Letter to Gareth’s parents from Berlin August 1930. He was disenchanted with what he had seen.
Near the Station for Saxony,
12.30 p.m. Wednesday,
August. 26 , 1930.
Hurray! It is wonderful to be in Germany again, absolutely wonderful. Russia is in a very bad state; rotten, no food, only bread; oppression, injustice, misery among the workers and 90% discontented. I saw some very bad things, which made me mad to think that people like XXX [deleted] go there and come back, after having been led round by the nose and had enough to eat, and say that Russia is a paradise. In the South there is talk of a new revolution, but it will never come off, because the Army and the O.G.P.U. (Soviet Police) are too strong.
The winter is going to be one of great suffering there and there is starvation. The government is the most brutal in the world. The peasants hate the Communists. This year thousands and thousands of the best men in Russia have been sent to Siberia and the prison island of Solovki. People are now speaking openly against the Government. In the Donetz Basin conditions are unbearable. Thousands are leaving. I shall never forget the night I spent in a railway station on the way to Hughesovka. One reason why I left Hughesovka so quickly was that all I could get to eat was a roll of bread - and that is all I had up to seven o’clock. Many Russians are too weak to work. I am terribly sorry for them. They cannot strike or they are shot or sent to Siberia. There are heaps of enemies of the Communist within the country.
Never-the-less great strides have been made in many industries and there is a good chance that when the Five-Years Plan is over Russia may become prosperous. But before that there will be great suffering, many riots and many deaths.
The Communists are doing excellent work in education, hygiene and against alcohol. Butter is 16/- a pound in Moscow; prices are terrific, boots etc. cannot be had. There is nothing in the shops. The Communists were remarkably kind to me and gave me an excellent time.
Last Sunday I flew from Rostov to Moscow as their guest. You will get this letter probably before my Sunday letter. Germany is a fine place. I am looking forward so much to seeing the Haferkorns and getting your letters there, because I have had very little news. Thank goodness I am not a Consul in Russia - not even in Taganrog .
Original letter shown below: