In scandalised tones the Guardian claims on the 15th October 2021 that “a group of masked men stormed the offices of a renowned human rights organisation in Moscow on Thursday to disrupt the screening of Mr Jones, a British co-produced film about the Holodomor, the Stalin-era famine that killed millions of peasants in Soviet Ukraine during the 1930s.” This disruption, real or imagined, is seized upon by the Guardian to give another box-office puff to this film’s dreary lies.
Never one to spoil a good anti-communist yarn by such tedious journalistic virtues as sticking to facts or checking sources, the Guardian naturally swallows whole the version of Soviet history touted by the flim’s Polish director Agnieszka Holland. After all, what could be more beguiling than the tale of a plucky Welsh reporter risking his life in order to deliver an eye-witness account of a “genocide” engineered by Stalin in Ukraine? Unfortunately for the Guardian, however, the known facts tell a very different story.
To start with, Gareth Jones was not some cub reporter from the valleys who just happened to be on the spot at the right time. Jones was a high flyer, a well-educated Cambridge graduate who had spent time as Lloyd George’s secretary and purportedly had family links with Ukraine.
According to his own notebooks, currently held at the National Library of Wales, just days before his sight-seeing trip to the Soviet Union Jones took a flight in a private jet with Adolf Hitler and ate dinner at a five-star hotel with Dr Josef Goebbels. His diary records his pleasant reflections on Mr Goebbels, whom he saw as jovial and laughing “all the time” with a tremendous sense of humour. And the website dedicated to his work, garethjones.org, records that Jones was in Moscow just ten days after his meeting with Hitler, who at the same time had set fire to the Reichstag. The jovial arsonists Hitler and Goebbels took Mr Jones to Nazi party rallies and, after his deportation from the USSR, Mr Jones was back in Berlin on 29 March 1933 to tell the German people all about the horrors he had witnessed in the Soviet Union.
By his own account then, it seems that, far from being a mere eye-witness to history, Jones was at ease rubbing shoulders with Nazis who were trying to shape history, which throws a dubious light on his testimony – unless of course he was a complete fantasist, which would in any case rob his testimony of any value whatever.
The film itself is fantastical to the ninth degree. In this excessive and ludicrous piece of anti-Stalin propaganda, the director portrays Mr Jones eating human flesh – a piece of fantasy so galling that it forced a relation of Mr Jones to write in to the Sunday Times to deny that his great-uncle had ever taken part in cannibalism and to admit that as far as the records show, he never even saw any bodies in Ukraine!
Fantasist or fascist (or both), Jones’s supposed eye-witness report is utterly worthless, and only dredged up by those who wish to falsify Soviet history and thereby dissuade workers from taking the socialist path.
They will have to do better than this!