Evidently there was a lot of confused information being circulated in Russia following the Bolshevik coup of late 1917. For example, there were lists of prominent Jewish Bolsheviks being circulated that included names of some leading Jewish Mensheviks. For example, the famous telegram from Captain Montgomery Schuyler of the American Expeditionary Forces that identifies the Bolsheviks as “Russian Jews of the greasiest type” attributes to London Times journalist Robert Wilton a summary of the membership of the “Council of People’s Commissars” as a body of several hundred men, when the Council itself included fewer than twenty men.
In general, the farther removed any piece of information was from firsthand observation, the more likely it was to be distorted or just wrong. Some of what Simons says below is hearsay; for example he says that Zinoviev was a Jew named Apfelbaum. Zinioviev was indeed a Jew but the claim that his real name was Hirsch Apfelbaum is disputed; the other “real name” given for Zinoviev is Radomyslsky. Very often these mistaken or questionable details in secondhand information about the Bolshevik takeover are used to discredit the fairly obvious point that it was essentially a takeover by a faction of Jews. What is especially valuable here, what I consider reliable, is Simons’ report of what he saw with his own eyes.
Some of the other information is also valuable, however, insofar as it is verifiable; for example the fact that the liberal Kerensky (widely believed to have been a Jew himself, with the real name Adler) actually made the Bolshevik takeover possible with his leniency toward the more militant Communist Jews.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1919.
United States Senate,
Subcommittee Of The Committee On The Judiciary,
TESTIMONY OF REVEREND MR. GEORGE A. SIMONS.
(The witness was sworn by the chairman.)
Maj. Humes. Doctor, where do you reside?
Mr. Simons. At the present time, in the parsonage of the Washington Square Methodist Episcopal Church, 121 West Fortieth Street, New York City, of which church I am pastor.
Maj. Humes. When did you return from Russia?
Mr. Simons. On October 6. 1918.
Maj. Humes. In what work were you engaged in Russia?
Mr. Simons. As superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Petrograd, Russia.
Maj. Humes. For how long a period of time had you been in Russia ?
Mr. Simons. Since the fall of 1907.
Maj. Humes. Well. Doctor, were you in Petrograd at the time of the March revolution?
Mr. Simons. I was.
Senator Nelson. Let me call your attention to this. Was it not one of the first acts of what we call the Kerensky government to issue a general pardon to offenders?
Mr. Simons. Yes.
Senator Nelson. And did not that result in bringing back Lenine from Siberia?
Mr. Simons. Lenine, as you recall, did not come from Siberia, but came from another part of Europe, passing through Germany.
Senator Nelson. But he had been sent to Siberia ?
Mr. Simons. Yes.
Senator Nelson. He had been sent to Siberia either as a convict, or had been deported, and he came back by way of Switzerland and Germany.
Mr. Simons. Kerensky was spending a good deal of his time running up and down the front, trying to hearten the Russian soldiers in their warfare, and he was generally accredited with being a fine orator and doing splendid work, and I do not doubt but that he did manage to keep the men longer than they otherwise would have stayed in, but we were told there were hundreds of agitators who had followed in the trail of Trotsky-Bronstein, these men having come over from the lower East Side of New York. I was surprised to find scores of such men walking up and down Nevsky. Some of them, when they learned that I was the American pastor in Petrograd, stepped up to me and seemed very much pleased that there was somebody who could speak English, and their broken English showed that they had not qualified as being real Americans; and a number of these men called on me, and a number of us were impressed with the strong Yiddish element in this thing right from the start, and it soon became evident that more than half of the agitators in the so-called Bolshevik movement were Yiddish.
Senator Nelson. Hebrews?
Mr. Simons. They were Hebrews, apostate Jews. I do not want to say anything against the Jews, as such. I am not in sympathy with the anti-Semitic movement, never have been, and do not ever expect to be. I am against it. I abhor all pogroms of whatever kind. But I have a firm conviction that this thing is Yiddish, and that one of its bases is found in the East Side of New York.
