Armistice 100: Dire reports from Russia following revolution

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Dateline: October 4, 1918: Fallout from the Russian Revolution continued, with reports of 100 executions a week in Moscow.

Accounts of the goings on were relayed in a newspaper article printed 100 years ago today in the pages of the Yorkshire Evening Post.

It was stated that a party of 76 British subjects had recently arrived back in Britain, following an arduous journey of 16 days. They described an atmosphere of rampant suspicion and summary violence and execution at the hands of the Bolsheviks, who were said to be arresting people on a whim and shooting and even blowing up others without a second thought.

One wrote: “I have been shot at several times - we all have. You cannot expect anything else... I have had to go before a tribunal to explain a business telegram which came to my private address and on that occasion, I was arrested at two o’ clock in the morning. The president of the tribunal was an ex-caretaker...”

He goes on: “A group of people were watching the removal of a statue of Alexander III, including an Englishman. All were taken into custody on the grounds that they were engaged in anti- Bolshevik propaganda. The Englishmen, who is elderly, requested an explanation and was told he was a capitalist.

“Daily executions have run into a 100 a week, with no reason other than the victims sent to death without trial were formerly officers or wealthy people. I know of a case where one woman who enquired about her husband was told he was shot by mistake, the callous news given by Jacob Peters... the Bolshevik executioner in chief.”