Слике страница
PDF
[merged small][ocr errors][graphic]

SKETCH MAP OF THE CAUCASUS

tant regions, especially among the nonSlavic peoples, nationalistic tendencies commenced to manifest themselves. Since the October coup d'etat, that is, since the fall of the Kerensky Cabinet and the rise of the Maximalists to power, the people living on the outskirts of the former Russian Empire had broken all connection with Petrograd and Moscow. New Governments were born. Some merely desired the overthrow of the Maximalist Government and the reorganization of the empire, which had crumbled; others, on the contrary, hoisted the banner of separatism.

THE SOUTHEAST UNION

Thus was born in Southern Russia, under the impulse given by the Cossacks and the Cadets, the Southeast Union, at

the head of which Russian Nationalists, such as Milukoff, Gutchkoff, Kharlameff, and the Generals, Alexeieff and Kaledine, placed themselves. This union, of course, sought for the re-establishment of the empire. On the other hand, the Union of the People of the Caucasus, having always been impelled by separatist tendencies, was desirous of severing connections with Russia completely.

In order to reinforce the separatist elements in the Southeast Union, the Caucasians accepted the invitation of this organization to join, delegating four representatives from the Central Committee. They thought thus to put an end to the influence exercised on their own affairs by the Central Government, and, at the same time, to separate the Cossacks from Russia in order to strengthen their own positions, and to be enabled thus to defeat the annexationist projects of Russia and of the Cossacks.

[After sketching the failure of this connection, which lasted only two weeks, the author continues:]

With the departure of the army from the Caucasian front on the one hand, and the rapid headway of the Maximalists in the Don region on the other hand, there was no longer any bond between the Caucasians and the Southeast Union, and the recall of the representatives followed. The Southeast Union, no longer receiving reinforcements from the Caucasians in its struggle against the Maximalists, was forced to give up one position after another, and soon after collapsed.

FIGHTING BOLSHEVISM

Since the overthrow of Kerensky's Cabinet in October, 1917, which resulted in the rise of Bolshevist power in Russia, the Central Committee of the Caucasians, not recognizing the Maximalists, has fulfilled the functions of a de facto independent Government within the territorial bounds of the Union of the Caucasus. This novel situation, resulting from the course taken by the revolution and from the work of the Central Committee, brought about the Act of Dec. 2, 1917, which proclaimed the independence of the Union of the People of the Caucasus and declared the Central Committee the Provisional Government until the convocation of the Russian Constitutional Assembly. Because of the circumstances, which at the time were not at all devoid of danger, mention had tp be made of the Constitutional Assembly, but this idea was soon put to nought by the act of Dec. 21 of the same year, which severed the last connections with Russia and confirmed the separate existence of the union.

The Government of the Caucasus in its act of Dec. 21, 1917, decided upon a series of measures relative to the different branches of Governmental organization, such as the military force, finances, food distribution, division of land, &c, but was not able to carry them out. * * * The union became involved in a desperate struggle with the Cossacks and Russians inhabiting that region. The latter, having already joined the Maximalists, were marching against the native Caucasians. This Bolshevist movement, to whose standard rallied all the Russians living in the Caucasus, was in reality a national movement; the Cossacks and the other Russians did not wish to give up the Caucasus nor the privileges they had secured there, privileges which the union desired to abolish. These were the reasons which led the Cossacks, who up to that time had been desirous of their independence, to become suddenly Centralists, and even Maximalists.

FORCED TO WITHDRAW The Bolsheviki, having defeated large forces of the Don Cossacks, crossed Kuban, destroying a large number of Circassian villages, and united with the Cossacks of Terek in order to conduct a common campaign against the Caucasians. The latter defended themselves, and even took the offensive, forcing the enemy back with great losses. The military operations became confined to fixed positions, with occasional but violent attacks. A large amount of ammunition was required, and the union saw itself coming to the end of its supply of shells and balls, paying three to five rubles apiece

for these in order to further the defense of their land. Unhappily, these heroic efforts were of no avail; soon no ammunition whatsoever was obtainable.

The Maximalists advanced, and, after hotly contested battles, took possession of the railroad lines from Beslan to Mineralnia Vody. But, in spite of all their efforts, they could not occupy Vladikavkaz for a long time. However, upon the consideration that the city was divided between the Cossacks and the Caucasians, and that during the military operations it might be totally destroyed, including all the edifices and property belonging to the union, the Government decided to abandon the capital and transfer its official seat to Nasran. Even after its abandonment, the Maximalists hesitated to enter the city for a long time. Finally they entered it, taking possession of the railroad line which extends to Grosny.

The Maximalists, when occupying the small number of villages along the railroad, did not succeed in extending their influence over them, or over the masses of the people, who recognized only the authority of the union. This is the only explanation to be given for the check received by the Maximalists, who were not able to advance further into Transcaucasia by the military roads of the iron region or of Georgia, nor across Daghestan.

Eventually, the Government of the Caucasus reorganized its military forces in Daghestan and recovered by force of arms, one by one, all the places it had lost in the preceding months. Thus, the towns of Derbend, Petrovsk, and Vladikavkaz were reoccupied successively. Since August, 1918, the VladikavkazBaku and Vladikavkaz-Naltchik railroad lines have come into the hands of the forces of the North Caucasus Republic. This latter is endeavoring to secure the common action of Transcaucasia against the Bolsheviki and to settle definitely the question of the consolidation into a single State of the people of both parts of the Caucasus.

Lenine-Trotzky Regime in Russia Described by Eye witnesses—Views of Sympathizers

THE investigation of Russian Bolshevism by the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate, begun Feb. 11, 1919,* was devoted on Feb. 15 mainly to hearing the testimony of two Americans, Roger E. Simmons of Hagerstown, Md., who had represented the Department of Commerce in Russia, and William E. Welsh of the Petrograd staff of the National City Bank of New York.

Mr. Simmons stated that he had been in a Russian prison for nearly two weeks and that he had witnessed horrors almost indescribable. The prison, he said, was filled with people of the middle class; fully 80 per cent, of these had no knowledge as to why they were condemned. He told of his trials in the stricken country and described the methods of the Reds. He said:

The Bolshevist revolution has as its object the putting into power of a few over the many. The worst feature of their program, and this feature is always emphasized, is that of the spirit of class hatred. In every corner of Russia these people are preaching the religion of class hatred.

In Petrograd I witnessed on one occasion the undressing of a refined woman by several soldiers of the Red Guard. It was in the Nevsky Prospekt at about 0:30 P. M. I heard the scream of the woman, who had been taken into a side street, and saw the soldiers steal the clothes from off her body. The forcible disrobing was accompanied on the part of the soldiers with Insulting language. This was just one case, and most of the women subjected to these indignities were women not of the aristocracy, but of the middle class.

Bolshevism is directed against every decent man, woman and child who will not bow down to the dictates of Trotzky and Lcnine. In other words, they are now fighting the very class that in the beginning they said they were struggling to put on top and in control. They are fighting

•For record of first days of this investigation see the preceding issue of Current History Macazine.

day and night now to put on top not the proletariat as we know it, but the very scum of humanity.

And they are working with all the devilishness they have to spread their doctrines throughout the world. As late as Nov. 18 last Lenine said in Moscow, and I have a copy of the statement with me, that they had sympathizers with great organizations behind them in Scandinavia, in Germany, in England, and in France. He also named this country as one of the targets they were aiming at. "The power that has crushed Germany," he said, "is also the power that will in the end crush England and the United States."

Before leaving Petrograd, said Mr. Simmons, he had been told by persons whose names for obvious reasonshewithheld that Albert Rhys Williams, one of the most active apologists for the LenineTrotzky Government, was carrying on a pro-Bolshevist propaganda in the United States.

