File No. 861.00/3034

The Minister in Switzerland ( Stovall) to the Secretary of State

No. 4667

Sir: Confirming my telegram No. 4926 of September 27, noon,2 I have the honor to transmit herewith copy and translation of the aide-mémoire, and enclosure thereto, of the Swiss Government dated September 24 concerning the protestation against acts committed by the Soviets in Petrograd.

I have [etc.]

Pleasant A. Stovall

The Swiss Political Department to the American Legation


Replying to the aide-mémoire which the Minister of the United States gave to the President of the Confederation, the Political Department has the honor to inform his excellency that the Swiss Minister in Russia, at that time Dean of the Diplomatic Corps at Petrograd, in the name of the Diplomatic Corps handed a note of September 5 to the Council of the Soviets, embodying the conversations of the chiefs of missions with Commissioner Zinoviev. The American Legation will find enclosed the text of this note, which corresponds in broad lines with the contents of the American memorandum.

September 11 the Swiss Minister adhered to the new step taken by General Brandstrom, then Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, on his return to Petrograd.

The Swiss Minister in Russia has then already signed protestations to which the American memorandum alludes, thus the desires expressed by the memorandum are already realized, so far as the Swiss Government is concerned.


The Swiss, Danish, and Netherlands Ministers, the Swedish, Norwegian, Spanish, and Persian Chargés, and the German Consul General, to the Soviet Commissar of the Northern Commune ( Zinoviev)

The representatives of the Diplomatic Corps at Petrograd, having been them selves witnesses of the arrest of great numbers of persons of all ages and both sexes, and the summary executions daily carried out by the soldiers of the Red Army, requested an interview with Commissar Zinoviev, who received them on Monday, September 3. They stated that they had no intention of interfering in the political contests at present disrupting Russia; but that, taking a purely [Page 698] humanitarian point of view, they wished to express, in the name of the Governments they represent, their profound indignation at the reign of terror instituted in the cities of Petrograd, Moscow, etc.

Without any other reason than that of gratifying their hate against a whole class of citizens, without orders from a legal power of any sort, crowds of armed men enter day or night into private houses, plunder and steal, arrest and throw into prison hundreds of unfortunate people entirely unconnected with political straggles, whose only crime is to belong to the middle classes, and whose extermination is proclaimed by the leaders of the country in their own papers and in their speeches. It is quite impossible for the poor distressed families to obtain any information as to the place where their relatives have been imprisoned; permission is denied them to communicate with the prisoners and to supply them with the necessary food.

Such acts of violence, incomprehensible on the part of men who profess their wish to promote the happiness of mankind, call forth the indignation of the civilized world, now acquainted with the events in Petrograd.

The Diplomatic Corps considered it its duty to inform Commissar Zinoviev of the feelings of reprobation which animate it. It has protested and it does protest energetically against the arbitrary acts which are being committed every day. The representatives of the powers make all express reservations as to the right of their Governments to demand the satisfactions which may be considered necessary and to render personally responsible before the courts all perpetrators of the criminal acts which have been committed or may be committed in future.

They ask that the terms of the present note be brought to the knowledge of the Soviet government.

  1. Not printed.