The new Society soon attracted some of the most prominent left-wing thinkers of the late Victorian era to its ranks.
The 1880s saw an upsurge in socialist activity in Britain and the Fabian Society was at the heart of much of it. Against the backdrop of the Match Girls’ strike and the 1889 London Dock strike, the landmark Fabian Essays was published, containing essays by George Bernard Shaw, Graham Walls, Sidney Webb, Sydney Olivier and Annie Besant. All the contributors were united by their rejection of violent upheaval as a method of change, preferring to use the power of local government and trade unionism to transform society.
The early Fabians’ commitment to non-violent political change was underlined by the role the Fabian Society played in the foundation of the Labour party in 1900. The society is the only original founder of Labour party that remains affiliated to the present day in unchanged form
The word Fabian comes from one of the most recognized generals in all of history, Quintus Fabius Maximus.
Fabius is known to be the father of guerilla tactics. In other words, if one were to ask Fabius to fight immediately his response would’ve likely been “only on my terms and when I decide.” He was a master of the war of attrition. There is no need to directly confront an enemy if other tactics can be utilized to gain a slow but inevitable victory.
Even the name Fabian Society (say it slowly to yourself) sounds like the name a conspiracy theorists would come up with. That could have been by design. Since the Fabian Society was founded in 1884 then it isn’t likely many people in the U.K. would have been educated enough to know what the name Fabian means. When someone heard the name of the organization they probably brushed it off as just a conspiracy theory.
These people never engage in direct conflicts. Instead, they prefer to engage in the war of attrition through the media, academia and the general public’s ability to be swayed with propaganda tactics. The Fabian Society founded The New Statesmen and if you are a citizen of the U.K. you’ve likely heard of this publication. It is also true that the Fabian Society founded the London School of Economics.
In just two areas one could already see how the Fabian Society could, through the years, use publicly trusted institutions to spread their propaganda.
The early Marxists were pretty horrible. Some Fabians, like Fabian Society leader George Bernard Shaw, didn’t appear to have much of a problem with Stalin’s brutality. Some early Marxists praised the works of Adolf Hitler and the use of Zyklon-B.
There is a common misconception about Zyklon-B. It was a chemical made popular by its lethal use against prisoners of war via Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. However, Zyklon-B isn’t a chemical itself but instead, it is a brand name for a cyanide-based pesticide.
That means that people like George Bernard Shaw and others praised the use of a pesticide to reduce population numbers so that their ideological goals become easier to achieve.
Here is a video depicting George Bernard Shaw in his own words. Again, these people were extreme Marxists who needed a form of population control to achieve their goals. Keep that in mind as you watch this video and realize what this man was saying.
As the above video depicts, George Bernard Shaw and many other early Marxists indeed praised Adolf Hitler’s efforts. If you’d like to search to see this for yourself the reference text you’ll need is, “The New Statesman, supplement, Nov. 14, 1914. Also printed, in three installments, The New York Times, 1914, Section 5, on Nov. 15, pp. 1-3; Nov. 22, pp. 1 & 2; and Nov. 29, pp. 1 and 2.”
Also, here is a picture.
What does this shifty society have to do with Holodomor? A lot.
Several representatives from the British Fabian Society arrived in Ukraine and attempted to cover up what Stalin had done and continued to do at that time.
The influential legends of the left he indicts include Sidney and Beatrice Webb. They were leading members of the Fabian Society and founders of the London School of Economics. They are normally referred to in reverential tones as representatives of civilised left-wing history. What has been forgotten is that they were passionate advocates of Stalin’s regime. In 1935, they wrote Soviet Communism: A New Civilisation?, a glowing portrait of Stalin which whitewashed the kulak deportations and denied the existence of the mass famine that took place in the Ukraine — commonly known as Holodomor — in which millions died.
The Webbs continued to support Stalin and deny the horror of his rule right up until Beatrice’s death in 1943, by which time there was plentiful evidence of his mass murders. To put it bluntly, the Webbs were no better than those who have denied or downplayed the Holocaust.
In other words, the Webbs and George Bernard Shaw defended a dictator that was butchering people through famine, deaths while incarcerated, out-right murder via executions and/or gulag someone.
However, these efforts wouldn’t be enough to sway the public from viewing the true events of Ukraine. The Fabian Society had to pull some strings to get up to the New York Times. There is no official record of the Fabian Society directly contacting the New York Times to ask for favorable coverage of Stalin or to downplay the events of Holodomor. However, the actions taken by a Times journalist appear to point towards some direct and indirect conflicts of interest.
That journalist’s name was Walter Duranty.
Walter Duranty, Discredited NYT Journalist
He lived a life of luxury. He got into schools such as Cambridge University which isn’t cheap. After graduation, he had luxurious retreats set up in the United States and other countries. These trips were funded by a trust fund left by Duranty’s grandfather. He would hang out with big names such as Edward Alexander Crowley but you may know him as Aleister Crowley.
Duranty got a job as a journalist with the New York Times. As a journalist, Duranty was very critical of the Russian government during the Russian Revolution. Keep in mind that the New York Times was and still is a popular publication. There was no such thing as searching for information on the internet at that time. Controlling a New York Times journalist meant controlling the flow and release of information to a large scale.
