The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)


By Paul D. Colford, Daily News Business Writer
New York Daily News, New York, New York
Wednesday, June 11, 2003

More than 70 years later, a Pulitzer Prize won by a Moscow correspondent for The New York Times is being reconsidered.

A subcommittee of the Pulitzer board is reviewing the 1932 award won by Walter Duranty, an admirer of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Walter Duranty

Specifically, the board said yesterday, it is responding to complaints from those who want the Pulitzer revoked.

Duranty earned the prize for stories about the Soviet dictator's five-year plan that were published in 1931 - before millions perished in the Stalin-engineered famine that ravaged Ukraine. Duranty denied in reports for The Times that there was a famine.

Thousands of letters, E-mails and preprinted postcards have been sent to the Pulitzer board in a campaign begun early this year by Ukrainian groups in the U.S. and abroad.

The board said it's "aware of the most recent complaints and, like any significant complaint, we take them seriously."

"I'm very happy with the decision," said retired educator Myron Kuropas, a member of the Ukrainian National Association who said he distributed 1,000 postcards around the country from his home in DeKalb, Ill. "They should have done this years and years ago."

"If he was lying in '32 and '33, surely he was lying earlier," Kuropas said.

According to Pulitzer administrator Sig Gissler, the board agreed to review the Duranty case in early April - before The Times was jolted by the Jayson Blair reporting scandal.

In 1990, the panel said yesterday, it decided unanimously against withdrawing a prize "awarded in a different era and under different circumstances."

Echoing that decision yesterday, The Times said, "In that situation, The Times has not seen merit in trying to undo history."

However, the paper has renounced Duranty's work through the years. A 1990 editorial called his dispatches from Moscow "some of the worst reporting to appear in this newspaper."

The New York Daily News, New York, New York, June 11, 2003
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