Mr. Alston to Mr. Balfour. ― (Received January 20.)
(Telegraphic.) Vladivostock, January 18, 1919.
I HAVE been given following information by member of Red Cross Mission, Dr T―—, who has just returned to Vladivostock from the neighbourhood of Perm. He says that for rank barbarous brutality, the horrors which he has witnessed of Bolshevik legacies in the localities which they evacuated, the tortures and mutilations performed on wounded and others before death, baffle description. Even ferocity of Turks in Armenia cannot be compared with what is now being done in Russia by Bolsheviks.
Dr. T―— understands the Russian point of view, as he has been in actual contact with Bolshevism.
When I asked him to furnish more precise details, he told me it was difficult to furnish the dates, exact spots, names, &c. The report from Ekaterinburg of brutal murder of hundreds of innocent civilians at Perm, of mutilation of priests, and of tortures, such as of officers having their shoulder straps nailed into their shoulders is, however, absolutely confirmed by him.
Dr. T―— found on battlefield during fighting in Usuri district in July, 1918 bodies of Czech soldiers in frightful state of mutilation, their private parts cut off, their heads cut open, their faces slashed, their eyes gouged out, and their tongues cut out. A doctor of H.M.S. "Suffolk" attended four of such cases, which were brought to Vladivostock for official investigation. These mutilations were inflicted before death, according to verdict given.
The local representative of Czech National Council, Dr. Girsa, and his assistant, state that over a year ago hundreds of officers were shot at Kief, when Bolsheviks captured that city. Premier Rodzianko was shot, and massacre of Prince Yashuisen was brutal murder. In the face of bitterest cold these men were taken from their homes and thrown into automobiles and carts, and, except for their caps, were made to strip naked. In the biting cold they were forced for hours to stand in line, and Bolshevik soldiers were given liberty of shooting them in groups or singly, as it pleased their fancy.
Dr. Girsa was surgeon in civilian hospital No. 12 at this time. This hospital was crowded with patients on account of the ruthless manner in which the Bolsheviks were attacking the more educated classes and the officers in the city of Kief. It was necessary to hide officers in closets, even when mortally wounded, to prevent Bolsheviks coming in and taking them out to be shot in the streets.
Many seriously wounded were taken from Kief hospitals and ruthlessly murdered in the streets. Bolsheviks forced into the streets and shot men with abdominal wounds, broken limbs, and grave injuries in other parts of their bodies. He recollects seeing officers being eaten by dogs in the streets of Kief. Wife of Dr. Girsa's assistant herself saw an automobile load of frozen bodies of dead officers being carried through the streets to a dumping ground outside the town.
These men were forced out of their homes in the middle of the night, hospital beds were emptied, patients who were seriously ill were ruthlessly slaughtered, and men shot without mercy and without trial.
A surgeon in the employment of the Red Cross in Vladivostock verified these accounts. He himself saw such crimes, and fled from the vicinity of Moscow in terror with his wife. Photographs of murdered civilians were shown me.