TANIA LONG (1913-1998), Journalist; of The New York Times
“Mr. Long is survived by his widow ....., and a daughter, Mrs Tatiana Grey [recte: ‘Gray’].”1 This was amazing! I had discovered the obituary of R. E. C. Long in an issue of The New York Times dated October 1938. Not only had I “found” my Grandmother’s famous journalist cousin, I had now also discovered that he had a daughter and her name was Tatiana. Since her father was born in 1872, I guessed that she had most likely been born sometime between 1900 and 1920. Therefore she was probably still living. How could I possibly locate her? I read on: “[She] until recently was engaged in newspaper work in New Jersey. She is now here” 2 Since I was reading the New York Times and Tatiana had been working for a New Jersey paper, I therefore assumed she must have joined the New York Times.
I phoned the Human Resources Department of The New York Times and was advised that although they did have some record of Tania’s whereabouts, they could not, of course, give out her address. They seemed to think she was residing somewhere in France. With high hopes, I wrote to her care of the New York Times, only to have the letter returned a few months later marked, “address unknown.” In desperation, I phoned the New York Times again and ended up speaking to a very agreeable person who showed an interest in genealogy. As promised, he did a thorough search of their records and called me back later that same day to give me the exciting news that he had an address for her: “Tatiana L. Daniell of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,” just a few hundred miles from Toronto. And here I thought she would be living in New York, London or Paris. Rather than take a chance at sending her a letter to an outdated address, I phoned information and got her number just like that. And with the speed of lightning, I was speaking with her! Thus ended yet another near century-long separation between various branches of the family.
Tatiana remarked: “My father told me that most of the Longs had come to America but had no idea where they all lived.” Since Tatiana had no siblings and had lost touch with the daughters of her first cousin Hilda Long, she knew of no other Long relatives until that unforgettable evening in early 1986 when time and distance could separate us no more. Now all of a sudden, I was telling her she had hundreds of Long cousins all over the States and Canada, with more in Ireland, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and France. I get the feeling she might have been somewhat overwhelmed by it all!
When Tania came to visit my mother, sister and me in the Spring of 1986, she brought with her a surprise package which included photos of her parents, aunt, Long grandparents, and even one of her great-grandfather, Edward Thomas Long - the only known photograph we have of him - seated at a writing table. The “package” also included her grandfather’s letters - the correspondence of Robert Hare Long, his description of the Long of Longfield coat-of-arms, a copy of the 1822 Marriage Settlement of Edward and Mary Long, a list in Mary Long’s own handwriting, of the names and birthdates of all their children, and a letter written by Mary Long to her many children just before she died in 1853. What a treasure! Tania had inherited the Long Family papers and photos from her father, the last known Irish Long of Longfield. And to imagine, as you will discover, that those precious photos and papers so carefully kept all those years by Tania and her family, almost perished during World War II [and World War I too]! But more of that later.
When I explained to Tania how I had managed to locate her, she remarked that I had made a fortunate mistake in interpreting a line from her father’s obituary. Whereas I had understood “She is now here.” to mean that she had left the New Jersey newspaper to join the New York Times, that line actually meant that she was now in Berlin. My mistaken conclusion had led me to her much sooner than would otherwise have happened. In fact, she did not join the New York Times until 1942. My conversations and visits with Tania have led me to realize that she has emulated her father in experiencing a most fascinating life and career. Here follows a brief biography of our cousin, Tatiana Long Daniell:
Tatiana Long was born in Berlin, Germany, on April 29th, 1913, the daughter and only child of Robert Edward Crozier Long and his 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 St. German-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, Miss Long specialized in history and economics.”3 “By observing and assisting her father ....... Miss Long received her first journalistic training.”4
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.
“In September of 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.”5
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 Current 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.”6 “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.”7
“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 of 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 Herman Goering’s Air Ministry, in a simulated bombing.”8 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.”9
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 the Spring of 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.10 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, and taking Tania’s son and mother to the United States.
In September of 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 Hotel Savoy 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.’”11
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 Hotel Waldorf-Astoria. 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.”12
Soon after arriving in London in the Autumn of 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 [Tania] ‘provided us with as much competition as any man in London.’”13 “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.”14
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 joyfully reunited with her son and her mother.
In 1944, Tania was asked to do a job for the O.S.S. (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.”15
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.”16
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 16th: “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.’”17 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.
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.”18
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.”19 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.
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.”20
* * * * * * *
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.
A long-time resident of Ottawa, Canada, Tania Long is an activist who believes strongly in participatory democracy. At the grassroots level, Tania has been known to organize petitions designed to improve the quality of life in her neighborhood. Brought up in the classical tradition of Europe, Tatiana enjoys attending the opera, ballet, and symphony concerts; her hobbies include reading, swimming and gardening. Almost aristocratic in demeanour, Tania nevertheless exudes a down-to-earth friendly American quality. Without a doubt, Tatiana Long embodies many of the finest traits one could hope for from a 20th Century descendant of Richard and Charity Long of Longfield.
1.New York Times, Oct 19, 1938
3.Current Biography, 1946, H. W. Wilson Co., New York, p 357
5.LLC (Long of Longfield Correspondence), Oct 1997 letter from Tania Long Daniell
6.Current Biography, 1946, p 357
8.LLC, Oct 1997 letter from Tania Long Daniell
11.Current Biography, 1946, p 357
12.New York Herald-Tribune, Feb 15, 1941
13.Current Biography, 1944, H. W. Wilson Co., New York, p 136
14.Civilans Must Fight, F. Raymond Daniell, 1941
15.LLC, Oct 1997 letter from Tania Long Daniell
16.Current Biography, 1946, p 358
17.Elizabeth And Philip, Charles Higham & Ken Moseley, Doubleday, New York, 1991, p 137
18.The New York Times, “Times Talk,” March 1956
19.The Ottawa Citizen, April 14, 1969, p 6, “Obituary of Raymond Daniell”
20.LLC, Oct 1997 letter from Tania Long Daniell
Extract from THE LONGS OF LONGFIELD
1998, Count Caragata