Memorandum Appendix XII. Report of American Representative, from Finland, June 25, 1919.
REPORT OF AMERICAN REPRESENTATIVE, FROM FINLAND, JUNE 25, 1919.
The fall of Bolshevism, which seemed inevitable even two months ago, has created the wildest terrorism. People are executed without trial in masses on mere suspicion of sympathy with the Soviet's enemies. Agitation is growing abroad, created chiefly by Russian Jews and others who are interested in a prolongation of the Bolshevist regime and against the aims of Generals Kolchak, Yudenich, and Denikin, who are denounced as representing the supporters of tsarism. The attempt is made also to convince foreigners that improvements are going on in Soviet Russia, with an ardor which would seem to indicate the hopelessness of the situation.
Some American journalists, received and well treated by the Bolsheviks, also have reported favorably. The Russians who are opposed to the Soviet Government naturally believe these to be bribed. I think this unlikely. I have seen a number of them and it is my belief that their conclusions are due rather to prepossessed ideas and to ignorance of real conditions and unfamiliarity with the language.
It is my own strong conviction that even the dark elements are by now disillusioned. The bulk of the workmen and the peasants, to whom so much has been promised, are disgusted. The increasing support which the Bolsheviks found in 1917 has gradually disappeared. Reliable opinion counts not more than 160,000 Communists by conviction, and these are mostly young workmen.
Terror and necessity compel work for the Soviet Government, but this work is much encumbered by theory, inexperience, and corruption. The continued existence of Soviet Russia is largely due to enormous stocks accumulated during the war. Even now colossal quantities of cotton goods exist, which they do not know how to distribute. This inability to produce any practical achievements has resulted, politically, in an outspoken change. The idea of a great Russian Republic has faded and the general wish is rather for a strong constitutional monarchy.
The peasants I have recently seen deny emphatically the existence of support (for the Bolsheviks) in the villages, stating that the few Communists to be found in some villages are known to be loafers.
It is my opinion that not 1 per cent of Soviet Russia's population will be against intervention from whichever side it may come; Kolchak or any other power will be welcomed. There will be a slaughtering of Bolsheviks as soon as the deliverers are near the centers and the Red Terror ceases to be feared, but terror, hunger, and disease have temporarily created apathy.
Finland loathes Bolshevism, fears a Tsar Government, but wishes to be on good terms with a new strong Russia. I believe the same applies to the Baltic Provinces.
As to the Tartars of Siberia and Kazan I have not the slightest doubt that these (about 16,000,000 Mohammedans) will as a whole side with Kolchak against the Bolsheviks. This is confirmed by their representative, Mr. S. Maksoudov, now in Paris, who personally gave me his report of March 25, which was cabled in full to Paris.
Many Russian Jews have by their activity with the Bolsheviks strongly compromised that section of the population and" pogroms" of great magnitude, I fear, are to be anticipated.
The strength of the Bolsheviks lies in their organization. Terror, combined with most elaborate espionage at home and propaganda in and behind the ranks of the enemy, make them still a formidable force.