Harvest of Despair, by Slavko Nowytski (1984). Produced for the Ukrainian Famine Research Committee, Toronto.
Excerpt from the transcript
The year: 1933. The place: The Soviet Union. Behind the façade food is being used as a weapon against people who have proven troublesome to Moscow.
Famine is engineered – deliberately – in the North Caucuses, the Volga Basin and Ukraine.
The Soviet secret police seal off Ukraine’s borders. No one can get out or bring food in. A nation the size of France is strangled by hunger.
In less than two years ten million people die; seven million of them in Ukraine; three million of them children….
For every article on the Famine that appeared, two were published denying its existence. Muggeridge recalls the most influential correspondent in Moscow was Walter Duranty, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The New York Times.
He was not only the greatest liar among the journalists in Moscow, but he was the greatest liar of any journalist that I’ve ever met in 50 years of journalism. And we used to wonder whether in fact the authorities hadn’t got some kind of hold over him, because he so utterly played their game. But it didn’t worry The New York Times who featured his reports.
When it came to the famine, the Great Famine in the Ukraine, brought about by collectivization, that was when his reporting was particularly disgraceful, because he denied that there was any famine.
The Soviets actually grant Duranty permission to tour Ukraine unchaperoned. He reports in the Times that all talk of famine now is ridiculous.
Yet documents from the British Foreign Office reveal that in private conversations at the British Embassy Duranty said that as many as 10 million people had died.