Out this month: Mr Jones

mr. jones is a 2019 drama film directed by agnieszka holland. soviet union ussr ukraine stalin's genocide holodomor in ukraine movie poster

Historical film Mr Jones – about a Welsh journalist who risked his life to tell the truth about Stalin’s 1930s genocide in Ukraine – is out this month, beginning with a premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.

Unlike the Holocaust, the Kremlin’s forced famine genocide – known as the Holodomor – escaped the world’s notice mostly because Western journalists, many of them advocates of communism, spent decades denying it.

Conservative estimates of the death toll put it on par with the Holocaust, while others place the numbers much higher; up to ten-million Ukrainians killed between 1932 and 1933. The numbers vary so much because, unlike the Germans who documented every aspect of the Holocaust, the Russian authorities have done everything in their power to hide their crimes.

(It should be noted that the Kremlin committed another genocide, in Kazakhstan, at the same time, killing 42% of their population.)

Gareth Jones, played in the movie by English actor James Norton, saw the Holodomor firsthand, and went against the lead of Stalin-friendly journalists like The New York Times’ Walter Duranty to try and get the truth out beyond the Iron Curtain.

Jones was only twenty-nine when he was murdered, one day shy of his thirtieth birthday.

This film seems incredibly important in this day and age, with people once again reacting to rising fascism by identifying as communists and sympathising with Russia. As this Variety article points out, we live in a similar age to the 1930s, with propaganda and “fake news” dominating much of the press, and most of the world turning a blind eye to atrocities being committed by the Kremlin, and by the regimes in countries like Syria.

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New Year’s Day 1937

Australian girls at a Highland Gathering at Sydney Showground on New Year’s Day.

1st January 1937. Photographed by Sam Hood.

Source

Highland Gathering, New Year's Day, Sydney Showground, 1 January 1937 - photographer Sam Hood (11656633936).jpg.

On this day: the first Women’s Cricket Test Series

Test_cricket_-_women_-_1935English womens cricket team in Australia and New Zealand in 1934–35

From 1934-35, the first women’s test series in cricket was played by England against Australia and then New Zealand.

The first test was played in Brisbane from the 28th to the 31st of December, 1934.

Myrtle_MaclaganA picture of cricketer Myrtle Maclagan on the England tour of Australia in 1934-35. Taken from the National Library of Australia. Canberra

Stars of the series included Myrtle Maclagan (above) and Betty Snowball (below).

Betty_SnowballA picture of cricketer Betty Snowball on the England tour of Australia in 1934-35. Taken from the National Library of Australia. Canberra.

The tour was documented in a series of photographs that are now in the collection of the National Library of Australia in Canberra.

England_womens_cricket_team_in_1934-35A picture of the England womens cricket team in 1934-35. Taken from the National Library of Australia. Canberra.

Official England tour portrait.

On this day: Chinese retreat in Nanking

Chinese_clean_up_mess_in_NankingChinese people clean up the mess which was made at the time of the retreat of Chinese soldiers.(December 22, 1937) Japanese Rape of Nanking Massacre

22nd December 1937: Locals in Nanking, China clean up after the retreat of the Chinese army. The image appeared in a January 1938 edition of Japanese news picture magazine Asahi Graph. Japan had defeated China in the Battle of Nanking earlier in the month.

Despite promises that civilians wouldn’t be harmed, by the time the image was published Japanese soldiers had killed between 40 000 and 300 000 people in what would become known as the Rape of Nanking, or the Nanking Massacre.

On this day: Japanese troops in China

9th December 1937: Japanese troops march on Nanking, China, carrying guns and wheels.

Days later, the soldiers would begin a spree of mass rape and mass murder that claimed the lives of between 40 000 and 300 000 people. The crime would come to be known as the Rape of Nanking, or the Nanking Massacre.

Carrying_guns_and_wheels01The Japanese military unit gradually closes up to Nanking Castle for all-out attack, carrying guns and wheels on their shoulders and backs.(Dec. 9, 1937) Rapae