The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)


HOT COPY By Paul D. Colford
New York Daily News, New York, NY
Friday, October 24, 2003

Will the Pulitzer Prize board revoke the controversial 1932 award to Walter Duranty, the Moscow correspondent of The New York Times and an apologist for dictator Josef Stalin?

The question loomed after this week's revelation that Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. told the board that the paper will "respect" whatever it decides. The panel meets next month.

Sulzberger's letter followed the board's announcement in June that a subcommittee would review complaints about Duranty's failure to report on the Stalin-engineered famine that killed millions in the Ukraine in 1932 and 1933.

Sulzberger enclosed a dim review of Duranty's work that the paper commissioned from Mark von Hagen, a history professor at Columbia.

Von Hagen said of Duranty's 1931 reporting, which earned him the Pulitzer: "Much of the 'factual' material is dull and largely uncritical recitation of Soviet sources."

Von Hagen added that "it is far less surprising to me that he would deny in print the famine of 1932-33."

Still, recalling the Stalinist practice of airbrushing "purged figures" out of official records, Sulzberger added, "it would be peculiar to recognize the evils of Stalinism by airbrushing" Duranty out of the Pulitzer annals.

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America yesterday expressed dismay over Sulzberger's response.

The Manhattan-based group said: "We only hope that The New York Times will do the right thing and honor the millions of victims by apologizing to their readership, the famine survivors and the Ukrainian-American community and denounce" Duranty's Pulitzer.

An editorial due to run in The Ukrainian Weekly, in Parsippany, N.J., says: "If The New York Times cannot physically 'return' the Pulitzer, then it must repudiate its recipient and renounce his prize."

New York Daily News, NY, NY, Friday, October 24, 2003