Red Dusk and the Morrow Adventures and Investigations in Red Russia
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Title: Red Dusk and the Morrow
Adventures and Investigations in Red Russia
Author: Paul Dukes
Release Date: August 29, 2018 [eBook #57804]
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RED DUSK AND
RED DUSK AND
AND INVESTIGATIONS IN
SIR PAUL DUKES, K.B.E.
FORMERLY CHIEF OF
THE BRITISH SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE
IN SOVIET RUSSIA
WILLIAMS AND NORGATE
14 HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN, W.C. 2
Copyright in U.S.A., 1922, by
DOUBLEDAY, PAGE AND COMPANY
First Printed May 1922.
Reprinted February 1923.
Printed in Great Britainv
If ever there was a period when people blindlyhitched their wagons to shibboleths and slogans insteadof stars it is the present. In the helter-skelterof events which constantly outrun mankind, theessential meaning of commonly used words is becomingincreasingly confused. Not only the abstractideas of liberty, equality, and fraternity; but moreconcrete and more recently popularized ones such asproletariat, bourgeois, soviet, are already surroundedwith a sort of fungous growth concealing their realmeaning, so that every time they are employed theyhave to be freshly defined.
The phenomenon of Red Russia is a supreme exampleof the triumph over reason of the shibboleth,the slogan, and the political catchword. War-wearyand politics-weary, the Russian people easily succumbedto those who promised wildly what nobodycould give, the promisers least of all. Catchwordssuch as “All Power to the Soviets,” possessing crypticpower before their coiners seized the reins of government,were afterward discovered either to have nomeaning whatsoever, or else to be endowed withsome arbitrary, variable, and quite unforeseen sense.Similarly, words such as “workers,” “bourgeois,”“proletariat,” “imperialist,” “socialist,” “co-operative,”“soviet,” are endowed by mob orators everywherewith arbitrary significations, meaning onething one day and another the next as occasiondemands.vi
The extreme opponents of Bolshevism, especiallyamongst Russians, have sinned in this respect asgreatly as the extreme proponents, and with noadvantage to themselves even in their own class.For to their unreasoning immoderation, as much asto the distortion of ideas by ultra-radicals, is duethe appearance, among a certain class of people ofinquiring minds but incomplete information, of thatoddest of anomalies, the “parlour Bolshevik.” Clearnessof vision and understanding will never be restoreduntil precision in terminology is again re-established,and that will take years and years.
It was the discrepancy between the actualities ofBolshevist Russia and the terminology employed bythe Red leaders that impressed me beyond all else.I soon came to the conclusion that this elaboratecatch-phraseology was designed primarily for propagandistpurposes in foreign countries, for the Bolsheviksin their home press indulge at times inunexpected spurts of candour, describing their ownfailures in terms that vie with those of their mostinveterate foes. But they still cling to anomalousterms, such as “workers’ and peasants’ government”and “dictatorship of the proletariat.”
It is to such discrepancies that I have sought todraw attention in the following pages. My point ofview was neither that of the professional politician,nor of the social reformer, nor of the stunt-journalist,but simply that of the ordinary human individual,the “man in the street.” As an official of the intelligenceservice the Soviet Government has chargedme with conspiracies and plots to overthrow it. ButI went to Russia not to conspire but to inquire. TheSoviet Government’s references to me have not beenfelicitous and I may be pardoned for recalling one orviitwo of the most striking. At the close of 1920 Ireceived an intimation from the Foreign Office thaton January 16, 1920, a certain Mr. Charles Davisonhad been executed in Moscow and that to the BritishGovernment’s demand for an explanation the SovietGovernment had replied that Mr. Davison was shotas an accomplice of my “provocative activities.”The letter from the British Foreign Office was, however,my first intimation that such a person as Mr.Davison had ever existed. Again, on the occasionof the last advance of General Yudenich on Petrogradthe Bolshevist Government asserted that I was theinstigator of a “White” Government which shouldseize power upon the fall of the city, and a list ofsome dozen or so ministers was published who weresaid to have been nominated by me. Not only hadI no knowledge of or connection with the said government,but the prospective ministers with one exceptionwere unknown to me even by name, the exceptionbeing a gentleman I had formerly heard of but withwhom I had never had any form of communication.
