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Gareth Vaughan Jones (1905–35) was a journalist, traveller and linguist who met his death in suspicious circumstances at the hands of Chinese ‘bandits’ in Inner Mongolia in August 1935. He was at one time Foreign Affairs Advisor to David Lloyd George and later went on to report on the Great Depression in America and the rise of Nazism in Germany. In recent years he has become famous for being the first to break the news of the famines that were taking place across the Soviet Union in 1933 and in particular for his witnessing of the Holodomor in Ukraine.
The archive was donated to the National Library of Wales by members of Gareth Jones’s family; Miss G. V. Vaughan Jones; Dr Margaret Siriol Colley; and Mr Nigel Colley; with material also donated by Dr Prys. Morgan and purchased from Dylans Bookstore, Swansea. The Library acknowledges the generosity of the family and their continued support in making Gareth’s archive available to the public.
The collection includes the famous ‘Hitler diary’ kept by Jones during his visit to Germany in the spring of 1933 and describes conditions and various events in Nazi Germany shortly after the Fuehrer had come to power there and presents uncannily perceptive pen-portraits of Hitler himself and Goebbels. In February 1933, Gareth became the first foreign journalist to fly with Adolf Hitler after his appointment as Chancellor just one month earlier to a rally at Frankfurt-am-Main.
A further group of six pocket diaries describe in some detail Jones’s visits to the Soviet Union between 1931 and 1933, especially his travels, the people whom he meets and graphic accounts of the severe famine conditions which he encountered. The great Soviet famine accounted for millions of deaths particularly in Kazakhstan and Ukraine, and Gareth Jones was almost alone in reporting on this in British newspapers and journals at the time. Gareth Jones’s diaries, perhaps represent the only independent verification of arguably Stalin’s greatest atrocity.
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Thanks to generous financial support from the Ukrainian National Women's League of America, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation and the Temerty Family Foundation, a selection of files from Gareth Vaughan Jones’s archive has been digitised and is freely available to view. Links to the digitised files are included in the catalogue and grouped by theme below.
Gareth made a visit to the USSR in 1931 and kept detailed diaries of his observations.
In 1934 and 1935 Jones undertook a ‘Round the World’ tour which he recorded in great detail in his diaries.
Diaries kept by Jones during his various trips detailing conversations and events which would later form the basis of articles
These notebooks contain various notes made by Jones including while he was a student at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and Trinity College, Cambridge. Some are linguistic notes although later there are many observations on international developments in Europe, America and the USSR. Some were kept while Jones was in the employ of David Lloyd George, based at Churt, and acting as a researcher for the compilation of Lloyd George's War Memoirs.
Photographs believed to have been taken by Jones in summer 1935. Most are of Mongolia, many being of The Great Mongolian Festival of the Princes at the Court of Prince Teh Wang. These show many of the tribesmen and their lifestyles. Included are a number of Prince Teh Wang (aka Prince Demchugdongrub), Mongolian military leader and his family; also Chinese General Tsai Ting Kai (aka Cai Tingkai). Some are annotated on the reverse. Included are pictures of monks, sacrificing of sheep, inside and outside yurts, wrestling etc.
The digitised items are in copyright and permission to re-use them in any way which is not permitted by copyright legislation should be obtained from the Estate of Gareth Jones