Category Archives: Sample pages II


Before his 1931 summer jaunt across Ukraine with Heinze, Gareth Jones placed his political article “Poland’s Foreign Relations” in London’s The Contemporary Review. Published in July his story is good reading in the prestigious journals racked next to Foreign Affairs at State or in any of the CFR-RIIA clubs. One of Stalin’s greatest fears is that trouble in the Ukraine might provoke Poland’s expansion to the East.

Jones is a shrewd political observer; his analysis of the problems in Poland provide a perch to look more closely at the problems in the Ukraine. “Geography teaches Poland to be wary,” Jones writes, and he adds, “Her straddling frontiers run for thousands of miles through the flat European plain. Not a single mountain bars the way to foreign troops; there is hardly a hillock between Warsaw and the Urals… Poland’s economic structure necessitates an outlet to the sea, which raises formidable barriers against friendship with Germany…”

“On her western frontier, therefore, Poland feels no security. Neither have her relations with Soviet Russia inspired her with great faith in her eastern neighbour, in spite of the signing of the Litvinov Protocol (1929) for the Renunciation of War. Poland has a propaganda value to the Communist Party. Soviet organs and theatres never cease vilifying the Poles in caricatures and plays, in order to provide an outlet for popular dissatisfaction and to unite the peoples of the Union in the face of the so-called menace of intervention from Poland. It is the belief in Moscow that war between the capitalist states and Communist Russia is inevitable and that Poland is destined to be the cats paw of France, America and Britain. In the Soviet Union propaganda banners blare out the slogans ‘The Imperialists of the West are preparing war on Soviet Russia.’Great stress is laid on the war industry and everything is done to inculcate a military spirit into the masses. The Soviet child is taught that Bessarabia is Soviet territory temporarily in the possession of Rumania and that it was snatched away from the socialist fatherland by the capitalists. Poland cannot remain unperturbed by these developments in Russia, especially since most Poles remember that ten years ago the Soviet troops came within sight of Warsaw. Nevertheless, there is more fear of Germany than of Russia in Poland… It is true that many observers in Warsaw consider that the present Soviet Union is weak and would never wage war, and that only a Bolshevik Russia would allow Poland to retain territories with a non-Polish population.”

“The Manchester Guardian has done a great service in calling the attention of the world to the treatment of the Ukrainians. It omitted, however, to give sufficient space to the provocations which led to the Polish pacification. During centuries the hatred between Ukrainian and Pole has flared up from time to time. Gogol in his Tarass Bulba describes vividly the wars between the Cossacks in the Ukraine and the Catholic Poles. The antagonism is not only that between two nations, it is also the jealousy of one social class for another. In Eastern Galicia the Pole has been the conqueror, the landowner, the administrator, and the Ukrainian peasant has always looked upon him as the oppressor; the peasant wants more land and the land is in the possession of the Poles. Added to these sources of grievance are the clashes and jealousies of the Catholics and the Uniates. And so the movement for Independence flourishes. In September, 1930, after a series of fires, caused according to some by Ukrainian revolutionaries and according to others by peasants anxious to receive insurance money, a pacification began. Troops were sent to villages in Eastern Galicia. Peasants were flayed; there were burnings and searchings, and deeds of cruelty and brutality were committed.

“The oppression of the Ukrainians takes on a more serious aspect when we remember that in that remote corner is the frontier line between Soviet Russia and the rest of Europe. The five to seven million Ukrainians in Poland have twenty-five to thirty million fellow-countrymen across the border.”

“On the Soviet side of the frontier, although any anti-Communist independence movement is instantly crushed, every effort is made to encourage the Ukrainian language, literature, schools and art. The Soviet Press knows how to describe in lurid terms the fate of the oppressed peasants in Poland. A dissatisfied Ukraine smarting under the memory of the Polish pacification can be no source of strength to Poland. The recent events have put more barriers than ever in the way of those who support the policy once advocated by Marshal Pilsudski of a Polish-Ukrainian-Lithuanian Federation. To describe the oppression of the minorities and to go no further does not give a true picture of the situation. There have been serious provocations. In the Ukraine the U.M.O., or the Ukrainian Military Organisation, is working by illegal means for independence. It is accused of receiving funds from Berlin. Last autumn it started on a campaign which led to the burning of Polish cottages and barns. The final aim of the other main Ukrainian party, the U.N.D.O., is also an independent Ukrainian national state.” (italics added)

In October 1931 as Russia awaits the harsh Russian winter now only a few weeks away when many more people will die, Gareth Jones and Jack Heinz return to London and the calamity that awaits them there. Moving from hotspot to hotspot, from the fire into the pot, Jones warns the British that the storm of the Terror-Famine is mounting in force, already taking untold thousands of victims by death and imprisonment and famine that will surely strike with full force just around the corner in the early months of spring. And doing their part the editors at The Times again publish Jones’ unsigned series “The Real Russia” (October 14-16).

Here are some extracts from the first article titled “The Peasant on the Farms”: “Increase and its cost”, “The Outlook for the Plan”,“From the farm to the factory”, “Youth and the future, A blessed word”:

“Among some young peasants there is an enthusiasm for socialisation in which a love of machines plays a great part. This is a favourable sign for the future of socialistic agriculture in the Soviet Union. It is being developed by the spreading of education on Communist lines throughout the country. The fight against illiteracy is being taken with admirable energy. Campaigns to encourage the peasants to study are carried on by the Communist Pioneers and the Komsomoltsi (young Communists), and pamphlets and books are spread by the million. The electrification of the villages will impress youth. The clubs are rallying points for young people of the villages and by radio and visitors from the towns, by films and lectures, their minds are being molded along Communist lines. A battle royal is being waged for the mind and heart of the young peasant. Will he cling to the ‘Land and Liberty’ ideal of his parents and grandparents or will he firm himself into a socialistic system of agriculture.

Will the peasant be happy as a cog in a great agricultural wheel, or will he always yearn for his little patch, his own cow, and freedom to buy and sell as he wishes? The next few decades will show.”(italics added)

“The collectivization of agriculture, which, at the sacrifice of happiness of the peasant gives the government control over Russia’s grain, and the businesslike programme outlined by Stalin in June, are two factors which point to a coming improvement in the industrial situation and to a strengthening of the regime itself. A third factor is the springing up of this new generation, which has it’s schooling in the Soviet State and has no recollection of life in pre-Revolutionary days. It is upon the youth of the country that the Bolshevist leaders set their highest hopes; and it is upon them that powerful influences are working which in time will result in the emergence of a new type of citizen. The main influences are Communist education the worship of the machine, anti-religious agitation, militarisation and the propaganda for world revolution.”

“Communist education now lays the greatest stress upon the part, which the future citizen must play in production. Three years ago the ‘polytechnical’ school was introduced. Under the ‘polytechnical’ system each school has an agreement with a factory or with a collective farm which the pupils visit regularly to study methods of production. It is remarkable to note what importance is attached to the word ‘production’, a word, which is surrounded with a halo of respect. At an early age children are introduced to factory life and learn to handle machines. An enthusiasm for technical things is engendered, and the knowledge, which children have of machinery, is surprising. As it was the ideal of the Prussian child to become an officer, so it is now the ideal to become ideal of a Soviet child to become an engineer. At present a widespread campaign is being conducted for compulsory education for all and the cult of the machine will thus be extended to the farthest parts of the Soviet Union. Processions of children are seen marching with banners bearing such inscriptions as ‘Obligatory education is the basis of the cultural revolution’; ‘Give us technical power’; ‘For a seven-year education’; ‘Let us fight for the Plan, for the speed, for the carrying out the Plan in four years.’ Technical and political toys are encouraged among children. In shop windows one can see “A Mass Political Toy according to the resolution of the 16th Congress of the All-Russian Communist Party” called ‘To catch up and surpass the Capitalist Countries, the carrying out of the Five-Years Plan in Industry.’

“Political education is given in schools along the lines of the principle ‘History is the record of class struggles.’ Such an education is a narrow basis for the rearing of a new generation, especially when one considers that music, art and literature are all subordinated to a political aim. ‘Art is agitation’ such is the teaching that guides the Communist thinkers. It is inconceivable that there should not be some day a reaction against this limited conception of all branches of learning as weapons of class warfare.

“Anti-propaganda is carried on among youth and is achieving distinct success, for the children readily believe what is taught in the schools.

A religious Leningrad mother bewailed the fact that her 10-year old daughter had recently returned from her class and had demanded: ‘Show me God! You cannot. There is no God.’ Throughout the country posters proclaim: ‘Religion is a weapon for oppression’, while cartoons lampoon the priest as the tool of the Capitalist and a friend of the interventionist. The Communists try to establish a close connection between drink and religion. Posters frequently to be observed are ‘Alcohol is the friend of religion’ and ‘The man who makes home-brew and the illegal trader in spirits are allies of the Pope.’

“This bitter propaganda often produces an effect quite different from that which it intends. Adherents of religious sects are numerous and among the Communists themselves there are many who pay lip service to atheism but who at heart are believers. On priest told of the Communist in his village who on his deathbed confessed his belief in God. There are many thousands of Christians enrolled in the Young Communist League. ‘I am a believer,’ said a schoolteacher, ‘but I cannot repeat Communist speeches as eloquently as any Commissar in Moscow. If I do not become a Young Communist I shall not receive a good education, so I pretend to rejoice in their long-winded foreign words like “industrialization”, but what my tongue says my heart does not believe.’ Never the less, among young people religion is now losing ground and together with the lessening of the religious basis, stable family is in the towns also losing its importance.

“An alarming and potent influence upon youth is the extreme militarisation of the country. A jingoistic spirit is being fostered in the Soviet Union and the firm belief in the inevitability of war, which is to result in the inevitability of the war which is to result from the clash of the Capitalistic and Communist system leads to an intensification of war training. In the theatre one reads the appeal in large red and white letters: ‘Be prepared at any moment to defend your Socialistic fatherland.’ In the interval between two acts of a brilliant performance in an opera house a gas mask demonstration may take place. Dominating the militarisation of the Soviet Union lies the fear of foreign intervention, and its guiding principle is the quotation from Lenin: ‘No revolution can last unless it can defend itself.’ Lenin’s study of Clausewitz is today bearing fruit in the stress laid upon military science. Members of the Young Communist League are urged to be leaders in the task of spreading military knowledge. A powerful instrument for the training of the civilian population is the Ossoariakhim (Society for Aviation and Chemical Defense), which now numbers 11,000,000 members. This has numerous branches in factories and collective farms, where men and women alike receive training in shooting and in the use of gas masks. In many factories regular military exercises are obligatory for party members and the young Communists. Communists share this keenness on preparedness for war in the villages and even peasants living thousands of miles away from the borders have received anti-gas practice. In one collective farm the church, which had been closed, was to be turned in to a house of Culture, a section of which was to be devoted to military purposes.

“In spite of the thorough militarisation of Soviet Russia, there is no feeling of aggression but a keen desire for peace, based on the necessity of good relations with the capitalist powers, essential for the industrialisation of the country. Nothing is less desirable to the Kremlin than a foreign adventure, which would threaten the fulfillment of the Five-Years Plan. Moreover the Soviet Union is now concentrating upon her own affairs and eager to realise ‘Socialism in one country’, a policy, which Trotsky condemns from afar as ‘National Communism’ and a betrayal of Marx and Lenin. It is true that the inevitability of world revolution and the ultimate formation of a World Union of Socialist Soviet Republics are convictions as unshakeable as ever. But in spite of the world crisis they are no longer represented as imminent realities. As a consequence the youth of Russia is encouraged to devote itself to the economic tasks of national construction and the prestige of the Third International has suffered a sad decline. No longer the headquarters of the leaders of the Government, it has become the resort of nonentities and it has to subordinate its revolutionary ardour to the cold common sense of the Foreign Office, which prefers not to risk valuable credits and machinery for the sake of a weak revolution in Germany. Serious disturbances abroad or revolts, which the Russian Communists would be morally bound to aid would be a setback to their plans of industrialization and are depreciated until the time when the Soviet Union will be stronger.

“Such are the outstanding influences to which the younger generation in Russia are exposed. The power of the Communist Party to mold youth along the lines they desire is increased by the unity of the party, which has been achieve after a bitter struggle against right and left opposition. Rarely has there been less dissension within the ranks as to the policy to be pursued. Never the less, the movement in Soviet Russia to transform men and women into the cogs of a great productive wheel and to crush all thought which clashes with the official philosophy is faced with two insurmountable barriers. These are the originality of the Russian mind and the human passion for liberty which is intensified by tyranny and which will increase with the spreading of education.

Here are some more extracts from “The Real Russia”, “The Peasant on the farm; Increase and its Cost”:

“… A woman on the boat turned to me and said quietly, “Do you see those? They are kulaks, being exiled, just because they have worked hard throughout their lives. The peasants have been sent away in thousands to starve. It is terrible how they have treated them. They have not been given bread-cards or anything. A large number were sent to Tashkent and were left bewildered on the town square. They did not know what to do and very many starved to death.”

“…Throughout Russia on hears the same tale: ‘They took away our cow. How can it get a better if we have no land and no cow?’ The cry of the Russian peasant has always been ‘Land and Liberty’, and it is the same cry today.”

“… In one collective farm one old white-haired man bowed deeply and groaned: ‘Have pity on me! My courtyard is empty. Three horses and three cows have they taken from me and now they are getting thin and scraggy because they are not well kept. How can I get enough to eat? It is a dog’s life.’ A woman was passing and stopped to shriek at him.

“Its little pity you deserve! You had your horses. You had your cows and you had little pity for us poor peasants then. I had no cow and no horse. I am better off under the kolkhoz.”

“The Outlook for the Plan – From the farm to the Factory: …They [workers] are forced, they complain to buy on the private market at exorbitant, prices and even then they remain hungry. Among the general workers there is little of that faith in the future, which is so striking in the Communist. Disbelief in the newspapers and in propaganda is widespread. On being confronted by some figures showing that the Five-Years Plan was being completed in two and half years, one factory worker replied: ‘You cannot eat figures. The Five-Years Plan is on paper. You see that tree over there; it is no apple tree, is it? But the Communists say. “Tomorrow that tree has to grow apples”.’

“… But it is, above all, the nervous strain caused by under-nourishment and over-crowding that makes the life of the average Russian a misery. He blames not only the export of food, but also the bad distribution and delays, which result in the food supplies arriving in a decayed state.

Still optimistic to the point of incredulity that Lee and his crowd would sit by passively indifferent in their baronial exclusion at their summer estates in Maine or aboard their stately yachts watching the towering J-Boats of the America’s Cup from their estates at Newport the Long Island Sound shoreline.

On Sunday, October 14 Jones banged away at his typewriter the notes of his interview during the previous August 25 when he sat with Karl Radek, Comintern Bolshevik friend of Lenin and Trotsky, now editor at Izvestiia , and shot by Stalin six years later in 1937. Radek (his real name is Tobiach Sobelsohn) had been part of the inner circle of 1917 Jewish revolutionaries in Petrograd in charge of International Revolutionary Propaganda working with foreigners including Americans John Reed, Boris Rheinstein, Alexander Gumberg, brother of the Bolshevik Zorin, and Rhys Albert Williams. Ivy Lee received Jones’ report in New York and filed it away in his papers now at Princeton University. Jones meets the prominent Bolshevik Radek in the offices of the Izvestiia . (Remember reader, Jones is fluent in Russian.) There is no mention of American banks or corporate investments. Radek cautions Jones, however, “It is nonsense to say that Russia will be independent and self-sufficient. The more a country develops, the greater will its trade be.” Other extracts of his interview include: “For the next twenty years, we in the Soviet Union will be absolutely occupied with internal developments. In the next twenty years Russia will develop her internal market. The masses need so much. The peasants want better clothing and objects they never dreamed of. The situation of dumping is false. If we could receive a higher price for our goods we should be very glad. Thus we have every reason for peaceful and better relations with other countries. Relations will, I believe improve. There is now an argument for a more quiet policy. We are getting stronger in Russia. Every year more peasants realise that a tractor is better than a horse.”

In the twenties Radek had organized underground communist cells inside Germany. Under Stalin’s guard he deliberately holds his radical tongue in check; anyway, he isn’t in charge of foreign policy. The Germans and Soviets have extensive programs of secret military cooperation and commercial agreements. Germany remains Russia’s premier trading partner. Radek dismisses Soviet communist insurgency inside Germany. “We should be obliged to help them. I do not think that a German revolution is a concrete possibility present… Every people must be its own saviour. The German workers know, moreover, that if there were a revolution, they would have to fight from the first day against intervention. Because of Germany’s situation between imperialistic France and Poland, a revolution there would be a difficult question. Moreover, a revolution in an industrial country like Germany would be difficult because Germany depends on raw materials from other countries … war with Soviet Russia would be very difficult.” But Radek is more accurate on his assessment of France. “Before the War, France made Russia a tool against Germany…The Treaty of Versailles will not be a basis of the world’s relations. It would be in the interest of France to revise what cannot last in the Treaty.”

On the state of the world economic depression Radek seriously misjudges the future. “It is not the last crisis of capitalism. It will end. America and France have great resources. Ford will produce more at the expense of Great Britain and Germany. The capitalistic world will never again have a period of general prosperity but the greatest powers will be stronger in relation to the others.”

Yet Radek is right about the eclipse of England’s power superseded by American capitalists. “The greatest danger for England is not the English Communism but American capitalism. Montague Norman hates Mr. Strauss more than Pollitt.”* Radek described the Comintern “like the Daughters of the American Revolution.” On relations with America, he said “You ask how could relations improve between the United States and the Soviet Union: “First, end embargoes and troublesome crusades. Secondly, development is not possible without political recognition. Thirdly, you should end the ‘America for the Americans’ attitude. You are not more realistic than some of our Komsomoltai who think we shall have the whole world in our hands in Five-Years time. “We are a country like America. Without your help, development would be slower, but there is no power which can check us… We shall not intervene in other countries. History will decide which system is better. We are absolutely convinced that the Socialist system will win.” (*Harry Pollitt (1890-60) General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain for more than twenty years.)

When Lenin invites the capitalists to launch his NEP in 1921 neither Lenin nor Radek bargained that the Wall Street capitalists would ever crash their own market. But that’s exactly what happened when the Fed dropped interest rates and Consortium kingpins Baruch, Dillon, and Morgan insiders Lamont and Morrow among them cash out early and grab their gains cleaning out the losers left holding the empty bag. Some insiders lost, too, but for the most part they are bailed out by their friends or have deep pockets to weather the storm. Harriman,for example, bails out Prescott Bush – son of Sam and father of George – , caught holding a ton of worthless paper.

A few weeks later Radek is publicly embroiled in a national book scandal over America’s role of armed intervention during the Bolshevik Civil War during Wilson’s administration. It returns to haunt the Department’s Russian section. General Graves, head of the 1919 American invasion force recounts in America’s Siberian Adventure the controversial role of 7,000 American soldiers under his command.

Now key Consortium players at State are publicly implicated in the controversy that for a decade had remained buried by the press. Gen. Graves writes, “DeWitt Poole, who afterward is chief of the Russian Division … proved by his support of Kolchak that he was opposed to non-interference in Russian affairs,’ as proclaimed by American policy.” Gen. Kolchak and his Cossacks were a ruthless enemy of Trotsky’s Red Army. On November 17, 1931 Izvestiia publishes Radek’s review of the book with the header “Where rumors originate, and where Interventions are given birth.” A translated version is sent to Washington by Cole on December 4, 1931.

In his review Radek declares that Graves “did not want to shed the blood of American soldiers for stopping the spreading of communism”. During the conflict Graves narrowly avoids a direct clash against a superior Japanese force which landed 92,000 troops in the Far East allied his with Cossacks under Kalmykov and Semenov. Then, and for many years after, Graves is denounced as a Bolshevik and ordered to return home hounded by “American police spies who were watching his activities”. At issue are the actual real politik of intentions, alliances and links between the Consortium’s interventionist adventure into post-Czarist Soviet Russia, an episode in US military and diplomatic history that State wishes to mask. There is more to this than splitting hairs or opening old wounds to settle grudges of exiled White Russians embittered by alleged pro-Bolshevik military operations of the American forces under Graves’ command. The controversy persists into the next year. A translation of an article appears in Pravda September 8, 1932 titled “American Generals Learning a Historical Lesson” and is sent to the State Department to be preserved in the archives. Written by a former White army officer G. Vasilkovski, Cole finds it merits dispatching home on October 5, 1932.

The White Russian officer Vasilkovski declared that the Japanese had informed Gen. Graves that they would “not permit the Cossacks to be attacked, and if the Americans did, the Japanese would join hands with the Cossacks and together with them fight the Americans.” It’s another anecdote in the unfolding mystery of what really happened during the armed interventionist period; the job of cleansing the Wilson-Graves-Kolchak saga of confused and changing alliances is left to George Kennan, State’s junior Russian observer at Riga and Bullitt’s embassy aide. Kennan is also State’s ace in the deck, and its hack ghost writer for the Holodomor cover-up. (SDDF 861.51/, 861.00/11502)

This year 1931 Bullitt writes Col. House from London and Europe, sending out feelers that he’s available if Roosevelt wins presidency. On December 1931, two years before the normalization of US-Soviet relations by Roosevelt, Bullitt informs House that he expects the Soviets “to concentrate on their internal reconstruction and ignore slaps from Japan, feeling sure that in ten years they will be strong enough to regain in the Far East anything they may now lose.” Already, signs of American economic assistance under President Hoover’s administration were proving successful. Bullitt agreed. “Literally everyone on the continent expects a development of dictatorships and state socialism, labeled Fascism or Communism, but essentially similar,” Bullitt writes House, and he adds, “Common sense and the spirit live and let live are momentarily conspicuous in their absence” making no sense at all, which was typical Bullitt. Nothing is said, nor even the slightest hint by Bullitt of terror or famine. House understood Bullitt as a younger man’s need to get back into the circle of Wilsonian Democrats clustering around Roosevelt on his road to the White House. “I also want him to know”, House assures Bullitt, “what a valuable ally you will make in his treatment of foreign affairs should he become president which he now seems fairly certain to become.” (W. C. Bullitt to E. M. House Dec.13, 1931, E. M. House to W. C. Bullitt Dec. 28, 1931, W. C. Bullitt Papers Yale Archives; M. Cassella-Blackburn)

House played his customary role, pawn-pusher on the chessboard of power. He now uses Bullitt to get closer to Roosevelt and influence both. Less than three weeks pass when on January 20, 1932 House contacts Bullitt again and tells him “I called up the Governor at Albany and told him of the privileged granted you in the House of Commons. He was interested beyond measure and said that it would afford us valuable opportunities in the event we desired them.” Still out of the loop Bullitt writes House now wintering on his farm in Beverly, Massachusetts. Bullitt is full of bombast, lacking privileged access to secret negotiations, and assumes a slick and cocky demeanor much as he had during his hurried 1919 mission between London and Moscow to meet with Lenin. Comical in the absurd, the bench-sitter impatient for his chance up at bat to change the world. “The flounderings in Geneva this week”, he writes House, “made me itch to be back in the game – and I am sure that you too must have pawed the earth when you read about the meetings… How we could have handled that crew!”

By late April 29, Bullitt is becoming increasingly anxious. He feels time is running out and he knows House carries weight among the Consortium men. Bullitt volunteers to act as a confidence man in European political and diplomatic circles. For who? For Roosevelt? For House? For the State Department? He doesn’t say, nor does House bring him in. Not yet anyway. Bullitt is desperate, nearly at the end of his rope, impatient and without alternatives. He asks House pointblank, “Do you think that it might be worthwhile for me to poll Berlin, Moscow, Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Rome, Paris, and London before returning to the US for the campaign?” He needs House again as before. “I should like to be useful,” and he implores House, “Tell me how to be.” Three weeks pass before he reads House’s reply. House is vague and only offers encouragement “to see you play a great part in foreign affairs during the next administration … provided our crowd is successful.” This is on the eve of his departure to Moscow to try to collect on National City loans. Odd that Casella-Blackburn blithely ignores this critical document… (Col. House to W. C. Bullitt, May 11, 1932; M. Cassella-Blackburn, 76)

Again Bullitt persists. He reaches out apparently using his own private funds to cover expenses traveling on his own account to Prague and Warsaw. From Moscow he writes House late May, more specific now about the urgency of Manchuria, – then hot in the headlines – and casts a hint to recapture the spirit of conspirators mindful of their past intriguing with Litvinov and Lenin. He teases House with some more innuendo of his eagerness to serve. “It will be worth while also to know what Litvinov and Stalin plan to do about Japan’s performance.” Bullitt tells House he’s in touch with Litvinov, that he was to see him for lunch. But the meeting was suddenly canceled. He hamps up his role again, acting like a special agent, the shrewd court prince. After all, no one really knew what he is up to, who he was working for, nor did they ever, nor why he was there, nor who really sent him. In a world of mirrors there is no end to illusion and deception. Moscow is a city of perpetual rumors where usually the only confirmation is a body. But there Bullitt was again. Only this time it’s Stalin inside the impregnable fortress of the totalitarian machine where in every Party congress the spasm of the greatest industrial revolution ever undertaken in the history of the world sputters and roars on with thundering propaganda and those terrified clapping comrades. Poor Mr. Bullitt. He would never be a match for the crude leering wolf at home in his den. No one reached out to him there now. Once in Moscow he doesn’t know where to turn, who to see, where to go.

Its May 1932 and a wonderful time to be in Moscow celebrating the success of the Five-Year Plans. Yet Bullitt, the journalist and insightful visionary who claims to see into the deep recesses of the psyche, the friend of Lenin, Freud and House is unable to leave any lasting impression of what he witnessed. Stalin and the Party give him the snub. Why is this American now here in Moscow poking his nose into Soviet secrets? What does he want? Who is he working for? Why has he come here now to spy? Everyone was suspicious, everyone suspect. In the Soviet Union no one is above suspicion and certainly not the foreigner. This is the nature of the place. That alone is enough to arouse his curiosity. Just looking around? Nothing to offer, nothing to sell? It is not possible and they know it. The Terror-Famine is raging the countryside. Street markets display fewer goods. Food shortages strain the cities. Homeless peasant orphans in rags beg for breadcrumbs and dollars. The US Riga Legation too wonders what Bullitt is doing there. It would be unreasonable for anyone not to suspect that Roosevelt and the Democrats had sent him. If Bullitt wanted to be invisible then why was it so easy to find him? Was the brash upstart stepping too far ahead of the Game? About the encroaching Holodomor Bullitt sends no reports, not a word of it appears anywhere. The embassy set must have wondered just where next Bullitt is going to hang his hat. In the White House?

Bullitt could end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unfortunately for America and the world he has a knack for that. A John Reed, his nemesis and alter-ego he isn’t’ and never will be. In politics timing is essential, if not crucial to success. Roosevelt’s campaign is heating up. Hoover is in the dumps. Was Bullitt preparing a report for Roosevelt on the Soviet situation? Putting out feelers before secret recognition talks? Was Bullitt planning to collect data on the Ukrainian famine? No, anyway, Riga could do that. Hoover and Stimson were two of the top Consortium men in charge of formulating and executing foreign policy decisions. They already have Haskell and MacMurray in the field. Coming as he did without any backdoor key, Bullitt was strangely out of place, yet there in Moscow he knew it was the right place at the same time. He just knew it. He could feel it. That was why he was there. He was there. And that was enough. And if he was an irritant, he was still a useful irritant. On stage without a role. But only he would know that for sure. Stalin too is closely watching him. Stalin’s eyes see everyone and everything; the Great Dictator is everywhere and the Great Creator of all things in the great Soviet Proletarian Socialist Republic! Bullitt is a spy, – what diplomat is not? Stalin too has his spies. Millions of spies. In the Soviet Union, everyone is a spy. They see everything with shifty eyes and heads that never turn to look back. Litvinov this year knows the campaign for recognition is on the back burner and heating up.

How strange to write this book about the Ukrainians when America is at war in Iraq and the Russians trade nuclear fuel with Iran. Halliburton announced moving its headquarters to Dubai for the reconstruction of Iraq. And who knows, as Seymore Hersh writes in The New Yorker magazine what Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers fame fears to be the certain imminent invasion of Iran. Americans are slow to learn. The War in Iraq is about oil and money. Reconstruction is worth trillions of dollars. It was true about the two World Wars. The profit of reconstruction is invariably the flip side of the profits of fighting a war. Destroy and Build. Ideology is the oil to lubricate the machinery of war and reconstruction. The Bush presidents proved just how useful and mundane words serve their pragmatism and contempt for the good faith and confidence that Americans invest in their elected leaders. From Wilson to FDR and the Bushes, the logic is the same. Stalin’s Soviet socialist reconstruction bear much of the hallmarks of the current Iraqi fiasco of destruction and war. Have no doubt, the Consortium is in control.

History is a process, never-ending, imbued with living revelations. History is never a dead-end, a stone unturned, or an inert and life-less thing, so long as historians are invoked, provoked, and perhaps convoked even, to carry a truth in service of it all, if there is an all-compassing Truth, that ever-elusive noumena of the phenomena. It is more pregnant with potentia than Page’s corporate principles for “truth” as he defined it in that era long before corporations were forced to adapt to ethical codes of conduct or brazenly risk lawsuits over humans rights violations. History is in part a museum relic, piece and parcel of a faded and fragile page torn from the past. It’s not a static entity, or a thing in itself. History is at the same time remote and ever-present. The truth as it was originally lived was imbued with possibilities of situations and people generations ago. Politics slant and spin perspectives fixing them in time for convenience and reflection. New findings provoke fresh insights and discoveries of life as it was or may have been. History brings us back to ourselves in photos, meetings, letters and conversations, anecdotes, telegrams, headlines, memoirs and accounts, in fiction and non-fiction. History takes us to the naked word and its ornate elaborations of intrigue, mystery, sometimes fantastic, and grotesque, sometimes true, often false. The intellectual and artist are not excluded from the stage of actors enacting the drama. Any reading of history brings the spectator shoulder-to-shoulder with a life revisited. History takes us to the crossroads, where we encounter face to face questions that compel and point us in old and new directions where along the way we mix with ghosts and memories of ancestors, predecessors for whom the past was a drama mixed with the present already conditioned for reenactment in the future.

Think about it. As in this story, those many if not the majority of those who died in the Holodomor knew they would perish by starvation, repression or war. Living desperate lives. Quietly or not. You would have to be desperate to survive Stalin’s terror. And yet their lives were the instruments contrived by policies born in an order and deliberately transformed for a future. It was something everyone talked in the Soviet Union , that great future of the liberated individual no longer bound by the authority of the state. The idea now seems almost farcical in retrospect as though people must have been lunatics to imagine life without centralized governments, authoritarian laws and a global family of federal banks. Such as it was we now see things as they were though perhaps it didn’t have to be that way. Every generation wonders how to change society and to make life happier and worth living.

On January 19, 1932 from the White House Hoover announces that Charles Dawes has been chosen to head the Finance Reconstruction Corporation, “the new big corporation which has been created to restore the security and credit of the banks”. Dawes is an unpopular wedge in the State Department hierarchy. In order to settle the squabbling between his lower chiefs Stimson decides to lead the Arms Delegation at Geneva “in Dawes’ place”. That night for dinner Henry Breckenridge and his wife join Stimson along with the President and Mrs. Hoover. Other guests include “Ted” Roosevelt, newly appointed Governor to the Philippines, George Peter, Curtis Bok, Goldthwaite Dorr, Chief Justice Hughes, Bob Bliss, Ambassador to Argentina, and their wives. By mid-spring Hoover will totally astound Stimson with a proposition for the disarmament conference which must have appeared to the veteran statesman who served seven US presidents as the most incredible proposition ever in his long career. Poison gas, tanks, aircraft carriers, offensive airplanes – all of it were to be abolished and “all armies” reduced “by one-third”. Had Hoover fallen off his rocker?

Stimson calls the Hoover disarmament paper “a proposition from Alice in Wonderland”. The orphan son of Quakers born in a one-room house the size of a match-box who became the first graduate of Stanford University, a trained engineer with a degree in geology and who made an early fortune in Australian mines, and speaks Mandarin Chinese… Had he flipped? Or does he see now that the Consortium plan dooms the world to total war and certain annihilation. Instead of more military government contracts employment in defense companies to end the breadlines, did Hoover really believe he could turn back the clock and start again? It recapitulated much of what Hoover and Stimson had talked about at the Rapidan “proposing a thirty per cent cut in the Navy and also the cuts which he was proposing to dictate to the other nations.”

Hoover’s plan “covers these ten points : (1) reduce by one-third the battleship strength of the world as now settled by the Washington and London Naval Treaties; (2) abolish all aircraft carriers; (3) reduce cruiser strength provided for three signatories of the London Treaty by one third, and require that France and Italy undertake no further construction in this category (4) reduce destroyer strength provided for the three signatories of the London Treaty to one-third, and require that France and Italy make no increase in tonnage over her present construction (5) abolish all submarines (6) abolish all military aviation except for scouting purposes (7) abolish all mobile land guns of more than six-inch caliber (8) abolish all tanks (9) abolish poison gas (10) reduce the defense component of all armies by one-third.”

The Secretary has reason to be concerned. “He had been brooding over it ever since the telegram from Stanley Baldwin. I opposed him in the Cabinet… ”, Stimson writes for the record noting in his diary. Baldwin is England’s acting Prime Minister behind the Ramsay MacDonald’s ailing minority coalition; in 1929 Labour returns to power with a majority in the House of Commons but Conservative votes out-numbered them. In 1931 Baldwin and the Conservatives regained power in a frail coalition with Labour. But when MacDonald is expelled from his party Baldwin as Lord President of the Council became de facto Prime Minister. Baldwin (Harrow, Cambridge Trinity College) had once given 20 percent of his private wealth or 150,000 pounds to reduce England’s reparation bill; when he was Financial Secretary to the Treasury during WWI. His family owned an iron and steel business; he secretly urges the rich to repay the UK war debt. Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley is the last of six prime ministers to be educated at Cambridge, and upon retirement became its Chancellor. Three times Prime Minister he will serve under three kings; at Baldwin’s funeral in 1947, Churchill proffered a dubiously respectful tribute remembering him as “the most formidable politician I ever encountered”.

Baldwin’s telegram and Hoover’s disarmament memorandum that spring 1932 bridged the two powers when, – as Baldwin recalled four years later, – there was “probably a stronger pacifist feeling running through the country than at any time since the War”. Pacifism prevails during the next two years until Churchill’s initiative late 1934 moved England to rearm the RAF on par with the Luftwaffe. In 1932 Baldwin believes as he put it “great armaments lead inevitably to war”, but by November he begins to retract that stance and declares “the time has come to end when Great Britain can proceed with unilateral disarmament”. During the first part of the Disarmament Conference Baldwin states on November 10, 1932: “Whatever people may tell him, the bomber will always get through. The best defense is in offense, which means you have to kill more women and children more quickly than the enemy if you want to save yourselves… But when the next war comes, and European civilization is wiped out, as it will be, and by no force more than that force, then do not let them lay blame on the old men. Let them remember that they, principally, are responsible for the terrors that have fallen upon this earth.”

