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Definite Declarations Concerning It by American and British
David R. Francis, American Ambassador to Russia, was one of the chief witnesses before the United States Senate committee that investigated Bolshevism in February and March, 1919. A considerable portion of his testimony was given in the April issue of CURRENT HISTORY. Additional passages are here presented from the official proofsheets of his exhaustive study of the subject. Mr. Francis's personal estimate of Lenine and Trotzky, as stated in the Senate inquiry, is as follows:
THINK that Lenine was a Ger- There is as much difference between the man agent from the beginning. Bolshevist revolution and the provisional They would never have per- Government as there was between the
mitted him to come through provisional Government and the Imperial Germany if they had not thought Government. * * * They suppress all or known they could use him. He dis- newspapers that oppose their views. bursed money very liberally. Lenine, * * * I know that any newspaper however, was not so opposed to Germany that had a criticism of the Bolshevist as he was in favor of promoting a world- Government, or the Soviet Government, wide social revolution. I wired the de- was suppressed immediately after its partment that I thought that was his publication of that criticism. * * * object in the beginning. He would have They are there as usurpers. I do not taken British money, American money think they represent more than 10 per and French money and used it to pro- cent. of the Russians of the whole 180,mote this objective of his. He told a 000,000. man who asked what he was doing in They always hoped to have the recRussia that he was trying an experiment ognition of our Government and I in Government on the Russian people. thought that our Government could not He is a sincere man, with sincere con- recognize them, and so stated to our victions, I think. I do not think he is Government. I have been consistent in right by a good deal, because later, when
that all along, and persistent. I thought his power was tottering and could not that they were against our Government be maintained in any other way, he en- as well as against all organized Goycouraged or permitted the reign of terror ernments; that their decrees concerning that is now prevailing in Russia.
women, marriage, and divorce, and their Lenine is the brains of this whole move- land decrees, confiscating all lands and ment. He has a great intellect. He is all industries whatever, meant the breaka fanatic and I think has sincere con
ing up of the family and a return to victions.
barbarism, and I think so now. They I could not say the same about Trot
do not merit recognition. They do not zky. I think Trotzky is an adventurer. merit even business relations, because He has great ability. He has more execu
of their prejudices. They have instituted tive ability than Lenine, but when they
a reign of terror. They are killing everyhave differed Lenine has always been body who wears a white collar or who is able to dominate Trotzky.
educated and who is not a Bolshevik. THE SOVIET GOVERNMENT
Referring to one execution of which he Concerning the Soviet Government, had knowledge, the Ambassador said: Ambassador Francis made the following There was no trial whatever, and no statments:
charges preferred. * * * That was
I stated this morning, they control the manufacture of glass, the manufacture of chemicals, and the sugar interest, and various other industries.
The Germans were buying up the stocks of the banks, and I understood from what I considered reliable authority that the Germans had petitioned the Soviet Government to postpone the denationalizing of the banks in order to enable them to buy up more shares of
the case in Petrograd. They called No. 2 Garoki, via the morgue. When a man was sent there he bade farewell to hope. A man who had recently been in Moscow stated that he saw human blood flowing out under the gate of the inclosure there, where they had been shooting men charged with counter-revolutionary sentiments. They did not hesitate about shooting people. When the cholera was prevalent in Petrograd, as it was last August and September, Zenoviev, who was then Chief Commissary of the Soviet, made a speech in which he charged the bourgeoisie with being responsible for the cholera, and he said: “If any Red Guard thinks that a physician is not doing his duty, he will shoot him on the spot." That was giving license to the Red Guards to shoot down physicians wherever they saw fit.. Oh, it is a disgrace to civilization—not only irrepara ble injury to Russia, but a disgrace to civilization! * * * It is worse than an anarchistic Government, because anarchists believe only in destroying property, as I understand it, while these people believe in destroying human life
roving human life as well as property. Lenine, and Trotzky, and Radik, and Tchitcherin. and Zenoviey realize that they have to kill people in order to maintain themselves. The bourgeoisie of that country and the intelligentsia are all cowed. They have no arms. * * * They [the Bolsheviki] went through the houses and took the arms and everything of value, and I have heard of their breaking mirrors and sticking bayonets through works of art.
GERMAN INFLUENCE Regarding German influence in Russia, Mr. Francis said:
I think Germany has had more control of the industries of Russia since the beginning of the war than she had before, although they have nominally arrested a great many of the officials and interned them. That was done under the Imperial Government, and it was pursued under the Provisional Government; but the German influence is now in every line of human endeavor. They not only own two or three banks in Petrograd, and as many in Moscow, but, as
Germany has been exploiting Russia for thirty or forty years, and if this Bolshevist Government is left in control, if disorder prevails in Russia, peace will be impossible in Europe. I think Germany will exploit Russia if the disorder is allowed to continue there; so that Germany, instead of having been defeated in this war, will have gained a victory, and will be stronger ten years from now than she was at the beginning of the war.
