Walter Duranty: Stalin\'s Western Apologist



There is no famine or actual starvation nor is there likely to be.

-- New York Times, Nov. 15, 1931, page 1

Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.

--New York Times, August 23, 1933

Enemies and foreign critics can say what they please. Weaklings and despondents at home may groan under the burden, but the youth and strength of the Russian people is essentially at one with the Kremlin's program, believes it worthwhile and supports it, however hard be the sledding.

--New York Times, December 9, 1932, page 6

You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs.

--New York Times, May 14, 1933, page 18

There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition.

--New York Times, March 31, 1933, page 13[1]

While Stalin was forcibly collectivizing Ukrainian farms and sealing off its borders by using starvation as a political weapon, while 25,000 people were dying daily, while mothers in the countryside were throwing their babies onto train-cars headed to the cities in hopes of alleviating their hunger, and while the government was printing posters that read, "Eating your children is an act of barbarism,"[2] Walter Duranty - principal NY Times correspondent in the USSR - was denying the existence of a famine to the Western world. Whereas the massively interlinked network of distributed media would likely reveal him to be a sham if he lived in the modern era, his words were gospel to most Americans in the 1930s.

After all, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and the NY Times was one of the most respected media outlets in the world. But the Gray Lady likely was not the only institution buttering his bread as Ukrainians starved. Duranty’s Moscow four-room apartment was stocked with vodka and caviar, and he employed the services of a maid, personal chauffeur, and a cook who would become his mistress.[3] In a time when the rest of the world needed to know of the horrors of Stalin's campaign to wipe out the kulaks, Duranty used his credibility and clout to cover-up the events of the Ukrainian famine.

Duranty continued to write for the NY Times until 1941 and steadfastly supported Stalin's regime. Upon Stalin's death in 1953, Duranty praised Stalin for "lift[ing] himself and [his followers] to such heights of strength and influence as few mortals have ever known."[4]

In its annual listing of its Pulitzer Prize winners, the NY Times continues to list Walter Duranty near the top of the list. Various Ukrainian groups have petitioned to have Duranty’s Pulitzer revoked to no avail. To this day, the NY Times continues to refuse to repudiate Duranty’s work as a sham.

While millions perished in the Ukraine under the boot of an evil dictator, a man of the West made the wrong choice in playing the part of apologist and propagandist. His words carried influence not just to the general public, but also to U.S. policymakers. Adding insult to injury, he was rewarded with luxury and professional accolades. Though it will not bring back those who were murdered in Stalin's famine, a small measure of comfort may come to the descendents of Stalin's victims if Duranty’s Pulitzer prize is revoked. Though the NY Times has yet to do the right thing, there will always be time enough to do so.


fn1. Pulitzer-Winning Lies by Arnold Beichman, The Weekly Standard, June 12, 2003.

fn2. Courtois, S. et al. The Black Book of Communism. Harvard University Press. 1999.

fn3. Taylor, S. J. Stalin's Apologist: Walter Duranty : The New York Times Man in Moscow, Oxford University Press, 1990.

fn4. Duranty's Deception by John Berlau, Insight Magazine, July 7, 2003.


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Awesome point. Liberals =

Awesome point. Liberals = communists and propagandize coverups of starvation and genocide. You're realy adding to the debate with that comment, thanks.

ahhh liberals and

ahhh liberals and socialists... they never change. I'm guessing Walter drove a volvo and had pepper hair.

May Day Mourning Jonathan

May Day Mourning
Jonathan Wilde at Catallarchy has orchestrated a moving and edifying May Day blog extravangaza on the dark history of communism....

At first I thought it was

At first I thought it was Duranty who said it, but a quick check in Bartlett's offered up Lincoln Steffens as the originator of the quote, "I have been over into the future, and it works." (Alt: "I have seen the future, and it works.") It was an opinion he was to be disabused of.