MAN WHO KNEW FAR TOO MUCH; Welsh Journalist Who Exposed the Horrors of Stalinism Could Have Diaries on Display

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), March 12, 2010 | Go to article overview

MAN WHO KNEW FAR TOO MUCH; Welsh Journalist Who Exposed the Horrors of Stalinism Could Have Diaries on Display


Byline: Peter Collins

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to honour a legendary Welsh journalist who exposed the horrors of Stalinism, with a hometown exhibition of his diaries.

Gareth Jones, who at his death became known as "the man who knew too much", has already been recognised in Barry by having a blue plaque erected on the house where he lived.

The honour was bestowed by the Pride in Barry group, which has backed a campaign by Vale of Glamorgan-based Plaid Cymru AM Chris Franks for the journalist's diaries to be exhibited in the town, possibly at Barry Library.

Mr Jones, who was killed in 1935 aged just 30, exposed one of Stalin's worst atrocities.

He was a fearless young reporter who walked from one desperate, godforsaken village to another, exposing the true horror of a famine that was killing millions.

Mr Jones' accounts of what was happening in Soviet Ukraine in 1932/33 were different from other western accounts.

Not only did he reveal the true extent of starvation but he reported on the failure of Stalin's regime to deliver aid while exporting grain to the west.

The tragedy is now known as the Holodomor and regarded by Ukrainians as genocide.

Two years after the articles, which were published in newspapers around the world, including the Echo's sister paper the Western Mail, Jones was killed by bandits in Inner Mongolia - murdered as a punishment, according to his family, in a Moscow plot.

Mr Jones, a devout, nonconformist teetotaller, trekked across Soviet Ukraine, then officially off limits to Western journalists, to report on the Holomodor.

He was posthumously awarded the Ukrainian Order of Freedom in 2008.

Mr Franks wrote to Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones after reading in the Echo that Mr Jones' diaries were being put on view at Cambridge University, where he studied between 1926 and 1929.

He asked whether the diaries could be loaned from Trinity College, Cambridge, for display in Barry. …

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