The Famine in Soviet Russia, 1919-1923: The Operations of the American Relief Administration

By H. H. Fisher | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
AT RIGA: 1921

GORKY'S APPEAL--"SEND BREAD AND MEDICINE"

THE imminence of the great famine was not realized in Europe or America. Russia, surrounded by a wall of suspicion and enmity, was almost completely cut off from the world, which had to depend for its information on either Soviet official communiqués, or the trickle of news that reached the west through subterranean channels, where it became colored and corrupted. In fact, neither source was reliable, and such journalists and other investigators as the Soviets allowed to enter the country were persons whose sympathies were to be counted upon and whose paths were carefully charted to lead to places which the Communists felt it desirable for the visitors to see and the world to know.1 The effective Russian censorship kept the news of the drought of the spring of 1921 from being known, but it could not conceal the progressive deterioration of Russian economy from the world. Hoover and his associates in the A.R.A., in spite of the rebuff of 1920, were still hopeful of eventually being able to give a helping hand to the Russian people. They saw, more clearly perhaps than many, that Russia would sooner or later need help on a scale beyond the scope of ordinary charity, and that ultimately the Communist Government would also realize this and be ready to accept public aid on a basis on which it could be effectively given.2 This was not a case of clairvoyance,

____________________
1
This was strikingly illustrated by the experiences of the British Labor Delegation which visited Russia in 1920. See the comments of Mrs. Philip Snowden , a member of the delegation, in her Through Bolshevik Russia, London, 1920, particularly Chapter IV.
2
Hoover had forecast the effect of Communist economic policy on production as early as April, 1919. See statement to the press, page 21.

-49-

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The Famine in Soviet Russia, 1919-1923: The Operations of the American Relief Administration
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface V
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter II - AT LONDON ANDMOSCOW: 1920 28
  • Chapter III - AT RIGA: 1921 49
  • PART II - OPERATIONS THE FAMINE YEAR 1921-1922 70
  • Chapter IV - THE ADVANCE GUARD 71
  • PART III - AFTERMATH OF THE FAMINE 1922-1923 290
  • Chapter XX - AFFILIATED RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS 457
  • Appendix A 507
  • APPENDIX B - STATISTICAL TABLES 553
  • APPENDIX C 561
  • Index 569
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