Russian Chaos: Famine and Cholera: Germany's New Tactics

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Russian Chaos: Famine and Cholera: Germany's New Tactics - THE RUSSIAN CHAOS. FAMINE AND CHOLERA IN...
THE RUSSIAN CHAOS. FAMINE AND CHOLERA IN PETKOGRAD. GERMANY'S NEW TACTICS. FOMENTING THE MONARCHIST MOVEMENT. (By Dr. David Soskice.) For over two centuries Pecrograd has been tlie' intellectual and administrative centre of Russia. From tho time of its foundation it -was the greatest city in the country, and a year ago it numbered nearly 3,000,000 inhabitants. Its main thoroughfare, tho Nevsky Prospect, was the broadest, best-lighted, and most resplendent street not in Petrograd alone, bub in the whole of Russia. The Bolshevik Revolution, with its subsequent German domination, absorbed that city first of all. It took place only nine months ago, arid the transformation which Petrograd has undergone in that short period may be taken as an ominous indication of the fate of the whole of Russia if Germany succeeds in. maintaining her hold upon it for much longer. In nine months Petrograd has lost half its population; the beautilul roadway of the Kevsky Prospect is strewn with the carcases of horses which have dropped and died from exhaustion in such numbers that there has been no timo to remove them. The houses in the Prospect and in tho other streets of tho great city arc filled with cholera and famine-stricken inhabitants. Some of tlieso are removed to the hospitals and cholera barracks, others die unattended. A month ago the statistics of hospitals and barracks registered 2,000 cholera cases a day, while at leaft as many perish in their houses or in tho streets unregistered. From 8j to 90 per cent, of the cholera casos end fataJly, as the hospitals and homes can provide no medicines or nourishment to keep them alive. The rains nnd lowered temperature which occurred about a month ago reduced the number of registered cholera cases to 1,200 a day for a time. But since the return of the hot dry w-.-other the disease has again, increased in severity. FLOUR AT 3 A POUND. Shop3 and stores nre, with very -few exceptions, closed on account of lack of merchandise. But at many street corners new shops have appeared where curiosity dealers are buying up at small prices jewellery, family treasures, furniture, clothes in short, everything which the despoiled middle and upper classes are parting with to obtain some means for purchasing any kind of food. Bread was scarce-a month ago, and the person was lucky who came across a chane of obtaining a pood '36 lb.) of flbur for 1,200 roubles (120, old exchange) from some speculator. When bread chanced to reach Petrograd it was distributed in rations to the population in five categories by the Bolshevik rulers, the Red Guards, privileged workmen and Bolshevik officials receiving tho maximum R'low-ancc of one-and-a-half pounds daily per head ; members of tho liberal professions, students, men and women of the middle and. upper classes receiving the minimum allowance : one-eighth of a pound. Tho outbreak of oholora, however, cut off even these meagre supplies, as the peasants' dislike coming to the plague-stricken city to dispose of their goods. SUFFERINGS OF THE EDUCATED CLASSES. No pen can ndequately describe the desolation. Hiiserv. und hopelessness of Petrograd and 1i inlinlut.-ints. AmonE the darkest features OJie.traBdx.i5 the., fact .that the educated classes aullcr most, ann proviae me gieuiesi, nnmVmr nf victims of disease and starvation. Tho same thing is taking place in practically av-nn- imvn and ritv of Russia, though, as vet, in a lesser degree. And as for the next twelve months at least Russia will euffer from a groat shorta-e of food, she is confronted with the tnrrihln nrofinprt. of the extermination of the brain and flower of her population. At this vcrv moment may be seen in the streets or Petrograd cultivated men and women Defraying all 4.h nifrns nf the extreme staves of starvation, stnnrlintr silentlv on the pavements benring paper placards on' their breasts with tho in-, scription : " Please give mo a raorsei u menu XJO not, insult .me uy win . THE GERMAN "PRISONERS." Tlmro nre. however, two crouns of the urO' sent inhabitants of Petrograd who continue to live quite unconcernedly among the surround ing horrors, f ar irom tne cenire oi tn town lip ho Smolnv Institute, formerly an educa tional establishment for the daughters of noblemen, now the dirty, fortified centre Of the Bolshevik Government of the "Petrograd Commune." There Zinovieff, his commissaries and Guards, are enjoying the ease and fruits ol their dubious Aoww. And in the centre of the town, opposite uie ol. laoot o wkuuuint, thn immense and uelv building of the German Embassy. The Bolsheviks rule over the popu lation by the grace ot tne ucrmana, wime i:ic Germans themielvr-R are the masters of all by t.hpir own iniirht. By a cunninn supplementary clause of the Brcst-Litovsk Treaty German pri soners were to return to tlieir jjatneriami irom Russia by wav of Petrograd, and' thence to Toroshrtna, the present boundary line of Great Russia, and Pfkoff, the German limit point of their occupation. For reisons best known to Germany these prisoners halt in Petrograd, tho central point between Finland,. Vologda, Moscow, and Pskoff. The broad pavements of the Nevsky Prospect arc thronged day and night bv boisterous crowds of soldiers in German uniform, and swaggering grcups of German officers with their customary t demeanour. 