Especially in view of today.
Therefore, I decided to collect a selection of the most informative moments from the book. My translation may not be perfect; I will finish it to the best of my strength and desire. If you wish, you can find the original text of quotes in my English-language blog; if you want to clarify or correct something - you are welcome. The full text of the distinguished general’s Siberian memories lies here.
How fortunate that our revolutionary great-grandfathers withstood, did not give up and won, did not allow the victory of the whites in the Civil War in general and the notorious admiral in particular. Happiness for all; even for those who are now thoughtfully telling about the victory of the "red-headed louts" and "Jewish commissars", longing for the crunch of the French roll.
* * *
Admiral Kolchak surrounded himself with former tsarist officials, and since the peasants did not want to take weapon and sacrifice their lives for the return of these people to power, they were beaten, whipped and coolly killed by thousands, after which the world called them "Bolsheviks". In Siberia, the word “Bolshevik” means a person who does not in word or deed support the return to power in Russia of representatives of autocracy.
* * *
The soldiers of Semenov and Kalmykov, under the protection of Japanese troops, roamed the country like wild beasts, killing and robbing people; if Japan wished, these killings could have stopped in a day. If there were questions about these brutal murders, the answer was that the dead were Bolsheviks, and this explanation obviously suited the world quite well. The conditions in Eastern Siberia were terrible, and there was nothing cheaper than human life.
Terrible murders were committed there, but they were not committed by the Bolsheviks as the world thinks. I would be far from any exaggeration if I say that for every one killed by the Bolsheviks in Eastern Siberia there are one hundred killed by anti-Bolsheviks.
* * *
It is hard to imagine a human being like Kalmykov existing in modern civilization; there was hardly a day without reports of the terrible atrocities committed by him and his troops.
* * *
Kalmykov remained in Khabarovsk and established his regime of terror, violence and bloodshed, which, in the end, forced his own troops to revolt and seek protection from the American army. Under the pretext of fighting Bolshevism, he groundlessly arrested many wealthy people, tortured them to get their money, and executed many on charges of Bolshevism. These arrests were so frequent that they intimidated all classes of the population; It is estimated that Kalmykov troops executed several hundred people in the vicinity of Khabarovsk.
* * *
It is surprising that the officers of the Russian Tsarist Army did not realize the need for changes in the practice used by the army during the Tsarist regime. The atrocities committed east of Lake Baikal were so startling that they did not leave an unbiased person doubt in the veracity of many reports of excesses.
* * *
Opinions of Russian monarchists about ethical methods of seeking funding are characterized by the following: Col. Korf, a Russian liaison officer with the American command, told US intelligence officer Colonel Eichelberger that General Ivanov-Rinov and General Romanovsky have enough power to stop a wave of criticism like me and all Americans, and American politics, and if I secured twenty thousand dollars a month for the financing of the Russian army by the United States, propaganda against the Americans will be rekraschena.
* * *
In March a young woman, a village teacher, came to the headquarters of the American troops. She asked for protection for herself and her brothers so that they could return to their village, Gordiyevka, and bury their father, who was killed by the troops of Ivanov-Rinov. The woman said that the Russian troops came to Gordiyevka in search of young men for forced conscription, but the young people fled, and then the troops detained ten men in the village, whose age was higher than the draft, tortured and killed them, and put guards on the bodies in order not to relatives bury them. It sounded so cruel and unnatural, that I ordered one officer with a small detachment to go to Gordiyevka and conduct an investigation, and notified the woman about her intentions.
The officer sent for investigation reported the following:
Upon arrival at the Gordian school building, I was greeted by a crowd of 70 or 80 men, all armed with rifles, mostly Russian army rifles, as well as some old single-shot rifles of the 45 — 70 caliber. All the information I collected was obtained in the presence of these 70 or 80 armed villagers and roughly 25 or 30 women. Most of the information obtained from the wives of the victims, these women many times lost their feelings during this ordeal for them. The first interrogator said that her husband went to school with his rifle in order to surrender it to the Russian military in accordance with the order. He was seized outside, beaten with his own rifle on the head and torso, and then taken to a house near the school, where he was tied with his hands tied by the neck to the pin in the rafters and badly beaten on the torso and head until blood spattered even the walls of the room . The marks on his body showed me that he was also hung by the legs.
Later he was put in a row with eight other men and shot at 14: 00. There were ten men in the line, all but one were killed, whom the soldiers of Ivanov-Rinov left to die. Next, I interrogated a woman in whose house everyone was beaten, and then shot behind her threshing floor. She said that on the morning of March 9 1919 near 11: 00 several officers Ivanova-Rinova came to her house and forced her to take her husband to another house, but on 11: 30 took her husband back and beat him along with the rest; his arm was broken, his nails were cut off and all his front teeth were knocked out. Her husband was disabled and crippled.
