PETERS' PROCLAMATION "TO CITIZENS OF PETROGRAD AND ENVIRONS."
[Izvestia of Petrograd Soviet, July 4, 1919.]
Mass searches recently conducted with the direct participation of the Petrograd proletariat, and also the voluntary giving up of arms in accordance with the order of June 24, 1919, No. 961, have shown that a large quantity of various kinds of arms and military equipment have been illegally kept by the population, mainly by the more prosperous strata of the population.
However, the result of the mass and individual searches that still continue, and the turning in of the arms show that not all of the arms have been given up.
Workmen and workwomen of Petrograd: You are standing firm in defense of the revolution, and of its red capital.
See to it that not a single rifle, not a single cartridge, remain in the hands of the bourgeoisie. Search the cellars, attics, sheds, living quarters, and all places, and do not allow them to bury arms in the ground.
If you discover the concealment of arms, revolvers, cartridges, bombs-anything that would be of use to the enemies in their attack on us, report the fact immediately to the chief of internal defense. Those guilty of concealing arms will suffer the most severe penalty.
See to it that arms and other military supplies do not lie around without proper guard and careful inventory, because of the carelessness of some one.
All persons and institutions in charge of the registering of various stores, must carefully examine the latter, and communicate immediately if they find among them arms or objects of military equipment. They will be turned over to the Revolutionary court if they conceal these, or overlook them.
House committees are responsible as formerly for arms found in their houses, and will be subjected to the most severe punishment for failure to carry out this order. Searches will continue until the rear of our Red Army and of the Petrograd proletariat has been absolutely made safe.
We are firmly resolved to carry out to the end the business we have started.
At the same time, in order to meet the weak-spirited and those who do not read orders carefully, I now for the last time fix the time limit for the voluntary giving up of arms. Whoever will voluntarily give up arms between the day of publication of this order and Tuesday the 8th of July, is guaranteed, as on previous occasions, complete security. There will be no quarter for those who do not take advantage of this last postponement.
Failure to carry out this order will this time be regarded by me as a deliberate counter-revolutionary ignoring of the ordinances of the Soviet authority, and will call forth a corresponding attitude on my part.
The workmen of Petrograd, finally, will be able by entering the revolutionary reserve regiments of the defense, to arm themselves for self-defense against the White-Guard bands, and for the struggle against the latter in all directions.
Chief of the Internal Defense of Petrograd.