Stimson recovers from his initial shock, and later notes in his diary: “But really so far as a practical proposition is concerned, to me it is just a proposition from Alice in Wonderland. It is no reality, but is just as bad as it can be in its practical effect… I pointed out to the President that there was only one point that would really affect the economies he wanted and that was the point on cruisers. Battleships we don’t have to touch: we are putting no expense on that. On the other hand, in abolishing airplane carriers, he is striking at the one weapon in which we have made great strides recently. Neither France, nor Italy, nor Japan will dream of giving up submarines; and, as I said before, it will not affect the land forces.” (HLS Diary)


If they had bothered to check their compass course Stimson and the Consortium gang might have checked for deviations with their Comrade in the Kremlin. Stalin wasted no time. The start of an intense pacification of the Ukrainians has since the start of the new year. On January 3, 1932, at a meeting of the Politburo of the CC CP(B)U) the top communist hierarchy debated Stalin and Molotov’s telegram ordering a merciless state procurement of Ukrainian grain. Stalin is well aware that over half of the grain needed to feed the USSR comes from the Ukraine and its rich black soil now covered with snow. Eighty-three senior-ranking officials are dispersed in great haste south throughout the Ukraine in order to organize the Party’s implementation of grain seizures and all the food they can get their hands on. By special resolution the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (CC AUCP) officially declared February 1932 the militant shock month to complete the USSR state grain seizures. This is no small decree. The whole nation is alerted. A terrible doom March and April 1932 falls upon village after village throughout the Ukraine as large numbers of starving people are subdued. Orphaned children roam the cities.

Reports continue to arrive at the State Department imploring for humanitarian assistance. The Lutherans played their part in the Russian-Soviet imbroglio. John A. Morehead, president of the Lutheran World Convention writes the State Department on January 30, 1932 asking for assistance to aid German-Russians in Harbin, some 1,200 to 1,500 persons “who escaped over the border from Siberia at the risk of their lives”. All are now destitute refugees in Chinese Manchuria. Among the lot are some 397 German-Russian refugees including “Mennonites, Lutherans, Baptists, and Catholics” – but no Ukrainians. “They were formerly prosperous farmers (Kulaks), mainly from the Volga Valley and South Russia.”, Morehead states and with particular emphasis he adds, “Under the process of the collectivization of agriculture under the five-year plan of the soviet Government they were deprived of their farms and personal property and exiled to Siberia. Under the hardships of their life in Siberia, with its forced labor and the under-nourishment of their children, they were constrained to escape… Their fellow-Christians in other lands have for many months been helping to supply them…” But Castle readily cuts him off with the Department’s official policy and he tells the Lutheron dignitary “as the refugees are not American citizens and as their status is one which concerns the foreign relations of China and Russia, the Department is not in a position to take any further steps”. There is nothing the State Department will do to help. It is time to go away! Be happy you are not in Siberia! (SDDF 861.48/ Refugees 93/50 reel 31)

The US Legation in Tallinn, Estonia sends dispatch No. 215 February 23, 1932 to Washington and Riga containing a translated report from an unnamed high-ranking Estonian diplomat and sent from chargé d’affaires Harry E. Carlson (1886-48). Carlson, from Illinois, was forty when he first arrived here in 1926; he stays until the Department shake-up in 1937. By the time Carlson and his wife are gone, three years later the Soviets exploit the German-Soviet Pact and invade Estonia on their way into Finland. Stalin deports some 22,000 Estonians to Siberia. Eleven years in the Balkans watching the Russians.

From this listening post in Tallinn and Riga across the border not far from Leningrad Carlson will hear as much as anyone can about the Holodomor. He and wife Laura serve Estonia with passion and genuine care for the Estonian people. Harry and Laura loved Estonian culture and enjoy the romantic style of Tallinn’s medieval architecture. Here the capitol of Tallinn looks West, not East; ships and small yachts of the port head to Finland and Sweden, not Russia. They lived much like a native couple enjoying the summers in their homes in Haapsalu and Valgejoe. Harry’s passion for fishing amused the Estonians charmed by his amiable nature. In 1932 the Estonian government honored him and his wife with the Order of the Estonian Red Cross 2nd Class for their humanitarianism when they helped civilians during Estonia’s War of Independence. Before the First World War, Carlson had been an elementary school teacher in Lafayette, Louisiana and taught at the National Cathedral School for boys in Washington DC. Then when war came he serves as Vice Consul in Frankfurt, and Christiania (Oslo), Norway before arriving in Lithuania as full Consul in 1924 and stationed further north in Tallinn.

Carlson reads the translated Latvian document Carlson citing “the liquidation of Trotski” late 1931 and describes the general opposition to Soviet government as “a ‘right inclination’, particularly in the Caucasus…” that has since been “radically liquidated”. But Trotsky is still alive in the USSR. Soon he will be banished, then exiled out of the country. The Holodomor and Stalin usurpation of Party power are completely incongruous with the fragile hiatus of peace sustained by economic prosperity and government guarantees for minimum prices for butter and eggs and subsidies to farmers who bought virgin lands to cultivate. All that helps make Carlson’s life endurable and not entirely unpleasant while Estonia’s political leaders balance the last years of any semblance of freedom in their lifetime here on a tightrope between Berlin and Moscow. When France falls to Nazi Germany on June 18, 1940, Estonia is taken prey to Moscow; Commissar Zhdanov arrived the next day and by August 5 it the proud population is imprisoned as another Soviet Republic. On a single day, June 14, 1941, the Soviets herd 10,000 men women and children from their homes and sent them to Siberia; at most only a few hundred would ever see their country again. In 1991 after the collapse of the USSR Estonia is the first Soviet Republic to strike back and regain its freedom and immediately recognized by the United States, an event deeply cherished by the population speaking English and no longer bound by the Russian tongue they so passionately despised.

Death by starvation and political repression is not exactly his cup of tea. But Carlson is well-familiar with gruesome reports on Bolshevik terror ever since the first days of revolution. Here Carlson notes high-level European diplomatic concern over deteriorating conditions there. Several months have already passed since Stalin’s isolation of opposition by the old-guard Bolsheviks and his putting in place his own people to carry out the new wave of repression in the countryside.

The Carlson dispatch further declares, “At the same time reports appeared in the press that the ‘right inclination’ has become evident among peasants, allegedly a result of secret agitation by the kulaks. It was feared that this tendency among the peasants would have a very retarding effect on the completion of harvests. These assumptions appear to have been correct inasmuch as the general pace of harvesting and delivery of grain to the Government presented disagreeable surprises to the leaders. There were given a number of extremely resolute instructions, the personnel of the Kolkhozes were checked up, but these measures failed to increase enthusiasms among the members thereof. Furthermore, when it became evident that the workers on Kolkhozes had to yield to the Government at official prices that part of their compensation in kind for piece work which was in excess of the officially designated subsistence reactions, there began an increased movement from the country to the cities.”

Harry Carlson takes particular exception to Stalin’s handling of political opposition. “The question of prices,” he declares, “was also given consideration at the plenary session of the Party’s central committee October 28-30, 1931 and a resolution was passed to avoid increases in prices by all means.” He goes on. “This is a wish,” the American observed, “which is difficult to accomplish under the present circumstances. In the first place it seems that goods, especially foodstuffs, will not be produced for the domestic market in such quantities as to bring about decreases in prices, since the fiscal plan provides for an increase in the quantity of export goods to offset the falling of prices. The production of agricultural products was already in 1931 appreciably smaller than in 1930.” With catastrophe under their feet and over their heads, the American combed the Soviet scene for more tremors of the unfolding debacle inside the soviet economy. “In the Commissariat of Agriculture”, he notes, “three acting commissars were transferred (seemingly due to misunderstandings in connection with grain harvests and deliveries).” Shot would have been closer to the truth but Carlson doesn’t say. All during his tenure there he most definitely has had access to countless similar reports on alarming conditions contributing to the Holodomor yet only a few remain in declassified government files. His peers were satisfied that Harry Carlson did his job well earning a transfer to London in 1937. When the US officially recognizes Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Carlson is promoted ambassador to the Baltic States.


The next day Edward E. Brodie sends his dispatch No. 627 from Finland titled “Experiences in Russia of William H. Stoneman, a correspondent of the Chicago Daily News”. Brodie is alerted that “economic conditions are worse than a year ago”. Stoneman passed through Helsingfors on the southern coast of Finland across the straits from Tallinn on February 23 after his first trip to Soviet Russia. He stays on for six weeks “most of the time being spent at Moscow”. Brodie reports that Stoneman personally confirms to the highest ranking diplomat here the authenticity of information published in his stories of “about 40,000 words”. Why Stoneman gives this information to the American diplomat is not precisely clear.

During the Holodomor and in general there is an odd complicity between journalists and diplomats. An exchange of favor can be quite the standard practice when serving the same masters of the ruling class. Its convenient to swop stories, pick up tips, trade info and of course share a good chat with a friend ready to fire home a story by cable or expedite by diplomatic pouch. Fellow Americans facing the same drama share different degrees of bewilderment or surprise not quite sure what world they are living in although in tragedy it may feel to be the same. Could it be that they both feel shock and awe, anger or sadness? Even in the marble stone halls of power one could never be too sure about anything real or solid. Stoneman “promised” to send Brodie his “impressions” after he returns to his base in Stockholm. For a moment they share a bond of horror and perhaps to remind them that a touch of compassion elevates life as human and dignified.

Who is Ed Brodie and how did he end up in Finland monitoring the Russians? A non-career appointee he savored the pleasures of Bangkok in his first posting in late 1921 to Siam (Thailand), the ancient Royal Kingdom until May 1925. Four years in that tranquil idyllic tropical paradise of other worldly peace. Five years later, in May 1930, Brodie returns to State as ambassador to Finland. Brodie is actually a newspaper owner and publisher from Oregon City, born in Fort Stevens in 1876, the year of the Custer Indian battle when the state was mostly wild frontier and Indian warrior chief Red Hawk and his brave brothers roamed the plains. Brodie is also a Free Mason, 32 AASR and Shriner, one of William R. Deslow’s “10,000 Famous Masons” mentioned in his book with a forward by future President Harry S. Truman, himself a PGM, Grand Lodge of Missouri.

Brodie remains at his post in Finland until September 1933 with the Holodomor scorching the life out of millions of Ukrainians. Stoneman’s info to the American State Department reads like a military intelligence report. “Mr. Stoneman,” Brodie observes, “found among the non-official class a belief that Russia is living under a certainty of aggression from her neighbors, both to the west and to the east. They are suspicious of the intentions of Poland and Rumania, but believe that Japan will not attempt an unfriendly movement which might lead to rupture as long as Japanese are fully occupied in their present imbroglio with China. The immediate fear of trouble comes from the southwest and accordingly Russia has concentrated in the Black Sea most of the principal vessels of her fleet. My informant said that some officials with whom he had talked about the idea of conflict, but it is noticeable that Russia is attempting to add to her military equipment and is manufacturing tanks at one of the tractor factories. According to information given to Mr. Stoneman by American engineers, the steel manufactured in Russia is very inferior and would not be usable as steel in the United States. He also said that efforts are being made to develop the manufacture of gas for military use, but for that purpose natural deposits are not extensive. Mr. Stoneman believes that the Russians are long on human resources, but seriously lacking in equipment as well as transportation, and that she is ill-prepared for modern warfare.”

Stoneman turns to the food crisis; there are mounting signs of food scarcity. In his dispatch forwarded to the Secretary of State Brodie explains, “There exists a food shortage in certain districts, but not so noticeable in Moscow, and there is even in some areas an insufficient amount of cabbage, long a principal item in the diet of the Russian masses.” Brodie adds a personal note telling how even the diplomats have trouble finding foodstuffs from the countryside: “I was informed last night by Mrs. Sperling, wife of the British minister, that their Embassy at Moscow had asked the Legation here to ship fresh eggs to the Soviet capital, as that commodity is not obtainable here.”

“Whatever the hardships suffered by the adult population, except the favored classes, Mr. Stoneman was particularly impressed by the appearance of the children, who are comfortably clothed and are very well fed, receiving both milk and meat in the schools. The authorities are taking no chances with the physical development of the younger generation.” Stoneman’s reports are toned down, non-alarmist; he needs a return visa to reenter the U.S.S.R.. Who can be trusted? The next day Brodie sends another dispatch of Stoneman’s findings on local shortages of the food supply in the countryside as he ends his first tour in Russia. (Living Conditions 861.5017 / 431; Edward Brodie to US Secretary of State, Feb. 24, 1932, SDDF 761.00/221)

Around this time from London The New York Times reports March 28 that “N. M. Victor Rothschild , twenty-one-year-old nephew of Baron Rothschild is going to the United States soon to take a post with JP Morgan & Co. it was learned tonight.” The Times enlightens its readers that, “It is usual for progressive British bankers to send their young men to western states temporarily, one of the most notable believers in the practice being the Anglo-American banking house of J. Henry Schroeder & Co.” When seen from the historical perspective of the Rothschild relation with the Morgan firm Eustace Mullins reminds us (The World Order) this Morgan-Rothschild connection “explains the otherwise incomprehensible mystery of why JP Morgan famed as “the most powerful banker in the world”, yet who left such a modest fortune at his death in 1913, a mere $11 million ($110 million) after his debts were secured. Although the present members of the Morgan family seem financially secure, none of them is counted among the ‘big rich’.” The rich are very careful at matters of privacy; it would seem here the shadow over the legacy is greater than the man who leaves it behind. (E. Mullins, The World Order)

Consul Carlson on April 14 sends dispatch No. 14, a translation of an article from Balt Noewspaper Revalsche Zeitung, a German-language paper in Tallinn titled “Letter from Moscow” published April 8. The story covers “growing discontent in Russia at the living conditions”. Harry Carlson wants everyone to see this one. Copies of the story are passed on to Riga, Paris (EIC) and Washington. “A comparison of the situation of the average individual in the Soviet Union in the year 1928 with that of the present time shows that, although even at the beginning of the Five Year Plan the population had to suffer because of difficult living conditions, nevertheless the situation at that time appears to be almost paradisaical in comparison with that of today.” Moscow remained “an exception” where the populace received “their rations of bread with comparatively great regularity”. However, “the meat, milk, and butter provisioning of this city is completely disorganized” the privileged now could barely butter, and only rarely “fish, game and even poultry are offered for sale”. Moscow is not yet starving but it is living in great need.” (italics added)

Conditions for famine are stacking up State Department files. Carlson is experienced with famine and relief. He definitely is not happy with the Russian mess. This Tallinn story went on: “The situation in the country districts is entirely different. A steady flow of hungry people is under way towards Moscow. In all of the streets of Moscow typical peasant types are to be observed; there are men in Russian coats, whose feet are covered with felt boots and sometimes with rags. When these people are asked as to the places from whence they come they reply that they are from the districts of Orolow, Tula, or from Ryazan. They say that they are former ‘kulaks’ from whom everything has been taken and that they have come into the city in order not to starve in the country. In this way the population of Moscow increases daily and an army of unemployed is being formed the number of which is not to be estimated, and concerning which no statistics whatsoever are available.”

Peasants are now permitted to retail foodstuffs in the city markets. If only they had anything left! Their livestock and seed have been confiscated. Carlson’s report makes that clear. “But what kind of food products! Small, dirty, unappetizing lumps of butter are offered for sale at ridiculous prices; sometimes milk can be seen, but the prices which are asked are impossible. Some weeks ago the Central Committee of the Communist Party issued an order according to which peasants who are members of the ‘Kolkhoze’ are each given the right to own one cow, and a few smaller animals. This decree came at a period when the last cow, the last sheep and the last pig had already been taken from these unhappy peasants. For this reason it was scarcely of practical importance.”

But now the repression not only has the kulaks fleeing the villages targets of Moscow’s latest round of violent state suppression but it is “extended to all classes of the country population”. The report continues to depict the current scene. “The accounts of such fugitives from the country are pitiful. They relate how their stalls were broken into and how all their cattle was nationalized upon the order of the village Soviets. When the Soviet Government undertook its great campaign for the collectivization of agricultural enterprises it was believed in Soviet circles that in this manner the ‘kulak’, the well-to-do farmer, would be ruined and that he would then willingly accept work in the ‘Kolkhozes’ since in this manner the standard of living would be advanced. Through bureaucratic management, irrational cultivation of ground, and entirely insufficient care of cattle in the ‘Kolkhozes’ and “Sovhozes’, people are starving in the country districts. (emphasis added) Even the miserable effects which belonged to the poorest classes in the villages before the collectivization have been taken away, and the hatred against the Soviet regime which was borne formerly only by the well-to-do circles of the peasants has now been extended to all classes of the country population. The treatment of collectivized cattle is beyond all description. There are, of course, no stalls available in which to house the herds which have been collected in this manner. In the Steppe regions of South Russia recourse has been taken to a method by which the cattle are simply herded together and kept in the open air in fenced areas. Feeding takes place, of course, quite irregularly; it often happens that cattle break out of these areas and escape into the steppes. These completely senseless measures have quite naturally awakened extreme bitterness among the peasants. Of late the Kolkhozes have begun slaughtering cattle in great numbers, simply because of scarcity of feeding materials. Numerous sharp decrees to prevent this are in existence.”

The Tallinn journalist writes that war alone could reverse the slide into chaos and an end to the Stalinist communist dictatorship. “The only refuge which the great mass of the Russian population sees is war. Only a war can bring about a change of conditions, and only a war can give hope for a new regime. When it seemed that difficulties between Japan and the Soviet Union in the Far East were unavoidable, the USSR reserve towards Japan was explained by the Soviets by stating that it was impossible to engage in war against Japan until the Five Year Plan had been completed. In reality matters afraid of losing in case of war their control over the masses, which at the present time are still dozing in an inactive stupor”. Stalin was rumored to be ill, but seen at Easter’s “performance of the Great Opera”. (SDDF 861.00/11493)

US observers watching Ukraine’s borders caught wind of a mass exodus of 1,000 Moldavian peasants from the Soviet Moldavian Republic into Rumania featured in dispatch No. 854 from Charles S. Wilson on March 12, 1932: “fleeing collectivization, and confiscation of the livestock and property, denied right to religious assembly and many sent to forced labor camps”. Conditions were desperate Charles Wilson note, and he writes, “Rather than continue to suffer such persecution, they preferred to run the risk of being shot by the Soviet guards during an attempted flight to Rumanian territory… The escape of 1,000 persons who will tell the truth about conditions in their own area is a bitter blow to the Soviets who had been broadcasting across the frontier glowing accounts of the Utopian conditions prevailing on the other side of the Dniester.” (SDDF 861.48/ Refugees 71/2, reel 31)

On April 7, 1932, dispatch No. 1029, a “Special Report from France”, is sent by Warrington Dawson, a so-called “Special Assistant” actually doing political intelligence in the Paris Embassy covering Soviet Russia and the émigré press from Paris, an incestuous nest of Czarist and Soviet spies. It includes an expose titled “Commercial Relations with the Soviets”, with an article by Joakim Puhk, the President of Estonian Chamber of Commerce, and also published in Paris by the Revue de Paris, on April 1 1932 with a look at the Five-Year Plan and Soviet intention to disorganize world trade “behind a hedge of bayonets and scaffolds”. “What matters is,” Puhk declares, “that world markets are being disorganized, and that the capitalist States, are learning that Russia is in a position to being down prices and to disorganize production in capitalistic countries while rendering it more difficult for them to sell their products and increasing unemployment within their borders. That is the explanation of the dumping policy, even though it means degradation of the Russian people themselves.” All of which was denied by Molotov and other Soviet leaders, of course, as anti-Soviet propaganda. Russians he says are “reduced to the level of half slaves or cattle to which Russian workmen and peasants have been reduced. The laborers who are fulfilling the Five-Year Plan sleep without beds in common barracks where they lie flat on the ground, lacking even a change of clothes. Men and women do not always even sleep apart. Wages are paid in kind but in such reduced proportions that the workmen cannot really live on them. Nothing whatever remains, of course, for his pleasures or intellectual needs. Yet his labor-card binds him like a slave to the enterprise in which he is engaged. He has not even the freedom to move from one place to another, and the remuneration is such that only complete slaves in other countries can enter into competition.” (SDDF 661.0011/22)

The idea to send Bullitt as ambassador to Moscow came later that year, an afterthought by House. There really was nobody else to go except John MacMurray. Bullitt wormed his way into the job which proved useful to FDR who never expected Bullitt to accomplish much in Moscow. Brash and audacious, Bullitt is also deviously cunning, and adept at fancies of charm so much so that at first he genuinely enjoyed sporting in the medieval antics of the blood-stained Bolsheviks. Bullitt’s reputation precedes him there. The Bolsheviks know him. He had met Radek, Lenin, Chicherin and Trotsky in more revolutionary times.

Bullitt considers the wily Litvinov to be someone he can readily approach since his first days with Lincoln Steffens in Bolshevik Russia on the 1919 House mission. Not that he could ever count on a straight answer. Now he is again going back into another giant famine.

Bullitt travels to Moscow arriving May 21. His business ostensibly is debts and loans, credits for the Kremlin perhaps, but he has no special mission for Stalin. Stimson would never use him that way. Bullitt never shows any concern for the peasants on this trip. Famine and starvation are not his priorities. He is there ostensibly to intervene on behalf of negotiations for National City. More smoke and mirrors. It’s a Consortium deal and he’s only a bit player. He would fail. Stalin may have been a little curious but he has much more on his mind like losing the Ukraine. Nevertheless, the Consortium still intended on making use of him. In two years a similar trick will turn on Bullitt when he has to take the full brunt of the President’s “gentleman’s agreement” with the Soviet Foreign Minister Litvinov when FDR puts the recognition deal on the table in the White House. All this would haunt Bullitt during his brief two years as as ambassador in Moscow completely exhausting the credit of his “Sovietphile” reputation making his presence there redundant and suddenly an all-too conspicuous embarrassment for Roosevelt bungling the Consortium’s long-term industrial business plans for Soviet rearmament and war. The reason for war is war. Peace begets peace; war begets war. Somehow that message eluded Bullitt who used up his valuable time in Moscow mainly in pointless debates with the expert dialectician Soviet Foreign Affairs Commissar Maxim Litvinov to pay off National City’s Czarist debts.

Apparently on this particular mission Bullitt is not working under a directive from FDR. They are neither friends nor social acquaintances. As Governor of New York, FDR could hardly have been more indifferent about the City’s loan. Roosevelt didn’t see him or send him. Nor did House. Nor Baruch. National City men inside the State Department sent him. Bullitt was good at role-playing and liked to let everyone know how mysteriously important he is ever since playing special agent to Lenin in 1919. Then, upon his return to London, House disowned him and President Wilson and Prime Minister Lloyd George refuse to see him or personally acknowledge his mission. At Yale’s “Dramat” he enjoys acting, but he is never nearly as good as Cole Porter or Monty Woolley. Bullitt had tried journalism but wasn’t content with that side of the Game though he had learned a lot from his close friend Lincoln Steffens ever since their mission together two years after Steffens traveled with Trotsky to help in the set up of the Bolshevik regime in the October 1917 coup Bullitt played his card in 1919 and another now in 1932 using his connections at State.

Bullitt was transfixed, fascinated by the intrigue of and the power of government and social status and uses it like others in the Consortium of American society to confirm one’s self-importance veiled in unaccountable secrecy and mystery. Since childhood Bullitt had dreamed to be a consummate statesman. Actors with top-hats. Bullitt, however, is no match for Lenin, Stalin or the Bolshevik diplomats. For this mission Bullitt cultivated the producers of the real-life stage, House, Baruch, and his social class of rich and powerful friends at State where ambassadorships went to the Consortium big wigs, pooh bahs and other panjandrums, Dems and Republicans who themselves could afford to pay the entertainment expenses of keeping up an embassy in the diplomatic crowd. The State Department leaves them with a shoe-lace budget. Ambassadors have to buy or ship their own cars. Most walk to work. Salaries are small, $17,500 for an ambassador and even that is frozen during the depression years. Bullitt knows how to stroke feathers for favors.

So, in 1932, during a critical election year with the national economy in the malestorm of its worst banking crisis in the history of the nation, Bullitt plays at politics and used the Moscow trip for National City’s account to ingratiate himself into FDR’s private entourage eventually even going so far as to seduce the passion of the President’s personal Secretary enticing her to travel across the world to Moscow only to be rejected and cast aside. When it ca,e time, he knew he would serve FDR at the President’s pleasure. At first, newly installed in the White House, FDR is amused and suffers him gladly. Before the end of the decade he will cut the line.

But at this time in the early thirties more likely it is Colonel House, the shadowy presidential advisor and said to be a Rothschild man intervenes to move Bullitt a step closer to the apex. Power has no conscience; it knows and wants only more power and compels the actor to do what is necessary to take it, as much and whenever the occasion avails itself through people, events and situations. Consequently Bullitt arranges to be hired as a “Special Assistant” in Stimson’s State Department. It was a pure Consortium job, sending the famous Bolshevik apologist on a clandestine mission ostensibly to collect bad debts. The Consortium uses people like Bullitt until they are no longer needed. Stimson nor Hoover have no use for him. Stimson never liked him, considering him arrogant, a social gadfly flamboyantly disloyal and not a team player. In fact, when Bullitt gives his “club and donkey” speech and raised his warning against Stalin’s intention to turn Europe Red, Stimson becomes irate; FDR doesn’t agree with Bullitt’s method of diplomatic “cajolery and coercion”, declaring “it wouldn’t work” and that “The Soviets wouldn’t take it.” Stimson records in his diary “I realize what a preposterous thing it was for me to have my time taken up with this wretched, selfish, disloyal man’s troubles. He has gotten into this mess himself by virtually being disloyal to his chief.” The very experienced and very wealthy Bill Phillips (he married the Astor girl) has no place in his heart for Bullitt either. Hull had no opinion nor did his matter anyway. (M.Cassella-Blackburn, 215, HLS Diary)

Japanese aggression expands their hold on territory in China and tensions are high on the South Eastern Russian border with the Kremlin still holding onto territory around their railroad there. The Manchurian crisis was an episode of the vital importance for the League weakened by its failure to enforce international collective security agreements and treaties. Godfrey Hodgson writes, “It taught a lesson that was learned by the dictators before the democracies absorbed it: that only force could stop a nation or a leader who was willing to use force and use it ruthlessly. It showed beyond a doubt that the Japanese were determined to conquer China and such other territories as would give them the markets and the raw materials they believed they needed.” So far he has failed to restrain Japanese aggression in the Far East.

In a few short months in early September Stimson shares his vision for a future role of US in China with Admiral Hepburn, US Pacific Fleet Commander, to confront he says the “underlying danger in the Far East and the absolute necessity of keeping the Navy in such a condition in which it would be airtight against any sudden attack by the Japanese”. Stimson is now pitiless in his judgment of the League of Nations in general and the wretched political shuffling of the British appeasement clique, and Sir John Simon in particular. In private he said he was “disgusted”. Stimson calls the leaders of the League in general “damn mushy cowards”. He singled Simon out for “weasling”. Not a young man Stimson admits he has always felt a soldier at heart. When a world is preparing for war a lawyer not believing in the binding force of international treaties has nothing to gain in standing out as a paper tiger. (G. Hodgson, 167-8; HLS Diary)

Around this time Undersecretary Joe Cotton tells his close friend and boss Stimson “that a team of code-breakers in New York, picturesquely known as the “Black Chamber”, was deciphering and reading incoming messages for foreign ambassadors in Washington.” Stimson finds it dubious and blasphemously incredible that as early as the 1922 Naval Conference “the American delegates were presented every morning with the instructions sent to the British, French, Japanese and Italian delegates they were negotiating with. The code-breakers are controlled by the War Department’s Division of Military Information, but Stimson discovers to his consternation that the State Department had allotted $40,000 a year to Black Chamber, a huge sum when salaries are miniscule. That was in 1929 when Stimson shuts down the Cipher Bureau.

Stimson notes in his diary June 22, 1931 that the eves-dropping was “a highly unethical thing”, and he tries to end it. “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail”, declaring the practice underhanded and unclean and not suited to his profession as a lawyer and diplomat. Stimson cuts the funding. Black Chamber leader cryptanalyst Herbert O. Yardley is fired. Yardley then writes his whistle-blower book, The American Black Chamber, published that year 1931. It becomes an instant best-seller in Japan where its leaders learn how they had been “tricked” ten years before at the Naval Conference negotiations and duped into conceding naval superiority. The Japs change their codes. The US Army gets into the picture, setting up its own operations in the Signal Corps in the office of the Chief Signal Officer, and David Friedman, a brilliant emigrant Russian from Bessarabia whose parents escaped anti-Semitism there to settle in Pennsylvania, and changed his name to from Wolf to William. Friedman works with Yardley cracking the Japanese Purple cipher thus disclosing Japanese diplomatic secrets long knowing long before Pearl Harbor Japanese war plans. Among the new cryptanalysts Friedman is a legend; they all studied his book, Elements of Cryptanalysis, and regarded it as “our Bible”, expert codebreaker Joe Rochefort recalled. Friedman first learns about cryptography reading “The Gold Bug”, by Edgar Allan Poe, my favorite writer when I was ten. Just imagine that, a penniless and persecuted emigrant Russian Jew saves America. And he never got the Medal of Freedom. (M. Bundy, On Active Service, 188; G. Hodgson, The Colonel, 203; Shawn J. Rosenheim, The Cryptographic Imagination Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1997,11; Ronald W. Clark, The Man Who Broke Purple: the Life of Colonel William F. Friedman, Who Deciphered the Japanese Code in World War II, Boston: Little Brown, 1997; David Kahn, The Codebreakers: the Story of Secret Writing. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1966; Frank B. Rowlett, The Story of Magic: Memoirs of an American Cryptologic Pioneer, Aegean Park Press, 1999; P. K O’Donnell writes Hoover and Stimson received Black Chamber intercepts in 1929 provoking the shutdown, and he adds, “Fortunately, the military pressed on with code-breaking efforts.” , xi ; re “Black Chamber” W. Friedman, Elliott Carlson, Joe Rochefort’s War, The Odyssey of the Codebreaker Who Outwitted Yamamoto at Midway, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2011, 55; Leo Marks, Between Silk and Cyanide, A Codemaker’s War 1941-1945, NY: The Free Press/Simon & Schuster, 1998)

The debt problem is all getting out of hand. He and Ogden Mills persuade England not to default in December. On November 30, 1932, Stimson tells Hoover “the time had come when somebody has got to show some guts.” Hodgson confirms, “Right up to the eve of Pearl Harbor, as we shall see, a body of opinion in the United States powerful enough to compel the most gingerly respect even from such a master politician as Franklin D. Roosevelt angrily denounced any suggestion that the United States should, in its own interests, act to prevent Europe from being dragged into war for a second time under the weight of its ancient rivalries, and its new economic quarrels. Henry Stimson believed, as early as 1931, if not before, that America and Europe were inextricably entangled, whether anyone liked it or not. What is self-evident he doesn’t feel the need to admit that the Americans would need the Russians. They are already there constructing colossal dual capacity manufacturing plants and armament factories with the latest American machine technology to modernize Soviet defense capability. (G. Hodgson, 170)

May 27 Stimson notes, “Lamont is very much worried…he thinks there will surely be a crash during the summer which will upset all that they are doing here and destroy confidence in this country… He is a little bit easier on the Germans than I would be. He thinks they ought to get a moratorium from three to five years and then only have to pay perhaps a hundred million dollars, and then do it only on the basis of some index of prosperity, so that their obligation would be in the nature of an income bond. On the other hand, Parker Gilbert* is stiffer against the Germans. He has had pretty good experience with them, and he thinks they can pay now, and that under different treatment they would do it. In this respect I agreed with him. I had the experience of studying the Germans at close hand last year when I went to Berlin and when I was in the London Seven Power Conference. I feel very confident that the more we put into them in the way of firmness, the more quickly will they realize that is their only chance. In other words, the germ as I see it is to get Germany, first, to promise sometime, not necessarily at once, to pay something. In order to do that, we have got to change the British position.” Stimson found the British “egging the Germans on in the hope of a cancellation”. No reference here to the USSR.

Let us reader take a quick look at the distinguished Mr. Gilbert: Seymour Parker Gilbert (1892-38), banker, lawyer, politician, diplomat, all the right ingredients for the Consortium. Rutgers, Harvard Law; at 27, Gilbert lands a top slot as undersecretary at Treasury in Wilson’s administration during the first years of the Fed under McAdoo and stays on during the war years and Harding’s administration. Gilbert was deep into the postwar reconstruction of Germany as Agent General for Reparations to Germany (1924-30) and appointed by the Allied Reparations Commission, succeeding Owen D. Young. The Young Plan originally conceived the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Gilbert had been responsible for implementing the doomed Dawes Plan which bought Germany to its knees compelling Hoover to impose his moratorium on debts and reparations and driving the German people over the brink and Hitler into power. Rewarding all he has done taking the world closer to what author Ian Buruma describes in Year Zero 1945 (2013) as the worst conflict in the history of the world, by 1931 Gilbert officially makes partner at JP Morgan; during the yuppie 1980s of arbitrage mega-mergers Gilbert’s son chairs Morgan Stanley. A quaint sense of continuity of the victors, reader, is it not so? (Ian Buruma, Year Zero 1945: A History of 1945, NY: Penguin Press, 2013)

June 8. On the position of cancellation of war debts by the British Treasury (“Atherton’s talk with Sir Warren Fischer”) Hoover tells Stimson “that he could not be expected after he was spending every day in turning down hundreds of requests from Congress to appropriate various sums of money for Americans to turn around and give away $250,000,000 a year to foreigners. The American people simply could not understand it.” Hoover said the Europeans could pay. How much? “Perhaps the whole”, he said. June 28, Tom Lamont of Morgan calls Stimson to tell him “in both Argentina and Germany the British were urging the respective countries to default on their sinking fund payments on the long term bonds.” Stimson notes “This is contrary to the policy of JP Morgan & Co., who always urge that government bonds take precedence over private indebtedness.” The British worry they’d might default “on their private obligations” ;Lamont tells Stimson “the British were doing it in good faith as the lesser evil”. Lamont urges Stimson to push Hoover “to take the lead again.” On June 29 Stimson notes in his diary, “The President said that the financial situation had gotten as bad as it possible could be. Hoarding has begun again and some $200,000,000 is being withdrawn from circulation every week. That is equal to the very peak of the bad times last fall. … Roosevelt is very likely now to be the nominee…” The tide has turned against Hoover. (HLS Diary)

This summer on the sea off Newport, Rhodes Island Roosevelt takes a break from the campaign trail cruising on William Astor’s grand yacht Nourmahal with his Consortium guests watching the big pretty boats compete in the 15th America’s Cup races. It’s the nation’s premier sporting event of the rich with their J-Class yachts. Bullitt’s friend Harold (“Mike”) Vanderbilt is at the helm of Rainbow against T.O.M’s Sopwith’s Endeavour. Roosevelt has been a member of the New York Yacht Club since 1904. It was said by his family that “the sea coursed through his veins”. Not a very good year for the billionaire’s big yachts of shipyards of the unemployed who depended on wealthy shipowners for their bread and butter. Stimson’s loyal and beloved daughter Candance (she never marries) may have been watching too, as America’s premier yacht racing woman skipper who sailed across a stormy transatlantic race in the 1905 Kaiser Cup, one for the record books.

