Tania Long

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Tatiana Long (29 April 1913 in Berlin, Germany – 4 September 1998 in Ottawa, Canada) was an American journalist and war correspondent during World War II.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

She was the daughter and only child of Irish journalist Robert Edward Crozier Long and his Russian wife, Tatiana Mouravieff. After several years of living in Scandinavian capitals and attending the Lorenz Lyceum in Berlin from 1920 to 1924, young Tania studied at the Ecole des Jeunes Filles at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, until 1927. From then until 1930, she was a student at the Malvern Girls' College in England. In her post-graduate work at the Sorbonne in Paris (1930–31), and at the Paris Ecole des Sciences Politiques, she specialized in history and economics. By observing and assisting her father... she received her first journalistic training.[1]

Early career[edit]

While studying in Paris, Tania met and fell in love with an American, Merwin Mallory Gray, and after their marriage in Paris in 1932, they moved to New York City, where their son, Robert Merwin Gray, was born the following year. Circa 1935, Tania became an American citizen, and during the following year, she launched her journalistic career when she began working as a reporter for the Newark Ledger.

Berlin[edit]

In September 1938, as the crisis leading to Munich developed, I began to worry about my parents’ safety. I had a premonition I would be needed in Berlin. I got a leave of absence from The Ledger and left by ship for Bremen with the intention of continuing to Berlin. During the crossing, Prime Minister Chamberlain began his visits to Hitler and the situation looked very grim. When the ship landed first at Southampton, I received a telegram from my father telling me to get off the ship and go to my godfather’s in London, where my father would meet me. My mother had been left in Bruges, Belgium, with some other British subjects who had left Berlin for fear of being caught after an outbreak of war. When I met my father I realized he was not well and had a bad case of bronchitis. After picking up my mother in Bruges the family returned to Berlin. My father’s health grew worse, and after about ten days, when he had developed pneumonia (there were no antibiotics then), he died." [2]

Tania decided to stay in Berlin and look for a job. She was fortunate in getting one with the New York Herald Tribune. According to her biography: Miss Long obtained a position with the New York Herald Tribune bureau in that city, largely because of her previous long residence in the German capital ... a consequent wide circle of friends and contacts ... combined with her linguistic abilities and thorough knowledge of many other European countries. Her first duties consisted of reading approximately forty daily German newspapers, selecting significant articles from them, and rewriting these for the Tribune. Her skill in writing both quickly and well soon led her to becoming assistant chief correspondent. [3]

I brought my son over from New York to join me and my mother and we remained there for close to a year. In August 1939, however, Hitler, who had recently gobbled up Czechoslovakia and earlier, Austria, was close to invading Poland. War became fairly certain, so I decided to send my mother and son to France to join my grandmother and aunt in Brittany. I told my bosses at The Herald Tribune that if war came, I would have to leave Berlin, to be on the right side of the wartime border. This was acceptable and I was merely asked to wait in Berlin until my replacement arrived.

During that period, Berlin was an eerie city. The people were very quiet and clearly unhappy. There were air raid simulations, with the beams of searchlights playing in the skies and every now and then catching a plane that was trying to evade them. One night bags of flour fell onto the roof of Hermann Göring’s Air Ministry, in a simulated bombing. [4]

The sound of goose-step marching was pervasive and almost surreal, and she noticed that people were disappearing suddenly from her apartment building. After about ten days, she left for Denmark. Tania spent two weeks in Copenhagen taking down by hand the news copy from the Polish front sent by Joseph Barnes, Herald-Tribune correspondent, who had no other way of getting his copy to New York. Then she was ordered to Paris where she was told she would be permanently assigned.