"This propaganda," he declared, "is false and at the same time insidious."

Mr. Simmons described to the committee in considerable detail some of the criminal actions of the Bolsheviki. He told of a body of official pickpockets organized from the members of the Red Guard, of delicate women of the middle or noble class compelled to work in the streets, of the despotic disfranchisement of all those who were not followers of the Lenine-Trotzky regime; he narrated the story of the allied forces in the Archangel district, whose withdrawal, it was stated, would be followed by the masacre of thousands of innocent people who had actively aided the Allies.

"NATIONALIZATION" OF WOMEN

One of the questions of the committee bore on the so-called "nationalization" of women. In reply to this question the witness read into the record two official decrees for the control of women and the details of the free-love policy formulated in certain Russian cities.

The first of these decrees, issued by the Soviet of Saratov, which took its powers from Lenine and Trotzky, was dated March 15, 1918. The official translation is as follows:

This decree Is proclaimed by the Free Association of Anarchists in the town of Saratov, in compliance with the decision of the Soviet of Peasants and Soldiers and Workmen's Deputies of Kronstadt regarding the abolition of the private possession of women.

Social inequalities and legitimate marriage having been a condition in the past which served as an instrument in the hands of the bourgeoisie, thanks to which all the best species of all the beautiful women have been the property of the bourgeoisie, which has prevented the proper continuation of the human race; such ponderous arguments have induced the present organization to issue the following decree: •

1. From March 1 the right to possess women having reached the ages 17 to 32 is abolished.

2. The age of women shall be determined by birth certificate or passports or by the testimony of witnesses, and on failure to produce documents their age shall be determined by the Black Committee, who shall Judge them according to appearance.

3. This decree does not affect women having five children.

4. The former owners may retain the right of using their wives without awaiting their turn.

5. In case of resistance of the husband he shall forfeit the right of the former paragraph.

6. All women according to this decree are exempted from private ownership and are proclaimed the property of the whole nation.

7. The distribution nd management of the appropriated women, in compliance with the decision of the above said organization, are transferred to the Anarchist Saratov Club. In three days from the publication of this decree all women given by it to the use of the nation are obliged to present themselves to the given address and give the required information.

8. Before the Black Committee Is formed for the realization of this decree the citizens themselves shall be charged with such control. Remark: Each citizen knowing a woman not submitting herself to the address under this decree is obliged to let it be known to the Anarchists' Club, giving the full address, full name, and father's name of the offendingwoman.

9. Male citizens have the right to use one woman not oftener than three times a week, for three hours, observing the rules specified below.

10. Each man wishing to use a piece of public property should be a bearer of cer

tificate from the Factories Committee, professional union, or Workmen's, Soldiers', and Peasants' Council, certifying that he belongs to the working family class.

11. Every working member is obliged to discount 2 per cent, from his earnings to the fund of general public action. Remarks: This committee in charge will put these discounting funds with the specifications of the names and lists into the State banks and other institutions handing down these funds to the National Generation Fund.

12. Male citizens not belonging to the working class In order to have the right equally with the proletariat are obliged to pay 100 rubles monthly into the public funds.

13. The local branch of the State bank is obliged to begin to reserve the payments to the National Generation Fund.

14. All women proclaimed by this decree to be the national property will receive from the fund an allowance of 238 rubles a month.

15. All women who are pregnant are released of the direct State duties for four months, up to three months before and one month after childbirth.

16. The children born are given to an Institution for training after they are one month old, where they are trained and educated until they are 17 years of age at the cost of the public funds.

17. In case of a birth of twins the mother is to receive a prize of 200 rubles.

18. All citizens, men and women, are obliged to watch carefully their health and to make each week an examination of urine and blood. Remark: The examinations are to be made daily at the laboratories of the Popular Generation Health.

19. Those who are guilty of spreading venereal disease will be held responsible and severely punished.

20. Women having lost their health may apply to the Soviet for a pension.

21. The Chief of Anarchists will be in charge of perfecting the temporary arrangements and technical measures concerning the realization of this decree.