More inquiries from US citizens and others seek assistance from the State Department. Desperate relatives are at a loss how to safely send urgently needed foodstuffs and money to family relatives and friends in the US. Kelley generally replied with a standard official format. “I have to inform you,” Kelley wrote in his letter written June 3, 1932 to F. W. Gertner of Westbrook, Minnesota, “that his Government does not maintain in Russia any representatives or stores. The Am-Derutra Transport Corporation, 261 Fifth Avenue, New York City, states that it is prepared to accept deposits which may be used by persons in Russia to make purchases of foodstuffs, clothing, and other commodities in ‘Torgsin’ stores which are maintained in approximately fifty cities in that country. Although the Department cannot, of course, assume any responsibility for the integrity of the corporation in question, it is suggested that you may desire to communicate with it…” He enclosed a list of banks “to transmit funds to Russia”. (SDDF 861.48/2427)


On June 27 the US minister in Belgrade, Yugoslavia John Dyneley Prince, formerly minister in Copenhagen, sends by pouch a letter from Charles R Kotcharovsky, a Russian living in Belgrade and considered “an outstanding economist in Russia before the War”. For some time Prince taught Russian at Columbia University in New York City where he was also head of the Slavonic Language Department. His multilingual skills excelled “with a mastery of all tongues and dialects was indeed extraordinary”, recalls Sir Nevile Henderson P. C., G.C.B., G.C.M.G..,and always remembered how he was particularly impressed when his American counterpart sang Kipling’s On the Road to Mandalay in twenty languages. The only time Henderson ever saw his friend “stumped was at a Rotary lunch where a South African talked to him in the Zulu ‘click’ language, Henderson adds, “His ancestors were of Yorkshire origin, and he was extremely well disposed towards everything British.” Prince later serves as Deputy-Governor of New Jersey. Prince and his wife (“a most efficient doyenne of the diplomatic ladies”) return to America, in 1934, replaced by Ambassador Wilson whom Henderson had known since their days together in St. Petersburg. (Sir Nevile Henderson, Water Under The Bridge: Failure of a Mission, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1945)

Sir Nevile Henderson is another key Consortium Pilgrim, and friend of Blenheim Palace. His opinion of Hitler’s insane attack on Russia is noteworthy here of his opinion in that era of bedlam, and he wrote, “I remember Mr. Lloyd George saying during the Peace Conference in 1919 that Bolshevism would end in extreme nationalism, and he was assuredly right. Germany might overrun Russia from Poland to the Urals, but, as Tolstoi says, it is not battles which decide the ultimate fate of nations. The spirit of the Slav will survive, as it always has survived, in spite of the Rurik autocracy or Mongol invasions. One cannot believe that Germany will be fated one day, when the gods –who remember everlastingly and strike remorselessly – choose their moment, bitterly to regret the evil day when Hitler’s Nazis chose wantonly to attack Russia and revive that savage latent hatred of the Slav for the Teuton. Just as the Napoleonic aggressions stimulated, no less than Frederick the Great and Bismark, German nationalism, so will Hitler contribute, no less than Lenin and Stalin, to unify the Slavs and invigorate the Slav genius, which has so long been fettered by restraints of foreign origin alien to its true conception and natural gifts.” (N. Henderson, 26)

As ambassador Prince tells it Kotcharovsky is sober and articulate and represents the part of the Russian and Ukrainian population who carry in their heart the living memory of Hoover’s humanitarian aide in the 1920s. Now in the White House and one of the most powerful men in the world certainly he can help now they believe and desperately hope but they do not comprehend why he does nothing now to save lives and end the death and suffering. Kotcharovsky had been exiled to Siberia by the Czar for “anti-Tsarist regime sentiments”.

After acknowledging the ARA famine relief work, Kotcharovsky denounces the Bolshevik regime and the famine now ravishing the countryside in a letter addressed to Hoover. “Sir, You were the organizer of America’s military operations during the World War; you organized in 1921 the saving of nine million Russian lives; you are now the Head of the great North American United States. I cannot believe that at this moment Russia and her misery are not in your thoughts; perhaps a scheme of organized aid may again be in your mind … the distress of Russia, however, cannot wait; – immediate relief is necessary, for it may otherwise come too late. Let not the crash of events – even that of a new war – cover the silence of Russians dying a hungry death …” No, he couldn’t believe it. When on earth would the Americans come back? But they had! Working in the factories, plants, designing infrastructure, hydrodams, huge electric power stations converting Mother Russia into a vast modern militarized fortress. There wasn’t much time! Hitler’s Brown shirts were on the march sweeping through German villages and towns, enlisting youth into the new Nazi fascist order. In desperation to save her soul Mother Russia would sacrifice her sons and these Ukrainians too, not once but twice! (SDDF 861.48/2428)

The Kotcharovsky letter urges Hoover and the Americans not to forget their recent history and the memory of the suffering and death of twenty million starved Russians in 1921. “One half of the number were saved by foreigners, especially by Americans, the other half perished.” Kotcharovsky attacked the Five-Year Plan and “mass ‘Kolkhozes’/ collective farms” which he said were destroying Russia. “This excursion into the realm of fantasy, believing (sic) in reality a preventive civil war and universal unparalleled servitude, gave them a short socially-political breathing time, but inevitably brought forth economic ruin; “review of the disaster of collectivization and ‘the orders of the ignorant ‘Kompartya’ all domestic economy was ruined and cattle destroyed, whereas sowing deteriorated notably, etc.”

The Russian economist reviews the tragedy of Soviet Russian harvests the history of which is fully documented and known to the American Russian observers, agriculture specialists and the Consortium planners.

Again listen to Kotcharovsky: “When after ten years came the bad harvest of 1931, it found Russia economically falling to ruin and with no reserves. And again it brought with famine. For a long time the bolshevists were silent on the subject of the harvest; at last in November they admitted drought, bad harvest and a ‘deficit of some hundred millions pouds’. They essayed to pass over in silence the beginning of famine, but in February had to admit officially ‘difficulties of alimentation’. The fact that a famine had begun in winter and had been aggravated in the spring, is depicted beyond all doubt in numerous letters from Russia, as well as in the information given by foreigners, and is confirmed by numerous tragic facts, such as the rush of crowds all over Russia in search of food, peasant’s masses deserting villages in certain localities, etc. Russia suffers already from famine. What may happen yet? The bolshevists have publicly admitted 1/ insufficiency of grain for sowing; 2/ late spring sowing, and 3/vast areas of unsown land. This means even a satisfactory harvest this summer cannot safeguard half starved Russia from famine, and that if 1931 was not a repeat of 1921, 1932 will surely be one.

“We are now spectators of the lingering extermination of the Russian people. Millions perished during the World War and the civil war that followed, millions died of famine in 1920-22, millions of degenerate, forsaken children perished, millions degenerated thanks to illnesses and bolshevist immorality, – countless numbers were annihilated and shot in slave-camps and hard-labor prisons, and now Russia is menaced with a further extermination of millions through famine. “Other nations are now faced with a cruel dilemma; either to notice the misery of Russia and lend a helping hand, or to close their eyes to it and attend only to their own difficulties and troubles.” With this letter sent late June the Hoover administration has yet again another full warning of the disaster, and it comes a year before the worst blow overwhelms Russia and the Ukraine. (italics added)

Kotcharovsky writes, “I do not stand for sentimentalism; of late years Russians have forgotten it. It is perfectly useless nowadays to speak of gratitude or even of justice towards Russia. Simple foresight and the thought of tomorrow ought to urge civilized Humanity to help Russia toward a normal existence, towards health, peace and resurrection. The very absence of an immense, rich, healthy and peaceful Russia whose creative powers are only now fully valued by all nations, is dangerous and of grave import to the whole world; her almost limitless possibilities must have at least a practically restrained, appeased and mitigated the threatening crisis. Infinitely worse for the whole world is the fact that instead of a fresh space of healthy might, lying between Europe and Asia, there exists a huge 150 million mass, bleeding and putrid owing to the parasites that dwell within, and presenting a centre of misery and famine, of disease, madness, of war and destruction.”

“This refers to the harm, physical and psychic, the extreme poverty and negativity inflicted on that population in that part of the world and the consequence for its future and for Humanity in general. It is certain that Russia will one day return unaided to life and to the course that has been traced for her. But it would be better for all, if suffering and anger were not permitted to cast a dark shadow over her soul, if she were to remain kindly and not become a menace, if friendship, affection and help were offered to her at the proper moment that is at present, while she is suffering martyrdom.”

The economist and former Tsarist prisoner is at a complete loss where to turn for help. And who might help? What on earth could possibly be done to prevent further devastation? He asked the right questions but dared not antagonize the Americans. “Whence can help be expected? It might be expected from every nation inspired by reason and charity – especially from kindred Slavs and from Yugoslavia where I write these lines. One might expect help from the League of Nations, although the latter is still feeble and rather slow in action, whereas distress cannot wait. Someone MUST begin however, someone must show immediate efficiency, and make others follow. This initiative belongs to the great American people.”

“The severe economic crisis that reigns now in the United States can in no way (sic) hinder giving aid to starving Russia. On the other hand, having experienced herself what calamity means, America will more readily sympathize with the plight Russia is in. On the other – the American crisis does not spell impoverishment, rather superproduction of every kind and in particular of food stuff. It would therefore not be too difficult to send aid, which would certainly be useful in respect of the moral and political authority and future economic perspectives of the United States.”

June 28 from Riga Cole relays his dispatch from the Warsaw press of a brazen attack in the heart of Moscow at police headquarters near the Kremlin. “Death of two OGPU agents…” The story says they were killed by “terrorists” in a brazen attack inside the OGPU headquarters on Moscow’s Lubyanka Street. The trouble occurred when the two prominent agents were killed by peasants along with “three other OGPU agents” in a battle “in the frontier region near the Dniester River”. Kiyakovski was a twelve-veteran with Cheka, and head of the Anglo-Saxon division of Counter-Revolution of the OGPU. Isakov, once made a “Knight of the Order of the Red Banner” – the Bolsheviks naturally persisted with these imperialist bourgeois sophistries – joined the dreaded secret police during the October Revolution and worked under Dzerzhinski. The Warsaw Molva reported “Kiyakovsky (Stetskevich, a Pole) was one of the most experienced and most dangerous Cheka men and agents-provocateurs.” He left Polish military service and became director of OGPU work in the Baltic States at Riga and Helsingfors Soviet Missions, under the alias Kaminski and was active in kidnapping the Estonian Envoy to Moscow, Ado Birk, posing as a Soviet diplomat, alias Petrovski. According to the Riga paper Sevodnya (Today) June 27, 1932 OGPU agents were sent to wage war against the peasants trying to escape to Rumania. They raided a hut on the Rumanian frontier to capture an insurgent leader who tossed a grenade which killed everyone inside the hut including his wife.”

British diplomats receive more alarming reports which arrive more frequently at the embassy in Moscow. Secret police whom the Brits call “minders” tail foreigners and diplomats around every corner, hotel and favorite restaurant recording their contacts with soviet citizens. Writer Michael Hughes in Inside the Enigma: British officials in Russia, 1900-1939 (2003) tells of a week tour in the Ukraine in July 1932 by the observer Vyvyan “who was surprised by the apparent health of the local population in an area supposedly ravaged by famine until walking unchaperoned through the streets of Rostov he saw ‘two men lying on the streets – their faces covered with flies’. None of the passers-by took any notice of them, a tell-tale sign that death from malnutrition and disease had become so common in the region that it was no longer a cause for any comment or concern. In another town, Vyvyan watched as a passer-by eagerly scraped out the contents of an old sardine tin into which some used tea-leaves had been emptied.” (M. Hughes, Inside the Enigma: British officials in Russia, 1900-1939, Manchester University Press, 2003, 236; FO 371/16339, “Report on a Week’s Tour in the Crimea and Ukraine” by Vyvyan, enclosed with Lord Strang to Sir Esmond Ovey, Aug. 1 1932)

Andrew J. Williams (Trading with the Bolsheviks, 1920-1939) is a slick writer playing “the Game” of politicians, bankers and diplomats. His ploy adept in rhetoric, that specious art of speaking with signs and multilayered nuance is compelling at a glimpse. Yet here is just another academic out to do his bit to baffle and confuse a clear reading of a truncated historical record. Still his focus on trade, business and grain deals with the Bolsheviks is worth the read yet he scantly refers to the Great Dictator as though Stalin was too insignificant a common rogue in the empire world abounding with Lords, Barons, and Viscounts. Instead s scurrilous banter and nonsense of falsehoods mixed with salient diplomatic files on serious issues is passed off at an attempt at scholarship, another shrewd deception to earn possible tenure but no knighthood. Kent Professor Andrew Williams ignores Sutton’s three volumes researched at the Hoover Institute at Stanford. In a chapter titled “The US and Russia, 1928-1935”, the professor takes the extraordinary but traditionally corrupt path of denial for both American presidents Hoover and Roosevelt of their responsibility for making and executing the policy adopted and orchestrated through Stalin’s Five-Year Plans. Instead, in order to play safe and align himself with the Foreign Office version of the FDR Consortium gang’s portrayal of how things were perceived at the time, and so, likewise, to parallel academic reflection with the administration’s political expediency of the era, Williams promotes Hull, a front, and Kelley, a low-level scapegoat without wealth or political connections in the State Department bureaucracy to a role and importance they never had. At least we can see here how the establishment historians persist in falsifying the Holodomor history. Here, for example, here professor Williams fabricates an insipid misleading piece of academic gibberish passed off as serious scholarship writing, “where Hoover was able to devote attention as Secretary of Commerce to Russia and many other things, both Roosevelt and, for half of his term, Hoover, were forced to concentrate on the unfolding domestic disaster. Although Roosevelt did have a far more ‘internationalist’ line-up in the State Department, he nonetheless pursued an unremittingly nationalist foreign policy for the first few years of his Presidency. Russia was largely left, as it had been under all presidents since Wilson, to key members of the President’s cabinets after 1929… Cordell Hull and his top officials, especially in Bob Kelley’s Eastern European Department, and the personnel based in Moscow, especially William C. Bullitt and Joseph Davies, become the key American policy makers.” Total flapdoddle. As we know these guys don’t make “policy”. William’s specious comment on Bullitt and Davies is equally absurd and should trigger immediate suspicion of his intent. Genuine rot. But this is sort of treatment we find too often by skilled technicians of rhetoric taught to deceive the ignorant in tedious time-consuming diversions of trivial pursuit. Reader beware a blend of chaff. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 151-2)

Apart from saying little about the intricate activities of the Consortium Anglo agenda shared with the Americans, professor Andrew Williams does float some useful and documented material on trade and grain issues situated in the context of Empire politics which culminates in the annual international wheat conference held in Ottawa, Canada in mid-summer 1932. Having failed to deal openly with the famine crisis in 1932, he cites Russia as having “enjoyed a large trade surplus in 1930 and 1931” with the US. He added, however, that as hard economic times were met with rising American trade barriers, namely that because of the Smoot-Hawley in 1930 “in the circumstances of the passing of the Tariff Act and the wildest charges of ‘dumping’ and ‘slave labour’ it would have been surprising if Hoover’s administration had not taken some moves against Russian trade.” Rather, it would have been “surprising” if he had, and certainly not during the Plans. Nor is there any serious Congressional outcry against Stalin. State terror and the Soviet gulag system merit no treatment by the British professor as it did little for Hoover, as Williams writes, “whose Cabinet saw some tightening of the rules as they applied to Russia as not ‘include(ing) any new or broad questions’, but the implementation of them created a great deal of controversy. In particular, the Treasury and the Department of Agriculture but not, it should be noted, the Department of Commerce, put steps in motion to investigate the accusations of slave labour and dumping, similar to those leveled in Britain and France.” (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 155)

Particularly cited were wheat, timber, pulp and other foodstuffs. Still, under the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 Congress managed to include a clause that no goods produced by “convict labor” were to be imported into the US. Another clause targets dumping. The economic turmoil in America by mid-1930 saw 80 per cent of the country’s saw and timber mills closed down. Hoover’s offices are inundated with pleas against Russian dumping. Its left to Treasury and Mellon to handle it. Williams cites that under Section 307 of the Act relating to goods produced by “convict labour” that for a while Soviet pulpwood was banned “but the reason seems to have been more emotional than logical”. Russia’s grain shipments regardless of labour conditions on the Soviet collective farms and the general communist system of manpower and ration cards on which survival depended and where individuality is attacked as a bourgeois commodity and citizens are virtually reduced to chattel, or property of the state now that there is the “revolution” in human relations redefined according to new laws of universal Bolshevik society where everyone is a prisoner, even the dictator himself. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 157)

“In 1929,” Williams wrote, “Russian exports of lumber (boards. Etc.) to the United States amounted to less than one per cent of US imports and less than one-tenth of a percent of domestic consumption. Imports of Soviet pulpwood stood at 11 percent of American imports. The Treasury ruled on 8 July 1930 that this was not produced by convict labor, then changed its mind on 25 July with an embargo, only to remove it again 1 August.” Even in the muddle Williams doesn’t find anything odd with that, and instead ignores the issues it raises over complicity with the Soviet Terror Gulag.

The US State Department, however, is concerned. So is the politically ambitious Henry Fletcher, Hoover’s appointee to chair the US Tariff Commission (1930-31) and currently chairman of the Republican National Committee. Today Fletcher is an icon of spotless reputation with his name carved in stone on the Fletcher School of Diplomacy in Massachusetts. About this brother of the Consortium readers of Time were told in the September 1, 1930 issue that Fletcher who seemed to appear on the American scene from nowhere had begun his ascendancy as a former “private in Roosevelt’s Rough Riders (1st U. S. Volunteer Cavalry) during the Spanish War (who sic) was not mentioned at the White House last week as one of the official reasons why President Hoover appointed him chairman of the new Tariff Commission”; five years later this Republican stalwart unsuccessfully leads his party to dethrone Roosevelt in the White House. And who exactly is Henry Prather Fletcher (1873-59) who layed to rest eternally in Arlington National Cemetery normally reserved for military men of distinction? According to writer Gerard Colby (DuPont Dynasty), GOP chairman (1934-36) Fletcher received “over $35,000 in DuPont family donations” in 1934. This during late 1934 and 1935 with US Senate munitions hearings casting the public spotlight on Consortium-Nazi connection including the DuPont ammo deals with German companies. None of that tarnished Fletcher and his gang whose priority is to protect their money sources. The Senate hearings reveal that DuPonts ranked in over $250 million in profits of the carnage of the First World War. Colby observes, however, that “even here, the DuPonts were not unique. Other American companies had also done business with the Nazi regime. United Aircraft Corporation, for example, sold twenty-nine airplane engines to Hitler in 1933, increasing their German business from $6,000 in 1932 to $272,000; by 1934 the figure was $1,445,000.* Curtis-Wright, Douglas Aircraft, and Sperry Gyroscope all provided airplane equipment easily adaptable to wartime use. And General Electric, Alcoa, and Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon) all maintained patent agreements with companies of Germany… Indeed, the crimes of the DuPonts could only be described as the crimes of private enterprise itself, and, such being the case, the DuPonts remained immune from federal prosecution, for their ethics presumed certain basic principles of political economy shared by everyone in Washington, including those in the White House.” It was left to Bonesman Henry Luce and his editors at Time to bring the cultivated university educated elite up to date on this Consortium politics. Although Fletcher lacks the Ivy League pedigree so keen to Luce, Time spotlights his obscure military background. It’s just another stitch to the Roosevelt legend of the battle to take San Juan Hill precipitating the flight of the Spanish navy from Santiago in the Spanish-American War. Fletcher enlists in the 40th US Infantry deployed in a massive occupational force to seize the Philippines from the Spanish and smash the nationalist drive for independence. (*The 1933 dollar value was before FDR’s devaluation approximately slightly less than one-tenth of the 1990 dollar value; G. Colby, DuPont Dynasty, 1974,1984 ed., 324)

The 1898 war was a one-sided American victory if there ever was one. Poorly-armed civilian Filipinos were no match against well-equipped and mechanized modern foreign expeditionary divisions and the largest overseas deployment of American troops ever in the history of the young nation, not yet two centuries since the American Revolution. Shameful examples of America’s meat-grinding war machine are cited in an illuminating website, Philippine-American War, 1899-1902, A Pictorial History. Blogger Arnaldo Dumindin tells just how glorious war could be: “On March 17, 1900, 200 troops of the 1st Battalion, 44th Infantry Regiment of US Volunteers (USV), led by Maj. Harry C. Hale, arrived in Tagbilaran. Bohol is one of the last major islands in the Philippines to be invaded by American troops. Bernabe Reyes, ‘President’ of the ‘Republic of Bohol’ established on June 11, 1899, separate from Emilio Aquinaldo’s national government, did not exist. Major Hale hired and outfitted Petro Samson to build an insular police force. In late August, Samson took off and emerged a week later as the island’s leading guerilla. Company C of the 44th Volunteers encountered him on Aug. 31, 1900 near Carmen. The guerillas were armed with bolos, a few antique muskets and ‘anting-anting’ or amulets. More than 100 guerillas died. The Americans lost only one man. Two hundred men from the 19th US Regular Infantry Regiment led by Capt. Andrew S. Rowan, West Point Class 1881, reinforced the Americans on Bohol. On Sept. 3, 1900, they clashed with Pedro Samson in the Chocolate Hills. From then on through December, US troops and guerillas met in a number of engagements in the island’s interior, mostly in the mountains back of Carmen. Samson’s force consisted of Boholanos, Warrays from Samar and Leyte, and Ilonggos from Panay Island. They lacked firepower; most of them were armed simply with machetes. The Americans resorted to torture – most often ‘water cure’ – and a scorched-earth policy: prominent civilians were tortured; 20 of the 35 towns of Bohol were razed, and livestock was butchered wantonly to deprive the guerillas of food. In May 1901, when a US soldier raped a Filipina, her fiancé murdered him. In retaliation, Capt. Andrew S. Rowan torched the town of Jagna. On June 14-15, 1901, US troops clashed with Samson in the plain between Sevilla and Balilihan; Samson escapes, but Sevilla and Balilihan are burned to the ground. On Nov. 4, 1901, Brig. Gen. Robert Hughes, US commander for the Visayas, lands another 400 men at Loay. Torture and the burning of villages and towns picked up.(At US Senate hearings in 1902, when Brig. Gen. Robert Hughes described the burning of entire towns in Bohol by US troops to Senator Joseph Rawlins as a means of ‘punishment’ and Sen. Rawlins inquires, ‘But is that within the ordinary rules of civilized warfare?…’ General Hughes replied succinctly: ‘These people are not civilized.’) At Inabanga, the Americans killed the mayor and water-cured to death the entire local police force. The mayor of Tagbilaran did not escape the water cure. At Loay, the Americans broke the arm of the parish priest and used whiskey, instead of water, when they gave him the ‘water cure’. Major Edwin F. Glenn, who had personally approved the tortures, was later court-martialed.”

Among the arsenal of American weapons used in the massacre against machetes and spears was the 600-round Gatling gun. A Texas regiment compared engagement to a turkey shoot. By 1901 General MacArther replaces the Spanish governor-general in his Malacañan Palace on the Pasig river as his base of command for the Division of the Philippines, the largest in the Army at the time of nearly 72,000 enlisted men and 2,367 officers barracked in 502 garrisons throughout the islands. In three years of war, from February 4, 1899 to July 4, 1902, the Filipinos lose some 20,000 soldiers killed in action and 200,000 civilians; the Americans suffer 4,390 dead; among them 1,053 are killed in actual fighting. After pacification with order restored in 1901 Bonesman and future US President William Howard Taft is ceremoniously appointed Civil Governor. In the wake of Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet America ranks with the Empires, one step from the Boxer Rebellion and the sacking of the Imperial Palace in China, and only four years before at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Teddy Roosevelt arbitrates Czarist Russia’s defeat in the Russo-Japanese war of 1905.

So Time rolls out the red carpet for Fletcher. The Consortium diplomat is praised as “a suitable person to head the Commission” chosen “to flex out the ‘inequalities and injustices’ of the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act.” Fletcher ,“the suave, immaculate guide and counselor of his pre-inaugural South American tour”, has nearly three decades of prestigious service in the State Department: Cuba, Portugal, briefly in China (1907), Chile (1914), ambassador in Mexico (1916-20), and off to Europe after the Great War as an undersecretary at State in charge of economic matters (1921-22) before he settles into the cozy Paris ambassador’s residence (1922-24); then off again, this time to Rome (1924-29). (Time, Sept. 1, 1930)

Fletcher was part of a Stimson’s tightly-knit group of Consortium friends that included Bill Phillips, Basil Miles, Willard Straight, Gen. Frank McCoy of Stimson’s 1932 Manchurian Commission named for British diplomat V. A. G. R. Bulwer-Lytton, the 2nd Earl of Lytton. After meeting with government leaders in China and Japan in 1932 this group spends six weeks in Manchuria on a fact-finding mission in the spring. Their report condemns the Japanese aggression and occupation. Efforts to cool the burning embers have the reverse effect. Just over a year has passed since the plot of a radical ultra-nationalist group called the Cherry Blossom Society failed in their plot to overthrow the civilian government. Prime Minister Hamaguchi was shot in the Tokyo railroad station. This year a group of young military officers called the Blood Brotherhood kill Finance Minister Kaoru Inoue and Baron Dan, head of Mitzui, the largest zaibatsu. Then, on May 15 Prime Minister Inukai considered anti-militarist and an advocate of peace negotiations with China is murdered in his government residence by assassins shooting down government guards. That day several attacks failed including an attempt to bomb the Mitsubishi Bank, slay Count Makino and bomb the headquarters of the Tokyo police. Clans and cliques fought over what faction would ultimately dominate the sacred Imperial Palace and its hostage Emperor. “The young officers did not want total war. ‘It is obvious,’ said one of them, ‘that Japan’s relations with Russia, China, Britain and the United States are now so strained that any careless step on Japan’s part may throw our divine country into the abyss of war and annihilation,” the Seagraves write. (S. Seagrave and P. Seagrave, The Yamato Dynasty, 148)

The Seagraves describe conditions at the time: “The only real opposition to the Manchurian takeover came from Chinese citizens who boycotted Japanese exports, which fell an average of 90 percent in 1932. In Chinese cities, Japanese were beaten up or murdered. In Shanghai, portraits of Hirohito were paraded with paper daggers stuck through his heart. Here was an opportunity not to be missed. Japanese provocateurs posing as Buddhist monks provoked a quarrel with a Shanghai mob and two ‘monks’ were slain. At the time Japan’s navy was responsible for policing her commercial interests in Shanghai and there were a number of well-armed Japanese vessels in the Whangpo river. Knowing that reinforcements were already on the way, the Japanese admiral in Shanghai dispatched his marines and mobilized some of the city’s 30,000 Japanese residents. Immediately fighting broke out with the Chinese Nineteenth Route Army in Shanghai. Random gunshots were succeeded by artillery barrages and aircraft strafing and bombing runs. Large parts of the city were flattened. Thousands of Westerners watched the carnage from the relative safety of the International Settlement, so where Japan’s unseen actions in Manchuria had been applauded, its conspicuous brutalities in Shanghai were denounced. Tom Lamont lamented that the Japanese blunder (the blunder of being observed) would make it ‘impossible to arrange any (further) credit (for Tokyo), either through investment of banking circles’.” And that spring on March 27, 1933 Japan pulls out of the League of Nations taking another great step towards an inevitable and epic clash and realignment with Consortium global strategy. (S. Seagrave and P. Seagrave, The Yamato Dynasty, 145-6)

Miles, only 51 when he died in 1928, had been for the last six years the American Administrative Commissioner to the International Chamber of Commerce, a high-level position since his 1917 Bolshevik coup days in Petrograd with William Franklin Sands, a director of the New York Federal Reserve who sent a million dollars to the Bols. As the State Department’s chief Russian specialist Miles, he and his group advised US ambassador Francis how to “deal with all authorities in Russia including Bolsheviks”. (Sands had also intervened to help John Reed.) Sutton observes, “… Basil Miles, in charge of the Russian desk at the State Department and a former associate of William Franklin Sands, was decidedly helpful to the businessmen promoting Bolshevik causes; but in 1923 the same Miles authored a pro-fascist article, “Italy’s Black Shirts and Business”. Miles declares, “Success of the Fascists is an expression of Italy’s youth”. Miles sees in the fascist movement a bold new opportunity for the American Consortium gang. (A. C. Sutton, “Alliance of Bankers and Revolution”, Wall Street and the Bolsheviks)

One little story Luce and Time will not divulge is the saga of 1718 H Street in Washington. There “the Family” hang out in a smart little DC townhouse reserved for a tightly-knit set of top hotshot Consortium diplomats. It began in 1907 the best and the brightest moving up fast at State rented the home of retired Army General William H. Emery. Some time after Basil Miles (Oxford) is assigned to Petrograd, in 1914, they decide to buy “1718” to ensure a cornerstone residence for “the Family,” actually a very private men’s hideaway. Other members of the “1718” club include Bill Phillips, Willard Straight, and Norman Davis, the sugar magnate who organizes the Trust Company of Cuba and a wartime adviser to Treasury on foreign loans and an Armistice delegate; Boston Mayor Andrew J. Peters; New York Fed Governor Benjamin Strong, Undersecretary David K. E. Bruce, scion of a distinguished line of Virginians including Patrick Henry (Princeton). In 1926 Bruce marries his first wife Ailsa Mellon, daughter of Andrew W. Mellon and the richest woman in America, more rich even than the Harriman women. During the war Bruce joins Bill Phillips in the OSS and listed to head the newly formed CIA. Instead he got ambassadorships at Paris (1949-52), Berlin (1957-59), and London (1961-69). During the Vietnam Peace Talks Bruce follows Lodge as US envoy to Paris.

To crown his achievements as often happens with the Consortium top cadre, David K. E. Bruce served two years as US ambassador to NATO (1975-76); Undersecretary Joseph C. Grew, later ambassador to Japan; Leland Harrison (Eton and Harvard ’07); Frederick Sterling (Harvard ’98); undersecretary and NY lawyer, Joseph Cotton, James C. Dunn, and Francis White. Between missions Norman Armour is another regular showing up at 1718 H Street bringing his friends from St. Pauls, Princeton ‘09, Harvard Law ‘13. During the Russian Revolution Armour was a junior officer in the US embassy; in the tumult he helped Princess Myra Koudacheff escape from the Bols and married her. Parties at 1718 H Street inevitably includes the Roosevelts, no strangers to this crowd. As most members are married house rules are set to allow for a spirited and proper longevity of all-male “The Family” while preserving the residence as an all-male “club for the social elite of the Diplomatic Service”. And it’s strictly off-limits to pressmen.

Historian Robert D. Schulzinger called the house “virtually a second FO”. Across town, at the Smithsonian, visitors to the art gallery might have seen the 1925 exhibit of a collection of bronze and terracotta which included Mussolini emboldened in black marble next to H. Fletcher in bronze. When Fletcher presented his credentials to the dictator, Time ran a glossy tribute to the Republican Party bagman comparing him to his soviet counterpart.

In the issue appearing April 7, 1924 Luce writes “Henry Fletcher, new American Ambassador to Italy (Time, March 3), and Mrs. Fletcher were welcomed at the Rome railway station by Marchese Paplucci, personal representative of Premier Mussolini, and by the staff of the American Embassy. On the same day another new Ambassador presented his credentials to King Vittorio Emanuele III. He was M. Jurenev, Ambassador of Soviet Russia. Jurenev with all the members of his staff, imitated the absurd American custom of wearing full evening dress as a diplomatic uniform. He drove to the Quirinal Palace, received a salute from an honor guard,”entered the throne room, engaged in 20 minutes of cordial conversation with the King”. Quite an impressive rise to power since his Rough Rider cowboy days with TR in Puerto Rico. Its hard today to know who was more ridiculous, Luce, Fletcher, Mussolini, the Italian King, or comrade Jurenev…


Kent University professor Andrew Williams did concur, however, that there was something entirely incongruous in the historical record of the mighty shadow cast by an all too cumbersome Russian debt problem that apparently preoccupied Kelley and Bullitt. Historian Andrew Williams does well to show its utter superficiality, in fact, its irrelevance. In terms of holding any serious weight as an obtrusive government debt owed the United States, it counts for nothing except for calling into question the positioning of National City determined to leverage the Czarist debt and tie up the conundrum of US-Soviet relations.

What a bluff in the name of patriotism and honor! It’s not exactly clear if the funds owed City were a private or government debt. As it turns out Roosevelt could care less about City, or ever seeing the money again. His “Game” was for the long haul and keeping the bankers happy while getting over short-term obstacles, politically. Roosevelt was a rotten banker, and knew next to nothing about monetary policy, but not unlike his counterpart in the Kremlin thrived at winning on the great chessboard of power politics. In a section titled “Soviet indebtedness to the United States, 1917-1933”, Williams calculated in real terms the Russian-US debt, writing “The American Government was nowhere near as financially embarrassed by the Bolshevik Revolution as were its Allies.” Once that is understood, in the context of Czarist alliance with London and Paris in the Great War against Germany, with four years of bloody stalemate and the Allies supplied and financed by Morgan, its clear that America was dealt a royal flush. US Ambassador Francis in Petrograd estimated America’s loans to Czarist Russia at $187 million “to which had to be added the credit of $100 million agreed on 23 August 1917 and a further $75 million dollars to pay the Russian army and navy, figures which seem to have been accepted as broadly accurate as late as 1933”. Not quite so. Well, not exactly.

The Soviets immediately renounce and reject claims to repay the Kerensky funds once they had been disbursed. Williams added, “In a memo to Colonel House in Paris in February 1919 to prepare him for the forthcoming discussions with the Bolsheviks at Prinkipo, the Treasury put the ‘direct interest’ of the United States Government at ‘approximately $190,000,000 in the Russian situation’… The Treasury was quite aware of the unusual political implications of the debt crisis with Russia and most worried lest the Allies not show a united face in dealing with it.” Once the Allies and Germany defaulted on war debts, in the depressed economic environment after 1929, the debt repayment was not going to happen. (Andrew J. Williams, “Soviet indebtedness to the United States, 1917-1933”, “The USA and Russia, 1920-1932”, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 21)

And Andrew Williams looked more closely into the problem of “individual US investors who risked losing a lot of money. This problem was immediately highlighted by the need to pay the coupons on $50,000,000 of bonds held by the National City Bank of New York (then the biggest bank in the US) due 10 January 1919.” The State Department then waives payments of interest on outstanding bonds as not “advisable”. Further, the sum owed private individuals was unclear. A story appearing early February 1934 in the NY Times accounted for a thousand claims totaling $337,223,288 representing such Consortium capitalist giants as Westinghouse, International Harvester, Singer Sewing Machine Company, Equitable Life Assurance, Standard Oil, Vacuum Oil, Otis Elevator.

Much later in June 1939 Morgenthau submits to Hull a revised account for $223 million “considered a liberal estimate of the amount of justified claims”, with the nominal 5% interest inexplicably waived ($216 million in bank deposits nationalized by the Bols, $104 million in confiscated American property, and $86 million in Czarist Imperial war bonds of which only half were accepted by the Kremlin. Then Williams helps us sort out the jumble that kept Bullitt tied up in knots during his entire stay in Moscow. Williams concludes that the claims of the Americans were preposterously unreal: “firstly, the absolute debt totals, private or public, were quite low. If a dollar/sterling exchange rate (in 1992 sic) were of $4.86 to the pound (all figures rounded up) were used the total public debt owed to America by the Soviet Union was only about £39,712,000, with private debt at either £91,975,000 (higher estimate) or £39,712,000 (lower estimate). Secondly, the comparative debt totals with Britain and France are quite disproportionately in America’s favour; British and French Government and private debt totals, using the figures accepted by US Treasury, came out at (Britain) £567,983,396 (public) and £66,627,000 (private) and (France) francs at .20 to the dollar) $185,750,000 (public) and $996,550,000 (private). Thirdly, if account is also taken of the much greater population of the USA (at 91,000,000, 1910 Census) and its greater GNP, it is clear that the direct electoral importance of Russian debt was bound to be less in America than either Britain or France, and especially in the latter. However, it never proved to be this way in practice.”

Then the strangest thing of all happened, or was it. The largely irrelevant American debt became the thorn behind the Kremlin, at least so it appeared, while in reality the Americans in the Consortium continued business as usual with its economic program backing Stalin’s Five-Year Plans. With his rhetorical flair for subtlety in fine British tradition, Williams comes to the same conclusion, writing, “ Rather than making the American Government more keen to arrive at a settlement with Soviet Russia it made them more intransigent. The Russian debt question was to become mixed up with other, intra-Allied, debt problems. But many Americans saw Soviet non-payment of Czarist debts as symbolic of the problems of dealing with a renegade state that might once again refuse to pay its debts, and an affront to the principles of contract and decent business practice.” Did you get that, reader? “…contract and decent business practice”?

With billions swept away from investors on Wall Street as the country faces 30 per cent unemployment and the Consortium “banksters” nervously study the ticker-tape while the bankrupt nation falls over the brink, who’s talking? Figures for pre-1929 trade put forward by Prof. Williams found that US Commerce Department records reveal US exports to Russia running at $41.98 million (1924) rising to over $68.87 million (1925), $49.74 million (1926) and $58.81 million for the first ten months 1927, and $63.6 million for the year rising to 72.5 million (1928). For the period 1927-28, US imports from Russia rose slightly less than ten per cent to $14 million. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 22-3, 42-6; re. Amtorg financing in F. Kellogg to A. W. Kliefoth, Riga May 3 1929, in file 711.61/15; No. 359 and Coleman in Riga to F. Kellogg, Feb. 13, 1928, file 661.1115/13; R. Kelley to P. Mellon, March 10, 1928, and reply Aug. 2, 1928, 661.1115/14 and 15; The NYT, Feb. 7, 1934)


Meet Dr. Andrew Cairns. He’s played no small part in the incredible Holodomor tragedy. So why then has he remained virtually ignored by writers, historians and researchers although his eye-witness accounts of the Terror-Famine reached the highest level at the British Foreign Office and Downing Street? Dr. Cairns is a dedicated agriculture expert born in Scotland who took his degrees in Canada at the University of Alberta earning him in 1923 a gold medal in agriculture; advanced studies lead to a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Minnesota. Eight years later, in 1931, Cairns is director of the grain department of the Empire Marketing Board (London) in charge of developing a data intelligence division. Largely for proving particularly talented and useful and for having kept his silence about the famine, Cairns is promoted, in 1934, to Permanent Secretary of the World Wheat Advisory Commission (London). By the time he is appointed Secretary of the Washington Wheat Conference (1941-42) Cairns becomes increasing troubled by what he saw and remained glum and argumentative when later working for the US government to help fight starvation caused by that war, and working under Herbert H. Lehman as director of food for UNFAA, an official UN employee of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Secretary-general of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers. Cairns’ career abruptly ends in an airplane accident outside New Delhi in 1958. (Allan Nevins, Herbert H. Lehman and his Era, NY: Scribners,1963; Andrew Cairns, The Soviet Famine, 1932-33: An Eyewitness Account of Conditions in the Spring and Summer of 1932, Research Report No. 35, xxvii, 122 ed. Tony Kuz, Edmonton, 1989; re. Cairns Russian Wheat Report, <>; Sir John Latham, Papers, National Library Australia Series 54, Minister for External Affairs, 1932-34, contains correspondence (Feb. 1932-Oct. 1934), and three reports by Andrew Cairns to the Empire Marketing Board on his travels in Western Siberia, the Volga region, Ukraine, Crimea and Caucasus in June-Aug. 1932, and a report of a visit by Capt. H. J. Feakes to China and Japan in July 1933; “A Question of Betrayal, the Anglo-American Powers and the Ukrainian Question”, Ukraine Today, perspectives for the future, ed. Halyna Koscharsky, Commack, NY: Nova Science, 1995)

Andrew J. Williams, a British subject and a lecturer in international relations at the University of Kent at Canterbury summarizes his findings concerning Soviet wheat exports during the Genocidal years of the Holodomor. The neat rendition is ripe with interesting and very important details that might otherwise pass without much concern in view of the delicate complexity of Anglo cabinet politics at the time of Bolshevik trade with its principal partners France, England, Germany and the United States. Yet we see through citations from rare diplomatic sources including FO Secretary Sir John Simon, Secretary Lord William Strang and Ambassador Sir Esmond Ovey in Moscow that no matter how fundamentally flawed, Empire trade with the Russians shadowed as it were by a pitfall of false conclusions pertaining to elements of strategic interest central to the Holodomor in the end fail to attribute cabinet politics much importance from which it remains oddly aloof. Yet with the Williams account we find demonstrably remarkable by its absence not even the slightest reference to Russian famine which if and when seriously considered had no serious consequences whatsoever for the Empire though significantly affecting the international wheat market within the calculations of Great Britain’s trade balance. Not only at stake here is Great Britain’s rapidly declining world rank and prestige as well as its complete dependence on agricultural imports and, in particular grain and timber. Odd that Williams should add (in a cursory footnote) a fact most pertinent but neglected by Holodomor writers that “Britain was also Canada’s biggest commodity export market, especially for wheat…”

Russian grain and wheat are not negligible commodities for either London or Washington. In 1932 Great Britain is the largest market for wheat imports in the world and there was no finer wheat than produced by the rich black earth of the Ukraine where wheat has been for centuries literally the source of life as well as for half of all the USSR with valuable hidden grain reserves for the Red Army. That the Ottawa Empire Conference came at a time when millions of people are starving under intensified repression and terror by London’s trade partner with rumours of Russian ‘dumping’ in the press only complicated the task of sorting out the agenda. Only Great Britain appears not to have had one.

For we are told by Williams citing Cabinet Minutes of July 12, 1932 that apart from stressing their imperial orientation “the British delegation was sent with no particular brief to Ottawa.” Canada was desperately looking for wiggle room to free up trade relations and gain advantage with its trade partner the United States south of the border. “American policy makers had thought that the empire bogey,” Gordon T. Stewart observed, “which had frequently bedeviled US relations with Canada since 1783 and which had last reared its head with the trade-preference system set up at the Ottawa imperial conference in 1932, had receded into the history books.” Apparently London is content on loosening “the imperial link” of the past binding Ottawa and London.

“The Cabinet minutes record”, wheat expert A. J. Williams observes, “that ‘no decisions have been taken on any of the controversial points that might be raised.” A political crisis nearly toppled Ramsay MacDonald’s shaky coalition government; in August 1932 Christopher Addison, (1869-51), the British minister of Agriculture resigns charging that the government was victim to a “bankers’ ramp”, out-foxed by the Bank of England. Later the Leader of the House of Lords 1st Viscount Addison KG, PC, himself a prominent doctor, Fellow of the Royal Surgeons, and a liberal socialist politician plucked from his national efforts to care for England’s neglected children to serve during the Great War in Lloyd George’s cabinet as minister of Munitions and then Minister of Health, alas, he too, will do nothing to raise a finger to help Ukraine. In December, at Geneva, Sir John Simon attracted more opprobrium when he failed to condemn Japanese incursions in their invasion of Manchuria. No matter. In the next year of the 1933 Holodomor his second wife Kathleen R. Harvey, the Viscountess Simon, enjoys the grand honor as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Sir John is also a fellow of All Souls* (1897) and was called to the bar at the Inner Temple,in 1899. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 215, ft. note, 48, CAB 23/72, Minutes of 12 July 1932; Gordon T. Stewart, “An Objective of US Foreign Policy since the Founding of the Republic”, Canada and the End of Empire, ed. Phillip Buckner, UBC Press, 2005, 100-101; *All Souls College: “The Warden and College of the Souls of all Faithful People deceased in the University of Oxford; Unique to All Souls members become Fellows entitling status as full members of the College’s governing body. With an endowment of £236 million (2007) All Souls is one of the wealthiest colleges. It was founded in 1438 by Henry VI of England and Henry Chichhele, fellow of New College and Archbishop of Canterbury. Presently it is primarily an academic research institution. Members included Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, thrice Prime Minister, and T. E. Lawrence of Lawrence of Arabia fame.)


For men of conscience it could not have been a pleasant thought, if indeed a thought had occurred, as it were, that this should be a policy of doing nothing while appearing to govern with moral and civil restraint. But these are the men and politics of Empire. It is what it is and that is what it was. Empires come and go but the Rothschilds remain Rothschilds. For the British MPs MacDonald’s ministers faced with the ills of Depression and its own internal banking crisis prepared the field with political dynamite. To imagine the general population in the capital of the King’s Empire blithely munching their breakfast cereals and buttering their bread baked when the people are falling down dead by the millions from starvation does not bode well for the cherished sanctity of moral grace. That might make them grind their teeth on their smoking pipe. But diplomats are not priests. They have offices to protect. Such men don’t take kindly to falling off their horse, without a servant to push them back in the saddle.

Williams refers to “the diplomatic breach of 1927, since when the Conservatives had tried to ignore Russia.” In addition to the official political hostility which prevailed, there also existed strong reservations in the City concerning any extension of financial credits to a state which had reneged on the debts of its Czarist predecessor… The main support for greater ties had proved, ironically, to come from industrial concerns for Britain (particularly in the engineering sector, which had suffered most from increased competition in its export markets since 1918), and from major importers of raw materials, particularly of wheat, timber, and oil products. Britain was the world’s premier importer of wheat and timber in the inter-war period.” Prof. Williams adds, “Britain was also Canada’s biggest commodity export market, especially for wheat…” (A. J. Williams, “The imperial factor and Anglo-Soviet relations, 1929-35, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 185; op cit. 212 note 2).

With a broad-stroke of falsification causes and manipulations of the First World War once again strike a stake in the heart of an accurate and relevant account as establishment authors of mass media apply their dark trade of systemic distortion to deceive the democratic voting masses. Here in the world perceived through the prism of Kent University professor Andrew Williams geopolitical affairs of the First World War, Russian Revolution and Allied trade relations are reduced to random events and separate events of a chaotic and unpredictable nature where inept and selfless leaders tumble and fall about in the halls of power bungling uncoordinated and divergent national interests without a common thread which bonds them to any oligarchic national group or international organization beyond the aristocratic eccentricities of their ingrained ruling class Empire. Salient facts are mixed with clever distortions neatly tailored and garnished. It rings of saber-sharp distinction of the Cadogan class where arrogance renders courage harmfully incompetent. Williams is not unlike his fellow Brit the informer Robert Conquest, or Chicago University’s Katherine Siegel joining the proud rank of establishment distortionists placed in academic positions. It is particularly nauseating to read bad history or disinformation when with unabashed confidence it is presented that his view is clear and his course sure while dishing out a voodoo assessment of a historical record which Williams insists the reader “must” swallow such as a sick patent takes the knowing doctor’s medicine. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 1992)

Andrew Williams twists and turns history into strange angles of perspective and here gets much considerably not right. Nevertheless, as is typically the fashion of fact-ridden fantasists, Williams does bring to light curious documents such as details of Prime Minister David Lloyd George’s intrigues with the Russians at Genoa in 1922, or the visit in the summer of 1932 of Andrew Cairns of the Empire Marketing Board to Russia, found in Ramsay MacDonald’s papers at Kew, and in the London School of Economics archives of E. M. H. Lloyd, a ranking civil servant. One can imagine what he might have to say if anything at all about the Holodomor: “terrible mess, that”. “Most unfortunate business.” “Hard to believe it really happened at all”. “As bad as that, was it, really?” And so on with the corrupted pundits of fiction skilled in rhetoric and constitutional law. Such enemies of the truth who pose as truth-bearers ought to be purged from the profession. But they are paid too well for their complicity in the crime, each year a new crop from Oxford and Cambridge, plentiful and useful to the Consortium from generation to generation. Edward M. Hastings Lloyd was the author of Food and Inflation in the Middle East, 1940-45, published by Cambridge University in conjunction with the University of Chicago, and The Food Research Institute of Stanford (1956).

Odd that professor Williams should cite Lloyd, who also wrote Experiments in State Control: at the War Office and the Ministry of Food (Oxford-Clarendon Press). Shortly before publishing that, in 1924, in his service during the Great War, Lloyd occupied his place in the Raw Materials Section of the War Office rising to Assistant Secretary to the Food Minister. An interesting note about E.M.H. Lloyd appears in Derek J. Oddy’s From Plain Fare to Fusion Food: British Diet from the 1890s to the 1990s: “… E.M.H. Lloyd although a career civil servant, had avoided departmental ties and loyalties for most of the interwar period. Lloyd became Secretary of the Empire Marketing Board’s Research Committee in 1926 and, later, Secretary to the Market Supply Committee when it was formed after the Agricultural Marketing Act, 1933, came into operation. Lloyd’s work made aware of the problems faced by British agriculture during the final years of free trade and, once protection was adopted, led him to the view that governments rather than market forces must determine food supply.” (Gerry R. Rubin, Private Property, Government Requisition and the Constitution, 1914-1927, Hambledon & London; 2003; Derek J. Oddy’s From Plain Fare to Fusion Food: British Diet from the 1890s to the 1990s, 125; Edward M. Hastings Lloyd, Food and Inflation in the Middle East, 1940-45, Cambridge Univ., Press, Univ. of Chicago Press, The Food Research Institute, Stanford Univ. Press, 1956)

“The Canadian wheat pool”, Williams writes, “sent one of its most promising officials, Andrew Cairns, on a series of trips through European and other areas of Russia, in 1930 and 1932. His brief mission was to examine the state of the Russian wheat crop, which he was able to do with an expert eye. The results of these visits give a fascinating insight into the disastrous policies, not only of collectivization, with its liquidation of the ‘Kulaks’, but also of the effects of Soviet agronomist Lysenko’s crackpot agricultural techniques. The second visit, during May 1932, organized under the auspices of the British embassy in Moscow, produced three reports of quite unprecedented detail on the decline of Russian agriculture, and especially on the massive destruction of cereal crops in the Ukraine.”

Williams discreetly adds, in a footnote: “Cairns’ letters were sent to the Foreign Office, the Empire Marketing Board, the Canadian Wheat Pools, Bennett* and others. The visit was arranged by Strang in Leningrad.” He observes, “The American Department of Commerce was convinced that there would be no flood of Soviet wheat exports until 1931 at least.” Evidently Lord Strang does not show these reports to Duranty or Lyons neither to Muggeridge or Jones. Nor does Cairns reveal his confidential findings to the Moscow foreign press pool. “The FO,” Andrew Williams observes, “was largely basing its assessments on reports it received from William Strang in Leningrad and Ambassador Sir Esmond Ovey in Moscow. Both are fairly dismissive of the likelihood of Soviet retaliation should the temporary commercial agreement be renounced and renegotiated.” (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 195, 204, 214, ft. 37; Andrew Cairns report, “Russian Wheat”, Feb. 7, 1931, DO35/196/6 (PRO); 214 in ft. 35, Williams refers to Hoover Presidential Papers, Box 993; *Richard B. Bennett, Consortium player, Canadian Prime Minister 1935, later granted title 1st Viscount Bennett PC, KC)


But there are others who write of the calamity of the miscarriage of justice. A former submarine commander and author of Pawns in the Game (1958) Guy Carr doggedly pursues this murky mystery with the passionate determination of an officer of His Majesty’s Service peering into a subterranean saga. For over a half-century before the 2008 financial debacle during the Bush administration Carr tracks the malicious path taken by the Consortium money men up leading to the 1929 Wall Street. “Then, after speculative investments had just about reached their peak,” Carr notes, “vast amounts of money were withdrawn from circulation. Credits were restricted. Calls were made on loans. In 1922-25 a minor depression was experienced. This economic juggling was a preliminary experiment before the Powers-That-Be brought about the great depression of 1930. After 1925 financial policy was reversed and conditions steadily improved until prosperity in America, Britain, Canada, and Australia, reached an all-time record. Speculation in stocks and bonds and real estate went wild. Then, towards the end of 1929 came the sudden crash, and the greatest depression ever known settled down over the free world. Millions of people were rendered destitute. Thousands committed suicide. Misgovernment was blamed for the economic upset which made paupers out of tens of millions of people, and trillionaires out of three hundred who were already millionaires.” (italics added)

Carr’s book predates Sutton’s 3-volume magna opus on western technology transfers to the Soviet Union. Stalin is still warm in his grave. A ghostly horror hangs over the Kremlin and all of Russia is spiraling deep into the hysterical numbing paralysis of Cold War militarization, a year before Khrushchev assumes power.

Guy Carr tells it the way no establishment journalist dare, and he writes, “In 1925 Stalin started his five-year industrial plans to increase the so-called Sovietized countries internal recovery. The plan was to exploit the natural resources, manufacture raw materials into useful commodities, and modernize industrial and agricultural machinery. This vast Five Year Plan was financed by loans from the international bankers. This programme, when added to the development of the Russian and German war potential under the Abmachungen (agreements) … gave a great boost to Soviet economy. The fact that the Rulers of Russia could use millions of men and women as slaves gave those who enslaved them an additional advantage over nations which employ paid labour, and maintain a high standard of living. The next move was the collectivization of farms. For centuries the serfs in Russia had been little better than slaves of the landed proprietors. Lenin had won their support by promising them even greater concessions than they had been granted under the benevolent rule of Premier Peter Arkadyevich Stolypin from 1906 to 1914, when over 2,000,000 peasant families seceded from the village mir and became individual land owners. By January 1st, 1916, the number had increased to 6,200,000 families. But, in order to secure the loans they had made for the Abmachungen and industrial development programmes, the international bankers insisted that they control the import and export trade of the Sovietized nations.” (italics added)

A generation has passed since the Holodomor climaxing in the brutality of the World War but Carr is unwilling to let it pass into that Orwellian “memory hole” sucking up complacent two- car and home in the suburbs American culture. “They also demanded,” Carr writes, “the collectivization of farms as the only means to obtain greatly increased agricultural production. History records what happened when Stalin enforced the edicts. He has always been blamed personally for the inhuman atrocities which made the peasants comply with the laws. Many versions of what happened have been given. The truth, as I reported it to American newspapers in 1930, has never been published to date. It is acknowledged that over 5,000,000 peasants were executed, or systematically starved to death, because they refused to obey, or tried to evade the edicts. Over 5,000,000 more were sent to forced labour in Siberia. What is not generally known is the fact that the grain which was confiscated from the Russian farmers was pooled together with a vast quantity of grain purchased by the agents of the international bankers in other countries except Canada and the United States. In addition to this corner on grain the international bankers bought up huge supplies of processed and frozen meats in the Argentine and other meat producing countries. Canada and the United States could not find a market for their cattle, or their grain.”

Carr elaborates further how the Versailles lawyer and banker clique of the Consortium negotiate the postwar world of the cataclysmic rise and fall of the twenties: “During the period 1920-1929 the international bankers subsidized shipping in most countries except Britain, Canada, and the United States. As the result of this commercial piracy, it became impossible for ships owned in Britain, Canada, and the United States to compete with ships owned by other countries. Thousands of ships were tied up idle in their home ports. Export trade fell off to an all-time low. The falling off of exports from the allied nations was accompanied by increasing the importation of cheaply manufactured goods from Germany, Japan, and central European countries. To enjoy reasonable prosperity, five out of every eight wage-earners in Canada must obtain their pay directly or indirectly as a result of the export trade. When the export trade falls off a recession immediately follows, due to loss of purchasing power among five-eighths of the population. This immediately affects those who earn their living by rendering services of one kind or another. If the export trade remains down, then the recession deteriorates into a depression.”

And what about all that talk about Russian “dumping” of grain stocks on the world wheat market? Carr explained, “To make absolutely sure that the skids were completely knocked from under the economic structures of allied countries, the men who had cornered grain and meats began to dump their supplies on the markets of the world at prices below the cost of production in Canada, America and Australia. This action brought about a situation in which the granaries of the countries allied together in World War I were bursting with grain they couldn’t sell, while the people of other countries were starving to death for want of bread and meat. Britain needs to earn £85,000,000 a year from her ocean services in order to offset her unfavourable annual trade balance each year. The British economy was given a severe jolt when unfair competition made it impossible for her to earn this money. The British people were forced to buy their bread and meat in the cheapest markets. This artificially produce d economic mess-up was used by the men who master-mind international intrigue to cause grave misunderstanding between different units of the British Commonwealth of Nations and thus weaken the bonds of Empire.”

Carr added, “As the result of this economic war, the shipping, industrial, and agricultural activities of the allied or capitalistic countries were brought to a virtual standstill, while the Soviet States and the Axis Powers worked at full capacity. Once again it must be remembered that the men who plot and plan the World Revolutionary Movement always work on the fundamental principle that wars end depressions and pave the way for revolutionary action in countries that still remain to be subjugated. This being a fact, it was essential to the furthering of their Long Range Plans to arrange international affairs so they could bring about World War II when they wished to do so …”

“By the end of the 1929-31 Labour Government, British trade with Russia had totally failed to live up to its 1929 promise. Instead of exports of £150 million the actual total had been a little over £9 million, or £15 million if Empire re-exports were taken into account. Imports had run over £32 million, a fact most Conservatives were to leap upon with glee. There had been widespread accusation of ‘slave labour’ and ‘dumping’ by the Russians on the Tory benches, hotly denied by many trades unionists though with less vehemence by Henderson* and Dalton**, who largely believed them to be true.” (H.D. Henderson, senior ranking official of the FO, member the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), insider in the Milner Group and a Fellow of All Souls; **Hugh Dalton, under-secretary of State at the FO in the 1929 Labour Government; National Labour and Home Secretary, MacDonald, National Labour and PM)

In Trading with the Bolsheviks Professor Andrew Williams examines the bond between London and Ottawa for period between 1932 and 1933. “The Labour Party until 1932,” he writes, “at least was still a party of free trade, as had been the Liberal regimes of Mackenzie King in Canada until 1930. Bennett is a Conservative believer in tariff controls and Empire Preference, like many in the National Government elected in Britain in November 1931, especially Neville Chamberlain, new Chancellor of the Exchequer.” Free trade liberals remain in the new British cabinet, including Snowden (National Labour and Lord Privy Seal), and Herbert Samuel. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 193)

Williams description of London’s attitude to the Jewish Bolsheviks is not irrelevant when considering the prevailing moral degradation that reigned over the ethos of the place from manor to manor to the gentlemen clubs of ornate dark drawing rooms and gallant dinner parties. “The argument throughout,” Williams writes, “was not about the amount of trade but its effects. Trade was seen by Lloyd George and the Labour Party, as well as significant members of the Conservative Party as ‘stabilizing’ Russia, encouraging what we might call ‘convergence; and ‘interdependence’. It also found favour with large sections of heavy industry. But ranged against these opinions were most of the City, most of the Foreign Office and ironically, most of the Board of Trade. We can only speculate about whether there was a common ‘culture’ in these opponents. Certainly, they all felt that they were defending ‘principle’, but also they had a visceral, almost personal, dislike of the Bolsheviks. There are, for example, numerous examples of Foreign Office officials referring to the Russian leadership in strong tones of anti-Semitism and a distaste not meted out to any other diplomats except possibly, and then only rarely, the Turks. They were seen as incapable of keeping their word, duplicitous and scheming.

Let’s take a closer look with Williams at some of these insiders with influence in the FO and on the cabinet of the British PM: Hugh Dalton, Under-Secretary of State at the FO during the 1929 Labour Government experiences a division in the FO: those “typified” in Eyre Crowe** (Permanent Secretary), attaching no great importance to Anglo-Soviet relations, regarding the Russians as dirt … this school triumphed as soon as Austen came in (late 1924); the other, tending towards the possibility of improved relations “anxious to take up, firmly and in detail, particular branches of the Trade Agreement.” Hugh Dalton (1887-62), Eton, Kings College, Cambridge, born in Neath, Wales, son of the Chaplain to Queen Victoria and a tutor of the King, earned a Ph. D. in economics (University of London, 1920). During the Second World War Churchill appointed him Minister of Economic Warfare (1940); he established the Special Operations Executive, member of the excom of the Political Warfare Executive; Dalton became Chancellor of the Exchequer (1945); he nationalizes the Bank of England (1946).** Sir Eyre Alexander Barby Wichart Crowe (1864-25) Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Office (1920-25), Assistant Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Crowe leads the political section of Versailles’ British Delegation from June 1919. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 88)

But then Prof. Williams finds he’s caught in a pickle between rhetoric and reality. Whatever their idiosyncrasies the Pilgrim-packed Consortium pro-Soviet trade lobby prevailed. Where is he taking us now?

“In this case,” Williams cites, “why were businesses that did do trade with Russia quite happy to continue? And why was the President of the Board of Trade candid in saying that Russian trade was largely a reciprocal benefit, even in 1927? We can also find plenty of examples of Foreign Office officials in Russia who felt that trade could only be beneficial. The Conservatives evidently hoped that they could isolate the Comintern without damaging trade too much. The question must be whether the Comintern was really a threat, domestically or in the Empire, as many suggested it wasn’t, with the events of 1926 seemingly to demonstrate the Russians’ basic incapacity to influence British politics. However, Conservative and FO suspicion of the possibility or desirability of doing real business with the Russia of the 1920s seems very grounded in fact. The concessions policy had at least two false starts, in 1922 and 1926. Those who had lost their possessions of pre-1917 had every reason to feel aggrieved. Quite obviously Krassin, the main architect of détente through trade, could not deliver the goods, given the nature of the Bolshevik regime and its competing power centres, a situation not resolved until about 1928. The decision after 1922 of the Conservative Party and most of Whitehall was that Russian trade was not worth the trouble, when the Empire offered such easy benefits and political advantage. The policy of ‘masterly inactivity’ towards Russia had sound logic behind it. If there had been a pot of Russian gold at the end of Lloyd George’s trade rainbow of early 1922 the course of Anglo-Soviet relations might have been different.” (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 88)

And so Prof. Williams found the incentive of British trade with the Bols “severely hampered by a three-way split between the FO (British Foreign Office), the Treasury and the Board of Trade” which sent a rep to Moscow “but they never proved great advocates of extensive British export credits, which Henderson wanted for political as well as economic reasons. The Treasury under Philip Snowden proved as fiscally conservative as under any Conservative government. The Russians acted true to form throughout in the trade as well as in debt and propaganda discussions by promising huge trade opportunities and the resolution of the debt problem if credits were granted. A Cabinet meeting on 5 March 1930 in an atmosphere of growing financial and economic hardship could only produce twelve months of limited credits, a meager harvest for Henderson to present to the Russians. A Temporary Commercial Agreement, renewable or denounceable by both parties after two years, was signed in April, but debt talks broke down when it became obvious that no huge credits, never mind a loan, were going to emerge.” Williams sends the reader to consult his book Labour and Russia, The Attitude of the Labour Party to the USSR, 1924-1934 (1989). (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 194)

Williams writes that from the British standpoint of Empire and self-interest, the FO in 1931 reasoned “the Russian trade crock of gold for Britain had proved a chimera” and with elections to consider the debates in Commons had shown trade with Russian Bolsheviks somewhat of a “a political embarrassment”. But Bennett in Ottawa has his own special consideration. “Firstly,” Williams finds, “it is clear from his papers that he felt he was leading some kind of holy crusade against Russia. At least half his papers on Russia are pleas from religious groups or congratulations from ordinary citizens praising his hard line on ‘Godless Russia’. They were balanced by pleas for more contact and trade with Russia, but he seems largely to have discounted these as the utterances of communists or cranks.” (A. J. Williams, 194)

Richard Bedford Bennett (1870-47) had never been to Russia before or after the Bols seized power in 1917. A Canadian businessman, lawyer and politician, Bennett serves as the 11th PM of Canada, from August 7 to October 23, 1935. He’s an Empire Pilgrim and Consortium man. A defeat at the polls prompts his moving to London where he’s promptly “elevated” to the House of Lords as 1st Viscount Bennett PC, KC.

Bennett comes from family descended from a long line English Tory settlers who during the American Revolution were compelled to leave their homes in Connecticut and migrate to Nova Scotia where they prospered in the China trade as shipbuilders. Bennett owns the E. B. Eddy match company which might not sound so impressive but it happens to be the largest safety match manufacturer in Canada making him one of the richest men on the North American continent. Passionately anti-communist Bennett preferred privately philanthropy and helped many poor men through university.During the Depression it was not rare for Bennett to send a five dollar bill a family in need and he estimated paying out $2 million in hand to pocket charity. The rich often do this; it makes them feel closer in touch without getting their hands dirty and pricks their conscience to remind them they still have one. Hey Mr., can you spare a dime? All that while millions are starved and worked to death.

Accordingly, Canada’s Prime Minister Richard Bennett lobbies for a trade embargo of the Russians to back Hoover and buy American products instead. Williams wrote, “Skelton had been told by the Canadian representative in Washington, H.H. Wrong, that Hoover had suggested that ‘recovery would be facilitated if several of the more important trading powers took steps to limit their imports from Russia’.” By Order in Council February 17, 1931 Soviet exports to Canada now banned included “coal, wood-pulp, lumber and timber of all kinds, asbestos and furs”. The Soviets retaliated in kind, banning all Canadian imports. The Canadian rep H. H. Wrong, on information from Bell’s spring 1930 visit to the USSR, wrote Dr. Skelton on November 11, 1930 that the Soviet Union is in a “desperate state” and in dire need of foreign exchange. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 194, 214 citing “Canada and Soviet Trade” RG 19/4665 (PAC), 214, footnote 33, sourced RG/732/103 (PAC); Oscar Douglas Skelton (1878-41) earned a Ph.D. in political economy at the Univ. of Chicago (1908) which makes him a colleague of Samuel Harper and William Dodd, US ambassador in Berlin; Skelton is also Dean of Arts at Queen’s University (1919-25), a delegate at the League of Nations, in Geneva (1924), and a longtime friend of King when he’s PM and Secretary of State for External Affairs. Skelton dies from a heart attack driving a car in Ottawa in 1941.)

Prof. Andrew Williams cast more light on the political problem for this Empire man. Williams writes, “The key problem for Bennett had been, and was to remain, the prospect of Russian wheat exports. Canadian wheat’s lack of markets, and the resulting unemployment, were still recognized as Canada’s main problem after the August election of 1930 and in March 1931 by the British High Commissioner in Ottawa, and his interpretation can be taken as an accurate assessment of Canadian public opinion. Bennett could therefore present the embargo on some Russian imports as a measure enjoying widespread public support in Canada. But Bennett’s action against the USSR presupposed that to ban imports of Russian wheat was to hit the right target in the right way: was there in fact any evidence of an impending or actual flood of Russian exports of wheat, or anything else for that matter? Until 1931 the answer must be that such evidence was lacking.”

By 1931 the British have become the principal buyers of Russian-Ukrainian wheat. Williams continues on the trail, writing, “One British expert wrote in a confidential memorandum that ‘There is … no doubt that any reasonable forecast of the competition which must be expected from Russia (from wheat exports) would be of immense value to all British wheat producers and we are desperately in the dark still’.” (A. J. Williams, 194-5, footnote 214, 35. S.L. Holmes on Cairns’ report ‘Russian Wheat’, Feb. 7, 1931, DO35/196/6 9PRO); Williams adds, “The American Department of Commerce was convinced that there would be no flood of Soviet wheat exports until 1931, at least. Williams points to correspondence Klein to George Akerson, Hoover’s secretary, Feb. 19, 1930, Hoover Presidential Papers, Box no. 993)

The Canadian Premier R.B.J. Bennett, in office since 1920 pushed for Canadian exports over Russian, especially when he feared Russian wheat flooding the world market. Nor did he ignore the threat of furs, timber, coal, asbestos. By mid-1931 Jimmy. Thomas, MP since 1910, expelled from the Labour Party when he joined Ramsay MacDonald’s coalition government, learns “that Russia was now the premier supplier of British wheat imports (each bushel a potential supplanter of a Canadian bushel), and that such imports were up from nothing in 1929 to over five million bushels in the first three months of 1931 alone.” (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 195)

Canada was a primary export market along with the US and Britain. Bennett raised tariffs on items over 100 percent; at the 1930 Imperial Conference in London he urges MacDonald, Snowden and Thomas, (Secretary of State for the Dominions) follow in step. They refused. Williams writes, “His problem was that he had to persuade the British because Britain was the world’s greatest importer of wheat (190,000,000 bushels in 1928), of which 50 percent came from Canada and Australia. Canada had about 250 million bushels to export every year in the late 1920s, so a loss of the British market to, say, Russia, would be disastrous.” By 1931 Bennett considered a general trade embargo on Russia banning the five staple Russian products for export – timber, furs, coal, asbestos and grain. If Bennett could have his way, Canadian, US and British trade restrictions might even topple the Bolshevik regime, according to Williams who noted, however, “the key problem for Bennett had been, and was to remain, the prospect of Russian wheat exports.” (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 194)

Williams argues against Bennett’s cause for alarm of a Russian flood of exports undermining the Canadian economy. That just wasn’t going to happen. “Until early 1931 the answer must be that such evidence was lacking,” the professor Williams observes. “One British expert wrote in a confidential memorandum that ‘There is … no doubt that any reasonable forecast of the competition which must be expected from Russia (from wheat exports) would be of immense value to all British wheat producers and we are desperately in the dark still.” Internal FO memos (Clark and Thomas) mid-1931 indicate that Russia had become Britain’s chief supplier of wheat imports, supplanting Canadian exports and now “were up from nothing in 1929 to over five million bushels in the first three months of 1931 alone”. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 195)

Prof. Williams’ elaborated his basic tenet summed up here quoting from his chapter “Anglo-Soviet relations 1929-35”: “The peak of trade with the West came during the first Five Year Plan, between 1928 and 1931, attaining an import peak of $569 million in 1931, then declining rapidly to $120 million by 1936, although this was during a period of an immense decline of global trade due to the Depression … the Soviet Union aimed at autocracy and as it developed its own industries progressively shut out trade to reduce reliance on imports. Total Soviet trade was negligible in 1922-9, built up quite rapidly to the 1931 summit and then crashed by 1935-6.”

Williams even goes so far as to divert the concealment and isolation of Soviet trade with the West due to “the ‘danger of contamination’ for the Soviets” driving them away from making “concessions throughout their short life (1923-30)”. Williams, however, does acknowledge that from 1921 to 1929 “172 concession agreements were signed, including those for technical assistance. It is said that 2.670 firms and individuals proposed concessions, of which only 6-7 per cent were accepted by Moscow. They were mainly in the areas of oil, mining, timber, paper, sugar, cement, phosphates, matches, and in the chemical and electro-technical industries, a list presented in 1922 at Genoa by the Soviet delegation. These concessions were always controversial in the West because they usually entailed Western companies restarting the businesses of Western companies that had been dispossessed after the Revolution… They never commanded more than 4 per cent (in 1928) of total Soviet trade before their wholesale dissolution in 1930 when the total monopoly of foreign trade was decreed in Moscow”. That is, excluding Hammer’s pencils and Harriman’s stake in manganese, or Britain’s Lena Goldfields… (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 10-1, 195)

Wheat expert Cairns went on to counter alarmist fears of excessive Russian wheat exports or dumping that otherwise would undermine Canada’s trade balance. Williams writes that the young scot Andrew Cairns’ Russian wheat reports strongly confirm that under the present circumstances “the Soviet Union could not possibly be a short-, medium- or even long-term threat to Canadian exporters of grain, except at the margin. In short, there ‘are many reasons for being optimistic about the probable effects of Russian competition on the position of primary producers in the Dominions’.”