Mr. Simons. I do not think the Bolshevik movement in Russia would have been a success if it had not been for the support it got from certain elements in New York, the so-called East Side.
Senator Wolcott. You have made one statement here which to me is very interesting, largely because it may be intensely significant. Some time back in your testimony you said that it was your contention that if it were not for these elements that had come from the East Side of New York City, the Bolsheviki movement would have been a failure. That to me is very interesting, because if it is true it is very significant. There are many people in this country, I think—I am sure there are many people—who rather look upon this Bolsheviki movement as just a passing fad, and of no deep significance: but, of course, if the success of this monstrous thing in Russia is due to the men who came out of New York City, then this country has not anything to deal with that is trifling, at all.
Now, because of the very significance of that, can you tell us anything in the way of detail that leads you to the conviction that the presence of these East Side people in Russia contributed to the success of the Bolsheviki movement?
Mr. Simons. The latest startling information, given me by some one who says that there is good authority for it—and I am to be given the exact figures later on and have them checked up properly by the proper authorities—is this, that in December, 1918, in the northern community of Petrograd, so-called—that is what they call that section of the Soviet regime under the presidency of the man known as Mr. Apfelbaum—out of 388 members, only 16 happened to be real Russians, and all the rest Jews, with the exception possibly of one man, who is a negro from America, who calls himself Prof. Gordon, and 265 of the members of this northern commune government, that is sitting in the old Smolny Institute, came from the lower East Side of New York—265 of them. If that is true, and they are going to check it up for me—certain Russians in New York who have been there and investigated the facts—I think that that fits into what you are driving at. In fact, I am very much impressed with this, that moving around here I find that certain Bolsheviki propagandists are nearly all Jews—apostate Jews. I have been in the so-called People’s House, at 7 East Fifteenth Street, New York, which calls itself also the Rand School of Social Science, and I have visited that at least six times during the last eleven weeks or so, buying their literature, and some of the most seditious stuff I have ever found against our own Government, and 19 out of every 20 people I have seen there have been Jews.
Senator Wolcott. You said that you met many of these New York East Siders on the streets in Petrograd, did you not ?
Mr. Simons. I met a number of them on the Nevsky Prospect in Petrograd, yes; and spoke with them, and a number of them have visited me.
Senator Wolcott. That was how long ago?
Mr. Simons. That was, I should say, well, along in, I think, June and July .
Senator Wolcott. Are you able to say whether or not the appearance of these East Side New Yorkers, these agitators, was a sudden appearance there; did they seem to come all at once, a flock of them, so to speak, or had they been around, but just started to talk?
Mr. Simons. I was impressed with this, Senator, that shortly after the great revolution of the winter of 1917 there were scores of Jews standing on the benches and soap boxes, and what not, talking until their mouths frothed, and I often remarked to my sister. “Well, what are we coming to, anyway? This all looks so Yiddish.” Up to that time we had very few Jews, because there was. as you may know, a restriction against having Jews in Petrograd: but after the revolution they swarmed in there, and most of the agitators happened to be Jews. I do not want to be unfair to them, but I usually know a Jew when I see one.
Senator Overman. Were any of these men you met over there afterwards promoted by Trotsky or his people in the cabinet?
Mr. Simons. Some weeks before I left Petrograd I became quite well acquainted with one member of the Soviet government, who was the commissar of the post and telegraph, Sergius Zorin. and I tried to get a dictum from him as to what would happen to me if I stayed there, inasmuch as a decree had been issued by the Soviet government that all subjects of allied countries remaining in Russia, from 18 to 45 years of age, would be considered as prisoners of war. […]
I then and there decided that I ought to find out just what would happen in case I could not get out—what would happen to me and my sister. I was not quite 45. but was within six months of my forty-fifth birthday, and I wanted to get from some of these commissars what they would do to me. The president of the northern commune section would not receive me. They told me he was not receiving anybody, that he was strongly guarded, and never slept in the same room twice.
Senator Nelson. What was his name?
Mr. Simons. Apfelbaum. That is his real name, but his assumed Russian name, like many of them, is Zinovyeff. His real name is Apfelbaum.
