THE TERROR IN RUSSIA
BRITISH OFFICIAL STORY
TORTURE, RAPINE, AND MURDER,
"Appalling incidents, incalculable misery" are official euphemisms for tb* incredible horrors which have marked the rise and growth, and decline, of Bolshevism in Russia. There has been conflict of testimony as to the excesses of the red rabble led by Lenin and Trotsky. .The War Cabinet in January decided to put all the printable official information upon the subject in the hands of the people cf Britain. This publication, "A Collection of Reports on Bolshevism in Russia," was issued by command of His Majesty in April. The following extracts were made by the Sydney Sun: —
Mr. Alston to Mr. Balfour Foreign Secretary)— (Received 20th January). (Telegraphic). ! Vladivostock, 18th January, 1919.
I have been given following information by member of Red Gross Mission, Dr. T. , who has just returned to Vladivostock from the neighbourhood of Perm. Ho says that for rank barbarous brutality the horrors -which he has witnessed of Bolshevik legacies in the localities which they evacuated, trie tortures and mutilations performed on wounded and others before death, baffle description. Even, ferocity of Turks in Armenia cannot be compared with what is now being done in Russia by Bolsheviks. Dr. T.: 'understands the Russian point of view, as he has been in actual contact with Bolshevism.
! When I asked him. to _ f tirniah_ more precise details, he told me it was difficult to furnish dates, exact spots, names, etc. The report from Ekaterinburg of brutal murder of hundreds of innocent, civilians at Perm, of mutilation of priests, and of tortures, such as of officers haying their shoulder-straps nailed into their shoulders is, however, absolutely confirmed by him.. FRIGHTFUL MUTILATIONS. ■ ] Dr. .T, found'on battlefield during fighting in.Usuri district in July, 1918, bodies of Caech soldiers in. frightful state of mutilation, their heads cut open, their faces slashed, their eyes gouged out, and their" tongues cut out. ! A doctor of H.M.S.- Suffolk attended', four of such cases', which were brought to Vladivostock for official-investigation. Those mutilations -reeve inflicted bei'oro death, according to verdict given. The local representative of Czech National Council, Dr. Girsa, and his assistant, state that over a year ago hundreds of officers were- shot at Kief, when Bolsheviks captured that city. Premier Rodzanko was -shot, and massacre of Prince ■ Yashuisen was brutal murder. In the face of bitterest cold these men were taken from their homes and thrown,into •automobiles and. carts, and, except for their .caps, were made to strip naked. In the biting cold they were forced for , hours to stand in line, and Bolshevik soldiers 'were given liberty of. shooting them in groups or singly, as it ■pleased their fancy. _ /_ Dr. Girsa was surgeon jn .civilian hospital No. 12 at this time. .This hospital was crowded with patients on account of the ruthless manner in which the Bolsheviks wero attacking the more educated classes and the officers in the city of Kief., It was necessary,,to. hide officers in closets, even when mortally wounded, to prevent Bolsheviks, coming in 'and taking them out to be shot in the streets. -,■•( :.. \ . ■ ■ ■ OFFICERS EATEN BY DOGS. ; Many seriously wounded were, taken from Kief hospitals and ruthlessly murdered in the streets.. Bolsheviks forced into the street and shot men with abdominal wounds, broken limbs, and grave injuries in other parts of their bodies. He recollects seeing officers being eaten by clogs' in the streets of Kief. Wife of Dr. Girsa's assistant herself saw an automobile load of frozen, bodies of dead officers being carried through tho streets to a dumping ground outside of tho town.' ' ' . s These men were forced out of their, homes in the middle of the night, hospital beds were emptied; patients who were seriously ill were .ruthlessly slaughtered, and men shot without mercy and without trial. A surgeon in tho employment of the Red Cross in Vkdivostock verified these accounts. He himself saw such crimes, and fled from the vicinity of Moscow in terror with his wife. Photographs of murdered civilians were shown me. EFFECT.IN THE SCHOOLS. Mr. A. and Mr. 8., two British, subjects, who left Moscow on 21st January, were interviewed at the Foreign Office on lOfcH February'abont present conditions in Moscow. Mr. 8., who was a teacher in a Moscow secondary school, the "practical academy," gave the following information " about conditions in tho school in which he taught. This school was typical of many others. . Each cla-ss lias its committee, and as a rule the most popular boy is chosen to represent the others at the masters' meetings. The objects of' the committees are's il) To control the masters; (2) to arrange about the distribution of food, all tile boys and girls in the school being given a midday meal. ■ This, is, as. a matter of fact, the only reason that they go to school at all.