For Cairns, collectivization posed no threat under the current Soviet system of the Kolkhozes and Sovhoses. H. D. Henderson, senior ranking official of the FO, writes British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald confirming MacDonald had “definitely” read the Cairn reports from the FO describing them as “an interesting if squalid story of black bread, hunger, tears and death”. Britain sought large quantities of wheat but Bennett learns that the Russians are unable to supply it. Williams does refer to the famine, writing “the Russians did continue to export sufficient to starve their peasants further, and to make it impossible radically to decrease Canadian stocks, which continued to overhang the market until well into the late 1930s. Russia’s strategy hinged, in the area of wheat, on Russia’s power to impede wheat producer cartel action by the ‘big four’ – Canada, the United States, Australia, and Argentina. Cairns revelations therefore did little to objectively lighten Bennett’s load.” (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 195-6)

In a private conversation between Pierre de Boal* US Charge in Ottawa, and Bennett, in February 1933, the Canadian PM confides that he might lean in the direction that would “free himself from the criticism that his economic policy in embracing the Empire had isolated Canada from its natural market, the United States.” But change with Ottawa comes too slow to help the Ukrainians if it comes at all. In 1931, Gordon Stewart writes in Canada and the End of Empire (2005) in respect to foreign trade and lower tariffs Benjamin Wallace in the Office of the Economic adviser “excoriated the traditional American approach since the end of the Civil War of building up high tariff walls.”

This is an approach, Wallace wrote, that “simply forced Canada into imperial and nationalist alternatives.” Wallace insists “the greatest error in the commercial policy of the United States has been the treatment of Canada. Canadians are of the same language and stock, and have essentially the same standard of living and the same political outlook and ideals as Americans. The boundary between us is largely artificial and Canada is so divided geographically that the natural trade routes are North and South. There is no military, or political, or economic reason for not treating Canada economically as part of the United States. …if anything is ever to be done to initiate closer trade relations between the US and Canada it should be done before June 1932 when the next imperial conference meets.” That change was in the air and not overlooked by Bullitt who, as a delegate to the 1933 London Economic Conference advised Roosevelt “via Canada we might make a hole in the Ottawa agreements”. (Gordon T. Stewart, “An Objective of US Foreign Policy since the Founding of the Republic”, Canada and the End of Empire, editor Phillip Buckner, UBC Press, 2005, 97-8. *Pierre de Boal (1895-66), St. Pauls School (1915), an aviator with the Lafayette Esquadrille in the First World War then flew with the US Army Signal Corps surviving aerial combat with the Croix de Guerre and Legion d’Honneur; in the Foreign Service Pierre de Boal was posted in Mexico City, Belgrade, Warsaw, Berne, Lima, Ottawa, Geneva, then posted ambassador far from harm’s way to Nicaragua and Bolivia.)

Williams asserts that in the months following the Ottawa conference in June and the collapse of the Anglo-Russian trade agreement by the end of 1932 MacDonald’s government had played out its “Russian trade card”. Williams, who gives away no secrets in his restrained establishment treatment of the British-Soviet trade, writes “MacDonald brought with him a well-founded wariness of the political unpredictability of the USSR”. Yet that much could just as well be said of Paris and Washington. Their shattered economies are shaking governments tottering on the edge. London’s Conservatives are still snorting over Stalin’s confiscation of the Lena Goldfields concession “with the Russians offering compensation of two and a half million pounds”; Berlin’s International Court of Arbitration decried 13 millions. Now resentment over the Vickers’ engineers arrests by Stalin’s Cheka agents overshadows the foreign company’s role in building the giant Dnieperstroi Dam. Of London’s troubles, Williams writes, “More wide-ranging and drastic measures would have to be found. By early 1931 there was also a wide perception of an impending British balance of payments and sterling crisis.” FDR’s devaluation in the summer of 1932 scorched relations with the Bank of England.

“The tone of Cabinet minutes”, Williams observed, “for the latter part of 1931 and 1932 are indicative of a widespread sense of dismay in the British Government as the Depression deepened.” Now with the Holodomor threatening stability in Moscow Bennett and his British allies in London’s cabinet ventured “to teach the Russians a lesson. Viscount Haisham, Secretary of War, echoed many Conservatives in feeling that the Soviet five-year plans had as object to ‘smash our trade’. Paradoxically, however, (and here’s the rub sic) the Committee of Imperial Defense (CID) felt that the Russians were maintaining a strategic industry by buying large quantities of British machine tools.

Viscount Runciman* seems to have shared this view, even asking for increased credits to ensure that such orders were carried out. MacDonald also repeatedly expressed great ‘apprehension’… At the next Cabinet he even asked the committee to reconsider its verdict that pressure would have to be put on Russia to reduce Britain’s trade deficit in some way, ” (A. Williams, 197-9; *Sir Walter Runciman, Viscount Runciman of Oxford (1847-37), briefly a Liberal MP advocate of increasing trade with the USSR, is featured on Time cover, November 30, 1931, lived an extraordinary life, authored Windjammers and Sea Tramps, telling how he ran away to sea at 11 and learned the ropes to become a master mariner in age of Joseph Conrad seeking adventure and fortune on last of the tall ships.)

At the height of the Holodomor Canada is faced with the problem of stopping Russian trade in world markets and to prevent it from undermining the home economy. This is the focus of the famous 1932 Conference of Ottawa. Ottawa gains a political and trade victory over Stalin but it does not help the Ukrainians. The Soviet Union, on the contrary, was strained more than ever and not unlike the Great Powers is unable to pay its foreign debts. Summing up the conference Williams writes, “The final result was the inclusion of Article XXI, binding Britain to an anti-dumping clause in the Ottawa Final Act. This was clearly aimed mainly at the USSR and imposed preferential British duties on some of the USSR’s main exports, including wheat and timber.” Baldwins’ Chancellor of the Exchequer Neville Chamberlain, considered “the toughest negotiator in the Cabinet”, – he would be remembered as the capitulator to Nazis later at Munich, – wrote his brother, on October 24, 1932, “we achieved a great deal more than I had expected…(A)s for Russia … though I am willing to extend the length of credit in order to keep a valuable trade I am reluctant to expand the volume of credits and thus put ourselves more and more at the mercy of a country (which is ) unstable and unfriendly and whose financial situation is not calculated to inspire confidence. But I am not fanatical…I do not regard Russia as an unclean thing which we must not touch…” Bennett’s Article XXI contesting shipments of Soviet grain is hailed by the anti-communist public sector and the Canadian press while the Ukrainians are left to beg for bread. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 201)

Back in Parliament when the Liberals in MacDonald’s government dissent over Conservative pressures to reduce Soviet imports, they bolt claiming the denigration of Russian trade is pandering to the “height of folly”. The senior dons of the British FO are out on thin ice once news from Ottawa leaks. MacDonald fretted over Stalin’s reaction, and appeal to Sir John Simon and Lord William Strang to stroke the Kremlin’s back. On October 6, 1932 Simon meets veteran Bolshevik Commissar Sokolnikov soon recalled to Moscow to explain the Ottawa betrayal. Sokolnikov ask for clarification of the Ottawa trade decision. Williams writes, “Simon lied and told him that no decision had been made but that an improvement in trade figures (which had already happened in fact) would be welcome and that a settlement of the dispute over the Lena Goldfields would help.” That double-cross sets the stage for Sir Edmund Ovey’s arrival in Moscow and his subsequent verbal lashing by the wit of Litvinov. Turn-about is fair play. The Bolsheviks thrive at that game.

Mid-October just six days after MacDonald’s Cabinet agrees formally to renounce the Ottawa trade agreement Litvinov insists that Ovey explain what went wrong since Solkolnikov’s assurances. Litvinov accuses London, Ovey writes in his report to the FO, calling the setback a “victory of an extremist anti-Russian group in the United Kingdom” against the position put forward by the Secretary for the Dominions (Thomas) of the Russian clause in the Ottawa Agreement. Litvinov leaves “depressed and pessimistic” and suspected, he tells Sir Edmund, “that some secret bargain was made with Canada that Anglo-Russian agreement should in any case be terminated.” He throws down the American card that if Roosevelt should replace Hoover Litvinov fears another snag in relations.

An adviser of Stalin consoles Ovey not to worry. Lord Strang dismisses fears of retaliation over Article XXI convinced of Britain’s superior status as a necessary market for Russian goods. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 203, ftn. 61-3)

Home for the July 4th Independence Day weekend, Stimson relaxed on Sunday at Highhold, and after leaving the Bronson Winthrop house rode down to find Mable at the Beach Club. He’s pleased with his chat with his young PR whip Arthur Page all bullish about the economy turning the corner to recovery. “He sees a slight pick-up in commodity prices …”, Stimson notes. The Democratic Convention is the hot news now. “They finally nominated Franklin Roosevelt,” Stimson wrote in his diary, “by a deal engineered evidently by McAdoo and Hearst under which the Garner delegation came over to Franklin Roosevelt and afterwards Garner was nominated for Vice President. Franklin Roosevelt then flew over from Albany to Chicago and made a speech of acceptance to the whole Convention before it had dispersed. This made a great hit with the newspapermen. The speech was pretty good and the idea was pretty good. … it was a good thing to catch the eye. Everybody is beginning to think that Roosevelt is going to put up a hard fight. I have thought so from the beginning.”

Twenty-three years have passed since Stimson lost against Teddy Roosevelt in his bid for Governor of New York in 1910. Stimson’s career in politics came crashing down under the same Democratic landslide that installed a cherry-face 28-year-old freshman politician and lawyer in the New York state legislature – Franklin D. Roosevelt. He wouldn’t know it at the time but for Stimson the loss to TR was something between destiny and mystery written in the stars. Stimson was the man who kept the secrets sitting side to side to more presidents than any man in US history.

After the Democratic Convention Col. House makes his move. A week later back in the office Monday Allen Klots and Shepard Morgan of Chase National deliver Stimson “an astounding proposal” from House. Col. House says he wants “to take the whole question of debts and reparations out of politics by an agreement between Roosevelt and Hoover”. Stimson is told House has agreed to press Roosevelt to accept and is going to see him this Thursday at his Beverly home. House wants Hoover’s stand on it before the meeting. Stimson is delighted. He talks to Hoover and that evening Stimson dines with Klots and Bundy at Woodley.

“We were all of the opinion,” Stimson pens in his diary, ‘that if offered a possible chance of a very great stroke for the benefit of the world and for the benefit of Mr. Hoover in particular by which we might get the whole thing out of politics provided somebody is willing to be big and take chances”. That night Stimson passes the deal over to Ogden Mills and “begged for his help”. Hoover called Stimson in the morning telling him “that we were getting in very bad with the people of the United States”. Hoover is upset over new press attacks by Hearst, and, in particular, Stimson’s work “to offset the work of the British Treasury”. Stimson shrugs, clears himself to Hoover and reporters that day in the regular press conference showing his own press release of last June 8.

The big obstacle now is the President. Stimson feels Hoover is a beaten man and completely “tired out”. He worries Hoover “has lost perspective”. He observes that “nobody can do otherwise who stays in Washington during these past three years without any break as he has”. Three years of the Great Depression since the October 1929 crash of Wall Street. There is no empathy or sympathy here. Stimson is preoccupied with the Japanese militarists in Manchuria. On July 20 Stimson meets with his predecessor Frank Kellogg back from the Geneva Disarmament talks. Stimson notes that his predecessor Kellogg has “no use for Sir John Simon”. Kellogg and Simon had talked tough about reductions, but Stimson writes, “Of course he indicated that there was going to be no reduction at all in naval affairs until 1938, or somewhere thereabout. As Kellogg put it, ‘How can we expect the other people to disarm if the British took that attitude’.” The disarmament talks are reached a state of near total collapse as the world powers slide closer to war. Stimson is troubled, unsure how to handle the British. He writes, “It is evident that we are going to be up against the issue this fall. I am trying to think out ahead what to do.” He assigns Hornbeck the task of sorting it out in a speech for the Secretary “really for the purpose of laying the foundation stone for the whole policy by giving my views of the Kellogg Pact and the importance of the concerted action of the nations under it… ” Late July Stimson understands that it’s clear with Seymour Parker Gilbert (1892-38) that the conference intends to keep off its agenda “discussions of reparations and debts and tariff schedules or rates”. For the record Stimson writes in his diary, “History will not know that we tried to invoke it and were blocked by the British…”

Kellogg and Stimson lunch with Hoover at the White House. They advise the President to leave Washington and to “go out West” and campaign. Less than four months remain before the election.

In the Far East all signs point towards world war. The Secretary makes another entry into his diary: “August 10. Meet with Japanese ambassador leaving Washington and “came to say good-bye”. Stimson tells him the Japanese militarist government has crossed the line and should not be mistaken that they are “just at the beginning of their trouble; that the 30,000,000 Chinese in Manchuria were going to make a long fight, and that their Japanese conduct was going to lead to years of anarchy and war probably in Manchuria, perhaps a World War; that it looked very bad.” (HLS Diary, re. Seymour P. Gilbert, July 27, 1932)

While Stimson appears weak and unable to do much to restrain the Japanese military penetration in Manchuria he shows little more than indifference towards Stalin and Soviet Russia where this fatal summer in July 1932 a more deadly scenario of power politics intensifies repression on the Ukrainians. Fields with late sowing go unharvested, once healthy and able peasants and their families and entire villages starve. Famine is widespread. The Consortium’s absolute dictator loses all patience and again forces the Ukraine to its knees. Even the conquering Mongols had never been so ruthlessly determined to exterminate their foreign enemy.

Bullitt travels to Moscow arriving there May 21. With him is J. L. Curtis, assistant vice-president of National City and Hartford Beaumont of Shearman & Sterling. He’s immediately met by George I. Andreytchine, the friendly Soviet vice commissar of Mosamtorg (Amtorg in Moscow), and a member of the Communist Party who had first met Bullitt in America when he worked with the radical labour leader Bill Haywood’s International Workers of the World (IWW). Andreytchine, in fact, had been condemned with Haywood as one of his 14 “chief aids”, fined for anti-war protests against the First World War and sentenced 20 years in prison by a federal judge in the nationally famous IWW trial in Chicago. “Big Bill” Haywood (1869-28) moved to Moscow in the early 1920s and attended Reed’s funeral ceremonies. Haywood stays on and dies there disillusioned and embittered.

Andreytchine is still a bonefide member of the Communist Party but that won’t protect him or anyone these days. Stalin purges the Party constantly. Andreytchine and Bullitt became fast friends. Both enjoys each other’s comraderie, especially Anrdreychine who feels a special comfort next to his important American guest. As a child Andreytchine had grown up in Bulgaria where the King took a special fondness to him and paid his education expenses. He warns Bullitt about the local criminal elements, the CHEKA-GPU-NKVD secret police, and other querks of the new Soviet mentality. In the Bullitt Papers collection at the Yale Archives there is a document probably dating to this time titled “SUGGESTIONS RE: THE DESIRABILITY OF SENDING AN OFFICIAL AMERICAN COMMISSION TO THE U.S.S.R”. This document is about collectivization and the peasant revolt movement; there is a folder labeled “402” identified only as “Spec Asst to the Sec of State – Negotiations with the US, 1932, MEMORANDUM OF CERTAIN CONVERSATIONS IN RUSSIA REGARDING DEBTS, RECOGNITION. MAY – JULY, 1932”. It is a curious document oddly overlooked by Bullitt historians. (W. C. Bullitt Papers, Yale Univ. Library Archives, folder 402, Box 110)

Bullitt wants to improve relations and trade with the Soviets, and more importantly become an accepted player with the Consortium gang. The peasant farmers and their families are readily forsaken to the priority of debt recovery through gold and grain sales existing in one and separate worlds divided by war greed politics and persecution of the Slavic Ukrainian population of men, women and children. Now only life and death divide them and keeps their separateness apart in a once united world. Ultimately the terror sweeps them out of sight. It is worthy to note that there is virtually nothing to show that any of these bank men, including Bullitt were even the slightest concerned with the loss of human life as a result of oppression and famine in the Ukraine.

As it is, by summer 1932 Bullitt finds himself in the maze of key banking insiders on the Kremlin scene playing a part trying to settle millions of dollars of privately-held debt under the stigma of a national Genocide. It’s a pathetic arrangement for him but this is his destiny. Fate has thrown him another card so what can he do? He has a daughter back home and his former wife is shooting dope and getting drunk in Paris. Both of them live under the shadow of Jack Reed. Now he is in the thick of a Genocide and trying to cut a deal with the Bols and National City. Among the people Bullitt hangs out with in Moscow in May and June are his friends Lyons, Duranty, Fischer of the foreign press pool. To be sure Bullitt came prepared with an extensive list of political and social contacts of Moscow’s elite diplomatic circuit with links to the Consortium, the ARCC in the CFR and men of National City. It was the way he got around and he did what he had to do.

Bullitt meets Mikhail Osipovich Reikhel, Chief of the Foreign Currency Department in charge of International Settlements and Vice Commissar for Finance. Bullitt notes that a National City banker (no names) at this time travels to the Cossack region of Dnieprostroi to inspect progress on the huge hydroelectric project and to Kharkov, capital of Soviet Ukraine. There the banker observed thousands of laborers in work camps. Bullitt wrote, “Meshlauk wanted me to see these places, and I wanted to see Col. Cooper’s brother, Dexter Cooper, at Dnieprostroi. He has influence with Winter, an engineer made Vice-Commissar for Heavy Industry with Piatakov, ‘and I am told it is the first time a professional man has been made a Commissar’.

Although Bullitt during this crucial period of intense Soviet preparations to deal with the grain crisis, he ignores it. There is no evidence that Bullitt gave it any serious attention. He most probably called upon his friend Duranty and others of the foreign press to get the latest dope on the Soviets. Duranty is writing his series on Stalin and the US for The New York Times that gets him the Pulitzer. Bullitt keeps his head down. He’s not here to grab headlines.

Molotov and Kaganovich harangue the Ukrainian Communist Party leaders assembled at the Third All-Ukrainian Conference. It is to be the deciding blow. Ukrainian Party leaders Skrypnyk, Kosior, Chubar appeal that the spring sowing campaign had failed to produce the grain harvest projected by leaders higher up in the Party hierarchy. The grain targets are excessive, they argued. Chubar, head of the Ukrainian Soviet Government was reported by Pravda, July 7 as blaming unrealistic quotas imposed on the kolkhozes in their haste to concede to Party discipline. It was a suicidal plea. “It is wrong,” he was reported to have said, “to accept an order regardless of its practicability, and then try to distort Party policy, to destroy revolutionary law and order, to ruin the economy of the Kolkhozes, justifying all this by orders from above.”

There is madness everywhere. The communist system has gone berserk. They argue. Even whispering halls have ears! Suspicion and fear thicken the atmosphere with charges and accusation. The Party is questioned. They have written their own death sentence. How dare he challenge the Party! Saboteur! Wrecker! What did it matter that conditions were brutal in the villages throughout the vast and once fertile plains of the Ukraine. In spite of that Stalin orders a delivery target of 7.7 million tons.

A week after the conference, Pravda reports Molotov’s counterattack on “anti-Bolshevik” critics of the procurement policy. “There would be no concessions or vacillations,” Molotov vowed, “in the problem of fulfillment of the task set by the Party and the Soviet government.” No concessions! Shock brigades to the countryside! Soviet justice must prevail against the Ukrainian usurpers! Stalin’s order is reduced to 6.6 million tons but it is never collected. Fields and huts are stripped bare. So is the political will of leaders who yet dare to resist Stalin’s death-grip on the Party. Apparently an incident provoking a showdown at the highest level of Party leadership fails to find sufficient clarity in the dispatches of the foreign embassies to foresee the elements combining to bring upon them the perfect storm of terror and famine.

This bellwether summer 1932 Martemyan N. Ryutin (1890-37) and a group of minor party officials including other followers of Bukharin who have opposed collectivization challenge Stalin by signing their “Appeal to All Members of the All Union Communist Party (Bolshevik)”. It’s a letter of inflammatory protest against Stalin’s brutality and sent to the Central Committee in the autumn 1932. A former Secretary of the Moscow Party Committee Ryutin is accused of a plot against Stalin. This is very bad for Ryutin; he had already been arrested once, September 1930 but Stalin reconsidered and the OGPU (Security Police) Collegium is instructed not to condemn him as an “enemy of the people” but to let him go, cleared of any criminal intent! Ryutin is given a warning only this time he can feel the noose tightening around his neck.

So he swings the helm to a different tack. But this time his paper, known as “the Ryutin Platform” proposes an economic retreat, a reduction of investment in heavy industry and the liberation of the peasants that would allow them to leave the collective and state farms. Everyone knows he’s risking his life but Ryutin’s courageous indignation is nothing less than heroic. What else could he do? Russia is going over the cliff. Since 1930 the Gulag has become a way of life and death for Great Soviet Experiment. How is the Party going to survive?

They have had enough of Stalin! They issue a revolutionary call to the nation. The terror must end! They really put their necks out this time. The “Ryutin Platform” condemns Stalin as “the evil genius of the Russian Revolution”. They point to the terror, famine and lawlessness existing both in the party and in the countryside, the collapse of genuine planning. They accuse the Party for supporting an official press reduced “in the hands of Stalin and his clique to a monstrous factory of lies… Stalin and his clique will not and cannot voluntarily give up their position, so they must be removed by force”.

Not until 1989 did the text of the “Ryutin Platform” become public and its content is so outrageously aggressive in its condemnation of the Five Year Plan and the horrors of collectivization that it raised suspicions of possible “OGPU provocation”.

Christopher Andrew writes in The Sword and the Shield, “it denounced Stalin as ‘the evil genius of the Russian Revolution, motivated to the edge of the abyss’, and demanded his removal from power. ‘It is shameful for proletarian revolutionaries to tolerate any longer Stalin’s yoke, his arbitrariness, his scorn for the Party and the labouring masses.'” Stalin sees it all as a call for his assassination. Stalin’s proposal that Ryutin be shot. “We mustn’t do that!”, Sergei M. Kirov (1886-34) head of the Leningrad Party, and Stalin’s close supporter, protested. “Ryutin”, Kirov insists, “is not a hopeless case, he’s merely gone astray.”

The Politburo refuses to execute Comrade Ryutin. Party leaders cite Lenin’s opposition to the death penalty for any member of the Politburo. Ryutin and his other comedians are expelled from the Party; Ryutin gets a tenner in the Gulag. Such mercy from the Great Dictator; for five years Stalin lets him fester and rot in a cold prison cell, then satisfied with the punishment orders him executed. And Stalin’s Commissar of Heavy Industry, the Georgian Grigorii K. (Sergo) Ordzhonikidze (1886-37) must deliver on next summer’s success of the Consortium’s invincible Five Year Plan for Industry. All this while the most stealthy wolf of wolves plans his next strike. Kirov’s day will come and none too soon… (re. Kirov and Ryutin, in C, Andrew and V. Mitrokhin, 69)

Stalin’s campaign of Terror-Famine steps up the pace. The coming winter will bring peak killing levels. Soviet grain procurements rise steadily from 10.8 million (1928-29) to 16.1 million (1929-30), to 22.1 million (1930-31), and to 22.8 million (1931-32). Former British spy and informer Robert Conquest determined to lay full blame for the Genocide on the Stalinists cites Naum Jasny, in 1949, observing that “three years after the start of mass collectivization, the government had more than doubled the amount of grain it took from the countryside.” There’s no way Stalin can keep the lid on this now. From the Port of Odessa on the Black Sea the Japanese Consul travels north in June through the Crimea and the Ukraine and reports that “in comparison with the peasants of other republics, Ukrainian peasants make a pitiful impression with their ragged clothing, their emaciated bodies, and their begging: even in large railway stations peasants and their wives and children stretch out their hands for alms and beg for bread…” (N. Jasny, 541; R. Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow, “The End of Free Peasantry”, 174-5; HDA SBU, Odessa, file 66, v. 4, fol. 2241; Yuriy Shapoval, “Foreign Diplomats on the Holodomor in Ukraine”, Holodomor Studies Journal, v. 1, Issue 1, Winter-Spring 2009, 41-54)

The Consortium steadily pushes their secret agenda on debts. The Soviets refuse to proceed without recognition first, and to be followed by negotiations later. Louis Fischer is to met in Berlin May 25with Col. Cooper. (However, if not Fischer, perhaps the liaison agent is Wannamaker of the famous Philadelphia department store family – the name is barely legible on a document in the Bullitt collection in the Yale archives). We know that either Bullitt, or Fischer “left Moscow on May 19. “Met with Baryshnikoff and Leven for dinner. Reviewing the Plan of 1927. Baryshnikoff said finally that if the National City Bank would leave … the so-called public debt, to be discussed between the U.S.A. and the US., he thought he could reach a speedy settlement … unsolved … debt issues … negotiations. Informal.” (W.C. Bullitt Papers, Yale University Archives)

Bullitt reports his meeting on the 16th for lunch with Fischer: “He had seen several members of the Central Committee, and one member of the Committee of Ten. He had also talked with Karahan (Karakhan sic), Borodin, and several others. They concurred in thinking there was no object in continuing the negotiations until after the American elections in November. They thought Roosevelt might be elected, and be more favorable than Hoover to Recognition. In the interval, the German situation might have cleared, and the general question of international debts have got nearer a settlement. The US crop would be harvested and they could then estimate better what a realistic attitude they should adopt toward the National City Bank”.

June 1932 Bullitt stays in Moscow. In the city of spies and informers corporate agents and conmen here he is the man on the scene testing testing European waters for his handlers in America – House, Baruch and Cromwell and their group while sounding out opinions of European leaders and journalists. He’ll meet up with Eugene Lyon, UPI wire correspondent and a close friend Zara Witkin (his last name is a form of the Russian Utkin) returned from the Ukraine and the Crimea full of stories of his trip.

Zara Witkin proves to be one of the most important American engineer architects for the Stalin’s Five Year Plan of Industry. Witkin has both talent and connections eased by his fluency in Russian. When he needs a place to stay he moves in with Lyons and his beautiful Russian wife at their sumptuous flat which later Armand Hammer takes away from them in a Catch-22 plot with the soviets. The Moscow community of foreigners is a tightly-knit crowd. It seems everyone knows everyone, more or less. Armand Hammer is the shrewdest of Russian businessmen and later leads the group that controls Occidental Petroleum.

“Franklin Roosevelt will be the next President”, Bullitt tells Lyons off the record, “and American recognition of the Soviet government will be one of the first acts of his administration.” Together they drive to the Kremlin. Lyons remains waiting in the car while Bullitt visits John Reed’s tomb. Lyons recounted the scene: “Reed’s ashes were buried on Red Square, just outside the Kremlin wall, along with other native and foreign heroes of the revolution.” Lyons and Andreychine had obtained the necessary propusk to enter the tomb area. “Bullitt carrying a large floral wreath, walked solemnly toward Reed’s grave. We saw him place the flowers on the stone and stand there with bowed head for several minutes. “Billy” returned. Tears were rolling down his cheeks and his features were drawn with sorrow”. Was he crying for Reed or Bryant, or himself? They rode back to the New Moscow hotel in silence. He and his daughter repeat the gesture in 1933 when he returns as Ambassador.” Strange Lyons thought to see such a display of emotion in a diplomat. But remember reader, we know Lyons is a confessed liar and it serves his writing profession well.

Of course that’s not what happened.

The Consortium uses diplomacy as the perfect ruse to cover the reality of the enslavement of millions of Russians under the dictatorship. Bullitt learns firsthand that the Holodomor is already a State secret. No journalist dare pursue it. Just as it became a taboo in the Soviet Union so it is in the State Department and throughout the Consortium zones of power in Washington and Wall Street. End of story. Period. The Consortium always has ways of marginalizing and eliminating dangerous threats. Stalin’s subsequent little house-cleaning of the Purges took care of those criminally responsible for the “excesses” and “failures” of The Plans while he stood behind the curtain rewriting the script and pulling levers with his masterful power to murder at will. The top tier in the Consortium never trusted Bullitt. True friends he seldom has. Bullitt cultivates friendships like cuff-links, and lost them just as easily wearing them on his wrist and leaving them aside when they no longer satisfied his vanity. Litvinov is abroad in London.

During that summer 1932 the Lyonses vacation at Klyasma on the river thirty miles outside Moscow. Their neighbors included the family of Jimmy Abbe from Maine and Newport News, Rhodes Island who started his career as a boy with a $1 Kodak camera before becoming one of the best photographers immortalizing Broadway and film stars like Mary Pickford, Lillian and Dorothy Gish, Douglas Fairbanks, Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, and his child discovery the little Jackie Coogan, the Keystone Cops, Rudolph Valentino with Natacha Rambova, Fred and Adele Astaire, Louise Brooks, Gloria Swanson, and the great Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova… Jimmy Abbe was bold and persistent enough to get his foot in the door for a photo shoot with Stalin used as proof that the great dictator had not died contrary to rumors. In his book I Photograph Russia (1934) Abbe writes of the Kremlin dictator seated alone at a long conference table under a portrait of Marx, “There was nothing of the fanatic about him; his whole appearance registered strength”. When the session was over Abbe recalled, “As I turned to leave he moved back to his desk, a lonely man who had grasped so much power he had cut himself off from Humanity.”

Chaplin never goes to Russia during the Stalin regime. It would have made for an iconic encounter but that rendezvous never happened. In 1927 Stalin interrupts the shooting of Sergei Eisenstein’s October adapted from John Reed’s book Ten Days That Shook The World, insisting “to cut every reference to Trotsky, Zinoviev, and Kamenev”; in 1929 Eisenstein is checked again and in The General Line ordered not to depict the “liquidation of the kulaks as a class”. Extermination is not yet in vogue. Soviet film censors also tried to get to Chaplin in Hollywood, the new mecca for artists, writers, illustrators thrilled by the new art form. Chaplin, still the highest paid performer in the business not only acts in his own films but directs, produces and writes the music scores. His company United Artists with Mary Pickford has a steady run of hits. His character of the Tramp is a champion of the downtrodden and oppressed that became a sensation in 1915 survives the transition from silent to talking pictures.

Chaplin is far too wily to be duped by the Russians and their dumb-witted approaches to get his blockbuster distribution rights on the cheap Chaplin artfully rebuffs their approaches. When their NKVD agent and Eisenstein’s companion Ivor Montagu turns his pockets inside out complaining “ “all about the five-year plan, the need of the Soviet Union to import machinery, the shortage of valuta’”. In his 1964 autobiography written in Swiss exile, Chaplin recalls, “I saw a lot of them. They used to play very bad tennis on my court …” Chaplin resisted, arguing “It is the principle of the thing. Pictures are worth something. They give Henry Ford valuta for tractors and my pictures must be worth at least as much as several tractors.” (C. Chaplin, My Autobiography, 339-41; Kenneth S. Lynn, With Eisenstein in Hollywood, Chaplin and His Times, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1997, 96-7)

Always eager to help the honest man or woman on the dole during the Depression years Chaplin lives up to his image as the unemployed hapless and impoverished tramp eager to find work but incapable of holding a job in the upside down world of confused values and exploited labor by money-crazed population. As the highest paid entertainer in America during the First World War and one of the country’s most outspoken Liberty Loan Drive speakers Chaplin is suddenly rich beyond his dreams, and spent it generously amused by his good fortune and the luck of it all earned by simply putting a mirror in front of the parody while the world laughs at its foibles and uncanny human nature.

Gracious and humble, praised by kings and paupers alike for putting a face on this depressed war torn world, Chaplin will soon become a target of the FBI, as ridiculous and absurd as his comedies, and all the while pursued by the US government Red-baiters in the US Justice Department for his reputation to taking the side of the downtrodden crushed under the heel of unmitigated capitalism Chaplin finds himself in an ever-tightening vendetta of government persecution and official hypocrisy that will compel him to flee the country with the young beautiful aspiring actress Oona O’Neil, daughter of the famous playwright who he had met during his Greenwich Village days with the Provincetown Players with Max and Crystal Eastman, Dudley Field Malone and others. On perhaps more than one occasion he befriended George Andreytchine, Bullitt’s future informal attaché in Moscow, the IWW fugitive activist facing a long prison sentence destined to perish in Soviet custody. After the war US government agents of the Treasury Department hound him unrelentingly as well as patrimony and divorce lawyers desperate to serve him papers to seize his assets. Hollywood censors intervene to impose changes in his movies whenever they felt morally outraged by his satire and humor.

Chaplin travels frequently to Europe for openings, swamped by invitations from the Shaw, Wells, the Astors and their crowd, Anne Morgan, the Windsors of Buckingham Palace, and MPs. He has long and friendly conversations with world leaders, capitalists, politicians and artists too numerous to name, whether it was the King of England, or Mahatma Gandhi. To Eisenstein he added, “Discussing communism with him one day, I asked if he thought that the educated proletarian was mentally equal to the aristocrat with his generations of cultural background. I think he was surprised at my ignorance. Eisenstein, who came from a Russian middle-class family of engineers, said: ‘If educated, the cerebral strength of the masses is like rich new soil’.”After the war Chaplin sees Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible, and considers it “the acme of all historical pictures. Chaplin recalls, “He dealt with history poetically – an excellent way of dealing with it. When I realize how distorted even recent events have become, history as such only arouses my skepticism – whereas a poetic interpretation achieves a general effect of the period. After all, there are more valid facts and details in works of art than there are in history books.”(C. Chaplin, 323)

Writer, and for a brief spell socialist governor of California, Upton Sinclair remains a close friend of Chaplin since more youthful days in 1918. Now decades later during the Stalin’s tightening grip on Soviet Russia he has a talk about communism and socialist economics. Chaplin writes in My Autobiography, he explains to H.G. Wells how he first got interested in socialism. For his part, in 1914, Wells stays at the National Hotel in Moscow, and again, in 1920, when he meets Lenin and “the country of Bolsheviks”. He recalls, “We were driving to his house in Pasadena for lunch and he asked me in his soft-spoken way if I believed in the profit system. I said facetiously that it required an accountant to answer that … and from that moment I became interested and saw politics not as history but as an economic problem.” Upon his third visit in 1934 Wells again stays at the National Hotel. Speaking to reporters he recalled Lenin’s invitation, “Come back and see us in ten years.” (C. Chaplin, 350)

Chaplin visits Berlin, on his way to Vienna and Venice. In March 1932, he joins Marlene Dietrich for tea along with Reichstag politicians. There he meets Einstein who praises Modern Times, “You’re not a comedian, he tells him, You’re an economist.” His films are popular with the Germans but banned by the Italian dictator as anti-capitalist and “Bolshevist” propaganda. His 1940 hit, The Great Dictator, is banned in Germany; Hitler reportedly saw it twice in private screenings. Chaplin skips Moscow and arrives in Tokyo via Bali and the South Pacific.

Less than a year after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria,  Chaplin succeeds in becoming a big item at the US embassy when a plot to murder him is foiled. At one point the conspirators consider assassinating him during his visit to Prime Minister Inukai’s residence. The Japanese ringleader Koga told the judge, “Chaplin is a popular figure in the United States and the darling of the capitalist press. We believed that killing him would cause a war with America, and thus we could kill two birds with a single stone.” (K. S. Lynn, 347-55)

Comintern 1935. That summer soviet official Boris Z. Shumiatsky is sent to Hollywood to persuade Chaplin telling him that he really must reshoot the end of Modern Times for a more glamorous image of the virtues capitalism. Chaplin is amused and at the same time perplexed. When a leak to the hostile anti-communist Hollywood press threatens a backlash at the box office any enthusiasm Chaplin might have held for the plan fades and he is more relieved than frustrated not to have the extra work.

We find also in communist Russia at this time Spencer Williams, a corporate publicist from Ithaca, New York here for the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce (ARRC). Traveling with his wife Caroline and amusing themselves in the country while making idyllic movies of naked bathing, they relax with journalist Bill Chamberlin and his Russian born wife Sonya who he married in Greenwich Village. With them too is Consortium watchdog Henry Luce of Time, and FDR’s aide and speech-writer Stanley High, a Methodist “preacher and publicist”. Future Soviet spy Alfred Stern is the husband of Edith Rosenwald, the daughter and heiress of the recently deceased founder of the Sears, Roebuck retail fortune, the philanthropist Julius Rosenwald who had built and saved the company of Richard Sears with his millions and a personal motto: “”Treat people fairly and honestly and generously and their response will be fair and honest and generous.” It’s not quite the Russian way but it works in capitalist America. It is Rosenwald who coined the pledged “satisfaction guaranteed or your money back”. He retired as president of Sears in 1924, devoting his life to philanthropy helping set up thousands of schools to help poor black families and children of the Southern United States, and contributing to Jewish charities and the University of Chicago. In spite of their philanthropic activities while pursuing other noble and beneficent deeds neither his daughter nor her friends feel compelled to help the Russians or the Ukrainians in their most dire time of need or deliver them from famine or from their supreme dictator saviour of his proletarian masses.

