Pinch Sulzberger: “wait, wait, wait – because they did that, we should do this? I don’t think so; it would ruin our reputation!”
Bavarian town of Tegernsee removes Hitler’s name from its Honorary Citizen roll, placed there when he took power in 1933.
Mayor Johannes Hagn said, ‘It took so long because we didn’t actually know if he was still on the books as an honorary citizen and it turned out he was.
‘We thought the honour had died off with him but that turned out not to be the case so we had to officially expunge him from the books.’
During the same era, the New York Times was running regular stories from its Russian reporter and Stalin apologist Walter Duanty, with full knowledge that he was lying and covering up the mass slaughter of millions of serfs, and the extraordinary purges of Satalin’s “enemies”, and accepted a Pulitzer Prize for his efforts in 1932.
Here’s the NYT on the famine:
“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
(My cousin Ed Fountain, brother to NYT editor Henry Fountain, rephrased this to, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking kneecaps” – that sounds more apt.)
“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
The author of “Harvest of Sorrow,” Robert Conquest has written:
As one of the best known correspondents in the world for one of the best known newspapers in the world, Mr. Duranty’s denial that there was a famine was accepted as gospel. Thus Mr. Duranty gulled not only the readers of the New York Times but because of the newspaper’s prestige, he influenced the thinking of countless thousands of other readers about the character of Josef Stalin and the Soviet regime. And he certainly influenced the newly-elected President Roosevelt to recognize the Soviet Union.
In 2003 the NYT rejected the recommendation by the consultant they hired to look into and advise on the matter, and decided to keep its prize. “We’d be whitewashing history”, little Pinch Sulzberger Jr. explained at the time, “and besides, we don’t have the actual award, so we can’t actually return it.”
Perhaps Tegernsee’s action will inspire Schulzberger and his minions to reconsider, and acknowledge, what the Old Grey Lady did to promote one of the three most vicious mass murderers in world history, but I wouldn’t count on it.