maandag 8 juni 2015

An Englishwoman -- 8 juni 1918

• Een anonieme Engelse die in Rusland woonde hield tijdens de eerste jaren van de Russische revolutie een dagboek bij dat is gepubliceerd als From a Russian Diary 1917-1920.

June 8. — For several days Nikita has wished to leave for Moscow, but every evening he has been advised not to, as the train would probably be stopped before it got to the capital on account of the dispute between the Bolsheviks and the railwaymen. How- ever, to-morrow he will really leave. In order to obtain a permit he had to go through the farce of obtaining a medical certificate to the effect that he needed the advice of a Moscow specialist. He will probably be sent to Archangel to help in the debar- cation of agricultural tools [?], under American auspices. The whole thing is rather strange, the more so as he got into touch with the American through the staif here, where German is now frequently spoken. Yesterday, in a village near by, a man who kept a bomb in his house showed it to a friend ; it went off, wounded them, and started a fire which resulted in the destruction of twenty-six homesteads. It was then discovered that some of the peasants had ten or more sacks of grain. Three sacks were left to each; the rest confiscated. The town has been giving neither bread nor potatoes. We have no bread baked; for supper we had eggs ; our hens have begun to lay. I have no shoes; I do not know what I shall do, but I do not intend to give 1 80 roubles for a pair. Rosenberg told me that his workmen confirm the news that thousands of poods of grain were stolen from the base-supply by the soldiers and sold to the peasants. That accounts for the peasants having ten and more sackfuls. This is not a government which can supply itself ; it always imports. Now the Bol- sheviks are short of provisions, they gave their employees their this month's supply, but say it will be the last ; each employee received 20 lb. of good flour, and i 5 lb. of rice, besides sugar, buckwheat, and lard in abundance. In no other country would people put up with such injustice. They with their abundance and we with our 2 lb. of potatoes a fort- night.

Letters can be sent to Poland, Germany, and Switzerland, but not the Ukraine ; the postage is thirty kopeks for simple and sixty for registered letters. As yet telegrams cannot be sent, but that will very shortly be altered.

In Orsza many Polish refugees, Nicolai Nicolai- vitch's mother and sisters among the number, have for many weeks been waiting to return home. They are half-starved and without money. There are two Commanders in Orsza, the Russian and the German ; it was the latter who, some days ago, went to Moscow to say that carriages must be provided for refugees so that they may continue their journey.

Again there has been a murder up at the pond.

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