NEVER AIDED ALLIES Asked if the Lenine-Trotzky Government ever stated to him that they wanted to get into the war to aid the United States and her allies against the Central Powers, the Ambassador replied:
They never stated it to me. I extended every encouragement I could to them to present an organized front in order to prevent the German divisions that had been on the eastern front from being sent over to the western front, and I told Robins to say to them that I would recommend a modus vivendi if they would organize an opposition. They put to him a number of questions, which he transmitted through the War Department code, asking what America and the Allies would do; but they invariably accompanied that by a statement that the great social revolution should not be interfered with.
Colonel Robins stated it to me in this way, that he thought if we recognized them they would present an organized opposition to Germany. I said, “ If you will have them make that promise to me, I do not know that I will recommend recognition, but I will recommend the establishment of business relations or a
modus vivendi with them.” But I al-
thousands of Russians imprisoned in German and Austrian prison camps when I arrived at Petrograd in April, 1916.
They treated us (the Americans better than they treated the British or the French, because they were always hoping for and expecting recognition by our Government; but they declared themselves against all organized Governments, and they called our Government a capitalistic Government, and said that it was oppressing the working classes.
I regard it [the Bolshevist Government] as a menace to the peace of Europe and a menace to the peace of the world. That is my judgment, derived from two years and eight months' residence in Russia.
Testimony of Sir George Buchanan, British Ambassador
Sir George Buchanan, who was Ambassador at Petrograd during the war, delivered in London on March 25, 1919, an address entitled “Russia and Great Britain: Their Relations Under the Empire, the Provisional Government, and the Bolsheviki.” The portion dealing with the Soviet Government may be summarized as follows:
Lenine, Sir George said, was a fanatic such crimes as those of which the Bolwho had treated Russia as a pawn in sheviki had been guilty been committed his game and had used her as a stepping under the empire a storm of indignastone to the realization of his dream of tion would have swept through Great a socialistic millennium and of a uni- Britain; but now, even when innocent versal communistic State. He had been children like the little Grand Duchesses the directing brain of the movement, had been murdered in cold blood, hardly while Trotzky and the other Commis- a voice was raised in condemnation of saries were but its executive officers. the crime, while in certain quarters one Lenine had taken money from Germany found a latent sympathy with their murand accepted the assistance of German derers. agents to organize his forces, but he had done that for a set purpose, and was
RUSSIA'S PATHETIC FIGURE not, like many of his followers, a paid Russia had for the time being ceased German agent.
to exist as a political entity. Her voice Sir George spoke of the murder of no longer carried weight in the council members of the imperial family, a crime chambers of Europe. She was, indeed, a which he could neither palliate nor con- tragic and pathetic figure. During the done. The Emperor was far from be first two years of the war she spent ing a bloodthirsty tyrant, as his execu- herself in an effort that exhausted her, tioners represented him, and under his and she had not strength to endure to rule Russia was a happier and more pros the end. Had she not made that stand perous country than it would ever be France would have been crushed before under the merciless tyranny of the pres- we could have come to her assistance. ent de facto Government. Nor did he or Germany might have won the war. We the Empress ever contemplate the be- should, therefore, remember that, though trayal either of their country or of the Russia did not share in our triumph, allied cause, and their murders could though the Russian flag with its bloodnot be justified on that account. Had stained laurels no longer floated side by side with the standards of her allies, the men who had been demobilized had Russia had none the less contributed her had a few months' rest at home. One share to our final victory.
could never, as had been suggested, hope Was it not then our duty to acquit to save Russia by economic relief alone. the debt of honor which we owed her? Military assistance and economic relief Was it not right we should try to save must go hand in hand if we were to her suffering people from the remorse- help the Russians to free themselves less tyranny under which they were from Bolshevist tyranny. The task was groaning? If we were to be consistent, not gigantic as was generally supposed; if we were not to draw a fine distinc- for the capture of Moscow and Petro
tarism and Bolshevist autocratic terror- knell of Bolshevism as a political force, ism, we could not leave Russia to her The other alternative open to us, that fate. Lenine, like the German Emperor, of withdrawing our troops and leaving aimed at world domination, and openly Russia to work out her own salvation, reigned supreme. Before the conclusion of would leave an indelible stain on the the armistice Lenine predicted that the British name, for it would be tantamount Allies would impose such humiliating to delivering over to certain death those terms on Germany that the latter would who, in answer to our summons, had turn Bolshevist, and he expressed the rallied round our flag, while it would confident hope that the combined forces inevitably throw Russia sooner or later of Russia and Germany would then be into the arms of Germany. able to continue the struggle against the There would be no permanent peace Allies long enough to provoke revolution in the world if we ever allowed Gerary risings in their countries. He many to control Russia's vast man power realized that Bolshevism, if confined to and untold natural wealth. There was Russia, was doomed. He was, therefore, another danger. Lenine was not only making tremendous efforts to turn Cen inciting fellow-subjects in India to retral Europe into one great Bolshevist volt, but was turning his attention to camp, and he had, it would appear, al China, in the hope of drawing recruits ready succeeded in winning over Hun- to maintain himself in power. To leave gary to his side.
