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A Blood-Stained Pulitzer By: Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, November 17, 2005


Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Volodymyr Kurylo, the President of the United Ukrainian American Organizations of Greater New York.  The organization is about 100 years old and is also the local branch of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. The group will be gathering in front of The NY Times building, at 229 West 43rd Street between 7th and 8th in Manhattan, tomorrow, on Friday, November 18th at 12 noon , to demand that Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., surrender Walter Duranty's 1932 Pulitzer Prize. 

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FP: Volodymyr Kurylo, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

 

Kurylo: Thank you.  I welcome the opportunity to be interviewed about an important issue related to the Ukrainian Famine Genocide of 1932-1933. 

 

FP: Tell us exactly what this protest is about.

 

Kurylo: We have organized this protest to demand that Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., publisher of The New York Times, finally "do the right thing" and surrender Walter Duranty's 1932 Pulitzer.  Its the moral thing to do.  After all, the lies that Duranty dispatched and were printed in The New York Times denied that Stalin was intentionally, with impunity, starving between 7 to 10 million innocent Ukrainian men, women & children to death.  Didn't Duranty & the Times set the standard for "holocaust denial"?  I am honored to announce that our organization has been joined by the Gareth Jones Society for Truth in Journalism.  Mr. Nigel Colley, Gareth Jones great nephew will speak at our rally.

 

FP: Tell us about the Ukraine famine.

 

Kurylo: We should call it the Ukrainian Famine Genocide of 1932-1933.  Ukrainians have known it as the "Holodomor".  Stalin needed and wanted to collectivize agriculture in the fledgling Soviet Union.  The USSR was a third world country and Stalin needed to industrialize it.  He did so rapidly & brutally. Ukraine has been known as "the breadbasket of Europe" because of its rich agricultural region and the crops it produced, primarily grains.  Wheat was a valuable commodity to be traded for hard currency.  Stalin instituted a policy of forced collectivization.  It was easier to seize more produce from the independently-minded peasants if they were forced into large state-controlled farms.  Towards the end of 1931, about 70 percent of Ukrainian peasants had been coerced into joining the collectives.  During this period grain seizures began to wipe out reserves which had been accumulated from previous harvests.  Even though famine was breaking out, nothing was going to stop Stalin.

 

The peasant-producers had to fulfill their obligations to the State before they could receive their allotment.  Quotas were unreasonable and bands of communist zealots, military units and NKVD secret police were sent in to enforce the Stalins decrees.  Even seed grain was declared state property and withholding even a few grains was considered a crime against the state punishable death by death.

 

Early in 1932, the Soviets continued to increase the grain procurement quotas for Ukraine.  Stalin, Kaganovich, Molotove et.al. were well aware that extraordinarily high grain quotas would result in grain shortages.  They didn't care that Ukrainian peasants would not be able to feed their families.  Villages that were emptied by the genocidal famine would be re-populated with ethnic Russians thereby helping to solve the nationalities issue Stalin was facing.  Stalin also implemented an internal passport system to restrict peasants from traveling in search of food.  In fact, the peasants were the last group to be issued passports decades after anyone else.        

 

The toll was staggering: estimates range from 7 to 10 million dead.  At its peak, the genocide was claiming 25,000 peasants a day.  We haven't touched upon executions, internal exiling, forced-slave labor etc.

 

FP:  I would recommend Robert Conquest’s Harvest of Sorrow on this tragic topic. Let’s move on to Duranty. He covered up this terror famine, yet he knew all about it. Why do you think?

 

Kurylo: Yes, Duranty covered up the Ukrainian Famine Genocide of 1932-1933 by denying its very existence. What kind of human being could pen "there is no famine" and "any report of a famine is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda" when the stench of millions of corpses filled the air? 

 

In his memoir "An American Engineer in Stalin's Russia", Zara Witkin reported a revealing incident.  Ralph Barnes, the New York Herald Tribune reporter, asked how Duranty was going to report the story about the Stalin-made famine to which Duranty responded: "What are a few million dead Russians (Ukrainians) in a situation like this?  Quite unimportant.  This is just an incident in the sweeping historical changes here.  I think the entire matter is exaggerated."

 

The Soviets had instituted a policy of strict censorship.  Umansky controlled the correspondents stationed in Moscow.  To stray from the party line was to commit professional suicide.  There were courageous and honest journalists like Malcom Muggeridge and Gareth Jones who wrote the truth at the expense of their careers in the Moscow press corps.  Duranty lacked the honesty & integrity.  Duranty covered the Soviet Union for The New York Times from 1922 to 1941.  That's quite a feat. 

 

FP: Yes indeed. I would add that Duranty intentionally covered up this whole massacre because he supported it. Just like the despotism he venerated, he wanted millions to die. Like every believer in earthly utopia, he yearned for the destruction of this world, since in his political vision, as in the vision of the Stalins and Maos and Pol Pots, it is only through human blood that this world can be purified. An earthly paradise can only be built on the ashes of millions of human corpses.

 

In my study of the Left and its romance with death cults, I was not very surprised to learn in Sally J. Taylor’s biography of this monstrous individual, Stalin's Apologist: Walter Duranty: The New York Times Man in Moscow, that Duranty was an outcast in his own society, that he was physically repulsive, a drug abuser with a wooden leg, and an engager in satanic sexual orgies. Take from this what you will.