22. All those refusing to recognize and support this decree will be proclaimed guilty of sabotage, enemies of the people, and counteranarchists, and will be held to the severest responsibilities.

(Signed.) COUNCIL OF THE CITY
OF SARATOV, Russia.

The second decree read by Mr. Simmons was issued by the Soviet of the City of Vladimir. The main provision of this decree orders the registration, at a Bureau of Free Love of the Commissariat of Surveillance, of all girls who have reached the age of eighteen, and a monthly opportunity to choose from amongst them a cohabitant. The children resulting from these unions, the decree provides, are to become the property of the State. This decree states further that it has been based on the "excellent example of similar decrees already issued at Luga, Kolpin, &c."

Mr. Simmons stated that a similar "project of provisional rights in connection with the socialization of women in the City of Hvelinsk and vicinity" had been published in the Local Gazette of the Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies.

GERMANY AND LEN1NE

That the faction of Lenine was reported officially to the German Government from Switzerland as the most radical and anarchistic of all, and that on the strength of this report Germany sent Lenine by sealed train into Russia to foment a revolution, was the gist of one portion of Mr. Simmons's testimony.

The maker of the report in question, said the witness, was a conservative, "evolutionary" Russian Socialist, who in 1914, after the war started, was sent to Switzerland by von Bethmann Hollweg, the former Imperial Chancellor, to obtain reliable information regarding the most radical of the Russian-Swiss groups. He was told that Germany stood ready to place 5,000,000 marks to the credit of the proper group, which was to send its agents into Russia for propaganda work. This Russian, according to his own admissions, made under oath in the office of the American Consul General in Moscow, reported Lenine's group as by far the most radical, "but recommended that it should not be selected, because (he said) he was certain that chaos and anarchy would follow in Russia if this group gained the upper hand." This warning was disregarded, and Lenine sent.

RED GUARDS AS POLICE

The Red Guards, said Mr. Simmons, perform in Bolshevist Russia all the functions of police. Their crimes are all co-ordinated and organized. Pocket picking and robbery are systematized. He himself, Mr. Simmons declared, had lost 14,000 rubles in this way.

Death, declared the witness, was meted out swiftly and mercilessly by the Bolsheviki. In Nizhny-Novgorod, he recalled, three Russian sailors who came in to protest against the cutting of their bread allowance were taken out and put under earth within twenty minutes. Two hundred others, who mutinied in protest, were similarly suppressed in regulation Bolshevist style. Another instance cited by Mr. Simmons was of a protest meeting held by employes of a textile mill. The Red Guards made an irruption and killed the speakers and leaders on the spot.

SITUATION IN ARCHANGEL

In the Archangel district, Mr. Simmons declared, the whole population was heart and soul with the Allies. One labor union of 10,000 lumbermen volunteered in a body to fight by the side of the American and British forces. A withdrawal of the allied forces from Archangel, said the witness, would mean simple massacre; for "every inch that the Allies have had to give in that country has been followed by the murder of every man, woman and child in the evacuated territory; if we left Archangel now, it would mean one of the most horrible massacres of innocents in the world's history."

When Mr. Simmons finished his story, Senator Overman, the Chairman of the Investigating Committee, thanked him in the name of the Senate, and told him that no American had rendered a greater service of late than he had in bringing before the people of this country the real story of the chaos, anarchism, and immorality that prevail in Russia as a result of Bolshevist domination.

TESTIMONY OF MR. WELSH

William E. Welsh of the Petrograd staff of the National City Bank of New York was the next witness called by the committee. Referring to the makeup of the Soviet Government, Mr. Welsh stated that some of the Bolshevist officials, but not all of them, by any means, were apostate Jews. Others were Slavs. Many of them, he had discovered on talking with them, had lived in the United States from three to ten years.

« ПретходнаНастави »