him time to do so would be a suicidal POLICY OF ISOLATION
policy. To prevent the spread of the Bolshe- The Russian problem was the dominatvist poison, Sir George Buchanan said it ing factor in the European situation, had been proposed to draw a sanitary and our interest and our honor both decordon round Russia, and to isolate her manded that we should face it with courcompletely. He personally believed that age and determination. To shrink from such a policy would in the end cost us doing so was a confession of impotence more, and be less effective, than were that would render vain all our sacrifices we to strike boldly at the heart of the in the war. God grant that at some disease and eradicate the cancer that was no distant time a new, free, and united sapping Russia's vital energies. Though Russia might once more stretch out the we could not employ conscripted troops hand of friendship to us and march by for that purpose, volunteers for service our side along the road of peace, prog. in Russia might be forthcoming when ress, and enlightenment.
Some Official Pronouncements
TN the first issue of Struggling Russia, T a new weekly magazine devoted to
Russian problems, published by the Russian Information Bureau in New York City, there appeared on March 22, 1919, and in subsequent issues, translations of certain documents that throw light on the Bolshevist theory and on the method by which that theory is put into practice.
The first document embodies portions of Zinoviev's speech before the Petrograd Soviet on Jan. 27, 1919, as reported in the Krasnaya Gazeta, a Bolshevist daily. This speech is of interest because of Zinoviey's prominence as a Bolshevist leader, and because it characterizes the Bolshevist attitude toward the Allies, not only in respect to their proposal of the Prinkipo conference, but also generally and fundamentally.
The speech began with a violent attack upon the Peace Conference at Paris. The conference, said the speaker, was made up, not of representatives of the people, but of the bankers, the bourgeoisie, and the “ robber Governments." These “ five great robber powers” were dictating to the world to the detriment of the masses. Only a revolution from one end of Europe to the other could prevent their solution of the problems of future society. Resolved that the disorder in Russia must be brought to an end, they had at first sought by armed force to accomplish their purposes, but, realizing the danger and uncertainty of this method, they had changed their tactics, deeming it expedient“ to display the tail of the cunning fox instead of the teeth of the fierce wolf.” The declaration which they sent out said that they regarded the Russian people as their friends; they had had the effrontery to declare that they recognized the right of the Russian people to manage their own affairs without foreign intervention, and that they also recognized the Russian revolution, and disavowed every attempt at counter-revolution. “When one
reads these lines of the allied declaration,” continued Zinoviev, “one cannot help asking: ‘Are you not ashamed to be so brazenly lying at every step and turn?'" Their desire to bring the Soviet delegates together with the other Governments of Russia in an attempt at reconciliation was senseless, yet this purpose, senseless and transparent as it was, had “ a big political significance, and the Petrograd Soviet should know it."
DISTRUST OF THE ALLIES The real situation, according to Zinoviev, was as follows:
The Soviet troops were advancing successfully, taking city after city, and destroying all nests of the counter-revolution; meanwhile the revolution in Europe was advancing so fast that the English and the French were afraid to send their armies to Russia, even though they were compelled to support Denikine, Kolchak, and Dutov; understanding at last that they could not overcome the Soviet by force, they were attempting to take it by cunning. They knew that the Russian people were exhausted, that further struggle was difficult, and that this war demanded countless sacrifices; they knew, furthermore, that the peasants were loath to continue fighting. But the Soviet would never trust the people who for two years had supported the Russian counter-revolution; if it sent delegates, this would be only “ to tear the masks off these allied gentlemen." But let them not think that the Soviet would “cease, even for a minute, to organize the Red Army and to advance victoriously on all the fronts.” Zinoviev's speech concluded as follows:
It is true we have no diplomatists, adepts in the game of treachery and falsehood, but we have men who will be in a position to tear off the masks from the Japanese and American bandits. We do not trust their smiles; we have no confidence in their Judas Iscariot kisses ! The Soviet rule will not lay down its arms. We say to all: These are the