Leaving my heavy trunks and suitcases with American Express, I flew to Brussels, flying low so as to be recognized as a neutral plane by the Germans and then began a nightmare journey. I learned that all travellers to France required a special visa. I went to the French consulate (in Brussels) only to find thousands of Frenchmen and others lining up to get into the building. It looked hopeless. I then went to the US consulate, talked to a young consul, showed my credentials, explained my case, and he wrote me a note to his French colleague at the French consulate asking him to give me priority, etc. He told me to approach the French building from the rear and to tell the man at the door that I had a letter from the American consul and hoped he’d let me in. He did and before long I left the consulate with my new visa.

Then to the railway station. Complete chaos. Nobody knew anything about trains to Paris. People rushing hither and yon trying to get news of train movements. I finally sat down somewhere to rest and overheard a couple saying something about a train to Paris in an hour on Track 5. I made my way to Track 5 and found a conductor who confirmed the news and in about half an hour a train pulled in and was announced over the loudspeaker. Suddenly, it seemed like thousands were rushing for the train, which filled up in no time. I had gotten a seat next to a pleasant looking woman. I was starving hungry by then and asked her to guard my seat while I went in search of a sandwich. She asked me to bring her one. The station was still like an ant heap that had been disturbed, with people rushing hither and yon, but I eventually found a stall that was selling waffles. I bought four and went back to the train. The train left, then the trip became nerve-racking, as it would stop every now and then. Whistles would blow, shouts would be heard, and then off we’d go for another while. We arrived in Paris after nearly four hours, and I went straight to the Tribune and thence to a hotel across the street. [4]

London[edit]

However, Tania was soon transferred to London (in late September 1939) where a shortage of staff had developed due to the illness of the bureau chief, Ralph Barnes. This was supposed to be a temporary position but became permanent. By early 1940, it became evident that Hitler would invade the Low Countries and France, and Tania got her family out of France and [over] to Ireland, safe from possible bombing attacks.[4] At that time all American civilians were ordered out of the European war zone by the United States government which then sent three ships to Ireland to pick them up, taking Tania’s son and mother to the United States.

In September 1940, Tania was busy covering the bombing of London among other things. Among Miss Long’s best stories [on the bombing of London]: the bombing of the Savoy Hotel while she was living there. Of the bombing of her hotel she wrote in a dispatch to the Tribune: ‘I was sitting in my third-floor room ready to get into bed when I heard the bombs coming. The second or third of the sticks landed in the street right outside my window. Only a split second later the next bomb hit the cornice of the hotel and went off, and almost immediately after that the other one hit the rear of the building. When one hears bombs coming that close there is no time to do anything. One hasn’t time to be afraid, that comes later.’[3][5]

In February 1941, an article appeared in the New York Herald-Tribune: The 19th annual Front Page Ball of the New York Newspaper Women’s Club was held last night [at] ... the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, wife of the President, was the special guest of honor. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of two awards ... by Mrs. Roosevelt for outstanding work by New York City newspaper women during 1940. The prize winners in the contest sponsored by the club were Miss Tania Long, war correspondent of the New York Herald-Tribune, and Miss Kay Thomas ... of The New York Sun.[6]

Soon after arriving in London in late 1939, Tania, by then divorced, met her future husband, Raymond Daniell, London correspondent for The New York Times. Before meeting Tania, Ray had considered newspaper work in London, a man’s job; but, he wrote later, she provided us with as much competition as any man in London. [7]

One of the two American newspaperwomen in London, she looked after us all with a sort of motherly care. Her calm and courage during the frightful early days of the blitzkrieg helped us all to keep our nerves steady. [8]

In November 1941, Ray Daniell published his book, Civilians Must Fight. Already one of the most respected American journalists of his time, he provided his fellow countrymen with some serious food for thought. “Before Pearl Harbor, his calm dispassionate book ... pointed out to Americans that their only choice lay between fighting Nazism and accepting the terms of "a Hitler astride three-quarters of the world." On November 22, 1941, Tatiana Long and Raymond Daniell were married in London.