1 hear that, tens of thou sands br these German soldiers and officers are now coventrated in Petrograd. Germans are placed in the Bolshevik commissariats, nnu German officers control the passports of those who leave the e:tv by stoamer or railway. THE FALLING ., BOLSHEVIKS. Only 12 other day the " Munich Post " con fessed that " the German i'ress is now unanimously convinced that Germany's chief interest lies in tho maintcnarce of the Bolshevik rir,-nmpTit. as anv conceivable successor would be still more hostile." German soldiers and officers, so-called ." prisoners," now help and direct the operations oi u:o nca uuaru nga:nst the Tzccho-Slovnks on the Volga nnd in Eastern Siberia, and ugainst thn Franco-Hriiish eontinaent moving from Archangel. Thanks to tlieir support and guidance the Bol.-hcviks have obtained some local successes on these fronts, and may still cause some trouble. But for some time-paft Germany has realised that the liolslievuc power : ooomea, that bv no amount of support can it for long be maintained ; also that the Bolshevik-German alliance is proving very costly bv arousing an intense detestation of Germany throughout the whole of Great Russia. S- that, now Germany, in her usual methodical manner, is setting to work to collect and create materials for il new policy in Russia. THE NEW MOVEMENT AT MOSCOW. The heart and industrial centre of Russia has alwavs been Moscow, and lately it hns become the centre of the Bolshevik Government. There live the great industrial fnmiiies like tho Trctiakoffs, Riabushinskys, Morozovs, and others. There is, too, the Seat of the Head of the Orthodox Church, the Patriarch Tikhon, an able old man with the face and appearance of a peasant, a clever organiser, who holds great sway over the women-kind and more ignorant masses of Moscow. The brutal plunder of the Church by the Bolsheviks has caused a revival of energy among the popes of the Orthodox Church, led by their Patriarch, Tikhon. Animated by hatred of the Bolsheviks., they have joined hands with the Moscow group of 'great manufacturers and landlords, and started an agitation for tho restoration of a Monarchy. Patriarch Tikhon has repeatedly organised religious demonstrations in Petro grad And Moscow, attended 'by great crowds, predominantly of women. The Big industrial families wore last June joined by a few intellectuals, such as the brothers Princes Troubetz-koy, Krivoshein, formerly Minister of Agriculture under the Tsar's regime, and quite recently by Professor Miliukoff, now in Kiev, who was the Leader of the Constitutional-Democratic Party from the day of its foundation. These people have no following among the masses, but they support the Church movement. MILIUKOFF AND GERMANY. Germany regarded movement with an indulgent eye, nnd it is to bo noted that, while the Bolahoviks Jiave ruthlessly persecuted tho Socialist-Revolutionists and all other Democrats, they have interfered littlo with the activities of Patriarch Tikhon, or with the Princes Troubctzkoy and their Monarchist group. Germany, perceiving that tho Bolshevik rule has not long to live, started negotiations with these Monarchists, nnd by alluring promises succeeded in winning them over. lho brothers Troubetzkoy, and Miliukoff especially, are doubtless sincere in their patriotism, but they aro short-sighted and panic-stricken politicians, who have lost their stability of mind undor tho horrors of tho Bolshevik tyranny. They ardently desire to see a reunited Russia, freed from Bflrshcvilt anarchy. And when Germany offered them a. rounion, undor a Monarchy, of Ukraina and Southern Russia with Greet Russia, nnd an access to tho Black and Baltic Seas, they gave way to the temptation. Thnv said : " Tho Allies are far away, are influenced bv .h cies. and by their Parliaments; they cannot iieip us to overnirow tho Bolsheviks, to reunite Russia, to establish a Monarchy. Germany, our nearest neighbour, can do this. Let us therefore . ostablish a moihts rivtndi with Germany." Such is tile soeret. undorsf anUrn NnTrt month a great , Church Congress is' to take place in Moscow, at which they hope the restoration of the Monarchy will be proclaimodi By that time Germany will have all her military preparations in Russia completed. Her collaboration with the) Rod Guards on all the uusiinn fronts makes it an easy matter for her nt a given moment to pocket the Bolshevik leaders, nnd, if her calculations are nnt overset, to clear the field for a Russian Monarchy under German control. GERMANY'S ENTANGLEMENTS. Such a Monarchy, whether it call itself Constitutional or not, must inevitably adopt the ugly features of the old autocratic regime, since it would have few save the old supporters of tlie Romanoffs to rely upon. It would mean a prolongation of civil war, anarchy and terrorism, as all the influential democratic leaders would fight rekit.llossly against it. The Constitutional Democratic Central Committee immediately brok r.v.ay from Miliukoff after his