Paris (Oct. 12)
Confirmation of the previous reports as to the serious famine in Soviet Russia is contained in a report received from Russia by “La Tribune Juive”. It appears that the government has even found it necessary to take measures against those who dare to protest at the inactivity of the government with regard to the food situation.
“In accordance with a telegraphic order from the Executive Committee of the District of Ekaterinoslav, the conference of workmen who do not belong to any particular party in the District of the Upper Dnieper was dissolved. The conference held only one meeting. Loutchenko, the representative of the association of woodworkers, was arrested because he bitterly criticized the government for not taking measures to relieve the famine.
” ‘Instead of coming to help us’, he said, ‘the Communist Party sends troops and detachments of the political police into the district of the workers. Instead of distributing food and seed among the famished peasants, the Communist Party sends cavalry patrols. Now the hour has come when we can declare to the Communists who personify the power of the Soviets, that the masses of workmen and peasants will not resign themselves to death by famine as was the case in 1921. We have believed the Communists long enough and have waited long for the benefactions which they have promised. Our patience has now gone and we cannot longer put confidence into the promises of the chiefs of the Communist Party, who imagine that with beautiful phrases of the prosperity of the future they can appease the just wrath of the workmen and peasants.’
“According to the latest reports which have reached the Russian paper ‘Dni’ from Moscow, the Executive Committee of the District of Saratov has sent urgent telegrams to the Moscow Government, regarding the famine situation in the district. These telegrams state that the situation is becoming worse every day. The famine is growing among the peasants. Masses of peasants crowd the towns of Khvalinsk and Volsk, where they camp on the streets and wait for the distribution of food. The mortality of children under ten is appalling. In the districts, diseases and epidemics prevail and even some cases of cholera have been registered. The price of bread has advanced 25 Kopeks a pound. Since August 25, the bakers are selling bread containing 50% substitutes.
“The Hygene Commissariat in Moscow has received telegrams from the different districts reporting that in the provinces the Children’s Homes are overcrowded with children abandoned by their famished parents. To one Home which can shelter only 3,500 children, 11,600 have been brought in, among whom epidemic diseases are developing. A great number of them have no clothes at all. For lack of beds, the children lie on the floors in the rooms and corridors. The lack of medical supplies handicaps the fight against diseases and infections from insects. The majority of the children in the Homes are covered with skin diseases and ulcers. The Homes are refusing to admit any more homeless children who are being brought in by the police. Those who are not being admitted are taken to the prisons and the empty military barracks. On September 10, 18,000 children, refused admission by the Homes because of the lack of space, were left to wander around in the streets of the towns, begging and stealing.
“In the village of Tsarev Dar in the district of Kherson, disorders of the peasants occurred and were suppressed by the Red troops. The outbreaks were caused by the government trying to take wheat from the local depot for exportation. Because of the drought, the crop was particularly bad in this district and the Executive Committee had promised to distribute the grain. Five peasants were killed and thirteen were wounded.”