And why is that? Their presence in these times cannot be related without regard to circumstances. These Americans know the Holodomor is happening and that the American banks and corporations are eager partners. After all, it’s the talk of the town (behind closed doors and away from microphones, spies and informers everywhere, at every table, every passer-by…). They too experience the food scarcity but its affects very little this crowd of Consortium chic. Luce has his hand on the pulse of Consortium activities but never likes Russia. In fact he loathes the communists and their rugged primitive Slavic passions and for the most part considers Soviet Russia a crude affront to the cultured civility of the West. Luce is no lover of Pushkin or Tolstoy.

The “Red Millionaire” Alfred Stern fills the shoes of the pro-Soviet American charming dilettante with a pedigree. Phillips Exeter, Harvard, marriage in 1921 to Edith Stern; they divorce fifteen years later, in 1936, taking his million dollar settlement to bed with his new wife Martha Dodd, daughter of ambassador William Dodd, and femme fatale of the 1930s with a string of famous lovers too many to mention that included the poet Carl Sandburg, writer Thomas Wolfe, Nazi Gestapo chief Rudolf Deis, General Ernest Udet. second in command under Göering of the Luftwaffe, Louis Ferdinand, grandson of the Kaiser … and the Soviet spy in Berlin Boris Vinogradov whom she’d known for three years and agreed to marry.

Martha Dodd succeeds where many other women might be less daring and exploits her sexual favors with immodest exuberance. In one conversation with an NKVD interlocutor when she’s having waiting for a Moscow visa, he writes, “The conversation ended with this instructive colloquy: ‘Martha made the remark that all men were vulnerable somewhere. Does this mean, I asked her, that you feel that you could sleep with almost any man if you chose to? ‘Yes,’ she said, and then: ‘It might be advantageous at times… This Martha meant in terms of political work.'” Six months after the German invasion, in a letter to one of NKVD contacts, on December 26, 1941, she proposes numerous associates for recruitment as likely agents, including her husband Alfred Stern. (A. Weinstein, 64-5)

Before her ambassador father returns to Washington, Martha Dodd visits the Soviet Union and meets with agents of the Soviet foreign intelligence section; reports are forwarded to Commissar Yezhov. On March 14, 1937, she delivers her “Statement to the Soviet Government”. An NKVD memorandum mirrors her request and self-declared desire to offer her “services of any kind and at any time … to the party for use at its discretion”. Although she has a highly exaggerated perception of her value as a soviet asset her comment about her father, the State Department and Dodd’s refusal “to cooperate with bankers, businessmen” merits attention. She declares in her statement “I’m afraid he will retire this summer or fall. He was of great benefit to the Roosevelt administration, contributing an anti-Nazi view. In any case, this was with regard to Hull and Roosevelt. Most State Department officials work with the Nazis, for example, Dunn, chief of the European department; Phillips, currently in Rome; Bullitt; and others. My father tried to prevent trade agreements (with Germany); he refused to cooperate with bankers, businessmen, etc. Recently he cabled Hull and Roosevelt concerning a supposed loan to Germany which is supported by Bullitt and Blum (Leon Blum, Prime Minister of France), Davis, Phillips, and England… Except for Roosevelt and Hull, the State Department, representatives of American business circles, and the Germans all wish to remove my father.” Martha aims to exploit her father’s resignation into an Nazi-contrived anti-US “provocation once he decides the question of timing” and turn it to the advantage of the Soviets. “To resign and to publish a protest? He could be convinced to do it if it had significance for the USSR.” With Roosevelt filling diplomatic posts she gives a list of “capitalists who financed him”, and comments “Having little experience with respect to European politics, Roosevelt will appoint … people or groups who will be dangerous now and in time of war.” (A. Weinstein, 55-6)

Her requests to become a Soviet agent reach Stalin. No response from Stalin survives in NKVD files no is there a trace that he has a second thought about her. Nor is she told that her lover agent Vinogradov is executed by Stalin in 1938 not long after his departure from Berlin according to rigid Soviet procedure. Instead, he is forced to write her a letter pretending all is well with his new posting in Moscow. She replies, rejoicing at the good news “You work in the press office, don’t you? Are you happy? Did you find a girl you can love instead of me?” She tells him of her recent marriage to Stern, and hopes to meet Boris later that summer during their trip to the USSR. “You know, honey, that for me, you meant more in my life than anybody else. You also know that, if I am needed, I will be ready to come when called.” So, while her lover is tortured with millions of Russians who disappear in the Great Purge she dreams lives the life of the millionaire’s wife with a splendid apartment on 57th Street in Manhattan, servants, a chauffeur, a personal secretary. Soon, she dreams, her husband Alfred will write a check to FDR for $50,000 and she’ll be the wife of the next ambassador to Moscow… It never happens. Hitler, too, regrets not making better use of her. Stalin duped her and lets her live; for decades Martha Dodd and Alfred Stern spy for the NKVD-KGB. She later flees the US when charged with espionage, and dies in Prague, in 1990. (John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, Yale, 1999, 270; A. Weinstein, 60-1)

Witkin has little time for idleness. His source of inspiration is spilling over with impossible ambition. The American-born to Russian immigrants living in California, Zara Witkin inspects the farmland and future harvest and makes inquiries for the Soviet Trust of heavy industry including the Kharkov Tractor Plant managed with American and foreign engineers and technology from Ford Motor Co. of Detroit. But despite his high-level clearance Witkin is barred from a top-secret aviation plant in Odessa on the Black Sea. “We intended to make a thorough inspection of the farm,” Witkin writes, and he adds, “Its management methods were of especial interest to us. To allow ample time for the officials to begin their work and get out the necessary daily orders, we did not appear at the director’s office until ten o’clock. It was locked! No one was there! We waited three-quarters of an hour. Then the bookkeeper came. I recalled the reputation of the manager, Margolin, who had been so lauded in descriptions of this farm in several books on Soviet Russia.” Witkin refers to Arnold D. Margolin, an American of Ukrainian descent who maintains a close correspondence with Undersecretary Rogers and Kelley yearning for a national insurgence to topple Soviet totalitarianism.

Witkin tells what went down: “A few minutes later the assistant director arrived. It was then about eleven o’clock. This official invited us in. We were seated and he began to tell us about the farm. We asked about the distribution of various crops. He pointed to some maps which hung on the wall. They were in colored crayon showing different crops under cultivation. This graphical study pleased me. It seemed systematic. Here, at least, was a sign of order. We decided to go into the fields to see the cultivation of some particular crop. Spring wheat was selected, shown in green on the map. The assistant director hesitated peculiarly. We pressed our guide for explanation. There was a short, lively colloquy between her and the assistant director. When the conversational smoke cleared, we discovered that the map was two years old and bore no relation to the present crops in the fields! The assistant director could not tell us of their actual position or extent. ‘Take us to any part of the farm where work is in progress’, I said. ‘I want to see the methods in use, the machinery employed and the way of handling the farm employees in collective cultivation’.”

The extraordinary emptiness of the fields amazed us. We were told that plowing was being done at night because of the fierce midday heat. The tractors, therefore, must have carried lights. We asked to see them and were conducted to the spot where the machines were parked. All the headlights were broken! Not one was in operating condition! The assistant director hurried to explain the visible idleness. He said that this was a ‘rest-day’. But some people were at work, we observed. Other excuses for the paralysis which hung over the farm were tentatively put forward. As quickly as we discovered that one was false, another was suggested. Work was actually at a standstill. That was the fact. There was nothing to do but return to the headquarters of the farm. There, we looked through the machine-shop where tractors and other farm machinery were repaired. It was in indescribable confusion. The floor was piled high with broken parts, metal cuttings and oiled waste. Several machines lay about in various stages of disassembly. Lathes, presses and other machines looked dirty and uncared for. It was a disheartening sight. Across the road, a gang of workers were moving a tractor and wagon out of the field, through an opening in the fence. By amazing maneuvering, the driver of the tractor had managed to get the wagon wheel hooked in the fence. Vociferous debate alternating with sudden hysterical attempts to move the wagon resulted almost in uprooting the fence. This was too much for my silent endurance. I walked over to the men and directed them to get a strong plank. With it we wedged the wagon over so that it cleared the fence opening. Then it was pulled through triumphantly.”

“By this time it was well past the lunch hour, and we hurried to the dining-room. A toilet, too foul for use, opened directly into it. The odors did not enhance the appetite. On the great Verblud State Experimental Farm of the Soviet Union, we had anticipated some wholesome farm food. Soup, milk and coffee were served to us. The soup was made of the customary sour cabbage. The milk had a peculiar taste. After one swallow we rejected it. The ‘coffee’ was a grain substitute, none too palatable. Soon after the meal we suffered mild stomach disturbances. That was the last straw…”

Fritz F. W. Winter from the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company is employed by Cooper’s Dnieperstroy Dam construction project and cited in dispatch No. 1197 dated March 21, 1933 sent by George S. Messersmith (1883-60), a rising Foreign Service diplomat soon appointed ambassador to Austria (1934-38), and jointly heads the US Consulate in Berlin until 1939, when he returns to Washington and sent on as ambassador to Cuba (1941); after the war Messersmith is posted as ambassador to Mexico and Argentina. With his foot in the door one step away from retirement in 1947 Ambassador Messersmith heads the Mexican Light and Power Company as board chairman.

Messersmith is well-liked at State. He spent the years of World War I as Consul at Curacao in the Netherlands West Indies, where life was not always calm in the exotic paradise of beaches and palm trees; he discovered a secret German code, which enabled authorities in the United States to arrest and deport a number of enemy agents. In Berlin he stood his ground with the top Nazis and it was said Hitler “frothed at the mouth” on hearing his name. “In various dispatches I have informed the Department that the period of physical persecution of the Jews may be considered as over…”, Messersmith writes later this year in his long dispatch on the Jews in Germany. (George S. Messersmith Papers, Sept. 21, 1933, “Present State of the Anti-Semitic Movement in Germany”, Item 305, Univ. of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware. Messersmith GS Berlin. Dispatch No. 1596 to Hull)

Louis Fischer also has a plan. Louis Fischer plays all the roles – spy, double-agent, State Department informer, left-wing communist, Stalin’s messenger and next to his friend Duranty the Consortium’s top journalist in Moscow. Assigned to The Nation Fischer is deeply embedded in Moscow’s Party power hierarchy and as such an essential contact for Bullitt. They meet often and sound each other out, trading and selling. A unique bedfellow for diplomats and politicians they wonder. Is Fischer a Bol? A communist or one of us? Can they trust him? Who is he really working for? The Consortium use him to get their money back and further their deals with the Kremlin. He likes to pose as the channel from Stalin to FDR. Bullitt also observes that Fischer has top connections with the “Group of Ten Borodin etc.” In 1933 Bullitt will met him again with Duranty, in New York, during the summer in preliminary meetings prior to the secret talks between Moscow and Washington.

Fischer wants Bullitt (“with no new money”) to speak with Col. Hugh Cooper – “the only foreigner who has access to Stalin”. Bullitt meets with Dexter Cooper tickled to declare “all the Coopers are from my native state of Maine”. After their “talk” plans to see Colonel Cooper. Bullitt learns from Pyatakov that “an American syndicate has proposed to raise fifty million dollars to finance German trade with Russia”. The National City man said he had “never heard of it. Bullitt wants to know more. Pyatakov tells Bullitt that National City bank property seized by the Bolsheviks “was never nationalized… American banks could make an arrangement with the German government, whereby American funds frozen in Germany, could be invested in Russian credits. Germany could manufacture and sell to Russia, but Russia would pay America.” The National City man refuses. The National City Bank credits in Germany, he says, are “not of the type to make his suggestion appeal to us.” Bullitt thinks, however, “that more than 80% of our German credits would be paid.” And he adds “I did not believe Germany would consent to any such tripartite arrangement.” Bullitt tells his Soviet interlocutors that “a settlement with the National City Bank would give the US a better credit rating than it now had, so that possibly instead of discounting their paper in some instances at as high as 48%, they could get the current rates.”

On the 12th, Bullitt holds a three hour meeting with Meshlauk – Valerii Ivanovich Mezhlauk – (1893-38) and Kalmanovitch (Kaganovich sic) over dinner. He wants to meet with Pyatakov still in Germany “where he had been trying to negotiate additional credits”. The Soviet line is firm – no talks on debts “prior to recognition”. They agree on a general figure, $86 million. American market conditions preempt any credit arrangement. What to do? Bullitt learns that “Meshlauk suggested eight years duration. They might propose the same terms for a hundred million. This would give forty million in eight years and they would retire the credit in equal eight installments.” Bullitt insists on “the impossibility of doing anything of this kind because of the American attitude”, No problem counter the Soviets, we take “twenty-five million for five years”. Again Bullitt insists “no credit seemed feasible.”

A Bolshevik since 1907 Mezhlauk Valerii Ivanovich is later state and party leader. in military politics during the Civil War, People’s Commissar of Transport, and he remains a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of National Economy in the 1920s. During the late twenties and early thirties Mezhlauk also sits on the All-Union Central Executive Committee, the Council of People’s Commissars, the State Planning Commission and the Council of Labor and Defense, in both councils holding the chair from 1934. In 1937 he briefly replaces Stalin’s intimate associate Ordzhonikidze as People’s Commissar of Heavy Industry. Poor Mezhlauk. When Stalin no longer needs him Mezhlauk too is purged, arrested as an “enemy of the people” and executed July 29, 1938. Dead men never pose a threat. They don’t tell secrets. They do their duty as good faithful Party men especially inside the orbit of the Proletarian myth.

Talks for National City resume days later. Bullitt offers the carrot with the stick. No deal say the Bols. Bullitt observed, “They took the attitude that having abandoned “Recognition” as a condition precedent to negotiations, they would make no further concessions. They wanted fifty or a hundred million dollars for eight years; if it was a hundred million they offered 7 % normal interest and 5 % interest to apply on the old debts. If it was fifty million, then it would be 7% normal interest and 3% excess interest.”

Bullitt writes, “Fischer also said that the Government was always worrying about coalitions being formed against the USSR and if the U.S.A. could find occasion to say it would not meddle in the Soviet internal affairs as it had meddled through the Siberian Expedition, it could be arranged to have a contemporaneous statement from the USSR against propaganda.” Fischer tries a different ploy “to arrange a different approach for me than through Moshlauk”. Bullitt tells him “that unless the suggestion came from the Central Committee I should stick to Moshlauk during the current conferences.” Fischer will persist during the summer and fall “to hammer down his views.”

Bullitt dines with an unnamed member of a small preparatory commission of Americans on loans and recognition issues. Fischer and Duranty know all about these secret negotiations for National City and Bullitt’s review of the Five Year Plans for the Rockefeller Morgan money – but nothing of it all is reported in the press. Deep background and all off the record.

Riga is no less close to the scene in the Ukraine than Warsaw and the Polish diplomats in Kiev and Kharkov grow extremely stressed by Soviet repression of the Ukrainians. The Polish Consul, for example, in Kiev, on May 11 the Polish Consul writes: “I report that every day I received increasingly more news about the famine in Right-Bank Ukraine, which is felt particularly acutely in the province. According to the latest reports, almost every day there are cases of people who are collapsing from weakness and exhaustion being collected from the streets of such cities as Vinnytsia and Uman. The situation may even be worse in the countryside, where, according to information from a reliable source, robberies and murders as a result of starvation are daily occurrences.” (Y. Shapoval, “Foreign Diplomats on the Holodomor in Ukraine”, Holodomor Studies, 2009, citing Central Military Archive, Tsentralnyi Viiskovyi Arkhiv, henceforth: TsVA, Warsaw, Department II of the Chief Command, file I.303.4.3043, folder 64)

Bullitt learns more about Soviet willingness to export its 1932 wheat harvest and link it to offset the National City debt. It’s an outrageous plan but it might work! Take the Ukrainian grain and pay off the Americans. This debt reduction plan hinges on the death of the Ukrainians including millions of helpless children and Genocide against an entire proud but ruthlessly subjugated nation but that doesn’t bother the dandy Yaleman Bill Bullitt eager to please his Consortium peers and make it an integral part of the framework of official recognition talks in Washington. A definite boost to his spotted career!

The Bullitt’s papers stored the Yale library archives reveal that the Japanese problem also put pressure on the deal. Bullitt writes, “Fischer thinks, nevertheless, there still remains Soviet willingness to come to terms with the National City Bank, but not with so many unknown factors in the situation to complicate a deal. Stalin is still much preoccupied about Japan and is curious to know what repercussions there would be in the USA if Russia recognized Manchuko (Manchuria sic). The problem of the Chinese Eastern Railway makes it quite difficult not to recognize Manchuko at least as a Government de facto. Stalin wants a official diplomatic recognition and has nothing to gain by antagonizing the Americans.

Louis Fischer promises to make a further ‘investigation’. Bullitt concluded. ”The writer, probably Fischer and co-member of the mission visited Stalingrad on the 14th to meet Maridian and Baryshnikoff (sic) “but only briefly”. Bullitt lunched with him on the 15th, writing that that day, “he, and another Vice-Commissar of the State Bank, by name Leven, were my hosts. I reviewed all of my negotiations to date.” (William C. Bullitt Papers, Yale Univ. Archives, ibid.)

Bullitt’s papers shed light on the Consortium money trail. He writes, “Baryshnikoff said he had been twenty-one days in New York, seen the Chase people, and many other bankers and industrialists, including, I believe Ford (Henry or Edsel, sic), and Owen D. Young”. The Fords, Chase bankers, Young… they are all key Consortium players. “He endorsed my position fully,” Bullitt writes back, “and would try to bring a similar conviction to his Government. He was, on the 20th to be put in charge of all financing connected with carrying out the Five Year Plan.” He had heard Arkus’ and Meshlauk’s versions of our conversations, and found us in accord in our memory of them. He agreed entirely that there was no chance of a credit in New York to the USSR, or to any other foreign Government.” Bullitt’s views mirror those of the bankers, and even National City which proposes “a plan of settlement which would involve no new advances by the National City Bank but would grow out of the Plan of 1927.” (William C. Bullitt Papers, Yale Univ. Archives, ibid.)

In Moscow Bullitt’s negotiations proceed directly with the Central Committee of the Party. A final meeting lasts two hours between the City’s bankers and the Soviets. Bullitt reports that “Meshlauk said the Central Committee felt the USSR had existed fifteen years without Recognition, and they could continue to exist without it. It seemed to me a natural conclusion, and I said so. But Meshlauk expostulated very earnestly that he thought Recognition most important and that he wanted to remove every obstacle in its path.”

Stalin keeps his cards close to his chest. The Soviet CC has refused the Mitchell Plan of 1927 “based on their conception of public policy” while holding out for better terms between National City and the Gosbank, and more business between the two countries. Charles E. Mitchell, National City chairman also sits on the board of the Nazi–American chemical giant IG Farben along with Henry Ford and Paul Warburg of the Bank of Manhattan is also chairman of the NY Fed. Four Consortium men are also members of the American IG Farben board with Mitchell: Edsel B. Ford, president of Ford, W. C. Teagle, a director of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil of New Jersey, and Paul Warburg. In 1928 Henry Ford combined his German assets with Farben. (William C. Bullitt Papers, Yale Univ. Archives, ibid.)

Stalin wants a deal. “I could assure any appropriate public authority in the U.S.A,” the National City rep was told, and Bullitt reported, “that that in the event of Recognition, the USSR was prepared to make an equitable adjustment of its indebtedness, including claims, but excluding the Kerensky debt, and the payments made by Bakhmetioff after the Revolution of November 1917. As to propaganda, the speech of Stalin about a year ago, (1931) and the financial strain on Russia imposed by the Five Year Plan, would constitute their answer: they were not interested in world revolution or propaganda.” That was the bottom line. Bullitt adds, “Sidney Webb had spent several hours with Trotsky this spring trying to convince him. World Revolution was no longer to be considered as a possibility. Arkus, says the writer, is “the most experienced of their staff in debt negotiations”. Kalmanovich (Kaganovich sic) was away on “vacation” leaving Meshlauk “the sole representative of the Central Committee, with power to call on such technical advisers as he felt he required”.

Comrade Lazar Kaganovich away on “vacation”? Not quite. Kaganovitch is fighting for his life. He won’t get a second chance if he fails Stalin now. It is exactly during the harvest that Stalin is more than ever concerned about peasant resistance. Naturally tight-lipped even around his closest associates, Stalin is sometimes compelled to write instructions from a distance, for example, when he is away in the Crimea at some southern dacha on the Black Sea. To Lazar Kaganovich, Secretary of the CC AUCP (b), in a letter dated August 11 Stalin sends a message of rage over objections by district (raion) party committees in Kiev and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts calling the latest instructions for grain procurements unrealistic. Stalin lets loose his fury charging the entire leadership of the Ukrainian SSR with disloyalty and not executing his orders to seize grain he swears has been hidden by the rogue peasants. He orders a “purge” of Ukrainian society and total effort to liquidate “Ukrainian nationalists”.


Stalin moves deftly to crush any revolt. He is ruthless in his manner, coy and cunning firm as steel. “Unless we immediately start to improve the situation in Ukraine,” he wrote, “we might lose Ukraine. Mind you, that Pilsudski is not sleeping, and his agents in Ukraine are many times stronger than Redens or Koisor might think. Also keep in mind that the ranks of the Ukrainian Communist Party (500,000 members, ha-ha) have quite a few (yes, quite a few!) rotten elements, conscious and unconscious followers of Petliura*, and finally, direct agents of Pilsudski. As soon as matters take a turn for the worse, these elements will rush to open the front inside (and outside) of the party, against the party. The worst thing is that the Ukrainian leadership is blind to these dangers. This can no longer continue.” (Stalin to Kaganovich, August 11, 1932, re. “If we don’t make an effort now to improve the situation in Ukraine we may lose Ukraine.” , O.V. Khlevnyuk et al., eds., Stalin i Kaganovich. Perepiska. 1931-1936, Moscow, 2001, 273-75, in Michael Ellman, “The Role of Leadership Perceptions and of Intent in the Soviet Famine of 1931-1934”, Europe-Asia Studies, v. 57, Sept. 6, 2005, 823-41; “The situation was worsened in Stalin’s view by the way the Ukrainisation policy had been applied, which had strengthened the anti-Soviet elements in both Ukraine and Russia (e.g. the North Caucasus; Stalin i Kaganovich. Neizdannaia perepiska. 1931-1936, Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2001, 274; Ukrainian nationalist Simon Vasilyevich Petlyura Ukrainian headed anti-Bolshevik forces in Ukraine 1919-19, assassinated in Paris exile 1942)

Elsewhere and preoccupied with his Russian banking business for his Consortium masters, Bullitt learns that the National City man has invited for the Russian Soviet State Bank to join in the talks “because I believed them to be favorable to an early settlement with the National City Bank”. Further, he adds, “I repeated my old argument of impossibility as to the credit plan, and made a new summing up of the arguments previously advanced in support of the 1927 plan for the so-called “Public Debt”. He figured that of the $50 million some $35 million “was deposited with the Committee in New York, and of the twenty-five million, some fifteen million was deposited.”

Baryshikoff had already been given all the details in New York. Soviet annual gold production “remained relatively low, only slightly upwards of thirty-five million dollars”. But National City rejects a credit plan of 50 to 100 million dollars, as well as “an arrangement for an association of American manufacturers who would carry their own credit risk, but American banks to finance the manufacturer”. Thus the Consortium planners with the eyes always keen to the exigences and inevitability of an outbreak of war, here or there (does it really matter where?), have worked out a viable banking scheme for Stalin and are prepared to force it through as long as Japanese encroachment in Manchuria makes him the weaker partner in the untold story of the National City Bank role in FDR’s deal to recognize the USSR. (W. C. Bullitt Papers, Yale Univ. Archives)

Stimson’s curiosity is aroused. He yearns to know how it would all unravel that fatal summer of 1932.

Documents of private bank debts, steps and procedures of details pertaining to US government recognition of Stalin’s Soviet Communist Dictatorship are stacked or filed orderly during secret talks with Soviet leaders under the shadow intensified extermination and continuous depopulations of starving villages. Special rail cars normally designated to transport cattle are assigned; caravans of armed trucks create streams of prisoners to the gulags dispersed throughout Russia, in the Urals and Eastern Siberia.

As the Kremlin transports more grain exports for sale on the world market, Bill Bullitt jaunts about Europe for National City on a bid to bring Stalin closer to the table as a legitimate partner for the Consortium. But there is another problem in all this diplomatic maneuvering. Wherever Bullitt went he would be recognized by journalists eager for a scoop Stimson would never send Bullitt; he detested him. Before FDR’s nomination it would not be in House’s cards. Especially with the recognition card was back on the table a public scandal over the Morgan-Rockefeller money in bed with the communists would be devastating for either political party. How did the Consortium keep a lid on it before the spectacle of diplomacy was exposed as a shambles? And Stalin, too, is desperately worried that news of the Holodomor will spill out into the western press. In a letter to Kaganovich written in June the Soviet leader frets that “several tens of thousands of Ukrainian collective farmers are still traveling all over the European part of the USSR and demoralizing the collective farms for us with their complaints and whining.” (Yuriy Shapoval, “Foreign Diplomats on the Holodomor in Ukraine”, Holodomor Studies; Stalin i Kaganovich. Neizdannaia perepiska. 1931 to 1936, Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2001, 179)

Small world for expats in Russia these days. During his trek through Moscow and the Ukraine that summer Gareth Jones makes sure he meets Spencer Williams of ARCC. In the ARCC shuffle, in 1930, Spencer Williams is hired replacing Smith. Many like Duranty, Chamberlin, and Lyons prefer Smith known for his tight links to the Bols. “I had a talk with Spencer Williams,” Jones wrote, “of the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce here (sic). He is a rather mild man, and it is a tough job he has these days.”

Jones makes some notes: “The Five-Year Plan is only a slogan not necessarily a schedule which must be fulfilled”; “Stalin’s new policy is merely a temporary phase”; “There is little private trade left in the country now; and next year there will not be any!”; “Diesel engines are being turned out in quantity, but quality is lacking. Two or three boats on the Black Sea have proceeded at too fast a tempo, and, also, there is a general tendency for managers to be easy in making inspections”; “Labour has too high a turnover and is nomadic. Food and housing rumors fly about to the effect that better conditions exist elsewhere, so workers move off”; “A decline or rise in the exports of the USSR will depend very much on the world crisis”; “Last year was the test year for agriculture. The Russians succeeded. This year is the test year in industry. Most of the orders for machinery are now going to England.” Jones hears their side of the story, and writes, “A worker tells Jones, ‘Only when we are dead will conditions be better. They are much worse now than before the Revolution. The peasants are very angry. We only get salt fish, but in the Kremlin they get everything’.” Williams stays on as ARCC’s PR man in Moscow until the end of the decade.

Years later after Hitler invades Poland and Stalin’s Red Army gets driven back by the Finns Spencer Williams disappeared from Moscow and resurfaced reporting in Time from London (March 1940) that the Consortium ARCC’s trade agent “at last could talk freely—even of famine.” Time thought it useful to tell readers that ARCC had shut down the Moscow office “until further notice.” Luce’s magazine adds, “Almost every U. S. business bigwig who has been to Moscow knows slender, dry, efficient Spencer Williams. Most of them have rushed to him at one time or another for help in dealing with Bolshevik mountains of red tape. Interviewed in London by reporters and Columbia Broadcasting System last week. Spencer Williams said: ‘A general rise of 35% in all food prices was decreed about the middle of January.’ That’s a story no newspaper correspondent was allowed to send… ‘There’s still bread in Russia and as long as there is bread there is no famine. My experience in Russia goes back to periods of relative plenty and virtual famine, and in my opinion the food supply when I left Moscow was worse than at any time since the famine of 1933. Most of the people standing in these queues are women – housewives or servants or older members of a family. But it’s always been remarked in Russia that the ‘women say what the men think.’ And during the periods this winter when the temperature fell at times to 45° below zero, women in the queues were heard to say ‘We’ve had enough of this: we’ll not go through this again ‘Such remarks I never heard in Russia, even during the days of the 1933 famine.’ The pro-Soviet trade lobbyist then said what the Russians know is that ‘the Soviet leaders of today are ‘doped by their own propaganda’ and the Kremlin ‘has brought the level of intelligence of all Russia down to its own… The Kremlin actually was surprised and deeply resentful of the fact that the Finns shot at them… The Slav intellect can’t understand anyone fighting for such an abstract thing as freedom ’.” (Time, March 18, 1940)


Henry Luce finds a lucky star and makes a fortune with her. Young and attractive the ace photographer Margaret Bourke-White is destined to be one of the most famous women in America with a stellar career that takes her around the world. Weeks before the Germans invade in 1941 she and her husband writer Erskine Caldwell (Tobacco Road) are in the Soviet Union. She writes two books of Russian experience, Eyes on Russia (1931), and Shooting the Russian War (1942). When Luce launches Life Magazine in November 1936 Bourke-White shoots Peck Dam for its first cover and stays with the magazine her entire career; Luce keeps her name on the masthead long after she took her last Life photo in 1957, four years after she suffers Parkinsons and is compelled to retire to her home in the small quiet coastal town on Long Island Sound an hour outside Manhattan, in Darien, Connecticut, where I grew up as a child and walked many of the same roads past the same elegant and secluded homes nestled under the trees. My family shopped in the same small, friendly and very discreet community. A year before I left for Yale Margaret Bourke-White dies in 1971. After the war (always for Luce and Life) she is the last reporter to interview Mahatma Gandhi hours before his assassination. But America’s most remarkable photographer-reporter misses perhaps the biggest scoop of all.

At the height of Consortium investment in Stalin’s Five Year Plans Margaret is given a special honor and permission as the first foreign photographer to take pictures of Soviet industry. In fact the American photographer is given the red carpet reserved for the visiting dignitary. During this critical period of the Holodomor working exclusively for Luce she takes three trips to the Soviet Union between 1930 and 1932 each summer “making hundreds of exposures in every region of the country and on every aspect of life there”, according to biographer Jonathan Silverman. Bourke-White is there in 1932, received by Stalin’s Narkomindel agents but she keeps silent about famine and appears to know little about State Terror on three trips to the USSR. Stalin even permits her to visit Georgia where she photographs his mother and her humanity and sympathy for the Russian Georgians can be confusing. (Jonathan Silverman, For the World To See: The Life of Margaret Bourke-White, 1983, Intro., 3; Margaret Bourke-White, The Taste of War, London: Century, 1985)

Her pictures are stunning and sharp as her quick-witted mind and beguiling smile that capture any scene or personality within her view. Luce knows if she could so easily render the image and imagination of America’s new industrial society she will have no trouble representing the grandiose ambitions of the Soviet leader, the embodiment of all the passions and hopes of all the republics of Soviet Russia, in fact, of every thread of life, every cloud, and river, from sea to sea, every tree, valley and mountain, even the air itself. When he first sees her photos of Cleveland’s Otis steel plants in 1929 knows the value of a dimaond when he finds it and Luce falls head over heels for this young woman. He snatches her to promote the Consortium Soviet Plans and uses her to sell magazines mixing glamour and technology promoting progress as only the Consortium can produce it in this Modern Age of the Machine.

Luce sends Margaret Bourke-White a telegram and quickly has her under contract for his new business magazine Fortune launched in 1929 at a dollar a monthly issue which he uses to sell the Five Year Plans of the Soviet “experiment”, and this when the “penny newspapers” still cost only a few cents. Her sleek panoramic photos of the extraordinary art-deco architecture of the Chrysler Building in construction above the New York skyline struck at the heart of America then in the throws of the Depression and symbolizes the powerful reach of these new masters of the world over the rising masses. Its all part of the ideal for the future Luce wants to visually embody in his magazines and in the photo image link, fuse and unite the mind of America with a view of the world and sell it so everyone can feel they have and be a part of it too. His is a global plan, a Consortium plan. Completed in only two years the Chrysler Building with its eerie giant gargoyles towering above the skyscraper streets of Manhattan becomes her signature trademark enshrined in her photos of success, power and beauty of man, woman and machine, men and steel in the America’s new modern postwar society hand in hand with Stalin and the Soviet Union.

The big wheels of the Consortium send her on three trips to Russia during this period; by 1936 she becomes one of one of the ten most prominent women in America and perhaps the best known photographer in the world. In a meeting with Hoover arranged by her proud Cleveland Congressman James T. Begg, the President preps her and sent her off with official blessings of the White House.

Luce sends her to Germany June 30, 1930 aboard the SS Bremen while she waits for a Soviet visa. The Soviet authorities, however, do not permit visas to foreign photographers. They are not prepared for this; it is most unusual and will have to follow correct soviet procedures before they can give her an answer. So, in Germany Bourke-White shoots Krupps Iron Works with images which these merchants of death prefer to liken to some romantic glorified elegance of the marriage of man and machine. Luce loves it all.

Later, in 1939, Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center presents Margaret’s mural-size photos “Trapping the Magical Waves of Sound” and keeps the show up for two decades. Luce uses her commercial art work in over forty-five issues of Fortune earning her a small fortune and national fame with her face on commercial products feeding the consumer market in the spin-off of the mass consumer product culture (Maxwell House coffee, Camel cigarettes, Victor records, etc.). She’s a good Consortium girl making tons of money for Luce and herself. During the Great Depression, Time reports her income at $50,000 a year in 1931, an astounding sum and it makes her the highest paid woman in America and listed in Who’s Who. In Manhattan Bourke-White rents an expensive penthouse at the top of the Chrysler building, raising cactus and alligators, eating her rare turtles kept in the garden. In 1930 Hoover’s Farm Security Administration selects her photos for an economics textbook.

At first the Soviets keep her waiting. The Soviets always have “special considerations”. Why should they be in such a hurry to favor these capitalists with their snooping cameras? Five weeks after her arrival in Berlin she gets her visa with permission to shoot Soviet industrial works. Apparently she is allowed to travel freely so she thinks. Luce had managed a media coup like no other. The Soviets are impressed by her work and understand the propaganda potential to attract foreign investment.

Her images are bold and strike the right tone to please the Soviet and Consortium censors. Official commissions to publish her work in Soviet magazines encourage the authorities to cut through bureaucratic red tape; she carries an official pass granting her a permit requiring all Soviet citizens to aid and assist her, and a handful of recommendations from personalities and friends: Louis Fischer, his Russian wife Markoosha, a linguist with the Soviet Foreign Office, the famous cineaste Sergei Eisenstein… She is perfect for what the Consortium-Soviet needs to project the best image of the socialist New Society of the proletarian revolution. In the totalitarian dictatorship Stalin couldn’t have wished for a better PR marketing campaign just when he needs it most.

Bourke-White arrives in Moscow prepared with all her elaborate technical equipment in tow to tour the important industrial sites including the great tractor factory at Stalingrad. During five weeks, she takes nearly three thousand negatives while filming dams, collectives, factories, workers and peasants. When Margaret returns to America with awesome images of Russia in the full tumult of construction she carries with her the first complete documentary of the emerging “New Society” of Communist Russia. Absent are the bloody walls of Lubyanka, stark faces of prisoners or the Gulag death camps. Instead Margaret Bourke-White brings back smiling faces of Mother Russia in all her reborn glory matched laudatory texts with upbeat photos of robust happy workers and children. Two young publishers Dick Simon and Max Schuster look over her photos during lunch in her elegant penthouse studio towering above all of Manhattan. They agree to sell a photo book of her Soviet trip. Max tells her to get her friends to publish a few photographs to help promote the book, published the next year titled Eyes on Russia.

The Soviet regime never had a better propagandist in the West who helped move the United States one step closer to accept recognition of the Soviet Union than the beautiful young talented photographer Margaret Bourke-White. Nothing like it had ever been done before, by man, or woman. Combined with eight illustrated articles in Fortune, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Vanity Fair and other periodicals, her reputation soars with the brilliance of her talent and her celebrity adding to her fame. Only 28, Margaret Bourke-White is a popular draw on the cross-country lecture circuit promoting friendly reviews of the Soviet Union, telling her charming story in black and white, images of happy strong citizens of Russian communism. Nothing could have been more damaging to the cause of saving Ukrainians from Stalin’s murderous repression but this photo-shoot is no fact-finding mission. It seems that whatever the cunning Luce spoons out the Americans swallowed with all the ignorant innocence of a child. Luce realized the fulfillment of a publisher’s best dream and establishes contacts for her return the next year with the head of the Soviet publishing house; A. B. Khalatoff, a leading Bolshevik slips her a thick roll of rubles and assigns her a reliable guide. Khalatoff, too, will be liquidated by Stalin in 1937.

In this tight pro-Soviet crowd Bourke-White also collaborates with Lincoln Steffens, always eager to get into the act showing a photo of a steel mill for his fourth printing of his autobiography in July. Nor has his popularity waned since he visited Russia in 1919. Now a younger generation of radical leftists and communists fill John Reed Clubs across the country; socialist writer Granville Hicks will soon publish his Reed biography, in 1935. Fischer, too, uses her photos to flaunt his pro-Soviet writings.

The Bourke-White photo campaign is a huge hit. The press celebrates her trip with bold praise. “Russia is the most interesting place, industrially, in the world right now.” Editors at the New York Herald Tribune give her a huge Russian spread on February 8, 1931. Fortune reserved nine pages that month titled “Soviet Panorama”; seven more pages highlight Eyes on Russia. Luce explains to his readers that Bourke-White is “both reporter and artist.” The art of propaganda is the propaganda of art. This is how art works and makes money. Art obscures reality transforming it into the abstract. The Soviet masters of propaganda and Luce knows this all too well. What better way than to make oppression appear heroic, even seem beautiful. Stalin couldn’t have asked for more. It’s all too wonderful to be true! (It wasn’t.) The ultimate perversion of the Truth. With her magic touch Luce finds a perfect blend to mystify and confuse the reality of what the Consortium was doing in the Soviet slave state. Fortune framed each photo for the art connotation, but also provided a caption and a brief paragraph of propaganda under each picture to convey the reporter’s function. The crowning achievement of their collaboration is glaringly evident in the haunting portrait of Stalin on the cover of Time in 1943, another Luce master-stroke.

Gary D. Saretzky in his essay “Margaret Bourke-White: “Eyes on Russia,” (The Photo Review, 1999) writes, “By comparison to Eyes on Russia, the captions in Fortune were much more detailed and specific, and emphasized the industry rather than the worker where both were present. For example, ‘The Red October Rolling Mills in Stalingrad’ in Fortune became ‘An Iron Puddler’ in Eyes on Russia. Other captions changed in Eyes on Russia reflect Bourke-White’s text; for example, ‘Pattern in Thread’ in Fortune became ‘The Woman Who Wept for Joy’. The Russian woman actually cried because she was thrilled to be photographed by the beautiful and famous American!” (Gary D. Saretzky, “Margaret Bourke-White: “Eyes on Russia,” The Photo Review, 22, 3 & 4, Summer/Fall 1999, 1-14)

For her visit to Dneprostroi to see the construction site of the giant plant of the worlds largest hydroelectric dam, Margaret Bourke-White is given the Intourist royal tour. When it comes down to work the trip turns out to be tortuous and informal, in typical Russian style but her Russian assistants do everything to help her accomplish her task. Technical difficulties abound when setting up shots at the giant hydroelectric dam construction on the Dnieper River. And at the Red October Rolling Mills outside Stalingrad she exposes 100 plates from a vibrating traveling crane in the hope that just one would come out. “One of my favorite photos”, she recalls, “shows a blast furnace under construction in the Soviet Union. The photo shows a cloudy sky at the top, then as you scan down the picture it gets more and more complicated, with scaffolding, cranes and wires creating a complex maze of shapes. The detail is amazing, and makes for quite a breathtaking scene.” Her book and articles tells of her experiences and what she learned about the Russians whereas instead the American press talked about this working wonder woman. Luce knew how to sell magazines. To hell with the Russians; Americans want to read about Margaret Bourke-White, their girl.

Of course Stalin hears about the woman and of her success that precedes her return. Stalin is amused. She arrives in the summer 1931 with an official invitation in hand for a session at the Magnitogorsk mines with the world’s richest ore deposits. Early 1932 The New York Times Magazine covers the trip in six articles. Margaret returns for a third trip that summer, again under official invitation to film the spirit of the Russian people. She even asks to travel in the countryside with motion picture equipment. And again she passes through Germany filming young soldiers in training, travels to Georgia and the Caucasus Mountains. Eastman Kodak donated 20,000 feet of movie film in exchange for the right to use her footage for an educational film on Communist Russia. In December 1932, the Daily News in New York published “Girl Puts Soviet Russia on 20,000 Feet of Film; Margaret Bourke-White Breaks Red Barrier”. But her attempts to sell the mostly pro-Soviet styled propaganda fail.

After she returns from Russia and hooks up with writer Erskin Caldwell and tours America’s hard-hit depression regions does she begin to demonstrate a critical political voice, in particular during her war tours through Italy and Germany where she photographs Buchenwald, in 1945, though by this time she is already a creature of the culture that has made her what she has become and she owes it all to Luce, for better or for worse. And that’s the point. We will never know had she spoken out about the Holodomor. Instead, we are left with the sort of mystifying praise put forward by her biographer Silverman writing, “Dangerous and daring assignments were always more attractive than others… She liked pursuing pictures that no other photographer had attempted before… The thrill of taking risks was only a part of what made photography to her, however. From her earlier days as a professional photographer, Bourke-White’s aim had been to record the Big Thing, of the Age: the burning issues and central drama of the times in which she lived. Taking risks was warranted, she felt, for the sake of preserving history-in-the-making.” And Luce and his friends in the war work knew what he was getting and how to exploit her work. “Life magazine used Bourke-White’s photographs to show Americans how big an undertaking the war was, and how efficiently the military was handling the whole operation… It troubled Bourke-White deeply that the patterns of thought responsible for starting the war were still not being confronted in earnest by the occupation forces. She felt that the evil persisted in Germany, and it frightened her.” After Berlin fell to the Russians Bourke-White stays on in Germany to witness the postwar process of the occupational forces. She is not encouraged and she declares, “We poured out our lives and boundless treasure to win a mechanical victory and now we had no patience for the things of the spirit which alone can save us from another far greater catastrophe. It was time to go home.”(J. Silverman, Intro., 6)

In a style that recalls the farce of Joe Davies’ recycled prewar propaganda book Mission to Moscow, the spin-off of Democratic money-man and fixer married to one of the richest women in the world, cereal queen Marjorie Merriweather Post, and FDR backer-turned dotty ambassador to America’s most-favored dictator, Bourke-White reports her encounter with Soviet communism with uncanny genuine affection touched by the exuding Russian warmth and love felt upon her hearty welcome there. When she returns as Stalin’s official guest during this desperate year 1942, with Moscow, Stalingrad, Leningrad all under siege, and Ukraine totally devastated by the German Nazi invasion and Stalin’s torch and burn policy of leaving no home or factory standing, so that nothing is left behind to comfort the enemy, in a land with no refugees and where no man, woman and child not fighting on the front is a partisan combatant, Margaret brings closer to America the strong and enduring healthy good virtues of the Russian character in spite of all what she calls their “secretiveness”. In 1942, months after America enters the war and is supplying Russia with indispensable Lend-Lease supplies essential for the country to withstand the ferocious Nazi machine, now a common enemy, and with millions of Russians already massacred, captured and starving, and when it is not the time to denounce the Great Dictator, Bourke-White recalls her visit to “the resort town of Sukhumi” on the Black Sea, when she went swimming the day before the “inevitable” war erupted ripped across the Ukrainian frontier: “An unnamed Mason and Dixon’s line separates Georgia, in the south, from Great Russia. Georgia was the last of the major republics to come into the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, and its people are independent and proud. They have the same superiority in their attitude toward Russian northerners that our old Southern families have toward Yankees. The large-eyed handsome Georgian people show the touch of their sunny climate: they sing more and joke oftener than their countrymen to the north, and their south hospitality is fabulous.” By then she ought to be a veritable expert on Russia. She certainly is no dumb-wit ignorant of the Gulag, disappearances, destroyed lives under totalitarian rule. And so they sang a Georgian song for the American girl and they all laughed, and everyone was happy. She knows her limits if she wants to pursue her career here and take more photos… (M. Bourke-White, “Way Down South in Georgia”, Shooting the Russian War, 26)

Her articles of the Holodomor era emphasize her adventurous efforts to make a movie traveling through the socialist republic of Georgia, Stalin’s backyard. Her tiny caravan with her special guide (NKVD) from Moscow travel to Baku where they are then met and escorted by a military guard of fugitive Turkish assassins. They live in the wilderness and sleep in caves. When she meets up with the omnipotent No. 1 she makes portraits and films of Stalin’s mother and family relations; his great aunt is caught laughing as she emerges from her underground bungalow. Bourke-White reproduces these images in her gravure portfolio, USSR Photographs (1934). Kodak produces two films: Eyes on Russia, and Red Republic.

At Magnitogorsk Bourke-White marveled at the world’s largest steel colossus ever known to man. Back home the Consortium persists in telling its lies. “For the first time, she focused upon workers,” Chicago University’s Thomas Parke Hughes writes, “portraying them as other than inanimate machine tenders.” These were the gulag workers of the Consortium and their No. 1 in the Kremlin. This year she lets Louis Fischer use her photos to illustrate and sell his new book Machines and Men in Russia. In the end the Margaret Bourke-White story of the USSR is the story of Henry Luce, of Stalin’s Russia, of soviet heroes and socialist progress, not of the soviet citizens as victims who paid the price that gave her subject material that makes her rich and famous. Not until late 1934 in the summer when Luce sends her with Walker Evans and James Agee to shoot America’s Dust Bowl in the drought-stricken West does she finally grasp the meaning of utter helplessness in the face of “total tragedy”. To have a broader idea of the cultural rendering of these depression days read the engrossing descriptions by Morris Dickstein in Dancing in the Dark (2009). Of Bourke-White in the USSR, he writes, “… it was largely technology that attracted Bourke-White, even on her pioneering trips to the Soviet Union; she photographed people largely for scale. In many cases her industrial style involves the suppression of the human vantage point entirely.” (Morris Dickstein, Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression, NY: W. W. Norton, 2009, 102)

In his brief and token chapter, “The Record of the West” in Harvest of Sorrow, Conquest choses to quote a long passage from Eugene Lyons’ Assignment in Utopia (1937). It is too late to help the Ukraine but nonetheless it is to Lyon’s credit in his conscience-torn effort to restore some truth to the crime of organized concealment by Moscow’s pool of foreign correspondents. It’s a good piece of writing that says a lot and bears looking at again. Here we see how the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce (ARCC) satisfies their requirements by playing along with the Soviet farce. All part of the arrangement with the Soviet authorities and everyone knew it, and got used to it, including The New York Times and The Nation. (Eugene Lyons, Assignment in Utopia, NY: Harcourt Brace, 1937)

Catastrophe and death are normal headliners approved by editors and publishers to sell newspapers. Lyons writes, “For the special purpose of appeasing American public opinion, an American ‘commission’ was dispatched to the lumber area and in due time it attested truthfully that it had not seen forced labor. No one in the foreign colony was more amused by this clowning around than the ‘commissioners’ themselves.” It was a total sham, deliberately contrived, a pathetic mockery and abuse of America’s so-called constitutional press “freedom”, and a grotesque disrespect for all the victims of the US-backed and financed dictatorship of Joseph Stalin. Lyons would be rewarded with a plum job as editor of America’s mainstream conservative monthly Reader’s Digest. The food on his plate was in part payment for letting the Ukrainians starve without their cries heard in the western press. Lyons wrote of the visit to the lumber gulag work camps: “They were : a salesman of American machinery, long resident in Moscow and dependent on official good-will for his business; a young American reporter without a steady job and therefore in the USSR by sufferance of the government; and the resident Secretary of the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce (probably Spencer Williams sic), a paid employee of the organization whose usefulness depended on maintaining cordial relations with the Soviet authorities. I knew all three men intimately, and it is betraying no secret to record that each of them was as thoroughly convinced of the widespread employment of forced labor in the lumber industry as Hamilton Fish or Dr. Deterding. They went to the North for the ride, or because it was difficult to refuse, and they placated their conscience by merely asserting ambiguously that they personally had seen no signs of forced labor; they did not indicate that they made no genuine effort to find it and that their official guides steered the ‘investigation’. Their findings, published with all solemnity and transmitted obediently by the American correspondents to the United States, were a good deal along the line of a later ‘commission’ in search of forced labor in the Don Basin coal area. One of the ‘commissoners’, the famous American photographer Jimmy Abbe, put it to me this way. ‘Sure, we saw no forced labor. When we approached anything that looked like it, we all closed our eyes tight and kept them closed. We weren’t going to lie about it’.” Just like Cambridge’s monkeys of deceit carved in the college door… (E. Lyons, Assignment in Utopia, 71; R. Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow, 313-4)

Conquest turned his readers’ eyes to age-old Russian techniques at deception. In particular are repeated reported cases of “Potemkin” villages, those phantom soviet towns with staged sets to delude foreign delegations including privileged American guests there to see first-hand the success of collective farms. Instead of finding grim reality, these carefully guided visitors were presented with a hoax of deception and contrivance with healthy “waitresses” and “public” actors brought to replace starving beggars and peasants in towns and village stations all rounded up into the same lorries that had dumped the fallen dead buried in barren fields miles away and told to stay away, or be driven to an unknown fate never to be seen again. “But even if it had been genuine,” retorts the former British spy and informer, “how could it refute the first hand evidence from elsewhere of Muggeridge and all the others?”

“Even if it had been genuine…”? What in Hell is Conquest trying to pull off here? Well, we know now. A decade later, during the war, the Soviets would give FDR’s vice president, Henry Wallace, an agricultural expert, the same sham show and he too played out his part as a willing dupe only this time millions of Russians were dead and dying to thwart the Nazi invasion. So even then, even if Wallace did know better, – and there is scant evidence this farm expert ever did, – he too was told to keep his mouth shut. By then Americans, too, were paying in blood the price for not having told the truth of the 1933 Holodomor and for having failed to learn the most simple moral lesson taught in elementary school that it is never too late or too early to do the right thing and to tell the truth or sound the alarm before the whole house burns down.

Why trust a con-man? Conquest does his best to distinguish complicity with mass murder from responsibility for the crime. Conquest – if that is his real name, – constantly turned truth on its head, to twist it just a little or enough to confuse and divert readers away from the reality that manifests all great political events and systemic tragedies of the scale of the Ukraine Holodomor.

In that same year 1973 when Conquest reaches for book honors publishing The Great Terror across the globe poor indefatigable and relentless Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn emerges from the shadows and smuggles out his earth-shaking trilogy Gulag Archipelago. (The Swedish Nobel committee had sent a secret team into the USSR to contact Solzhenitsyn.) Spies and whores share more than shame if that. Take the money and do it again.

Solzhenitsyn’s book creates an uproar of news about Stalin’s national system of the Gulag and earns him the Nobel Prize for Literature. For his part, Conquest blames “hostility to the peasants” and cultured snobbism for the censorship and confusion about the terror, and like Duranty would have blamed the peasants as well for having caused the Gulag. It all seems a bit too deja-vue reminiscent of the NYT-Durantyesque syndrome. But we know Conquest s a dye-in-the-wool Consortium man, a spy for the British secret service, an informer on fellow left-wing writers and NKVD agents. Really, reader, how low can you get? A tool on the payroll of the establishment with a guaranteed income and professional status and academic prestige bringing academia to a new low in the gutter of conspiratorial pursuits, this is his end and it reads like a textbook on spin and sleaze where everybody has blood on their hands.

As Lyons tells it and so does Conquest a generation later. This is a tight small community of foreign correspondents hobnobbing with diplomats in Moscow. They all knew what systematic massacre is going on in the countryside, for months, and years and in this small world of mingling strategies and tangled alliances they stayed quiet about it while they pursued their successful careers with rewards and perks. Arf. Arf. Arf.

In a chapter titled “The Record of the West” Conquest observes that by March 1933 the British Embassy is describing village conditions in the Kuban and the Ukraine as “appalling”. (It takes a lot for the British imperialists to use such strong language.) Incredibly odd, Conquest overlooks that Gareth Jones’ sensational international press conference in Berlin blew the Holodomor story wide open; First Secretary Lord William Strang of the British embassy warns Jones that he’s be wise to drop it entirely and just walk away. “It never happened,” is Strang’s approach to Stalin’s latest extermination campaign. In 1986, Conquest writes, “Thus, in one way or another, the truth was available, was in some sense known in the West. The task of the Soviet Government was to destroy, distort, or blanket this knowledge. In the first phase, then, the famine was ignore or denied. In the Soviet press itself, there was no reference to it. This was true even of the Ukrainian papers. The disjunction between reality and report was quite extraordinary.” Disjunction? Odd choice intended to mean nothing. Rien. More poppycock.

Intelligence reports by Polish diplomats in March tell of extraordinary measures taken by the authorities in Kiev. Mass dismissals of laborers empty factories. Office workers are told to stop work. The alarmed diplomats report the general breakdown. They write, “Bread ration cards are taken away without exception from all those who have been dismissed. In the future, the loss of employment will result in the necessity to leave the city in connection with the system of passports that is being introduced. The number of thefts and robberies is increasing along with the growing number of unemployed people. In many cases, dismissed laborers and state officials are invited to leave for the countryside. However, owing to the famine reigning there and the dissatisfaction of the urban population, those who are unemployed try at any cost to remain in the city.” The Poles know they might be next. (Yuriy Shapoval, “Foreign Diplomats on the Holodomor in Ukraine”, Holodomor Studies Journal, v. 1, Issue 1, Winter-Spring 2009, 41-54, citing TsVA, file I.303.4.1867, fol. 130)

Near the end of the decade with the Germans and Russians dividing up Poland, Britain’s FO continued to argue in favor of monitoring their interest in the primary stability of the regime as we see here in a communication between its two British agents, Maclean to Seeds : “The point of view of this embassy has for some time past been that, except in the event of war or of a collapse of the economic system, there is no reason to anticipate anything in the nature of a political upheaval in the Soviet Union.” Convinced of prevailing Russian backwardness under the Czar, privations and passivity, Maclean felt justified in taking the view that “twenty years of a totalitarian regime, coupled with hermetical isolation, have produced a nation which accepts blindly the existing system because it knows no other, and swallows the grotesque conception of life forced upon it because, unaided, it can conceive of no other.” (“The Political Stability of the Soviet Union, Memorandum March 6, 1939; M. Hughes, Inside the Enigma: British officials in Russia, 1900-1939, 2003, 265)

Anglo-Soviet relations during the two decades is also neatly summed up by writer Michael Hughes in his book Inside the Enigma: British officials in Russia, 1900-1939 (2003) with an anecdote of a FO memorandum observing “sadly” in the early 1930s with pacifism the vogue of public discontent “that because Britain’s relationship with Russia was such a controversial political issue at home, it was virtually impossible to put in place a coherent and sustainable policy.” Diplomats and historians blame the politicians who raised their hands in the air in sheer utter helplessness. If such behavior on the part of “the experts” in the art of diplomacy and trade were true it would surely reflect a very dim view of Britain’s alliance with its former sister monarchy. Crackers! This is pure subterfuge on the part of Hughes. Is there water at the bottom of the ocean? Or, is it only on the surface.

That kind of specious argument is not even remotely tenuous. It’s blatantly absurd. Sheer blasphemy. For the record points the compass clearly towards the deliberate policy of the generations and centuries of imperial dominion over the poor savages of the world to stake relations in Moscow, same as ever on trade and finance even while the brilliant lights of Empire fade over its vast domains with each dying old reactionary in the House of Lords. And as happened with the First World War when after all the folly it lost an entire generation of its finest youth, Great Britain came not only once but twice begging to the Americans to bail them out and save their anachronistic Empire again while the guns of August blasted east in June 1941. (M. Hughes, Inside the Enigma, Ft. note 2)

But let’s hear some more from Hughes: “… The task facing the Embassy in keeping abreast of Soviet affairs during the 1930s was an enormous one. Since power was so heavily concentrated in the hands of Stalin and a handful of other leaders, British representatives could only speculate about the motives of the men who determined the country’s fate … they were never able to provide London with much significant information about purely political matters.” If we were to believe the Michael Hughes version, then Stalin, the Kremlin and the Soviet Union all together is truly the most formidable and impregnable fortress. Had we not known of Russia’s dependence on the Consortium’s financial and industrial connection that probably would pass – and that’s just the way the Consortium writers and electronic and publishing media played it these past years. (M. Hughes, Inside the Enigma, 271)

Hughes has good reason to say the task was formidable for the embassy from the very beginning dealing with the Bolsheviks, Lenin, Trotsky and now dealing with Stalin but to conclude that Stalin’s distrust of the British was due largely in part to the awkwardness of British diplomacy and the mixed signals coming from London culminating in the failure of Ottawa in the summer of 1932 at exactly the time Stalin mounts a national frenzy to celebrate the “success” of the West’s first Five-Year-Plan. During the thirties “the British government proved stubbornly reluctant to seek closer relations with Moscow even though a resurgent Germany was once again clearly a major threat to the international status quo.” Insurgent German fascism was already a very nasty problem in Berlin in 1933 with hundreds of thousands of prisoners, thousands shot, and sent to concentration camps. But it is not enough to excuse these old men from the quagmire they now find themselves in. They botched it so utterly and Stalin’s draconian measures were so complete that its really insipid dribble when Hughes writes, “Diplomacy has always been an essentially human affair, in which success cannot be reduced to simple formulas or guaranteed by elaborate training programs.” It would be sheepish and inconsistent with the record of Consortium investments to dismiss their intentions attributable to “simple formulas” or “training programs” when their actual agenda was preparation for world war.” (British records on the famine here cited by M. Hughes, includes Ovey to Henderson, March 14, 1930, Chancery to Northern Department, June 10, 1933, W. Strang to J. Simon, April 9, 1933, W. Strang to John Simon, 17 July 1933, Ovey to Foreign Office March 5, 1933; in M. Carynnyk, L.Y. Luciuk, B. S. Kordan, The Foreign Office and the Famine, British Documents on Ukraine and the Great Famine of 1932-33; FO 418/76, “Report by Consul-General Bullard on Conditions in the Northern Part of his District”, enclosed with Reader Bullard toW. Strang, Aug. 6, 1932; W. Strang to J. Simon, May 8, 1933 (summary of various letters)

“It was more frequent than uncommon to hear talk among the British diplomats and observers about the traumatic loss of human life who blamed the catastrophe on a Jewish conspiracy, accusing the ‘Yids’ of ‘pumping out all the wealth of Russia, transferring it abroad’.” The high number of prominent Jews in the Communist Party hierarchy led many to consider Jews and Bolsheviks synonymous. This may be consistent with the anti-Semitism prevalent in offices of strategic planning or resentment of the significant influence of Rothschild on the Bank of England and the City. “Several correspondents were quite explicit in their views that there was only one way to destroy these ‘Soviet-Jewish machinations’, and they warned the Embassy, ‘If you do not want the same thing to happen in England join the Hitler movement’.” One needn’t look further than Berlin to know that tragically no matter how muddled it had already come to testing the best and worst of human nature. (FO 371/17251, Chancery to Northern Department 19 June 1933; M. Hughes, Inside the Engima, 244)

Hughes evidently read a large number of letters “believed to be genuine by the Embassy”, and some obvious fakes, but the “vast majority” of which the Embassy forwarded excerpts from “a few of the more literate letters” telling of “a graphic, first-hand insight into conditions in the provinces. In spite of all the evidence, British diplomats still found it difficult to comprehend the sheer scale of the tragedy taking place in the countryside; ironically, staff at the Foreign Office in London probably had a greater sense of the extent of the suffering, since they received reports about the famine from a large number of different sources. Even though Lord Strang from private conversations with the journalists that up to ten million peasants had died during collectivization and its aftermath, he seemed to find it hard to accept that this ‘fantastic figure’ was accurate.” (M. Hughes, 244, citing W. Strang to J. Simon, July 17, 1933 BDFA, 2A, v. 11)

Hughes wrestles with the moral quagmire of supposedly civilized citizens of the noble British Empire, just over a decade and a half of butchering its own aristocracy first to be eliminated leading on the ignorant masses as fodder in the First World War, over a duration of four years!, now writes, with obvious understatement known only to the proper Englishman, A number of his colleagues also struggle to believe that such casualties could occur as a result of a deliberate policy adopted by a government indifferent to the suffering it created for millions of its own people, though Sir Esmond Ovey himself had few doubts that “the Soviet government was determined to push through its rural revolution whatever the cost in human lives.” Stalin had already proven to the West what he was prepared to do in order to consolidate the Russian empire through totalitarian socialism and using Anglo-American investment and cooperation to do it. When looking at the reality of famine and death whether a dialectical Bolshevik or western rhetorician you’d either have to be insane or an utter liar and not see it so. (M. Hughes, 244 re. Ovey to Foreign Office, March 5, 1933, FO 371/17251)

Hughes does acknowledge Muggeridge’s charge against the British government for “hushing up the scale of the famine during the 1930s”. Hughes brushes the motive as possibly geopolitically inspired “in order to focus public concern on the threat posed by the rising power of Nazi Germany”. How odd that seems while the Anglo-American Consortium is economically behind that fascist regime as well. Hughes concludes without proof “If there was any such attempt to conceal the tragedy unfolding in Russia, it certainly took place in London rather than at the Moscow Embassy.”

British diplomats on the scene may, for their part, have acted “curiously disengaged from the horrors on which they reported”, but that’s easily excused by “the virtues of objectivity and detachment” so highly esteemed in their honorable profession. Let nothing stain British honor or tarnish the stellar reputations of the King and Queen, for God’s sake! Again Hughes, with a deep sigh pleading to at last put the matter at rest regardless of dates or the timeliness of the Holodomor and events leading up to it in Russia as well as abroad, indifferent to the economic intrigues and political fortunes at stake in the capitals of the West straining under the bankruptcy of their own governments, national economies struggling against fascism at home, soon to launch into a full-scale Second World War against fascism in Berlin, writes with the consummate skill of rhetoric so highly admired in British education, implying the clamor about famine, or even the very existence of it was “much ado about nothing”, writes, “In any case, although Embassy staff received hundreds of reports about the plight of rural Russia during collectivization, they seldom witnessed the suffering with their own eyes… .” Indeed, blame it on the executioner, only who is he? (M. Hughes, 244 cites Carynnyk, Lubormyr, Kordan, xvii-lxi)

British ambassador Sir Edmund Ovey calls Stalin’s introduction of new system of internal passports restricting travel “virtual economic and political enslavement”. Ovey is both an experienced and professional diplomat. Michael Hughes avails an excellent portrait in Inside the Enigma: British officials in Russia, 1900-1939 (2003). Lord Chilston (Vienna, Budapest) precipitously replaces Ovey late 1933.

Author Michael Hughes: “The new Ambassador, suave and debonair Sir Esmond Ovey, had dealt with Soviet affairs during his time at the Northern Department of the Foreign Office in the early 1920s, but he lacked any first-hand knowledge of the country, having served in Mexico and Argentina prior to taking up his duties in Moscow. Ovey was a typical product of the British diplomatic establishment, combining professional reticence with an ability to charm all those who came into contact with him. Although dogged by ill-health during his three years in Moscow, he was a single-minded individual who came to the country committed to improving commercial relations between Britain and Russia – a subject that filled dozens of his dispatches. The new Ambassador was initially disoriented on first arriving in Russia, since he had to come to terms not only with the political rituals of Soviet society but also with the alien quality of Russian life. His first impressions as he arrived by train from Poland were comparatively favourable; he believed that the dilapidated state of the towns and villages was no worse ‘than which distinguishes many off the smaller towns and the outskirts of the larger towns in North America’.” Soviet realities quickly set him straight that “one is undoubtedly living in a city and country which either are or imagine themselves to be in a state of siege”. Nothing could disguise the fact that as he expressed the authorities lived in a state of “quasi-religious war” with the population it ruled. Hughes adds that Ovey’s state of mind “was shared by his staff”. Ovey was assisted by Edward Walker, from the British foreign offices at Riga, and unlike his colleagues, was conversant in Russia: “The Foreign Office’s long-standing reluctance to allow senior diplomatic staff to remain in a particular country for any great length of time made it difficult for individual officials to develop their expertise, though it did help them to retain a broad perspective and flexibility that was of value in their peripatetic lifestyle … few of them served there for more than three or four years at a time, which meant that they were often transferred at precisely the moment when they had started to develop a knowledge of the country and its people.” (M. Hughes, Inside the Enigma: British officials in Russia, 1900-1939, 2003, 224-26)

When Ovey is recalled he is replaced by Lord Chilston, actually Aretas Akers-Douglas, 2st Viscount Chilston, born in 1876. His father was a conservative politician in the House of Commons and Home Secretary in Lord Balfour’s government (1902-1905); in 1911 he is made Viscount Chilston, of Boughton Malherbe in the farm country of the County of Kent some thirty miles from Dover on the Channel. It is a title in UK peerage of rank created especially for him the same year. And thus he became the distinguished Baron Douglas of Baads in the County of Midlothian while also in the Peerage. The upper class must keep up its appearance and set the right example to the lowly uncultured masses. It is his son the second Viscount who takes over Ovey’s duties in 1933 until 1938. This will be his last such mission for crown and country before he retires to the bucolic charm of his country estate.

Of course Soviet officials insisted on total denial. American officials preferred not to comment or when pressed by infrequent news reports cited unfortunate conditions and praised the Soviet economic experiment. Given the constitutional legality of an American free press, Conquest’s criticism of the Soviets would have also been worthy of the tacit abrogation of American press freedoms by the Consortium, or worse if it had to come to that, “to destroy, distort, or blanket this knowledge”. Their constant irritant nightmare is the occasional truth that leaks through the Consortium stranglehold on their press in the West.

The writer Arthur Koestler lived in Kharkov during these critical famine years 1930-32. His father was a Russian Jew who settled in northeast Hungary in 1860. Born in Budapest (1905). Educated at the University of Vienna (1922-26). Koestler joina the Communist Party in Germany in 1931, and the Comintern. For two years, 1933 and 1934 having left his communist activism in Berlin, Koestler travels throughout the USSR, the Caucasus and Central Asia, assigned by the Party to write a book celebrating the Five-Year Plan. Koestler finds life under the Soviet system unacceptable. Further, it is barely comprehensible that the Soviet press remains completely devoid of news of famine conditions while peasants are reduced to skeletons, women and children fall dying in the dust of Kharkov while other peasants go on living, smiling even. Koestler lives with healthy robust Russian women, and strong, virile men aloft tractors in the giant combines of the Urals in the north Russia farm-belt and throughout Ukraine converted into communist collectives spurred on by revolutionary slogan banners and awards to shock brigades.

When the Soviets reject his manuscript Koestler leaves for Paris where he joins the anti-fascist movement, had a fist-fight with the young Albert Camus, and is inclined in the prewar atmosphere of Paris to indulge his youthful passions while writing a highly successful sex encyclopedia. This is Paris of the same era of writers and lovers Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller. Here Koestler also edits the anti-Stalin and anti-Hitler weekly Zukunft with Willi Münzenberg. In 1936, he leaves for Spain, is captured in the Civil War, sentenced to death, freed in a prison exchange with the Franco loyalists, and resigns from the CP in 1938 during Stalin’s trials of the Great Purge. Two years later he publishes his stringent anti-communist novel, Darkness at Noon (1941) ; published in France five years later, Le Zero et l’Infini sells over 400,000 copies. In The Yogi and the Commissar (1945), Koestler writes that “…not one word about the local famine, epidemics, the dying out of whole villages; even the fact that there was no electricity in Kharkov was not once mentioned in the Kharkov papers. The enormous land was covered with a blanket of silence.” Koestler remains a harsh critic of Soviet totalitarianism until his turn to science, mysticism and the symbolic transformation of man through art, writing The Act of Creation, in 1956. (Arthur Koestler, The Yogi and the Commissar, 1945, 137-8; R. Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow, 311-4)

By mid-summer forced collectivization is now in full force. July Congress would impose new repressions under Molotov and Kaganovich. Conquest wrote that Stalin has already made it clear that the peasants needed to be crushed in order to smash Ukrainian culture and insurgent nationalism. In his book Harvest of Sorrow, Conquest put it like this: “The nationality problem is, Stalin wrote, in its very essence, a problem of the peasantry.” Blame it on the peasants! Incredible! Its always the poor and oppressed who bear the burden! Break some eggs! Make an omelet! Sweep them under the rug! Forget and move on! Victims of their own fate are never a legitimate grievance of Genocide! See the dark clouds on the horizon? War is inevitable! Conquest, following the Pied Piper is ready to concede that it was perfectly natural that the all-powerful Stalin imposed mass terror against the peasants to force the country into submission. They had it coming the worthless slime. Let them have it but good! Oh, but wait. Conquest and his crowd overlook to mention that Stalin’s grab for power was backed by the powerful western capitalist bankers and industrialists. How is this oversight possible? We know who is playing the flute. We know who is holding the puppet strings?

For British ambassador William Strang it is no secret that the Pilgrims in the Consortium were behind the Plans. Is it any wonder that he is peeved about Jones’ insolent truth-telling published by The Times in London? A half century later the Brits and Americans used Conquest as far and in such a way that Jones would never dare. Some men are more easy preys of subterfuge. Kennan was like that, Henderson too but they opted for the more monotonous diplomatic career than the excitement the sudden adrenalin rush of the secret informer. Both share a common ground. They work for the same employer. They are paid to betray. It is to that they owe their livelihood and sell their souls. A simple trade-off for money, status, power and security. What scoundrel or naive and impressionable young man, or woman, wouldn’t do it? America has more in common with Russia than the State Department liked to admit. Living with dictatorship Russians learned above all how to survive and still find happiness while chasing down spies and traitors. Americans in bed with Stalin and his kind learned to do that too.

A line drawn between fiction and fact is always a bit unclear and fuzzy when used to recall the memory of the dead especially when it serves “special considerations” to conceal the crime after generations of struggle. In thus doing so Conquest concedes Stalin’s method was first “the destruction of Ukrainian nationalism’s social base – the individual land-holdings”, shooting village teachers accused of conspiracy along with urban intellectuals in the concocted SVU “plot”. Conquest records “scores of such reports” of summary executions against village district heads, and doctors.” By mid-1932 nearly 70% of Ukrainian peasants were in kolkhozes. Collectivization drives by this time had crushed most of the recalcitrant regions through mass action in the North Caucasus and the Ukraine. Yet even with all that Stalin was not satisfied and refused to relent. He pushed the repression with more vigor against the Ukrainian intelligentsia. Kosior too at first described the struggle: “…the nationalist deviation in the Communist Party of the Ukraine ….played an exceptional role in causing and deepening the crisis in agriculture.” Kosior, a Stalinist, had been First Secretary of the Ukrainian Party since 1928; he too is soon eliminated.