The officer also added:
I found that the floor of the room in which these men were beaten was covered in blood, and all its walls were spattered with blood. The wire and rope loops that tied their necks still hung from the ceiling and were covered in blood. I also found that some of the men were doused with boiling water and burned with red-hot irons, heated in a small stove, which I found in the room.
I visited the place where these men were shot. They were lined up and shot, at least three bullet holes in each body, some six or more in some. Obviously, they were first shot in the feet, and then higher in the body.
The young officer who conducted the investigation received and included in his report a lot more testimony, and those testimonies that I don’t quote cite in all details with those quoted.
This case seemed so disgusting to me that I ordered the officer to report to me personally. He was not a cadre, he was called up for the duration of the war. I will never forget the words of this officer, which he told me after I finished interviewing him. He declared:
General, for God's sake, do not send me more on such expeditions. I barely restrained myself from taking off my uniform, joining these unfortunates and helping them with everything that was in my power.
* * *
Turning to those fellow citizens who believe that it is necessary to fight Bolshevism, regardless of US policy, I note that I could never determine who exactly was a Bolshevik and why he was one. According to the Japanese representatives and their paid puppets in Siberia, the Bolsheviks were all Russians who did not want to take up arms and fight for Semenov, Kalmykov, Rozanov, Ivanov-Rinov; and after all in criminal archives of the USA you will not find characters worse. According to the British and French representatives, the Bolsheviks were all who did not want to take up arms and fight for Kolchak.
* * *
Military uniforms mobilized Russian mostly provided by the British. General Knox (Knox) stated that Britain had supplied the Kolchak forces with a hundred thousand sets of uniforms. This is partly confirmed by the number of Red Army soldiers wearing the British uniform. The fact that the Reds wear the British uniform, caused General Knox such disgust that, as reported, he later said that Britain should deliver nothing to Kolchak, because everything supplied comes from the Bolsheviks. Generally speaking, the soldiers of the Red Army in the British uniform were the same soldiers who were given this uniform while they were in the Kolchak army. A significant part of these soldiers was not inclined to fight for Kolchak.
The methods used by Kolchak to mobilize Siberians evoked rage that is difficult to calm. They went to the service, embittered by fear, but not in front of the enemy, but in front of their own troops. As a result, after issuing weapons and uniforms, they deserted regiments, battalions, and one by one to the Bolsheviks.
9 April 1919, I reported:
The number of so-called Bolshevik gangs in Eastern Siberia has increased as a result of the order of mobilization and emergency methods used in its conduct. The peasants and the working class do not want to fight for the Kolchak government.
* * *
The harsh measures applied by the tsarist regime to prevent escapes of prisoners did not disappear even by the time I passed through Irkutsk. I saw about twenty prisoners who had healthy chains chained to their ankles and large balls attached to the end of them; so that the prisoner could go, he needed to carry the ball in his hand.
* * *
In Krasnoyarsk, I learned something about General Rozanov, with whom I tried to work in Vladivostok. He was the same man who 27 March 1919, ordered his troops:
1. When occupying villages previously occupied by bandits (guerrillas), to demand the issuance of leaders of the movement; where you can not capture the leaders, but have sufficient evidence of their presence, shoot every tenth resident.
If during the movement of troops through the city, the population, having the opportunity, does not report the presence of the enemy, all are required to receive monetary compensation without restriction.
Villages where the population meets our troops with weapons should be burned to the ground, all adult men should be shot; property, houses, carts should be requisitioned for use by the army.
We learned that Rozanov was holding hostages, and for every supporter who met death, he killed ten hostages. He spoke about these methods used in Krasnoyarsk as working with the situation with gloves, but declared his intention to take off gloves after arriving in Vladivostok in order to work with the situation without the restraint that he demonstrated to Krasnoyarsk people ...
Rozanov was the third abominable character of those I knew in Siberia, although the level of Kalmykov and Semyonov was unattainable for him.
* * *
In order to mark the fighting efficiency of the Kolchak troops in August 1919, I will try to analyze the official messages that came to me. One of the reports read:
It is estimated that, with the exception of officials and the military, the Omsk government supports no more than 5% of the population. It is estimated that reds support around 45%, socialist revolutionaries around 40%, about 10% divided among other parties, and 5% remains on the military, officials and supporters of Kolchak.
From that time until the fall of the Omsk government, Kolchak's army was a retreating gang.
* * *
The Ambassador and I traveled from Omsk to Vladivostok around 10 August. We stayed in Novonikolayevsk, Irkutsk, Verkhneudinsk and Harbin. Until we were on the territory of Semenov, nothing interesting happened. By this time, it was well known that Semenov had organized what was known as the “station of murders”, and openly boasted that he could not sleep if during the day at least he had not killed someone.