Having united in marriage with a member of the competition, Tania appropriately left the Herald-Tribune and joined forces with the New York Times in February 1942. Remaining based in London for the duration of World War II, Ray and Tania, despite the dangers of crossing the Atlantic, nevertheless managed to return twice to their home in Westport, Connecticut, where they could savour two months vacation in the States. Here Tania was reunited with her son and her mother.

Europe[edit]

In 1944, Tania was asked to do a job for the OSS (the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA) and was assigned to the headquarters of the First Army in Spa, Belgium, just over the border with the bit of Germany that was already occupied by US forces. Because of my fluent German, I was supposed to uncover any attacks on the US troops, by such as the ‘Werewolves,’ a group of German youth who strung thin metal wires across the roads at night to cut the throats of GIs travelling by jeep, for instance, or dug trenches that would trap US transport. The scheme never worked properly because of a change in First Army plans. It had been intended to have the army occupy a wide area of Germany around Aachen permanently, until the end of the war. This would have given me time to develop contacts, etc. But the First Army was suddenly ordered to move eastward and I kept being left behind, not knowing where the new army headquarters was. The whole thing became a farce and I resigned and returned to London. [4]

As war correspondents for The New York Times, Tania Long and Ray Daniell followed the Allied forces into Berlin in 1945. Ray Daniell arrived there the day the Allies entered Berlin, and Tania followed the day after. During World Wars I and II, Tania’s and her parents’ possessions, including the Long Family papers and photos, had been stored in a downtown Berlin warehouse, and although the warehouse had been bombed, by some miracle, everything they owned survived intact. With the termination of the war, Tania remained in Germany and assisted her husband in the New York Times coverage of the Nuremberg Trials. Then Miss Long turned her attention to conditions in conquered Germany. Her articles in the New York Times Magazine, and her news stories, attracted considerable comment for the picture she presented of the dangerous effect of fraternization by American troops in Germany on the American occupation policy. [9]

Post-war Britain[edit]

During 1946, rumours began to circulate that a royal wedding was in the offing. Despite denials from the palace, the New York Times went front page on December 16: Raymond Daniell reported from London that ‘only politics, which has blighted so many royal romances, is delaying the announcement of the engagement of Princess Elizabeth, heiress to the British throne, and Prince Philip of Greece.’ [10] Tania, as London correspondent of The New York Times, attended the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on November 20, 1947, and on June 2, 1953, Tania Long and Ray Daniell carried out their final assignment as London correspondents of The New York Times, with Ray writing the main story of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II while Tania covered the coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey.

Canada[edit]

That same year, Ray and Tania were transferred to the Times’ Canadian bureau in Ottawa. Three years later, Tania reported the following: Life in Ottawa is a peculiar mixture of the easy and the informal, and the very formal indeed. At the other extreme in our social life is the extremely formal - and darn good, too - dinner party at Government House [in Ottawa]. The Governor-General, Vincent Massey, a charming and completely simple man himself, nevertheless runs his establishment as a sort of court which, of course, it is. As he is the Queen’s representative in Canada, I must curtsy to him, while Ray bows from the waist. Ray and I, I believe, have been singularily honored by the Governor-General, for he has also invited us to his very small Sunday night suppers... At one of these, Secretary of State for External Affairs Lester B. Pearson (Prime Minister of Canada, 1963-1968) and Mrs. Pearson and Ray and I were the only guests. [11]

New York[edit]

When Ray was assigned to the United Nations in 1964, the Daniells moved to New York City, thus enabling Tania to pay frequent visits to her mother in Westport, Connecticut. In 1967, Tania and Ray returned to Ottawa, Canada. Ottawa became his home by chance. Assigned here by the mighty New York Times in the early 1950s, he stayed on for 12 years before accepting an appointment to the paper’s United Nations staff. [12] And when it came time to retire, Ray and Tania returned to a city where they had many friends and where they had spent many good and interesting years. Comfortably settled into their new home, Ray and Tania were to enjoy only two years of retirement together when Ray fell ill and died on April 12, 1969, at the age of sixty-seven. Comforted by the presence of her mother who had come to live with them in Ottawa, Tania found the strength to carry on.