Senator Nelson. That means apple tree, does it not ?
Mr. Simons. Yes. But his second or third secretary—they were all Jews there–referred me in a rather vague way to any other commissar that I might see. There had been threats made to kill not only Lenine and Trotsky, but Apfelbaum, and just prior to that another man. who, as was said, held the lives of all of us in his hands, and who was responsible for the killing of so many people without even a trial given them, was assassinated by a Jew. There was an awful terroristic atmosphere in Petrograd, and we were expecting still worse things to happen every day. With a view to finding out what my real status quo was in Soviet territory, and not having had any success with Mr. Apfelbaum, I went to the commissar of the post and telegraph. Sergius Zorin. I had learned that he had come from New York, where he had spent eight years.
[…] Commissar Zorin was very gracious, not only to me but also to Capt. Webster, with whom he soon after became acquainted, who was the head of the American Red Cross mission to Russia. While discussing different things Zorin told me that he was anxious to hear from his brother, a certain Alexander Gumberg, who he said was the secretary of Col. Raymond Robins [Chairman of the Progressive Party in the U.S.A.].
Senator Overman. Do you know this man Gordon that you spoke of—this negro from the United States?
Mr. Simons. Yes: I knew him. He came over to me to get married to a so-called Russian lady, who was an Esthonian. He lived with her only a short time.
Senator Overman. Where did he come from, do you know?
Mr. Simons. He came from America. He was a pugilist, and issued cards as being a professor of physical culture, boxing, and what not, and for a certain time he was the doorkeeper in our American Embassy in Petrograd.
Senator Overman. You spoke of him as being mixed up with this Bolshevik crowd in the institute.
Mr. Simons. I think that is the same Gordon—Prof. Gordon.
Senator Overman. You spoke of his being in with these Bolsheviks.
Mr. Simons. That is the last statement that we had.
Senator Overman. That he was with them?
Mr. Simons. That was the last statement.
Senator Nelson. Were you there when the revolution of Lenine and Trotsky, as distinguished from the former revolution, took place, in November, 1917?
Mr. Simons. I was present.
Senator Nelson. Can you tell us about what took place then?
Mr. Simons. It is a long story. To give you a graphic picture of it would take hours. I can only say this
Senator Nelson. Give us an outline.
Mr. Simons. I can only say this, that the air was pregnant with the most hellish terrorism that any fine grained person could ever experience. I dressed up again and again as a Russian workman and put on a Russian shirt that hangs down almost to the knees, and I put on an old slouch hat and nickel spectacles so that my sister said I really looked like a Bolshevist, and I went out and moved among those fellows and I heard their talk. I moved into the barracks. I wanted to get inside information inasmuch as I was preparing a book. I felt that history was being made, and I believed in Russia. I loved Russia, but I did not believe in this thing, and I wanted to see just what it would do to the Russia that I expected to live, and I wanted to get first-hand information, and as I moved among the hoi polloi, I found that the average man did not know the difference between his elbows and his knees. These agitators would come and speak for Lenine, and Trotsky, and they would say, “That is entirely correct, entirely correct” And then, after those agitators had left with their truck auto, another auto would come along, and there would be some other agitators.
Senator Nelson. Who were those agitators? Were they workmen or soldiers, or of what class or community?
Mr. Simons. They were made up of professional agitators, and some of them had on the Russian uniform, and some of them were simply clad as workmen, with the black robosa or workman’s shirt.
Senator King. Had any of them been in the United States, and gone back?
Mr. Simons. Some of them had.
Mr. Simons. We could not escape this observation, that the success of the Bolsheviki revolution was largely due to the fact of having employed terrorism.
Senator Wolcott. Were there any threats manifest at that time to kill those who had property or were intellectual people?
Mr. Simons. After the Bolsheviki came into power one paper after another that stood out against them was suppressed, and it was not long before we had only one kind of press there, and that was the Bolshevistic or anarchistic. I have a few copies here, and in these papers they employ the harshest terms that I have ever found, in regard to putting out of the way all groups or institutions that were not in sympathy or in accord with the Bolshevik ideal, spirit, and program.
