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Campaign to bring home journalist's diaries

A campaign has been launched to put the diaries of a revered Welsh journalist on display in his home town.

Gareth Jones, of the Western Mail, came to prominence in the early 1930s when he told the world of the famine Stalin inflicted upon the people of the Ukraine in which an estimated 10m people died.

His reports on the ‘Holomodor’, filed after walking for miles through the Ukrainian countryside, were widely discredited at the time by both Stalin’s government and other western journalists.

Now Vale-based Welsh Assembly member Chris Franks is hoping to bring Mr Jones’ diaries back to Barry to be put on display at a local library, following an exhibition before Christmas at the University of Cambridge where the reporter was a student.

Chris said: “Gareth Jones was a true campaigning journalist who was not afraid to report how peasants in Ukraine were starving while the Soviet regime exported grain to the west despite the terrible impact on his own life.

“The horror of Stalin’s action is one of the forgotten tragedies of the 20th century and it would be great if people in his home town and across Wales could take a look at the historic diaries he compiled.”

Welsh Assembly Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones said that any loan of the diaries would be dependent on Barry Library being able to provide display conditions which met required standards.

An alternative venue in Cardiff might be a possibility for hosting the exhibition, he added.

In 2008, Mr Jones and Manchester Guardian correspondent Malcolm Muggeridge were given the posthumous Ukrainian Order of Freedom for their reporting.

Gareth was born in Barry in 1905 but his life was cut short aged just 29 when he was murdered in 1935 in Inner Mongolia.

Comments

Peter Annereau (10/03/2010 09:58:59)
The subject for a film, surely.

Russell Chelak (10/03/2010 13:35:06)
This article fails to mention that Mr Jones was the only member in his party to be held for ransom but never released. He was traveling with a trading company now known to be a KGB front. Dr Mueller who headed the excursion was also a major KGB operative.