Both boys and girls are herded together, and there is no semblance of morality. The entire absence of discipline in this connection! is having an extremely bad effect on the coming generation. In the classes all s&riiblauce of discipline has been destroyed. The -children do exactly as they like, sometimes walking out in the middle of a lesson. This is especially the case in the lesson before the mid-day meal, as they are all anxious to get the first places. No punishments, no 'homo-work, and no marks are allowed. The attendance is abominable, the childran coming and going just as they think fit. ■■ ■■"
■It is impossible to keep order, and the classes are simply like a bear-garden. If &■ rnastei- does nqt happen to be populai-, the boys turn ihim out. Sometimes a master may go to a- class to give a lesson, only to find the hoys holding a committee meeting, which must-not be disturbed.
At Kolomna, between Moscow and Kazan, a boy aged 18 was. appointed commissar of the whole school, being in charge of fall the teachers. On one occasion he closed the school for a whole week because one of the masters gave a boy a.: bad ,mark. The universities" suffer from the same lack of discipline. Any boy of 16 years of age is .entitled to enter the university without showing any certificate, so that even if a boy is unable, to road or write, ho can still enter the university.
The Bolsheviks, have advertised far and wide : the benefits of the new proletarian culture. 'Che above facts throw an interesting light on the way it works in practice.
Mr. A., who is a Moscow "man, gave the - following information about the " terror" :— ••
]</xecutions still continue in the prisons, though the ordinary people do not hear, about them. Often during the executions a regimental hand plays lively tunes. The following account of
an execution was given to Mr. A. by a member of one of the bands. On one occasion he was playing in the "band, and, as' usual, all the people to bo executed were brought to the edge of the grave. ' Their hands and -feet were tied together, so that they would fa.ll forward into the grave. They were then shot through, tho neck by Lettish soldiers. When' the last man had beea shot the grave' was closed up, and on this particular occasion the bandman saw the grave moving. Not'being able to stand the sight of it, he fainted, whereupon the Bolsheviks seized him, saying that he was in sympathy with the prisoners. They were on the point of killing him, but other members of the band explained that he was really ill, and lie was then let oil. Among the prisoners shot on that occasion was a priest, who asked permission to say a prayer, before being shot, to which the Bolsheviks laconio.llly replied, "No Nado" (it is not necessary).
ATROCITIES IN ESTHONIA.
After the Esthonian troops had reconquered the town of Wesenberg from the Bolsheviks, the graves of those murdered' by the latter during their short period of "terrorism" wore opened on 17th January, 1919. The following officials were present: Town Governor, • Aren; President of the District Administration, Hr. Juhkam; Deputy-Mayor, Jakobson; Militia Commandant, Kutt; Assistant Militia Commandant, Tenneberg; Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Wiren; and the previous Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Utt. - •
The vicinity of the graves of.the victims of'the Red Terror showed with what brutal roughness the Bolsheviks had executed their victims. Everywhere was to be seen congealed blood, amongst which battered pieces' of cap, bits of clothing, brains, and fragments of skull and hair could be distinguished. In the first grave sixteen bodies were found, which wdre later photogrj.pr.ed.
All the bodies showed signs of the rage i and revenge of the Bolsheviks. The victims were all robbed of everything except their linen, their boots also having been taken.. The Bolsheviks had shattered the skulls of thirty-three of the bodies, so that the heads hung like bits of wood on the trunks. As well as being shot, most of the murdered had "been pierced with bayonets, the entrails torn out, and the bones of the arm and leg broken. ' WHOLESALE MASSACRE. * In Embach, as could be ascertained from the bodies, victims had been tortured in the most dreadful manner. Many had arms and legs broken, and the skull knocked in. On 14th January, shortly before they were driven out by the Esthoniaii troops, the Bolsheviks killed twenty of their prisoners. After an official inquiry it was ascertained that this bloody deed took place in 1 the ■. following manner: The poor unfortunates,, over 200 in number, who were kept in the CreditSystem Bank, and the police station, had to stand in a row. The names of ! the victims were then called out. They i were robbed of their clothes, boots, . and ■ valuables, ..and led to the cellar of the Credit-System Bank, where the Bolsheviks, with' hatchet blows, shattered their skulls. In this manner approximately 20 persons were murdered, ajid only the hasty flight of; the Red Guard from the Esthonian troops saved the rerna-inhig prisoners, among' whom were from 60 to 80 women. Otherwise they would have been done to death in the same way. Among the bodies of the murdered the following were recognised: Archbishop Platon, RecordingClerk;; Michael Bleiwe, of the Unspenski ■. Church; the, grey-headed clergyman . £f;._the,"-Greek Orthodox . GeprgsChurch; Priest Nikoli .. Beshanitzki, professor and university clergyman; Dr. Traugotthahn ; Herrman yon Sam-son-Hi mm elstjerna, of 'Kawershof; Heinrich voriilCrasse, owner of Rewold; Banker Arnold yon Tidebol; Herbert yon Schrenk, Baron Konstant yon Knowing, Pastor Wilhelm Schwartz, and Councillor Gustav Tensmann.
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BOLSHEVISM, Evening Post, Volume XCVII, Issue 147, 24 June 1919
BOLSHEVISM Evening Post, Volume XCVII, Issue 147, 24 June 1919
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