It would be tedious to recount the numerousinstances of which these are examples. I recognizebut few of the names with which the BolshevistGovernment has associated mine. The majority arethose of people I have never met or heard of. Evenof the Englishmen and women, of whom the Bolsheviksarrested several as my “accomplices,” holdingthem in prison in some cases for over a twelvemonth,I knew but few. With only one had I had any communicationas intelligence officer. Some of the others,whom I met subsequently, gave me the interestinginformation that their arrest and that of manyinnocent Russians was attributed by the Bolsheviksto a “diary” which I was supposed to have kept andviiiin which I was said to have noted their names. This“diary” has apparently also been exhibited tosympathetic foreign visitors as conclusive evidence ofthe implication of the said Russians and Britishersin my numerous “conspiracies”! I barely needsay that, inexperienced though I was in the art andscience of intelligence work, I made it from the outsetan invariable rule in making notes never to inscribeany name or address except in a manner intelligible tono living soul besides myself, while the only “diary”I ever kept was the chronicle from which this bookis partly compiled, made during those brief visits toFinland which the reader will find described in thefollowing pages.
It goes without saying that this book is not designedto rectify this record of inaccuracies on thepart of the Soviet Government. It was impossible inwriting my story to combine precision of narrativewith effective camouflage of individuals and places.The part of this book which deals with my personalexperiences is therefore not complete, but is a selectionof episodes concerning a few individuals, and Ihave endeavoured to weave these episodes into amore or less consecutive narrative, showing thepeculiar chain of circumstances which led to myremaining in charge of the intelligence service inRussia for the best part of a year, instead of a monthor two, as I had originally expected. To my latertravels in Bielorussia, the northern Ukraine, andLithuania I make but little reference, since my observationsthere merely confirmed the conclusionsI had already arrived at as to the attitude of theRussian peasantry. In writing, I believe I haveachieved what I was bound to regard as a fundamentalcondition, namely, the masking of the charactersixby confusing persons and places (except inone or two instances which are now of small import)sufficiently to render them untraceable by theBolshevist authorities.
“Even when one thinks a view unsound or ascheme unworkable,” says Viscount Bryce in ModernDemocracies, “one must regard all honest efforts toimprove this unsatisfactory world with a sympathywhich recognizes how many things need to be changed,and how many doctrines once held irrefragable needto be modified in the light of supervenient facts.”This is true no less of Communist experiments thanof any others. If in this book I dwell almost entirelyon the Russian people’s point of view, and not onthat of their present governors, I can only say thatit was the people’s point of view that I set out tostudy. The Bolshevist revolution will have resultsfar other than those anticipated by its promoters, butin the errors and miscalculations of the Communists,in their fanatical efforts to better the lot of mankind,albeit by coercion and bloodshed, lessons areto be learned which will be of incalculable profit tohumanity. But the greatest and most inspiringlesson of all will be the ultimate example of theRussian people, by wondrous patience and invincibleendurance overcoming their present and perhapseven greater tribulation, and emerging triumphantthrough persevering belief in the truths of that philosophywhich the Communists describe as “the opiumof the people.”x
“... Nothing is more vital to national progressthan the spontaneous development of individualcharacter.... Independence of thought wasformerly threatened by monarchs who feared thedisaffection of their subjects. May it not againbe threatened by other forms of intolerance,possible even in a popular government?”
|ONE OF THE CROWD||1|
|The Revolution of March 1917—Recalled to London—Offered work in Secret Service—Archangel—Helsingfors—Melnikoff—Departure for Russia—Forging passports—Crossing the frontier.|
|Petrograd—An unpleasant encounter—Dearth and stagnation—A secret café—Stepanovna—Quarters for the night—An eating-house—Welcomed as English—Mr. Marsh—Maria—The “Journalist”—The “Policeman”—A raid on an eating-house—Captain Zorinsky—The Extraordinary Commission—Mr. Marsh escapes.|
|THE GREEN SHAWL||79|
|Allies expected in Petrograd—A story of Archangel—Proposals to attack Bolsheviks—Arranging Mrs. Marsh’s escape—News of Melnikoff under arrest—Attempts to arrange his escape—Buying a disguise—In the prison of the Extraordinary Commission—Mrs. Marsh’s escape—Across the frontier in the snow.|
|Back in Petrograd—“The Metropolis of the World Revolution”—Communists employing bourgeois specialists—Zorinsky supplies information and asks questions—Certificates of exemption from military service—Plans to rescue Melnikoff.|
|Bolshevik Saints—Melnikoff’s Doctor uncle—Zorinsky suspected of double dealing—A Bolshevik demonstration—A new passport—Unrecognized by former housekeeper—A letter of introduction—News of Melnikoff’s execution. xii|