Senator King. Do you mean assassination and murder to accomplish that end?
Mr. Simons. It became quite evident that they had that as their—what shall I say?—trump card, and many of their proclamations breathed not only an intense diabolical class hatred, but also murder, and for weeks and weeks they were fine-tooth combing the different sections of Petrograd—and Moscow, for that matter—trying to get hold of the officers who up to that time had been holding out against them. Many of them had already made their escape and gone over to the allies.
Senator Nelson. You mean the army officers?
Mr. Simons. The army officers. And they were rushing from one home to another. Some of them even came to us and asked whether they could not spend the night with us. They said, ” It will be only for one night”: but we never did that, for the simple reason that we did not want to be found guilty of that sort of thing. Scores of these officers—and some of them who were high up in the Russian Army under the old Government and under the provisional government—called on me when the embassy was no longer there, and asked me to give (hem either a card or a letter to our embassy in Vologda, which I did. These men gave me a good deal of information, too. I have made memoranda of some of these conversations, but all that lies in the trunk over in the American Embassy in Petrograd, awaiting the day when I can go there and use it for later publication.
Mr. Simons […]They were getting out new decrets every week, and a man did not know what he could do and what he could not do, because of the multiplicity of decrets.
Senator King. They were the basis of confiscation, were they not?
Mr. Simons. Yes. They were working out, if you please, a new scheme of government, which touched every conceivable thing in a man’s social and economic existence. We at times felt so nervous that we did not know what next to expect. Where we used to have to pay 3 rubles a year as a dog tax—we had two English fox terriers who did excellent police duty for us—under the Bolsheviks we had to pay 50 rubles for each dog. The telephone bill used to be something like, as I retail it, 85 rubles. Under the Bolsheviks it was in the neighborhood of 300 rubles—that is, for our class. For a business man it would be, I suppose, from 500 to 600 rubles. And so all along. If you had a bathtub, or if you had more windows than ordinarily a man ought to have, or if you had a piano, or an organ— and the last thing, that distressed us very much was that all typewriters were to be registered. I tried to get our new American typewriter put in the embassy, and the old Russian one as well. Those were never registered. I was advised by the secretary, who is still there, to do as others had been doing.
Senator Overman. They had the idea of fixing a tax on typewriters ?
Mr. Simons. They had tho idea of laying their hands on everything. They could not get away from that, because they simply had a diabolical zest for grabbing: and they were putting it really through in such a cruel way: they came in with such a diabolical glee and they would be so offensive in their language. I have had occasion to speak with some of these men. who were usually Jews, and I would never mince matters with them.
Senator King. If I may be pardoned, you asked him a question a few moments ago, in answer to which the doctor gave one or two instances of cruelty that came under his own observation. Generally speaking, without going into details, what can you say as to there being a reign of terror involving murder, assassination, and the driving of people from their homes, and the starving of men. women, and children, particularly those who did not belong to what might be denominated the Bolsheviki ?
Mr. Simons. I could speak for hours on that and prove that the thing is diabolically terroristic, and that they have a strong animus against everybody who is not in their class, which they call the Black Workmen’s Class. As a property owner there and the head of our church I had a good deal to do with them administratively. We were sought by the hour to write out all kinds of documents, according to their scheme, and we were having to run to and fro. They were nearly all Jewish persons we had to deal with, and they were all nasty in their way of speaking of the people of the other class, offensively so, and they would sometimes come into the house and begin to stamp around, until they were given to understand they were not dealing with a Russian citizen but with an American citizen.
Senator King. The Letts constituted about 25 to 30 per cent of the Bolshevik army, as it was constituted about six months ago, and the Chinese about from 50,000 to 60,000, and the criminals about 100,000, with a few Russians, a number of Germans, and a few Austrians scattered among them. Is not that about the situation as it was about six months ago?
Mr. Simons. I think you are quite correct, generally speaking. I have learned that there are thousands of German prisoners of war, and Austrian prisoners of war, Austrians and Hungarians [including the half-Jew Bela Kun], who became infected with the Bolshevist idea while they were in prison camps in Siberia. I have met a few men who were Russians, and had been out there and investigated the thing, and they told me that even last August those men said. “We do not care one way or the other about the Bolsheviki government. What we care about is having plenty to eat and good clothes and”—I beg pardon for saying this—”all the women we want.” There has been a strong appeal to that thing. The immoral element is so ever present that I hate to say it in this promiscuous company, but I am a Christian clergyman and I know you want testimony. I am not responsible for ladies being here, but the thing is so Immoral that it distresses me, especially when ladies are around.
Senator Nelson. Who are the Letts, as contradistinguished from the Russians?
Mr. Simons. The Letts are from that section in and around Riga and they constitute a very large part of the population of Riga. When the Germans came in there and suppressed the revolution of the Bolsheviki proletariat in the Baltic Provinces, these Letts, who had done very good fighting under the old regime and were considered the best fighters in the Russian Army, were forced out, and they came from what they considered their own fatherland down into Russia proper, and were, if you please, without their bearings, and Lenine and Trotsky made use of them, offering them large sums of money; and although these Letts are known to have never had any affection for the Germans, especially for the Baltic Germans, and very little affection for the Russians, here came the question of having plenty of food, good shelter, and warm attire, and—I repeat what they have said themselves—the privilege of doing whatever they wished in the cities of Petrograd and Moscow. Lenine and Trotsky both have said, and they have borne it out in their actions, that they would not rely on Russians to protect them, but they would rely on the Letts; and the Russians, on the whole, have no affection for the Letts. I believe the average Russian thinks less of a Lett than he does of any other nationality or race.
Senator King. The Chinese formed a considerable portion of the Red Guards, did they not?
Mr. Simons. Chinese coolies, quite a number of them, were up in Finland at that time, doing work under the old regime in Russia, chopping down trees, and doing other manual labor there, and when the Red movement in Finland was suppressed thousands of these Chinese, who were also called coolies, came into Russia proper. We saw quite a number of them in Petrograd; and we had quite an epidemic of smallpox, which was due to these people.
Senator King. Were they not employed in building that road up on the Kola Peninsula, and the harbor there on the Murman coast?
Mr. Simons. I did not have occasion to go up there, so I can not say.
Senator King. But those Chinese were employed on building that road. Doctor, of your own knowledge, would you say that the Chinese and the German and Austrian soldiers who claimed no citizenship anywhere, men who had been prisoners in Russia, constituted a part of the Bolshevist military establishment
Mr. Simons. I will go this far in saying that but for this element there never would have been a nucleus to the Red army.
Senator King. So, then, these former German prisoners and former Austrian prisoners, and the Chinese coolies and the Letts, with some Russians, constituted the major part of the army?
Mr. Simons. Yes; and, of course, they were getting thousands of Russian workmen. That we saw with our own eyes, that they no longer could get any work, because nearly all their factories were put out of business….
Senator King. Before that, if you will permit me, right there in sequence: You spoke about their cruelties and atrocities. What did it result in with respect to the bourgeois?
Mr. Simons. It resulted in this, that thousands of the best people of Petrograd and Moscow and other parts had been losing all their property, and in many cases were having members of their own households arrested. Ever so many of these things came under my personal observation. They had only one wish, and that was to get out of Russia. But the Bolsheviki were not letting people get out of Russia. It was the hardest thing to get permission from them if you wanted to leave Russia. But they were making their escape by all kinds of methods. I will not go into that. Many of them succeeded, and we succeeded in getting some very distinguished people out of Russia ourselves by hook and crook, because some of them said, “If we do not get out we know we are going to be murdered, because our names are on the lists of the thousands who are held as bourgeois hostages.”
Senator Overman. Hostages? What does that mean? It is not used in the ordinary sense. I understand.
Mr. Simons. To state it popularly, their idea was to hold certain people of the bourgeois class, whose names they had down to be arrested, and perhaps put out of the way if anything befell the Bolshevik government: for instance, like the attempt to kill Lenine, or the successful assassination of Fritzky. commissar in Petrograd, who was killed by a fellow Jew; and these people were held as hostages.
Senator King. To illustrate, they are holding now as hostage the wives and the families of some of the Russian officers whom they have forced into their army ?
Mr. Simons. They are.
Senator King. And if they do not run the army as they think they ought to, they threaten to kill their families?
Mr. Simons. I do not know whether I ought to come out with this statement, but scores of them have come to me and said that it was breaking their hearts. They say, “We have to do this, but we think you and others ought to know, and hope you will square us with the allies.” Some of the finest men I have known have said, “If we do not go in they will shoot us right down.” Some were shot; some made their escape: some were in hiding for months and months, never sleeping in the same place two nights in succession. Some of these horrible things were being enacted for weeks and weeks right in our own section, and some Americans were arrested and then afterwards released.
Senator King. Doctor, what I was trying to get at is the extent of the terror and the effect on the bourgeoisie and the mass of the higher classes; whether they are forced to starve to death or not?
Mr. Simons. Yes. We saw them as walking shadows in the streets of Petrograd. I have seen with my own eyes people dropping dead. First, before they pass away over there, their faces bloat up; and we had at one time, when we were not getting bread, an average of 60 horses dropping dead on the street.
Senator King. Per day ?
Mr. Simons. Sixty horses per day. I have seen many of them myself lying there. A Mohammedan and a Jew came up, and they would dicker with each other before the horse had gone to the place of his fathers, and they would say, “If we could keep him alive a few hours more, he would be worth more.” They would sell horseflesh. I have seen people standing there—I recollect in one instance a man in a general’s uniform, a man with a white beard, stood on Bolshoi Prospect with tears on his cheeks, asking, ” For God’s sake, give me a few kopecks.” None of the workmen would give him any. He stood there. I almost collapsed myself, because I had suffered myself and seen so much of this diabolical business, this antihumanitarian regime; yet I wanted to see that. I thought that would be effective in my book. And some people of the second and third and fourth categories, who had a few spare stamps—we had no coins any more—would give him ’20 or 30 kopecks. I have been in homes where they had not had any bread for weeks, and I recall one case now–
Senator King. Would these be the bourgeois?
Mr. Simons. Yes. But they were also putting the screws on people who were not bourgeois, but who were—I presume the best thing would be to call them the middle class—people that believed in the use of a clean handkerchief once in a while, having perhaps a gold ring; but that immediately would put them under the condemnation of being bourgeois. I had occasion to speak with people who were working and people who were not bourgeois, I interviewed hundreds and I asked them, ” Well, what do you think of this thing?” ” Well, we know that it is first or all German, and second, we know that it is Jewish. It is not a Russian proposition at all. That became so popular that as you moved through the streets in Petrograd in July and August and September and the beginning of October, openly they would tell you this. “This is not a Russian Government: this is a German and Hebrew Government.” And then others would come out and say, “And very soon there is going to be a big pogrom.” As a result of that, hundreds of Bolshevik officials who happened to be Jews were sending their wives and their children out of Petrograd and Moscow, afraid that the pogrom would really come. I cabled something of that in a quiet way to our authorities, and it came to them through the State Department.
Senator Wolcott. I gather from what you say, Doctor, that this whole regime over there is sustained by a small minority of these elements that are entirely out of sympathy with the great Russian people, and that they are imposing their will upon that nation by force and terror. Is that correct or not?
Mr. Simons. Absolutely correct, and I have seen with my own eyes how they have been marching hundreds of people down the Bolshoi Prospect, on which our property was situated, and I have seen them marching hundreds of them down to the garden or haven, and from there they were taken down to Kronstadt and put in the fortress there; and then through members of the Norwegian legation, the Danish legation, and the Swedish legation, we would learn that scores of them were being killed.
Senator King. Was that a constant occurrence?
Mr. Simons. That was. Senator, after the assassination of Commissar Uritzky [a Jewish Bolshevik assassinated by a Jew of a competing leftist faction; non-Jews from the middle class were shot in retaliation for this].
Senator King. What do you say as to the starvation, the extent of it among the bourgeois and the better classes?
Mr. Simons. They had a system which divided the population into four classes. The first category—they used the term ” category “— was made up of the black workmen’s class. They were to have any food that might be available.
Senator King. The soldiers came first, did they not?
Mr. Simons. And the Red army; yes.
Senator King. Then the black workmen?
Mr. Simons. Well, I am speaking now of this particular thing they were sending around to us. I have a copy with me here, and I could show you that in translation. The first category was the black workmen’s class. That constituted, if you please, the nobility of the proletariat. Then came the second category, of men who were working in the stores and offices. If anything was left after the first category got theirs, they came in. Then came the third category, which included the professional people, teachers, doctors, lawyers, clergymen, artists, singers, and so on. I belonged to that category, as a pastor. Then came the fourth category, made up of the property owners and the capitalists.
The third and the fourth classes, they said openly in their Bolshevik press and proclamations and speeches, were to be starved out. If I have heard it and read it once, I have come across that statement scores of times, and they even had cartoons showing how the people of culture and refinement were being treated like dogs who are watching for a crumb that falls from the table. I have seen some of the most inhumane pictures in the month of August, 1918. As a member of a category I was entitled for the whole month to one-eighth of a pound of bread, and my sister likewise. Our head deaconess was treated in the same way. We were doing charitable Work, too, but all that had no influence; and the fact that we were trying to get food into Russia, and they knew that we were cabling, and all that, did not weigh with them at all. We were simply put in the same category. We ought to be starved out.
Senator Wolcott. When a man is marked for starvation, are his wife and children in the same category with him, under their way of reforming the world ?
Mr. Simons. You are speaking in a general way. There are exceptions over there. I know of many cases where even people of the third and fourth categories, by properly manipulating the subway resources, have been able to get almost everything they wanted. The Bolsheviki official is just as weak to accept bribes as the officials were under the old regime, and if you have enough money you can have almost anything you please: and if you find that you are listed to be arrested and killed, if you have enough money your life will be spared. I have had such cases under my observation. Money talks, over there.
Senator Nelson. Are Lenine and Trotsky Yiddish?
Mr. Simons. Lenine is from a very fine old Russian family, so we are told [actually a quarter-Jew, who according to some information grew up speaking Yiddish], and is intellectually a very able man. A fanatic, he was called the brains of this movement. Trotsky is a Jew. His real name is Leon Bronstein.
Mr. Simons. My experience over there under the Bolsheviki regime has led me to come to the conclusion that the Bolsheviki religion is not only absolutely antireligious, atheistic, but has it in mind to make all real religious work impossible as soon as they can achieve that end which they are pressing. There was a meeting—I can not give you the date offhand; it must have been in August, 1918— held in a large hall that had once been used by the Young Men’s Christian Association in Petrograd for their work among the Russian soldiers. The Bolsheviki confiscated it: put out the Y.M.C.A. In that large hall there was a meeting held which was to be a sort of religious dispute. Lunacharsky, the commissar of people’s enlightenment, as he was called, and Mr. Spitzberg, who was the commissar of propaganda for Bolshevism, were the two main speakers. Both of those men spoke in very much the same way as Emma Goldman has been speaking. I have been getting some of her literature, and recently I have been very much amazed at the same line of argumentation with regard to the attack on religion and Christianity and so-called religious organizations.
Senator King. She is the Bolshevik [loosely speaking, actually an anarchist] who has been in jail in this country and who will be deported as soon as her sentence is over?
Mr. Simons. I do not know as she will be deported.
Senator King. I think she will be.
Senator King. Doctor, you have read and heard of and come in contact with the I.W.W.’s of this country, and their destructive creed, their advocacy of the destruction of our form of government. I will ask you whether or not. from your observations of the Bolsheviki and the I.W.W., you see any difference?
Mr. Simons. I am strongly impressed with this, that the Bolsheviki and the I.W.W. movements are identical. Zorin told me, the commissar of the post and telegraph.
Senator Overman. He had been an American?
