File No. 861.00/2707
The Consul at Moscow ( Poole) to the Secretary of State 1
[Received September 16, 5.34 a.m.]
2. Reference my No. 1 of even date,2 situation of Allied citizens here is dangerous, but that of Russians has already become tragic in the extreme. Complete suppression of all but Bolshevik papers since July 1 and imperfect communication abroad have no doubt left the outside world with hardly more than a suggestion of the true situation in central Russia.
Since May the so-called Extraordinary Commission against Counter-Revolution has conducted an openly avowed campaign of terror. Thousands of persons have been summarily shot without even the form of trial. Many of them have no doubt been innocent of even the political views which were supposed to supply the motive of their execution. The assassination of Uritski and the attempt on Lenin are the results [causes] of this high tyranny. Socialists, once [Page 682] coworkers with the Bolsheviki, have turned against them the methods by which they formerly attacked the tyranny of the Tsars. “Mass terror” is the Bolshevik reply.
Official press publishes to-day following from Petrograd:
In connection with the murder of Uritski 500 persons have been shot by order of the Petrograd Extraordinary Commission against Counter-Revolution. The names of the persons shot and those of candidates for future shooting, in case of a new attempt on the lives of the Soviet leaders, will be published later.
In Moscow “general searches” are being made under general orders to arrest “the better-to-do and all former officers.” The ill-administered prisons are filled beyond capacity and every night scores are irresponsibly shot. Sentence is passed on the slightest grounds, or the general charge, “might be dangerous to the Bolshevik power.” In sum, vengeful and irresponsible gangs are venting the desperation of their declining power in the daily massacre of untold innocents. The situation cries aloud to all who will act for the sake of humanity.
It is possible that some stay might be put on the Bolsheviks, if the Allied Governments could gain the adhesion of the neutrals to joint action by which the representatives of the latter would inform the Bolsheviks that the whole world, neutral and Allied, is revolted by the present inhuman and purposeless slaughter, and unless this is stopped forthwith, Allies and neutrals alike will not only deny members of the Bolshevik government future asylum but hold them jointly and severally responsible for their present deeds. The other and truly efficacious course is a rapid military advance from the north. Our present halfway action is cruel in the extreme. Our landing has set up the Bolshevik death agony. It is now our moral duty to shield the numberless innocents who are exposed to its hateful reprisals.