[bas relief by Oleh Lesiuk]
The Daily Express, April 3rd, 1933
The Real Truth About Russia at Last
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SECRETS OF THE KREMLIN
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PROGRESS AT THE EXPENSE OF HAPPINESS
MR. GARETH JONES SPEAKS
Below Mr. Gareth Jones, having just arrived back from Russia, with a story which will startle the world, tells what he found out in Moscow at the time of the Britons’ arrest.
CHARGES OF ESPIONAGE, WRECKING AND BRIBERY
Mr. Gareth Jones is research adviser on foreign affairs to Mr. Lloyd George and knows the Soviet countries inside out. In this exclusive series of “Daily Express” articles he will reveal the long-awaited truth about the real Russia of today.
Mr. Monkhouse and
Mr. Nordwall, two of the six arrested Britons who were released, are to be tried
with the rest. They were charged last night with military espionage,
wrecking and bribery. The story of the anxious wives of the arrested men
IN THE SHADOW OF CATASTROPHE
THREE weeks ago
the news flashed round the world that six British engineers had been arrested
in Moscow. They were accused of willfully wrecking the Soviet electrical
industry and of plotting against the Soviet Government.
When I heard of
it I was seated at tea with a group of diplomats in a house in Kharkoff, 400
miles south of Moscow. A silence fell over us when a servant entered with
the news. “It is incredible,” said one of those present. Another
laughed cynically, “There are so many mad rumours in Russia today that the
people are willing to believe anything. But that the Ogpu has arrested six
British engineers! No, that is going too far.’’ And we returned,
relieved, to our diplomatic gossip.
One of the group,
however, was not satisfied. “Ask the servant where he saw it.”
The servant came and stated that he had seen it in that morning’s copy of the
“Communist,” a Ukrainian paper. I rushed out to a newspaper
stand. “All copies sold.’’ I went through the dirty Ukrainian
streets. “Not a single copy left,’’ was the answer everywhere.
I returned empty-handed, but feeling satisfied that it could be nothing more
than a mere rumour. Next morning, however, I looked at the ‘‘Izvestia,’’
the official organ of the Soviet Government, and there the news stood in black
It had no glaring
headlines. It was a plain, simple statement in a lower corner of the paper
to the effect that the Ogpu had discovered a wrecking organisation in the
electrical industry, in which were involved six employees of
Metropolitan-Vickers. I run my eye down the list and suddenly fixed on one
name: “Alan Monkhouse!’’ I had known Alan Monkhouse on a
previous visit to Moscow. I had seen him at work in the office of
I had admired his
frank, open bearing, his friendly welcome, and the honest conscientious
impression which he made. I knew the deep respect in which the British
colony in Moscow held him. It seemed incredible that he should be at
that moment in the Lubyanka, the headquarters of the Ogpu in Moscow.
I did not really
accept the news to be true until three days later when I arrived in Moscow, and
there shook hands with Alan Monkhouse. He was standing in the entrance
hall of the British Embassy, a tall figure approaching middle-age, with a
Torture Of Continual Questions
He looked older
than the previous time I had seen him when I was in Moscow in 1931. He was
nervous after the mental torture of continual questioning, but he smiled
courageously. I did not dare to question him on his imprisonment for I
knew that if there was one thing he wished to avoid it was a questioner.
So we chatted on
general subjects, although in the back of our minds there remained the shadow of
the arrests. My admiration for Alan Monkhouse is still greater after
seeing the calm way in which he takes his troubles. After his release he even
ventured to go back to the prison in the Lubyanka in order to take clothes to
Mr. Thornton. Few men would return uninvited to cells where they had gone
through the inquisition of nineteen hours’ continuous questioning. That
Monkhouse did this aroused the applause of the British colony in Moscow, who
also cheered the vigorous steps taken by the Ambassador to intervene for the
prisoners. Sir Esmond Ovey visited them, and saw that they were well taken
care of. I was impressed by the deep resentment felt at the British Embassy, and at the way they are working night and day on the case.
seeing Monkhouse I felt indignant that such a charge could possibly have been
brought up against him and the other engineers. Here was first-class man,
trusted by all, the representative of one of Britain’s greatest firms a man
who spoke with sympathy of the courage and energy of the Soviet planners, being
accused of a fantastic crime. Sabotage and counter-revolution are not British
terms. Nothing is further front British mentality than underground plots
for subversive purposes.
certainly in the British mentality, and that Monkhouse, whom I know and trust
should have been disloyal to his firm and to the Government which had employed
his firm, was to all the British in Moscow an infamous accusation.
What could there
be to explain it? I wondered. Then I looked across the river to the
Kremlin, whose golden domes and red ramparts face the Embassy. Within that
citadel, the Kremlin, lives Stalin. There the whole policy has been framed
which has changed the life of every man, woman, and child in Russia in the last
five years. There Ivan the Terrible, many hundreds of years ago, held sway
and in divulged in an orgy of terror and torture. Was the clue to be found
in the traditions of the Kremlin, which has no respect for the life or rights of
any, human individual?
People Seething With Discontent
The Kremlin gave
me one clue to the arrest. Half an hour later I walked past another
building. It was of ugly grey and yellow brick, and was formerly an
insurance office. Outside, on the pavement, a few Red sentries marched up
and down with fixed bayonets. This building gave me another clue. It
was the Lubyanka, the headquarters of the Ogpu. Then I realised that the
cause for the arrests was to be found in the Kremlin and in the Ogpu.
The Kremlin is
now panic-stricken, for a catastrophe has come over that rich country of
Russia. The people are seething with discontent. Among the ranks of
the young Communists there is an ominous rumble of wrath at the crashing of
ideals. The worker, having been promised a paradise, has had his fine
ideals. The worker, having been promised a paradise, has had his fine
Fear, which has so often gripped the Kremlin in centuries past, has returned to haunt its dwellers. That passion which has stamped its mark upon all who lived there, from the early Muscovite princes to Ivan the Terrible, has now attacked the proletarian Communists who reign within its portals. Once, hundreds of years ago, the rulers dreaded the coming of Tatar hordes. Now they dread the wrath of a starving peasantry. Seized with panic, they seek to find the foreigner on whom to put the blame when their promises fail.
Party Dominated By Small
What of the Ogpu?
When I looked at its headquarters I realised that this arrest was a symbol of
the grip which the Ogpu has over the whole life of the Communist Party.
When fear gets
uppermost more and more power is put into the hands of the agents of fear, the
Ogpu, and that small clique now dominates the rest of the party. It is
showing its power by arresting on its own initiative six British
Fear in the Kremlin and the domination by the agents of fear, the Ogpu - these are the two reasons why our engineer’s sit in the Moscow prison.
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