One Hundred Red Days: A Personal Chronicle of the Bolshevik Revolution

By Edgar Sisson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XX
February 3--February 12, 1918. A Matter of Inquiry.
The Curtain of Silence. The Gossipy Chicherin. Daze
of "No Peace, No War!"

1.

IT was not written that I should follow my purpose of early home-going. Two months of Russia and Finland lay before me. On the morning of February 5 the Ambassador sent word asking if I could come to the Embassy at once.

When I reached him he said he was troubled about an occurrence of the night before--a visit from a well-known Russian, Eugene Semenov, one of the editors and the signing leader writer of the newspaper Vecherneë Vremya (" The Evening Times"), now suppressed. Mr. Semenov had placed in his hands the Ioffe letter (which figured in the Rumanian Affair), and had provided both photographic copy and translation. After the translation had been checked and the photograph verified as that of the letter, Mr. Semenov had retained the letter, stating that it would have to be returned to the Bolshevik files at Smolny from which it came. The material was put before me.

Under ordinary circumstances I would not have been greatly attentive, but in the preceding three days a sequence of happenings had made me uneasy. On February 2, Robins had brought me an English version of a set of documents which, if true, showed that Lenin, Trotsky, Zinoviev, Lunacharsky, Furstenberg-Ganetsky (Hanecki), and several others of the Bolshevik leaders, had been the accredited and financed agents of Germany at the moment of their entrance into Russia, and the manner of the financing. The papers did not show German connection after the Revolution, none bearing later date than October, 1917. Not more than a clue in themselves, and soon to become a part of background, the importance of the circulars lay not a little in the mental effect upon the pair of us who studied them. Robins, against his own desires, had brought to me a paper secured by chance. Why? Because he dared not

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