We stopped at a small station, and two Americans from the Russian Railway Service Corps climbed our train. They told us about the murder of soldiers Semenov two or three days before our arrival, a whole train of Russians, in which there were 350 people. I do not remember, there were only men, or also women.
The Americans reported the following:
An echelon of prisoners passed through the station, and everyone at the station knew that they would be killed. Corps officers headed to the place of execution, but were stopped by Semyonov's soldiers. After one hour and fifty minutes, the empty train returned to the station. The next day, the two went to the scene of the murder and saw evidence of a mass execution. It was clear from the cartridges on the ground that the prisoners were shot with machine guns: the cartridge cartridges lay in heaps in the places where machine guns were throwing them. The bodies were in two recently dug ditches. In one ditch the bodies were completely covered with earth, in the other one could see a lot of arms and legs.
* * *
I doubt that in stories For the last half-century, there will be at least one country in the world where murders would be carried out more calmly and with less fear of punishment than it was in Siberia under the regime of Admiral Kolchak. One example of cruelty and lawlessness in Siberia is a typical case in Omsk, the Kolchak residence that took place on December 22 on December 1918, just a month and four days after Kolchak accepted the authority of the “Supreme Ruler”. On this day, an uprising of workers against the Kolchak government occurred in Omsk. The revolutionaries partially succeeded, opened a prison and allowed two hundred arrested to escape.
Among them, 134 were political prisoners, including several members of the Constituent Assembly. On the day when it happened, the Omsk commander-in-chief of Kolchak issued an order demanding to return to prison from all those released, and declared that those who did not return within a day would be killed on the spot. All members of the Constituent Assembly and a number of other well-known political prisoners returned to prison. On the same night, several Kolchak officers removed the members of the Constituent Assembly from prison, telling them that they would be taken to the place of their trial for the crimes they were accused of, and they all were shot dead. For this cruel and lawless murder of the officers, there was nothing. Conditions in Siberia were such that such atrocities could easily be hidden from the world.
The foreign press constantly maintained that it was the Bolsheviks who were the Russians who had committed these terrible excesses, and the propaganda was so active that no one could even think that these atrocities were committed against the Bolsheviks.
* * *
Colonel Morrow (Morrow), who commanded the American troops in the Trans-Baikal sector, reported on the most cruel, heartless and almost unbelievable murder of the whole village of Semyonov. When his troops approached the village, the residents apparently tried to escape from their homes, but the soldiers of Semyonov shot at them - men, women and children - as if they were hunting rabbit, and threw their bodies at the scene of the murder. They shot not just one, but everyone in this village.
Colonel Morrow forced the Japanese and the French to go with an American officer to investigate this massacre, and the story I told is contained in a report signed by an American, a Frenchman and a Japanese. In addition to the above, the officers reported that they had found the bodies of four or five men who were obviously burned alive.
People naturally wondered what could be the goal of such horrendous killings. The goal is similar to the reason that camp guards keep dog hunters and use other means of intimidating prisoners; to prevent escape attempts. In Siberia, the persecuted people were not prisoners, but those responsible for these horrors were convinced that all Russians should at least act as if they sincerely supported Kolchak's cause. Such an appeal sometimes succeeded in temporarily causing people to hide their true moods. That is how it was in Siberia, and I am convinced that the Americans do not know anything about these terrible conditions.
* * *
When the Americans first got to Siberia, most of us, naturally, expected that the experience of war and revolution changed the mindset of the government from the former ruling class, but when this ruling class began to commit horrendous atrocities in Siberia, to allow them and indulge them, they haven't learned anything.
* * *
Vladivostok was well aware that from November 18 1919 of the year to 31 of January 1920, Rozanov killed between five hundred and six hundred men without commenting on his killings. At first, a decision was made on execution, then a military tribunal was going to legalize the planned murder; This was the method Rozanov used. This procedure was well known in Vladivostok; in one case, I personally verified the accuracy of the information at the request of a Russian woman who lived at one time in New York.
* * *
General Knox served in Russia as a military attache under the tsarist regime. He could speak Russian and, undoubtedly, thought he understood the Russians. He probably understood the character and peculiarities of those Russians with whom he was associated in Petrograd, but I cannot believe that he understood the aspirations of the great mass of the Russian people. If he understood these people, he probably would not have thought - and he obviously thought so - that Russian peasants and workers would take up arms and fight to bring supporters of Kolchak to commit such atrocities. against those people who were looking for military support. General Knox shared with me his thought: "The poor Russians were just pigs."
Personally, I never thought that Kolchak had at least some chance to establish a government in Siberia, but Knox and others like him believed that the masses were pigs, and they could be treated like pigs, precipitated Kolchak’s fall.