Ottawa[edit]

In late 1969, Tania began her second career (which lasted for ten years), as the publicist for the Music Department of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. I began as a volunteer, as a member of the usual women’s committee formed to assist a new artistic undertaking, and soon became a member of the staff. The job was stimulating and demanding - I don’t think I ever worked as hard at it as I did then, really doing the job of two persons, working long days and often nights and just about every weekend. My main work was to publicize the newly created National Arts Centre Orchestra, a fully government subsidized ensemble and the only such a one in North America.

The orchestra’s debut concert in New York in 1971 was a tremendous success and received glowing reviews - of great importance to a new orchestra’s future. The ensemble then went on its first European tour later in 1971, playing in Poland, the then Soviet Union, France and Italy. It was warmly welcomed wherever it played, but nowhere as in Warsaw where the audience at the end of the second concert rushed to the stage to embrace the players. It was an emotional moment few of the forty-eight musicians will forget. The orchestra had its second tour of Europe, after more New York concerts and a tour of the US, in 1978, this time in Sicily and Germany. I went along on both European tours. This was my first visit to Russia and I was of course fascinated with both Leningrad and Moscow. [4]

Tania’s mother, Tatiana Mouravieva Long had come a long way from Tamboff, Russia. She had come to Canada via Berlin, Brittany and Connecticut, and now, just a few days short of her 94th birthday, she fell ill with pneumonia and departed this life on March 29, 1978. Tania suffered personal tragedy again in 1981, when her son Robert Gray died at the age of forty-six. Although he had been married, he had no children.

Eventually Tania’s inner resolve once again gave her the strength to carry on since she has never been one to suffer life’s adversities lying down. With the help of time, and the support of good friends, her zest for life ultimately returned. For several years she has made annual visits to New York and Paris, home of her Aunt Vera and cousin Tatiana. And having visited Wisconsin in the late 1980s, she has had occasion to meet several of her Long cousins, one (Theron D. Long) of whom she said resembled her father.

Tania died on 4 September 1998.

Personal life[edit]

A long-time resident of Ottawa, Canada, Tania Long was an activist who believed strongly in participatory democracy. At the grassroots level, Tania was known to organize petitions designed to improve the quality of life in her neighborhood. Brought up in the classical tradition of Europe, Tatiana enjoyed attending the opera, ballet, and symphony concerts; her hobbies included reading, swimming and gardening. Almost aristocratic in demeanour, Tania nevertheless exuded a down-to-earth friendly American quality. Without a doubt, Tatiana Long embodied many of the finest traits one could hope for from a 20th-century descendant of Richard and Charity Long of Longfield.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Current Biography, 1946, H. W. Wilson Co., New York, p 357
  2. ^ Long of Longfield Correspondence (LLC), Oct 1997 letter from Tania Long Daniell
  3. ^ a b Current Biography, 1946, p 357
  4. ^ a b c d e LLC, Oct 1997 letter from Tania Long Daniell
  5. ^ Jim Yardley (September 6, 1998). "Tania Long, 85, a Reporter For The Times in World War II". The New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2017. 
  6. ^ New York Herald-Tribune, Feb 15, 1941
  7. ^ Current Biography, 1944, H. W. Wilson Co., New York, p 136
  8. ^ Civilians Must Fight, F. Raymond Daniell, 1941
  9. ^ Current Biography, 1946, p 358
  10. ^ Elizabeth And Philip, Charles Higham & Roy Moseley, Doubleday, New York, 1991, pg 137
  11. ^ The New York Times, "Times Talk", March 1956
  12. ^ The Ottawa Citizen, April 14, 1969, p 6, "Obituary of Raymond Daniell"

Sources[edit]

  • Article based on section of The Longs of Longfield, privately published in Toronto in 1998 by Dale Martin Caragata.