Police Chief Balitsky is another party hack. Head of the GPU of the Ukrainian SSR enlisted to pump out the last remaining grain out of the Ukraine and purge Ukrainian national social elements under the Postyshev-Kosior orders Balitsky was of the most vengeful Bolshevik scum. “In 1933”, Conquest wrItes, “the fist of the OGPU hit out in two directions. First at the kulak and Petliuraist elements in the villages and secondly at the leading centres of nationalism.” Elsewhere, other Soviet republics suffered as terribly if not more than in the Ukraine – Kazakhstan, Ubekistan, Kirgizia … all these territories were devastated of humans, animals and grain… In Mongolia, by 1932 more than eight million livestock were gone; with over a third of their total herds decimated; the Kremlin gave up there and abandoned collectivization. Here again it’s a classic play of simple historical revisionism. Just give a little truth and the lie suddenly becomes more credible. Any good propagandist knows that! (R. Conquest, “Assault on the Ukraine 1930-32”, Harvest of Sorrow, 218-20)

Yuriy Shapoval, a Holodomor researcher at the Ukraine National Academy of Sciences in Kyiv described what happened: A “massive operation to inflict an operational blow on the class enemy began already in the fall of 1932. Its goal was also to uncover ‘counter-revolutionary centers that are organizing sabotage and the disruption of the state grain deliveries and other economic-political measures.’ At this point, the Chekists significantly escalated the scale of their actions. In Soviet Ukrainian agriculture a “counter-revolutionary organization” was uncovered, in which agrarian specialists were implicated and which was soon “linked” with similar organizations in Moscow, Rostov, and Minsk. In Moscow arrested Ukrainian specialists were also implicated in some kind of all-Union organization whose goal, according to official claims, was ‘to wreck agriculture and cause a famine in the country.’ Arrests throughout the regions had a mass character, and the thirty-five members of that mythical organization headed by the former Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the USSR, a Ukrainian named Fedir Konar, were sentenced to death by the Collegium of the OGPU of the USSR on March 11, 1933. Between November 1932 and January 1933 alone, the GPU of the Ukrainian SSR liquidated 1,208 ‘counter-revolutionary’ collective farm groups. In 1933, nearly 200,000 people were “purged” at 24,191 collective farms. The inspections affected Soviet state farms, the Zagotzerno (Grain Procurement) system, and the system of food cooperatives. It should be noted that a ‘purge’ of the CP(B)U itself was also proclaimed. A significant contingent of individuals who could be easily blamed for organizing the famine was thereby formed.” (Yuriy Shapoval, “Foreign Diplomats on the Holodomor in Ukraine”, Holodomor Studies, 2009, citing Yuri Shapoval and Vadym Zolotariov, Vsevolod Balytsky. Osoba, chas, otochennia, Kyiv: Stylos, 2002, 193)

Even Zara Witkin, the skilled and privileged Russian-born architect from California who had been free to go where he pleased now found his itinerary abbreviated on his trip south to see “the greatest project of the new Soviet industrialization and electrification program, Dneprostroi.” It was not his habit to complain about the use of forced labor on Consortium-engineered dams and megaprojects. It being so common he seldom did. Forced labor came with the job. Everyone at his level knew that. Witkin tells of his tour south, leaving out the unpleasantness of Soviet oppression. “Early the next morning,” Witkin writes, “we arrived at the town which had been built near the great dam on the Dnieper River. We were brought to the hotel over unpaved roads from which the hot, dry wind blew up continual clouds of fine dust.” Nor does Witkin doesn’t speak of famine as he toured south along the dusty countryside. “Our first thought was to wash off the accumulated dirt of several nights and days. No towels were to be found in our room. With the guide, I went to the manager’s room and rapped on the door. No answer. I pounded while the guide pleaded with me to desist. Suddenly the door was opened and an angry face appeared. ‘Are you the manager?’ I demanded. He nodded affirmatively. ‘We want towels,’ I said. He looked blankly at me and made no answer. I repeated my request, the guide translating, and the manager expostulating in Russian. He was furious at being awakened as early as 9:30 in the morning!”

“At this my accumulated irritation of many days exploded in a terrific denunciation of the Intourist officials, here, en route, in Moscow, everywhere. ‘We would not move one step’, I said, until the manager produced towels. Suddenly he spoke to me in English! We found this evasiveness frequently in the USSR. But we got the towels. The luxury of that bath—even though only cold water—the first in a week of filthy travel! We dressed and ate hurriedly, eager to see the great dam. It was a mile away through the dusty streets. By the time we had walked to the river’s edge, the fine dust had filled every exposed pore. We dug it out of our eyes and looked about us.”

“The wide river surged against the great concrete wall and broke into clouds of foam. It was a tremendous and inspiring sight. Locomotive cranes moved slowly and irresistibly over the dam. On the farther side was the enormous power-house, under construction. Transmission towers, like great steel giants, stalked away into the distant hills. For some minutes I watched the scene. Then we started over the dam, across the river, carefully observing the concrete form-work, conveying systems and the construction equipment in use. Much of it was of American make. Various tools lay scattered, half buried in the sand and debris. In mid-stream we met a lovely phenomenon. The water pouring through the sluice gates in great cascades caused a continual spray which the wind caught and blew back over the dam. This cool, refreshing mist enveloped us in the midst of the burning, dusty day. A perpetual rainbow gleamed in this vapor-cloud. On the other river-bank we visited the community which had been built for the foreign engineers on the work. It was composed of separate cottages and offices for the administration. Then we entered the power-house, descending deep into the bowels of this gigantic building, to watch the setting of a giant turbine. Then we came up and went back across the river over the dam. We had seen the greatest project of the new Soviet industrialization and electrification program, Dneprostroi!” Spoken like a true Stalinist! Not a word about General Electric! Silence about Westinghouse! These are taboo words in the Soviet Union. Ford was different. Everyone loves the Ford tractor if only there were spare parts! Witkin has good reason to rejoice. He’s treated like the master of ceremonies, a foreign architect with knowledge and experience far above and beyond the Russian’s experience. Here is a Russian returning from America! With a university education and diplomas! He has returned to help the people of his Motherland break the chains of poverty and ignorance! Of this they could be proud, and Witkin is very proud too. Alas, how would he suspect that the famous Soviet movie star he loved was a secret informer controlled by Stalin and the OGPU agents who followed his every move and whose life depended on “special considerations”.

Zara Witkin was one of the more fortunate architects to have a job. In fact he was ecstatic that it had put him on the world stage. Witkin is literally living on top of the world. Not in New York in the Chrylser or Empire State building. But the Soviets make sure their star architect had his full of delights including the most beguiling movie actress adored by the soviet masses. As the responsible for “the rationalization of the Soviet construction industry” Witkin was given long reins by his handlers. He’s able to travel widely in the rural back country off-limits to tourists and journalists. “Our route was now to the south,” Witkin writes in his memoirs which were nearly lost. He has a flair to describe scenes that come back to life under our eyes, such as here when traveling south to the Ukraine. “We collected our luggage for the next trip,” Witkin wrote, “which was to be by the night train to Sevastopol. There was no passenger automobile available. A light truck was to take us to the station. We bounced several miles over rough, stony roads. On assurances that a dining-car was attached to our train, no food had been given us. The exact hour of the arrival of the train was unknown. We simply had to wait until it came. Hundreds of people, ragged, lying or sitting in the dirt, some in mud, with their belongings in sacks, also awaited some train to carry them elsewhere. They were almost indistinguishable from their bags. About an hour later our train arrived. Fearful of another telegram from me to Moscow Intourist headquarters, the officials gave us first-class accommodations in an ‘International’ (Pullman) sleeping-car. This was the first time since the night we had left Moscow that we were to ride in a berth. With profound relief and keen anticipation of a good rest we entered our car. But the dust of Dneprostroi had saturated my nasal passages. Soon after we pulled out of the station, my nose began to bleed profusely. This night, too, was lost to see I had to get down from my berth half a dozen times to stop the flow of blood.” Imagine just how the forced laborers had to endure these working conditions without proper nourishment or sanitation.”

“We were now advancing into southern Russia. Despite the physical hardship of the trip, the dreadful sights, and the annoyances and irritations we were subjected to, a salubrious quality of the air gave us a sense of physical exuberance.” Unfortunately, here from Witkin we have only a hint of the abject misery he witnessed of this famine-stricken region. Witkin continues south to the Black Sea. “In the morning,” Witkin writes, “we arrived in Sevastopol. While waiting in front of our hotel for our automobile, I watched a gang of workers attempting to raise a heavy swinging scaffold of crude, wooden construction to the top of the building. They pulled on the ropes, forcing the scaffold up against the front of the building, scraping its way and smashing windows as it went. At the second story level there was a large hotel sign. Unless special care was taken to pull the scaffold out and around this sign, it would be struck and damaged. Oblivious to possibilities, the workmen forced the scaffold up along the face of the building and dislodged the sign. It crashed to the sidewalk, nearly killing two men. This incident was of special significance. A year later, the government paper, Izvestiia , in a long article dealing with my work, then the rationalization of the Soviet construction industry, began with a description of this incident.” (Zara Witkin, Memoirs, 1932-34)

In June 1932 Zara Witkin is in Moscow with his friends discreetly swapping stories on life in the USSR that they dare not tell in public in reach of microphones and informers. His perspective from the top down is decidedly different and perhaps less political than John Scott’s descriptions of the workers’ life in a giant industrial plant. Witkin writes, “…on my return, I made this observation to Eugene Lyons, the American correspondent. Several days afterward the Kharkov Tractor Plant and several of its managers received the Order of Lenin, the highest Soviet decoration for outstanding performance and meritorious work! When this was announced, I was astounded. Lyons probably doubted the accuracy of my observations. But sixty days later, the Kharkov Tractor Plant was subjected to rigorous investigation by a commission of the highest officials in the Commissariat of Heavy Industry for failure to fulfill its program, bad workmanship, waste of material, etc. This incident was followed by several other such cases, especially the high award of honors to the Kursk railway, which soon after broke down and almost ceased operation. Frequently, it seemed like the blind judging the blind.” To comprehend more fully the elaborate deviations and corrections inherent in the Russian ingenuity to cope with the extremities of unrealizable goals of the Plans the reader is encouraged to enlist the assistance of Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn and his volumes of The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956.

Witkin’s Memoirs 1932-34 portray a life-style of enthusiasm and boldness that make Americans typically stand out in a crowd much to their amusement with the effect that he made fast friends and attracted jealous enemies. But the thrill quickly fades. After two years Witkin has had enough of the Bolsheviki and their intimidations. He leaves, disillusioned and broken-hearted. Rather, he flees for his life. With his intimate knowledge of Soviet military and industrial installations, many of his own creation, he is lucky to get out or even stay alive. (Zara Witkin, Memoirs 1932-34)

Many not so fortunate simply disappeared. Once the idealist socialist expats were caught up in the Soviet “meat grinder” without a passport and their travel limited there was little if anything the State Department could do. While Stimson’s diary is conspicuously scant to mention Soviet business, nevertheless Soviet-American trade soared under his wing in Hoover’s presidency. Woe to the American worker looking for a job in the USSR who expects the US government would protect its citizens there. When Connecticut Congressman C. B. McClintock queries Stimson about it, the stern patriarch declares, “Persons who proceed to Russia in present circumstances must do so at their own risk.” For his part Bob Kelley responds to concerns over naturalized Russian Americans returning to the Soviet Union fearful that they risked jeopardy by telling them that since the Washington and Moscow shared no naturalization treaty, there was not much the US could do to give “assurance that such a person would not be treated as a Russian citizen should he place himself within the jurisdiction of Russia”. (K. Siegel, Loans and Legitimacy, 105)

In the hot dry summer on his way to the huge electrical dam in Dnepropetrovsk on the 1400 mile Dnieper river to the Black Sea built with western technology Witkin passed through vast wheat fields of the kolkhozes preparing for the harvest. He wrote, “Then down to Rostov, Dneprostroi and Yalta. That evening we caught the train for Dneprostroi. Again we had no places to sit… Dnepropetrovsk, formerly Ekaterinoslav, proved intensely interesting. As we strolled on the main street in the hot, dusty afternoon, stores with some actual goods on display attracted our attention. There was more color and individuality among the people in this district than we had encountered till then. This was the Ukraine.”

August in 1932 Stalin staged huge celebrations for the completion ahead of schedule of the giant Dnieper Dam with the pageantry of propaganda that only the great Socialist nations are capable of producing. His technological feat, Duranty observes, is “celebrated in a way that echoed around the world… Millions of Russians acres were deserted and untilled; millions of Russian peasants were begging for bread or dying. But Japan did not attack.” (W. Duranty, USSR, The Story of Soviet Russia, 193)

Stalin courts disaster to avert catastrophe. Duranty writes, “The Tractor Stations were powerless without gasoline, no matter who controlled them, and the fields of the Caucasus and the Ukraine could not be sown without grain. Here the picture was completed by the order that fifty thousand Communists and a hundred thousand tons of grain, and everything else needful, should be mobilized immediately for the spring sowing campaign in the Caucasus. Because it shows that the gasoline was available now, that there was grain for seed, that help could be given, in food and seed grain both, to the starving, desperate population of the Caucasus and the Ukraine and the Lower Volga…” (W. Duranty, “Man-made Famine”, USSR, The Story of Soviet Russia, 195)

Duranty says in his famine-revisited book (1941) that he was there in Russia spring 1933. That’s not quite right; Duranty doesn’t tour the Ukraine that year until late summer-early fall. He then cleverly uses that book to justify Consortium investment for technology transfer to the totalitarian communist war machine. On Stalin’s military conversion of civil technology two years after Hitler invades Poland and German Nazi divisions are shifted to invade the Ukraine in June 1941 Duranty relates that conditions are radically different than during that fatal year of 1933. “War preparedness took precedence over the peaceful industrial program,” Duranty declares, “and it was decided to speed up the industrial development of the areas remote from potential attack. This was in keeping with the Government’s policy of developing Siberia, but it involved great changes in planning. The Russians did their best to combine military and civil needs by pressing the construction of tractor factories, for instance, which could easily be converted to the production of army tanks, and chemical plants which could produce fertilizers or high explosives as required. At this time, they puzzled American construction engineers employed to supervise the building of their new factories, by demanding much greater strength and solidity than seemed necessary. The Americans learned, or guessed that this extra margin was provided in view of possible conversion of the factories to war production.” (W. Duranty, “Man-made Famine”, USSR, The Story of Soviet Russia, 201-02)

In 1933 for The New York Times Walter Duranty sticks to his belt-tightening Bolshevik tricks of damage control in referring to the authenticity of official government announcements shortly after Jones’ press conference in Berlin shook the foundations of the Kremlin and rattled its propaganda offices in the Narkomindel. Duranty writes, “The first sign of improvement in the agrarian situation came from the North Caucasus, upon which the Kremlin had concentrated its efforts as being the southernmost and therefore earliest sown of the major grain-producing regions” On April 6th the Kremlin declares sowing for the first three days of the month already more than double even four times the previous year, Duranty adds, “proof that the mass of the peasants was at last rallying to Socialist farming with ‘the invaluable help and leadership of the political department of the machine tractor stations’… On April 20th the Moscow press announced that a total of 25,000,000 acres had been sown in the North Caucasus, Ukraine and Lower Volga regions, as compared to 8,000,000 acres in the previous year. Weather conditions were unusually favorable, but the gains were really due to the political sections of the tractor stations, whose commanders cleared our inefficiency, laziness and graft in the collective farm managements without regard for local ‘pull’ or connections. They also were able to provide adequate supplies of grain for seed and food, and there was now no shortage of oil and fuel for the tractor caravans which moved in an orderly procession from south to north in accordance with the ploughing and sowing period of each region. There was a new spirit among the peasants, who began to say, ‘Moscow has not forgotten us’. They have sent men with whips to chase the dogs that were biting us.’…The favorable prognostics of the spring were justified by the greatest grain crop in Russian history, and the grain collections were actually completed before the end of the year, by December 14th, two and a half months earlier than ever before. ” (W. Duranty, “Man-made Famine”, USSR, The Story of Soviet Russia, 1941, 202)

Worse, in Rostov that September Duranty admits (he will do it again in 1941) the situation was in fact “undoubtedly bad”, but the rumours he dismissed as “absurd”. Upon his return he declared Ukraine had been “bled white”. He is convinced by Alksandr Asatkin, the head political section of the Ukraine Machine-Tractor Stations that coming harvest would be adequate to feed the population of 33 million. On September 19 Duranty calls the season a bumper harvest with a “generally excellent crop”. That when years later he accepts the figure of 10 million deaths! Duranty doesn’t tell how difficult it was for him to navigate the food blockades erected that fall manned by troops and militia to stop peasants from leaving the villages and inundating the cities with news of the famine. Polish intelligence dated September 1932 describes the reality suppressed by Duranty : “Nearly all of Ukraine is traveling in search of bread, the trains are packed to the rafters; to get on a train [people] have to stand in lineups for several days.” (Yuriy Shapoval, “Foreign Diplomats on the Holodomor in Ukraine”, Holodomor Studies, 2009, citing TsVA, file I.303.4.5424, 28)

Delays and new plans are “injected into the Plan in 1930”, Conquest wrote of this period. “Industrialization itself became a matter of crash programs rather than the carefully planned growth envisaged by the Right, or even the original devisers of the Five Year Plan.” Conquest has it only partly right. The plan was chaotically thrown together with fantastic figures and unrealizable goals and underwent constant revision by American and foreign engineers. Conquest referred to a passage from former communist Fred Beal’s, Proletarian Journey (1937) : “We are told for instance, of a school of ‘engineers’ attached to the Kharkov Tractor Works. The pupils, picked for ‘unusual ability or political reliability’ were rushed through the courses, and sent at once to the factories. ‘They would attempt at once to correct the work of foreign specialists, bringing untold confusion and wrecking the activities of really able technicians. Fine and expensive machinery was ruined…’.” That confirms reliable accounts by Zara Witkin, Antony Sutton and nearly every other American and foreigner working anywhere in the USSR. Conquest adds, “The numbers transferred to industry grew beyond expectation (many cities had populations ‘higher than the plan had envisaged’ – at Dneprostov, for example, 64,000 instead of 38,000)… The bulk of the new industrial workers could nevertheless only come through the villages. Between 1929 and 1932, 12.5 million new hands entered industry and 8.5 million of them were from rural areas.” This is not insignificant! The pool of slave labor necessary to reach the goals of the industrial Plan which still failed despite the inhuman tempo and conditions came from Stalin’s collectivization as did the famine. Western bankers and industrialists are behind the whole show. Consortium players from the First World War to the Second neatly wrapped The Plans in their strategy for the next world war while supporting their demagogues Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini.


This summer the American communist and Ford tractor worker at Kharkov Fred Beal walks through a ghost village seeing on walls of huts and offices pictures of Stalin and Beria. In his “Introduction and Acknowledgments”, author Simon Serbag Montefiore credits Robert Conquest for inspiring him to write his book on Stalin “who has been the most patient, generous supporter and adviser throughout…”, and able to access the State Archive of Russian Federation (GARF) lucky to get into the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI) in 1999, and other Russian archival material. (Simon Serbag Montefiore, Stalin, The Court of the Red Tsar, NY: Knopf, 2004; Fred E. Beal, Word From Nowhere, London, R. Hale, 1937, 254-5 published in the US under the title of Proletarian Journey; on industrialization, see R. Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow, 168)

Fred Beal lived in Kharkov, Ukraine’s capital during the worst period of the famine-terror in the Ukraine of the winter of the Holodomor 1932-1933. He finally emerged from the USSR to tell his story in his book titled Proletarian Journey published in 1937. Beal was no casual observer. The “proletarian” worker had served in the ranks of US Army during the First World War disposing the guts of dead American soldiers, literally. That was his assignment, removing victims of the Spanish influenza, so-called battle casualties. Nearly half of the hundred and eight thousand American war deaths are results of the epidemic. The war ends before Beal could join up with the AEF in France. Back home during the 1920s Beal evolves into a radical labor leader fighting for better working conditions and made his mark as a skilled union activist in the tough immigrant textile towns of New Bedford and Lawrence in Massachusetts. His civil rights activism with progressives in the South earns him was a 20-year prison sentence in North Carolina but he slips out of the country to try his luck with Soviet socialist experiment.

Still a fugitive during the Depression in January 1931 Beal again eludes authorities reentering the US and for months he avoids police. Beal describes the contemporary mood in the US. Beal finds himself caught in the twilight zone between illusion and reality. “The Five-Year propaganda,” he writes, “was at its zenith. Magazines and newspapers, capitalist publications all, were overflowing with exuberant reports, fantastic statistics, prophetic interpretations of Soviet progress. Travelers returned from Russia with ecstatic accounts. I was bewildered. I could no longer get my bearings in this topsy-turvy scene. Why even Roger Baldwin privately knew one truth about Russia and publicly professed another.” ACLU founder and Havard man Baldwin’s response to the Soviet famine-terror, is summed up in one word when he tells him, “‘Politics, Fred, politics’.”

Beal explained his situation this way: “I, too, was persuaded to withhold my criticism of Soviet Russia. ‘Do not give comfort to the enemy by telling the truth about Russia… Just give them a chance! They are going to do marvelous things for the workers. One cannot make a revolution with silk gloves. One cannot build Socialism without sacrifices. What are the difficulties today as compared with the glorious future of Communism?’” Beal considers Baldwin as a New Englander of Puritan stock, a privileged Harvard graduate and excellent labor lawyer. In 1931 Baldwin and American communists and other friends advise Beal to return to the Soviet Union “and give the Soviets another chance”. Liberals and conservatives alike played the old tune that ‘Things have changed for the better in the Soviet Union.” Many of them know that American capitalists are investing big bucks into Stalin’s bold Russian reconstruction. They knew along with thousands of other American workers who sailed overseas to help build Soviet socialist plants and factories based on plans and technology of American capitalists, Beal faced head-on the blaring contradictions of the paradox of truth inscribed in the myth of the Soviet and American propaganda. Finding work conditions no better in the U.S he secretly ships out again back to the USSR in September 1931. (F. Beal, 274)

Settling in Kharkov Beal experiences life first-hand on the ground as a Soviet factory worker in the net the false socialist paradise trumpeted by Kremlin Commissars and the American Communist Party and their Soviet agents. Although I didn’t know it at the time, as a young man fresh out of Yale had an indirect distant connection with Beal. Throughout the Holodomor famine years Beal is counseled by his friend Roger Baldwin, the Harvard social libertarian lawyer (Class 1910), and founder of the American Civil Liberties Union during Wilson’s repression of civil dissent and opposition to the war in 1917.

A few years after meeting separately with Baldwin, Henry Lodge, and Solzhenitsyn at Harvard that day commencement speech, I met with the octogenarian Baldwin alone in a New Jersey hospital ward. Upright in bed Roger was still sprite and full of life. Ironically, not long after I sat across a table in the modest kitchen of a small Manhattan apartment with the former American communist Corliss Lamont, bellicose son of Thomas Lamont who still hadn’t settled bitter scores over Baldwin’s liberal brand of social activism. So late in his life Roger had grown frail but still that spark of youth not to accept social injustices and weakness permanently set his face aglow. Baldwin wondered why at the time I should persist in writing a book on John Reed, who broke away from Eugene Debs and the mainstream pro-war American Socialist Party and crossed over to the Lenin-Trotsky Bolshevik band of soviet communists. Baldwin had also been a trusted friend of Reed and his wife Louise Bryant during their early years in Greenwich Village of downtown Manhattan and passed her letters from Reed in Russia.

In his book Beal describes Baldwin “a champion of civil liberties and an apologist of Stalin’s system of terror”. What a contradiction! Baldwin a Stalinist? Such was the confused and twisted political climate of the thirties in America for the down-and-out in those stark years of the Depression when union organizers fought, often violently, to improve labor conditions and the rights of workers under the heel of Consortium capitalists. This is the same era when Sinclair Lewis wrote his novel It Can’t Happen Here (1935) about a fascist takeover of the American presidency, awaking the public that a figure no less dangerous than a Benito Mussolini or an Adolf Hitler but with a more congenial persona some may think akin to a Harriman, a Rockefeller, – or even a Roosevelt –, might likewise use the radio and propaganda media to stage a coup. Or, a General Douglas MacArthur, the Army Chief of Staff who led FDR’s 1933 Inaugural parade and who FDR had denounced the previous summer as one of the two most dangerous men in America. Jonathan Alter writes of the meeting February 1, 1933 when Lippmann meets with Roosevelt at Warm Springs and advised the President-elect that it might be necessary to assume dictatorial powers to save the country from bankruptcy and anarchy. (Jonathan Alter, The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2006, 187)

What were American capitalists up to investing in Soviet communism? For the most part Soviet communists and Wall Street ignored or denied it. It took years for Fred Beal, Eugene Lyons and others to publish their Soviet memoirs critical of Stalin’s totalitarian slave state fueling a national debate made more contentious once Roosevelt extended the olive branch to normalize relations between the two governments with the Nazi Reich the European powder keg squarely in the middle. By late 1933 by which time the Holodomor reaches its peak, FDR’s policy of extending formal relations to Stalinist Russia seemed more like a tame gesture of recognition of the status quo. The icing on the cake of Consortium business for these war planners who justified the famine, it was the only diplomatic thing to do. (re. J. Alter, re. Gen. MacArthur, 223)

Food conditions in Russia have profoundly worsened during Beal’s nine months stay in America. Around Kharkov and Kiev the forced food blockades instituted a food “reverse” ban making it a crime to bring food into the Ukraine from Soviet Russia and Soviet Belarus without written permission. Authorities restrict the volume of food entering the region. Beal uses his precious dollars to buy supplies at the Torgsin stores. “What an extraordinary institution was the Torgsin! It developed out of the shipment of food packages from abroad to relatives and foreigners in Russia. The appeals of the latter to individuals in America and elsewhere started a stream of food parcels to the Soviet Union.” The Soviets developed the stores “into a nation-wide chain where the recipients of orders from abroad as well as Russians owning gold or foreign currency obtained food supplies. The vast majority of the population could only pass the Torgsin stores and look hungrily into the windows. For the Soviet currency was not valid in these shops. Fortunate were those who had generous kin in America, the land which according to the reports in the Soviet press at the time was in the throes of hunger and on the verge of collapse.” Beal comes across a Torgsin store where a Afro-American actress worked, in Russia since she performed for the Czar. The US embassy eventually expedited her return in 1934. (F. Beal, 275-6)

Assigned a propaganda job at the Kharkov tractor plant in the colony of foreign workers “mostly Americans, Germans and Czechoslovaks” Beal meets his “chief”, a Ukrainian woman back from Los Angeles. Beal is in a good position to learn whats going on and often gets instructions from Clarence Hathaway, Moscow representative of the American Communist Party and a junior member of the American Politburo of the CPUSA led by Foster and Browder. Hathaway, too, is a member of the Soviet Comintern of world communists and later editor of the Daily Worker in New York. Here Beal learns the foreigners task of “showing the Russians how to produce tractors without giving way to their individualistic tendencies and loose political notions”. In other words, Beal and his comrades endure endless repetition of the doctrinaire Bolsheviki and communist slogans for collective solidarity to defeat the foreign imperialists preparing to destroy Soviet Russia.

Beal’s assignment in the Ukraine is not disregarded by the authorities and offers him a particularly unique vantage position from which to observe the Soviets besieged by the Holodomor. “I was thrown in contact,” he recalled, “with the highest Soviet officials, such as Petrovsky, the President of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic; with Skrypnyk, Vice-president of the Council of People’s Commissars and member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; with the all-powerful Postichev (Pavel Petrovich Postyshev sic), who had been sent down by Stalin from Moscow to weed out the rebels in the Ukrainian Communist Party; and the leading officials of the GPU.”

Postyshev’s mission is two-fold: to accelerate grain seizures in the Ukraine thereby intensifying famine and suppress lingering individual and cultural traces of Ukrainian national identity that had been previously tolerated. Beal’s mission is to organize the several hundred foreign workers among ten thousand Russians, a formidable task. After his first attempt to call a meeting without a communist Party official present, Beal is reprimanded by a GPU official for an unpardonable breach in party procedure. From then on he has no illusions of Soviet party discipline. He learns quickly, and he writes in his book, “In reality, the Soviet regime was a dictatorship over the proletariat!” For him and the other foreigners there is no turning back. It will take a miracle to ever leave the USSR alive. (The GPU, or Gosudarstvennoe politscheskoe upravlenie, was the dreaded political police and ubiquitous successor to the Cheka (1921-28; Grigory Ivanovich Petrovsky (1878-58), veteran Bolshevik revolutionary, President of the Ukraine, 1919-39, director of the Museum of the Revolution in Moscow, purged in 1939.)

Let us, reader, take a closer look at what it meant to be a member of the Soviet Communist Party and leader in Soviet Ukraine. Mykola Skrypnyk paid the price of living with this new young generation of brutes and idiots in the CP bowing down to the inscrutable and infallible Stalin. Kiev professor Stanislav Kulchytsky writes in his article “Was Ukraine Under Soviet Occupation” published in 2007 in the national newspaper The Day: “Unlike Rakovsky, Mykola Skrypnyk was sincerely outraged by the restriction and directives that ran counter to the Soviet government’s declarations. He went so far as to make statements about the party’s ‘double-entry bookkeeping’ in regard to the nationality question. In both Diaspora and post-Soviet historiography Skrypnyk is an extraordinarily positive figure. I do not want to engage in polemics about this assessment. He was a very decent individual with a tragic destiny. Nor can one overlook his Herculean efforts in de-Russifying the Ukrainian Soviet republic and the North Caucasus territories that were inhabited by ethnic Ukrainians. One should not underestimate his role in transforming Ukrainians from an ethnographic mass into a nation aware of its historic past. It was Skrypnyk who, together with a group of leading members of the Ukrainian Party of Socialist Revolutionaries, who initially became Borotbists and later communists, did his best to ensure that the Soviet power lost its occupational character in Ukraine. He became one of the leaders of the Bolshevik Party at an early stage and was a convinced supporter of dictatorial methods of administration. He was also one of the founders of the notorious Cheka.” (S. Kulchytsky, “Was Ukraine Under Soviet Occupation”, The Day, Kyiv, July 10 2007 and July 17, 2007)

Prof. Kulchystsky further tells us, “Ukraine could be conquered by a million-strong army, but it was never fully controlled. Ukrainians had to become convinced that the Soviet government was their government. Officials, propagandists, Chekists, and teachers had to communicate in Ukrainian in official institutions, educational establishments, and the mass media. Addressing the 7th All-Ukraine Party Conference in April 1923, Trotsky noted that the estrangement of the ruling party and the Soviet apparatus from the bulk of the population was dangerous. One hundred times more dangerous, he believed, were misunderstandings with the peasantry if the latter did not belong to the nationality that was the ruling one in tsarist Russia. Hence the conclusion: they needed not only economic linkage with the peasant market (already established by the New Economic Policy); they also had to ponder the national linkage: language, school, and culture. The same thing was said a few days later by Stalin, when he addressed the 12th Congress of the RCP(B), except that he emphasized good relations rather than misunderstandings and their disastrous consequences: “…so that the Soviet power becomes dear also to the peasantry of other nationalities, so that it is understandable to it, so that it functions in their native languages, so that schools and organs of power are staffed with local people, who know the language, customs, and manner of life of the non-Russian nationalities.” The campaign that was launched by the 12th Party Congress became known as indigenization (korenizatsiia) whereby Soviet power took root in the national regions. In Ukraine, indigenization acquired the form of Ukrainization.”

Foreigner workers at the Kharkov tractor plant are all paid more than “the Russians”. Lavishly treated their enclave lives in separate model American-styled homes making them “a privileged class, divided by a chasm from the ten thousand Russian workers employed there.” Beal opposes the double-standard. His Soviet handlers warn him to shut up, and just see to it that the foreign workers are kept from revolting over poor living conditions. No complaints! Complaints will not be tolerated! But Beal follows good party discipline and registers their objections –, no heat, wood, coal, bread during winter. Famished and exhausted workers are “unable to go to work because of being hungry”. Beal’s group stages a hunger march. “The foreign correspondents in Moscow never got hold of this sort of news. If they did, they could not send it out to their papers. Moscow would expel them.” Beal knew that if ever “the capitalist press” picked it up, Stalin’s secret police would have arrested the leaders as “enemies of the people”. These are the Gulag days! Many of the German workers write home how rotten communist conditions really are. At least German industry feeds its workers! German trains run on time!

Beal witnessed the Fame Terror repression of the Ukraine. He observes, “The large colony of privileged foreign workers at the Kharkov Tractor Plant subsisted on a starvation diet.” A restaurant factor kitchen served noonday meal, bowl of cabbage soup “with a herring bone or two swimming in it, one slice of bread, and a few ounces of barley gruel. That was all.” Ordinary workers served no meat “except on special occasions, such as Soviet celebrations or the arrival of foreign tourists”. Workers ate in shifts, sometimes missing meals. Health conditions were unsanitary, workers went without soap. Shock troop workers (udarniks) might obtain shoes or a coat. Beal observed, “The common worker got nothing. Every man and woman in the plant was surrounded by stool pigeons, members of the GPU and other secret agents. They would turn the worker in for the slightest grumbling against his lot, not to speak of an attempt to organize any resistance to it. Sometimes members of the Communist Party and even the privileged udarnik would act as spies upon the common worker, inform upon him and turn in even supposedly good friends either by reason of fear or in the hope of advancement and getting favors from the authorities. The only weapon the common Soviet worker has in his agonizing efforts to throw off the shackles of his masters is the weapon of ‘silent sabotage’. The fear of getting shot or starvation in exile threatens any one who resorts to this means of protest. So inexorable is the terror that a strike among the Russian workers or a hunger march is almost inconceivable. Yet so extreme was the despair that all over Russia the workers were engaged in a great spontaneous campaign of silent sabotage’. The shock troopers at the Kharkov Tractor Plant were inspired or coerced by the Communist Party leaders to slave day and night, often in freezing weather, for the ‘workers government’… Most of the shock workers were simply stool-pigeons, however, who delivered their less fortunate and more exhausted fellow-workers to the terrorist authorities.”

As an American worker Beal learns how the Soviet authorities define socialist egalitarianism. Beal is free to travel to other cities and factories. Apart from Moscow and Leningrad, he writes, “I never saw any Russian workers whose average life was easier than that of the mass at the Kharkov Tractor Plant. I did see worse conditions. Beneath the privileged classes of the soldiers of the Red Army, of the officers of the GPU, of the specialists in charge of technical departments, of the higher Communist bureaucrats, and of the select udarniks, the vast class of the Russian workers was in a state of serfdom which defies exact definition.” (F. Beal, Proletarian Journey, Chapter 21, “Labor Under The Hammer And Sickle”, 287)

“The Kharkov Tractor Plant”, Beal writes, “was one of the most important Soviet undertakings and conditions there were supposed to be among the best in Russia”. Beal found working conditions “far and away worse than anything I had ever seen in America”. Hungry and emaciated workers were left without food, leave refused, and left to die in bunks, lacking privileged status to gain access to hospitals or medical relief. Workers had to work or they would be left without food, and die. “Workers tried heroically to keep up the fight. One mistake, one let-up and their places would be taken by others; they would be ‘removed’ or sent out into the open without a food ticket, without shelter or without a job. If by chance a worker lost his passport, he would absolutely be without a place in the economic structure of the country. Poor as his job might be, it was the only path to stave off complete starvation.” (F. Beal, 291)