Mr. Simons. He had been eight years in New York, and knew some of our leaders here in our own Methodist Church.
Maj. Humes. Had he been naturalized in this country?
Mr. Simons. He had not; no. But he said he had been eight years in New York, and had been in religious disputes with some of our own leaders. Zorin said to me, “We have now made our greatest acquisition, Maxim Gorky, who used to be against us, has come over to our side. He is now with us and has taken charge of our literary work. You know we have conquered Russia. We next propose to conquer Germany and then America.”
Senator Nelson. A big job.
Senator King. Do you know to what extent they sent out their representatives in the surrounding countries of Europe, giving them money with which to carry on the propaganda of Bolshevism?
Mr. Simons. We had heard again and again that they had been sending out sums of money into different parts of Europe, and when nobody except people of the diplomatic class were permitted to send out anything at all they were sending, day in and day out, from Petrograd over to Stockholm, and over to Copenhagen, large bags….
Mr. Simons. We knew that they were preparing millions of rubles for propaganda purposes in China, for instance, in India, and in other parts of the world.
Senator King. South America?
Mr. Simons. That appeared in their daily press. That was well known. They made no secret of that.
Senator King. For the purpose of destroying all other governments and bringing them under Bolshevism ?
Mr. Simons. Yes, sir; and putting all other institutions out of commission that stood, if you please, for the class that they wanted to destroy….
Senator Nelson. Are you acquainted with Albert Rys Williams, who has issued that pamphlet [76 Questions and Answers on the Bolsheviks and the Soviets]?
Mr. Simons. I know him.
Senator Nelson. Have you met him in Russia?
Mr. Simons. I have met him in Russia.
Senator Nelson. Can you tell us about his activities and whom he associated with there?
Mr. Simons. I do not know whether it would be wise for me to say what I did see. I am not sure whether he is an American citizen. I should first like to know whether he is an American citizen. A gentleman came up to me when I spoke before the preachers’ meeting in Philadelphia and said that he had learned that Williams was not an American. If he is not, then I am free to speak.
Maj. Humes. I may tell you that he was born in this country. Unless he has renounced his citizenship he is an American citizen.
Senator Overman. He is distributing these pamphlets on the East Side of New York where Bolshevism has been nourished ?
Mr. Simons. Yes.
Senator Overman. And you were approached by this Yiddish fellow with this catechism in his hand?
Mr. Simons. Well, I only wish to say this, that if he is an American citizen I should like to show him the courtesy due one of my compatriots, and I do not want to say anything in your presence until he has had a chance to speak for himself.
Senator Overman. He may be able to speak for himself.
Senator King. Was he associating with the Soviets over there, and making speeches for them ?
Mr. Simons. We knew at that time that he was not only very sympathetic with the Bolsheviki, but he was helping them in many ways. We know that; and he was embarrassing our own embassy and consulate in a very effective way.
Senator Nelson. Perhaps we had not better go into it further now. but we would be glad to hear you later on this subject.
Senator King. Just one other question. I will ask you whether or not you noticed any difference in the personnel of the soviet after Lenine and Trotsky got control; that is to say, when Lenine and Trotsky came into power the Soviets existed, and as I understand it, many of the Soviets were elected by the people and the representatives of the Soviets were fair representatives of the people. Now. what I am trying to get at is, after Lenine and Trotsky came in, whether or not the personnel of the Soviets changed. My information is, and I want to know whether it is correct or not, that they would frequently send out from Petrograd and Moscow their tools, and they would supersede the Soviets in various administrations and put in men who shared the views of Lenine and Trotsky.
Mr. Simons. Yes: that was a well-known fact. That came under our observation again and again.
Senator King. So, then, whereas the soviet in the beginning might be called a fair representative of the people, now it is merely a tool of Lenine and Trotsky and the Bolshevik administration?
Mr. Simons. That is correct. I happen to know that shortly before I left Russia fully 90 per cent of the peasants were anti-Bolshevik, and it was said by people qualified to judge of the situation over there that fully three-fourths of the workmen were anti-Bolshevik, and they were hoping that Bolshevism would soon be defeated.