“Mr. Jones,” a movie about the genocide of Ukrainians in the USSR under Stalin in 1932-33, will be shown at the Albert Wisner Public Library on November 14, 1 p.m., at the weekly Monday Afternoon at the Movies.
Every spring, Wisner Library shows a film to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day. The librarians asked Linda Dubin to choose the film , introduce it and explain why it was chosen.
“Recently I was thinking about the present attack on the Ukraine by Russia and the genocide of about 4 million Ukrainians in 1932-33 when the present Ukraine was part of the United Soviet Socialist Republic,” said Dubin. “At that time, the USSR was a Communist country ruled by Stalin, a dictator. ‘Mr Jones’ is about one of Stalin’s horrific crimes , the forced starvation of the Ukranian people in the USSR.”
The hero of this movie is from Wales, a journalist who travels to the Soviet Union hoping to interview Stalin but instead uncovers this genocide known as the “Holodomor.” The Ukrainian farmers, known as Kulaks, had privately owned farms and were resistant to Stalin’s plan to set up government owned state agricultural collectives, which is why Stalin deliberately caused famine in this section of the USSR.
This part of the film does not have much narration but shows how truckloads of sacks of grain-flour are being removed and how people, are reduced to eating foods that are not usually eaten by people. Many starving children are shown with swollen stomachs, a sign of starvation..
The film shows that it was “ inconvenient” for Mr. Jones to publish this information, and this story was attacked as untrue. NY Times Correspondent Walter Duranty denied the existence of the famine ,in order to maintain his relationship with the Soviet government and continue his comfortable life, while reporting the Communist Party line.
Also the U.S. was preparing to extend its official recognition to the Soviet Union and Soviet Foreign Minister Litvinow was at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York to celebrate the establishment of the US/Soviet diplomatic relations. At this time, European countries were concerned about Hitler’s rise to power and the ‘Great Depression” and did not want a confrontation with Stalin.
People may be surprised to find who does eventually publish Mr Jones information.
This film explains why the Ukranian people are fighting the Russians despite the substantial loss of life and destruction of their country, in order to remain independent of Russia.
The hero of this movie is from Wales, a journalist who travels to the Soviet Union hoping to interview Stalin but instead uncovers this genocide known as the “Holodomor.”