Germa.i ori-Mil.wni. Russia would ho divided along thj Vi.iga into West, and East, tho German Monarchist West remaining a field of civil war, while the East, supported by the Allies, would defend with volunteer armies, numbering from a million to one and a half million men, the new Volga front, and that front would be moro formidable to Germany than tlie original Russian front of a year ago. Germany would then ye forced to employ an army at least twice cs strong as tho Russian volunteer armies in ordev to keep safe her immense ways of communication in the vast inimical territory of Western Russia. The deeper Germany penetrate into Russia the more she will be beset with difficulties. There is an old Russian Ifgend which telli" how the mighty giant Sviatogor, Hftcr many victories over the other warriors he encountered, perished in the attempt to lift a small iron casket on Russian soil. It seemed an easy task for such a giant to lift this casket, but it proved beyond bis strength. The greater the effort he applied to raising it, the more ho sank into the ground. Finally, when he thought he had lifted it as high as his breast, ho found himself sunk breast deep into the earth, and could no longer extricate himself. This legend may bo fitly applied to Germany in her presumptuous attempt to take posses sion of Russia. SOCIALISTS AND THE WAR. MR. WILL THORN E ASKS ABOUT PACIFIST FUNDS. The conference of tho representatives of the National Socialist Party was opened at Stratford yesterday, tho delegates being welcomed by Mr. Will Thome, M.P., the Mayor of West lfam. The National Socialist Party is strong for the prosecution of the war; and a paragraph in the report of tho Executive Committee says : " We are under no delusion concerning the difficulties with which we shall be faced inside the Labour Party, but we believe our presence necessary to uphold the pro-Ally point of view as far as wo can against tho strange mixture of Pacificism and Bolshevism, which seems to bo :.. A j. ; i iv r.l f . in it uur w uumiimis wio jjnuour jrmiy, unless the pro-Ally men and women, who constitute tlie majority aliko among the rank and file as among the lenders, pay more attention than they are doing to what is going on. Our experiences (Hiring tlie last twelve months compel us to acknowledge that the much more numerous pro-Ally members of the labour" rarty are nnt nearly so well organised, and have nothing like so much timo to spend, nnd money at their disposal, as the Pacifist, Bolshevist minority." Mr. Will Thome, in welcoming the delegates, said he was as much a Socialist and internationalist now aa ever ho was, hut he could not. belong to the pacifist party because he lii:-lii'ved in tha successful prosecution of the war, anil he wished liis party had the funds the pacifists had, even if it only wns to xtop their pernicious efforts. Tho N.S.P. never had any money : they wero always hard up vulgarly sneaking- they uovijr had a penny to play with. The pacifists had plenty of mo'nev, out he was convinced that it was not subscribed by wage earnera. In West Ham SO per cent, on the register were genuine workers, and ho could assure tho doleirates that quite that per cent, wero in favour of tho principle of bringing tho war to the conclusion desired by the Allied nations. A delegate who arrived late complained to Mr. Thome that the delay was due to tlie railways. Mr. Thome replied that the Government wero now nominnlly in control, but he hoped that they wonld be really in control in a short time. Mr. If. M., in a discussion on propaganda, said that nothing was more remarkable than the way the ideas of tho N.S.P. were gnining ground. Tlieso things were known to the Army. " They know ua a matter of fact that we are the one decisive obstacle to the pacifist party in this country," he added. "It will be a long time before wo break down militarism, outocracy, and aristocracy in any one country, but the day will como, I hope." Mr. Leo (Enfield) said that owing to the action-'of the I.L.P. and the B.S.P., tlie name " Socialist " has been covered with obloquy. " There is one thing worse than being German," he said, "and that is being pro-German, nnd tho I.L.P. have becomo the preachers of the gospel according to Lenin, Trotsky, and Litvinoff." SPRADE UNIONISTS AND GERMAN GRIMES. A trade unionist conference in Newcastle yesterday, including unofficial members of the Northumberland and Durham miners,- seamen's and firemen's, boilermakers, dockers, railway-men's, and other .unions, declared in favour of a distinct political Labour Party for tlie trade union movement, condemned the brutal murder and robbery by German submarine commanders, expressed the opinion that there CHn be no peace negotiation with a nation attempting to justify such abominable crimes, and resolved thnt there shall be for five years no intercourse with Germany unless the people take full party control over the Kaiser and Government and make full reparation for the crimes.

Clipped from
  1. The Observer,
  2. 18 Aug 1918, Sun,
  3. Page 9

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  • Russian Chaos: Famine and Cholera: Germany's New Tactics

    BobbyFischer – 12 Mar 2018

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