Despite the complaints that his reports were too pro-Soviet, Duranty was appointed as the New York Times correspondent in Moscow. One of his main tasks was to interpret government policy. In September 1923 Duranty speculated that Joseph Stalin and not Leon Trotsky would take over the leadership of the Soviet Union after the death of Lenin. “Trotsky is a great executive, but his brain cannot compare with Lenin’s in analytical power…. But during the last year Stalin has shown judgment and analytical power not unworthy of Lenin. It is to him that the greatest part of the credit is clue for bringing about the new Russian Union, which history may regard as one of the most remarkable Constitutions in human history. Trotsky helped him in drawing it up, but Stalin’s brain guided the pen.”
Duranty later explained to his fellow reporter, Hubert Knickerbocker: “Of course I didn’t go Bolshevik or think Bolshevism would work in Western countries or be good for them. I don’t believe I even cared in those days whether it would be good for Russia, or work there in practice. But I did think that the Bolsheviks would win in their own country and that the Soviet Union would become a great force in world affairs.”
According to Spartacus Educational, a resource for historically accurate information shows several sources and links describing the situation in Ukraine after Duranty’s arrival. He was granted a visa into the country despite his many articles criticizing the Russian government.
For a while, Duranty, like other Western journalists, wasn’t allowed into areas that showed signs of famine. The idea was to keep the Western world out of the affairs of people who were being intentionally starved to death.
Duranty was later given access to the famine areas where other journalists were barred from entry. Since he agreed to send his articles through a Russian censor he would be allowed to view the famine-stricken areas. To assure his complete devotion to the Russian “view of things” Duranty was given lots of luxuries.
While he was in Moscow he wrote about the luxuries he was receiving “fresh Astrakhan caviar, with pre-war vodka; white bread and butter, delicious borscht soup, with old sherry; grilled salmon and roast partridge, with vontage burgundy or champagne; cakes of every kind, cream, sugar, custard, fine Russian cheese, hot-house grapes, old port, and older cognac.”
Duranty said that Floyd Gibbons “fully deserved his success because he had accomplished the feat of bluffing the redoubtable Litvinov stone-cold… a noble piece of work.” Over the next few days Gibbons was the only reporter to document the horrifying prospect of the deaths of as many as fifteen million people from starvation.
Duranty arrived in the Samara six days after Gibbons. He reported that the children were so thin that their “fingers are postively no fatter than a good sized match” and their arms were “no wider than rulers.” One boy’s face was “shrunk to the size of a woman’s hand and the blue eyes are utterly disinterested. The body may weigh fourteen pounds – just skin tense over the wasted little skeleton.” He added that unlike the children, most adults did not die “of actual hunger, but typhus, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and scurvy, the diseases of malnutrition, took their plenteous toll.”
A week later Duranty was back in Moscow reporting that it was possible to dine well if you knew where to go and if you had the right money. He described the meals available in a restaurant near to his hotel: “fresh Astrakhan caviar, with pre-war vodka; white bread and butter, delicious borscht soup, with old sherry; grilled salmon and roast partridge, with vontage burgundy or champagne; cakes of every kind, cream, sugar, custard, fine Russian cheese, hot-house grapes, old port and older cognac.”
Duranty accepted the policy of submitting his articles to the Russian censor before sending them to the New York Times. One of the American journalists based in the city, Paul Sheffer, later recalled: “The journalist in Moscow had to become master of a new art: the art of telling three-quarters, a half, still smaller fractions, of the truth; the art of not telling the truth in such a way that the truth would be made apparent to a thoughtful reader; or conversely, the art of telling the whole truth up to the point where its negative or positive significance would become apparent.”
In other words, all it took was fancy meals and a few backroom deals and, suddenly, Walter Duranty allowed the Russian government to control his words.
The results of this were plentiful. For starters, an estimated 3.9 million people lost their lives. The Russian government and Joseph Stalin were never put in check. That is the part that may hurt the most because there are some current situations that the world is dealing with that wouldn’t be an issue if the Soviet Union were put in check during that time.
After Lenin died Joseph Stalin would eventually take over. Duranty was already decidedly pro-Stalin and we know this from his writings and from the numerous amounts of complaints about his pro-Soviet writings in the New York Times.
Even then, Duranty dismissed more diligent writers’ reports that people were starving. “Conditions are bad, but there is no famine,” he wrote in a dispatch from Moscow in March of 1933 describing the “mess” of collectivization. “But – to put it brutally – you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.”
Some of Duranty’s editors criticized his reporting as tendentious, but The Times kept him as a correspondent until 1941. Since the 1980’s, the paper has been publicly acknowledging his failures. Ukrainian-American and other organizations have repeatedly called on the Pulitzer Prize Board to cancel Duranty’s prize and The Times to return it, mainly on the ground of his later failure to report the famine.
The Pulitzer board has twice declined to withdraw the award, most recently in November 2003, finding “no clear and convincing evidence of deliberate deception” in the 1931 reporting that won the prize, and The Times does not have the award in its possession.
Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer Prize Controversy
How could a man who praised Joseph Stalin, a brutal dictator, and yet, not only keep his job as a journalist but also receive a Pulitzer Prize?
There is a connection to explain why his Pulitzer Prize was never rescinded.
Thomas Davidson, a Scottish paleontologist, was a close friend to Joseph Pultizer which is the same Joseph Pulitzer the Pulitzer Prize is named after. That isn’t much of a problem until you consider that Davidson has a connection to the British Fabian Society.
In 1883, Thomas Davidson was apart of a group known as the Fellowship for New Life. This group would splinter off into another group that you might have heard of. That splinter group was none other than the British Fabian Society.
That is why Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer Prize has never rescinded even though the publication he worked for disavowed his work in 2012.