 

So, the New York Times printed Duranty’s lies and never investigated the authenticity of his reports. It is clear, naturally, that the Times had the same ideology to protect as did Duranty at the time. Why do you think the Times still refuses to surrender Duranty’s Pulitzer when it has been proven that the Forced Famine occurred and that Duranty consciously lied about it?

 

Kurylo: In 2003, Douglas McCollam wrote the following in CJR (Columbia Journalism Review):

 

"Researchers who have investigated Duranty's career have found that certain editors at The New York Times did have doubts about his coverage of the Soviet Union, but never acted to recall him.  Times editors were aware of famine reports in other newspapers and even ran editorials and stories contrary to Duranty's coverage in the Times." 

 

There was no shortage of leftists in New York City in the 1930's.  They eagerly awaited Duranty's reports in The Times and I would imagine, fantasized about the days when their vision of a Soviet style utopia would become America's reality. 

 

I was thoroughly disgusted and continue to be when I remember reading a report in AIM (Accuracy In Media): 

 

"In November of 1933 he [Duranty] stood in the Oval Office of the White House [with Soviet Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov-Wallach] as President Roosevelt announced the diplomatic recognition of the USSR - an initiative he would not have dared had the public known of the horrendous death toll of Stalin's policies." 

 

By November of 1933 how many million Ukrainians were already decomposing?  Two days after this recognition, 6,000 Ukrainians gathered at Washington Square to honor the victims of the Ukrainian Famine Genocide and to sound the alarm regarding the recognition of Stalin's regime.  They marched to attend a rally at an Opera House which existed at 67th & Lexington.  On Nov 19, New York newspapers, including The Times reported about the repeated attacks of roving bands of "reds" who threw bottles, brickbats and physically attacked the mourner-marchers.  Several policeman were injured. 

 

Finally, a few sentences from John Berlau's article in "Insight Magazine" (July 7, 2003) shed light on The Times motivation: "[Ronald] Radosh and other critics say that while the Times argues it is not returning the prize because it does not want to 'undo history', the paper in fact is trying to cover up its own history of helping launch communist regimes that systematically oppress their people.  Times correspondent Herbert Matthews was instrumental in Fidel Castro's rise to power in Cuba..."

 

In November of 2003, the Pulitzer Panel announced that it wouldn’t revoke Duranty's 1932 prize.  Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. issued a statement which ended with: "We regret his [Duranty's] lapses and we join the Pulitzer Board in extending sympathy to those who suffered in the famine."  

 

Lapses?  We're talking about 7 to 10 million human beings, not car keys.  And, we're not looking for Arthur Sulzberger's sympathy.  We want Duranty's blood-stained Pulitzer.

 

FP: I hope you get that blood-stained Pulitzer. I hope your protest in front of the NY Times building this Friday, November 18 at 12 noon will help achieve that objective. The NY Times is engaging in nothing less than complicity in Holocaust Denial. It is a grotesque shame.

 

Thank you for joining us here today Mr. Kurylo and thank you for your fight for justice and for the truth -- and for keeping the memory of Stalin's -- and socialism's -- millions of victims alive.

 

Kurylo: Thank you so much for the opportunity to continue to remember the victims of the Ukrainian Famine Genocide of 1932-1933.  It is just as important to remember the perpetrators.  Why do Stalin, Kaganovich, Molotov, Khataevych, Veger, Postyshev not "enjoy" the same level of infamy as Hitler, Eichmann, Himmler, Goebbels etc?  The answer appears to be quite simple.  Stalinism/Bolshevism had many cheerleaders among the legions of American leftists during the 1930's.  What support did Hitler have in this country?  Stalin had Duranty to lie for him and sing the praises of the Soviet heaven-on-earth.  Stalin had The New York Times do his PR work.  How many admirers, disciples, devotees of Stalin are teaching in American Universities today? 

 

It is said that we are doomed to repeat history if we have not learned from it.  In order to learn from it we must have access to the truth.  I believe that if the world had reacted appropriately to Stalin's genocidal policies, Hitler would not have been emboldened to carry out his "final solution".  Stalin and his henchmen starved, murdered, raped, tortured with impunity.  No wonder Saddam Hussein admired him and modeled his own regime after his idol - Stalin.

 

FP: You make many vital points sir. Hitler was inspired by Stalin’s concentration camp system and used it as a guide for his own totalitarian plans. Today in our culture the Soviet genocide is not demonized in the way the Nazi genocide is demonized because racial hatred is seen as a bad thing – which it is obviously – but class hatred is still legitimized and venerated, especially in our intellectual leftist circles. And just as our totalitarian and terrorist enemies had their champions such as Duranty during the 20th Century, so too the mass despotic killers in this terror war, from Osama to Zarqawi, have their leftist champions they can count on in the West (Moore, Sheehan, Hayden etc.). It is all part of the same cycle: as the hard Left pines for the destruction of the West and of individual freedom and democracy, it supports the destruction that our totalitarian enemy wages, dreaming that a new earth will be built on the Ground Zeros that they perpetrate.

 

Good luck tomorrow Mr. Kurylo.

 

Kurylo: Thank you Jamie.  

 

 

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Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Russian, U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He is the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union and is the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. His new book is United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at jglazov@rogers.com.


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