By Paul Scheffer - Editor in Chief
BERLINER TAGEBLATT, Morning Edition
Berlin, Germany, Saturday, August 17th, 1935
The reader will find in this edition the news that Gareth Jones, who for 18
days had been in the hands of bandits on the Mongolian frontier, has been
shot by his kidnappers. Kidnapping is a common form of crime throughout
China; it is not limited to the wild and politically disorganised districts
on the Mongolian and Manchurian frontiers. But usually it is (as in a much
discussed case at Shanghai) a matter of thieving and not of openly seizing
the human person. In this case however, the car in which Gareth Jones and
Dr. Mueller were travelling was held up by a regular cannonade and robbed
Dr Mueller returned - released as an intermediary. There then followed some
very obscure negotiations. The bandits first reduced their demand for
¸8,000 and agreed upon a smaller sum but the money offered was not
collected. Why is not clear. In regard to this it must be remarked that
most of the money would have to be paid by the Governor of the Province.
Afterwards we were told Jones was handed over to another band. The
Japanese Military AttachÈ went to the "General" of the Peace Corps to which
the bandits "formerly" belonged. This was reported in our morning edition.
But when the AttachÈ reprimanded General Tschang Tschung Tschang and
the latter declared he would do all he could towards securing Jones' release
the unfortunate man was already dead.
Fear seized the bandits. Was this due to the presence of Japanese so close
to the Mongolian frontier? So was Jones a victim of the fact that whereas
the power of the new masters was imposing enough to cause the bandits to
renounce the 80,000 dollars, it was not imposing enough to compel the
liberation of the unfortunate captive? His end lies in the obscurity of the
historic changes spreading over those immense territories.
Another power was involved in this tragedy - England. Gareth Jones told the
bandits after his capture that he was an Englishman and what they must not
dare touch him. He was. thereupon mishandled. He was murdered although
the murderers knew who he was and although it was formerly even in China
true that the Englishman in most cases was sacrosanct. That outlook has
changed during the last decade - especially in the districts adjacent to
Soviet territory. The incident is nevertheless stupid and at time we know
of no other case in which an Englishman was deliberately murdered liberate
kidnapping. Without a doubt certain silently introduced changes in English
protective measures play a part in the matter and also the defensive
situation thereby created in the Far East.
In these general reflections over the security of white men in distant
lands, we do not forget Gareth Jones himself. He was a born Journalist, an
ornament of his much maligned and, in its essence and obligations, much
misunderstood, profession. He was modest, clever, indefatigable and above
all, honourable. He was, without saying too much thereon, an enthusiastic
English patriot. He was a Journalist because he was always receptive to new
ideas, never failed in their analyses and in the urge to report on them in
the light of his own direct impressions, fully and truthfully. Through his
articles on the "Soviet Union" to the Times, which did not appear under his
own name, he immediately, though quite a young man, made a name for himself.
He did not succumb to routine. He worked indefatigably in order to widen
his outlook. He knew that without a wide outlook it is impossible to
segregate and analyse impressions and to display them in all their
dimensions. He regarded himself as one in the making, and never abandoned
this view. He had that flair which makes the Journalist.
He developed himself on a definite system - by accepting promotion and then,
after securing the gain, undertaking travels which he financed by writing
articles for newspapers in different countries. During the last world tour
for instance (for which he had worked for two years) he wrote for the
"Berliner Tageblatt". Jones then did editorial work for a provincial
newspaper in his native Wales, thence accepting a new appointment in
London. He thus was learning and simultaneously working as a Journalist
without binding himself too early.
The number of Journalists with his initiative and style is nowadays;
throughout the world, quickly falling, and for this reason the tragic death
of this splendid man is a particularly big loss. The International Press is
abandoning its colours - in some countries more quickly than in others -but
it is a fact. Instead of independent minds inspired by genuine feeling,
there appear more and more men of routine, crippled journalists of widely
different stamp who shoot from behind safe cover, and thereby sacrifice
their consciences. The causes of this tendency are many. Today is not the
time to speak of them.
The www.ArtUkraine.com Information Service (ARTUIS) appreciates
the outstanding work that has been accomplished by Gareth Jones's niece,
Dr. Margaret Siriol Colley and her son Nigel Linson Colley to find,
and post the very important archives of Gareth Jones on the web.
ARTUIS first connected with the Colley's in early 2002 and have been
working closely with them since that time concerning the archives. You can
view the Colley's website and the entire Gareth Jones archives including his
truthful writings about the genocidal famine in Ukraine in 1933 at: