Adapted from Holodomorinfo.com. The bulk of the page has been reproduced; minor alterations have been made to the text.
The Tambov Massacre – Prelude to Genocide
In 1982, while he was engaged in clearing sand from the altar of the Winter Church of the Kazan monastery, local ethnographer Boris Sennikov uncovered documents that would severely compromise the public face of the Jewish Bolshevik regime. The documents were the original records concerning the massacre of civilians in Tambov Province. During the 1920s, the monastery had been commandeered for use as the local Cheka headquarters, and the church had served as the archive of the Tambov Red Army Military Commissariat. In 1933, corresponding with National Socialism’s huge gains in Germany, Bolsheviks burnt documents that exposed Jewish atrocities against the native European inhabitants. However, during the process, the fire grew out of control and had to be extinguished by water, and crucially, sand. All documents in the archive were believed to be destroyed as the church altar was not used by the archive; the surviving documents, covered by a layer of sand, were never found. By 1982, the local archive had changed its address and the church had become abandoned. Sennikov was criminalised, and his discovery seized and suppressed by local Bolshevik State Security. It was not until 2004, over a decade after the supposed collapse of Communism, that the Sennikov archive was published as part of “The Tambov Rebellion and the Liquidation of Russian Peasantry”. The documents also included Red Army orders, correspondence, and reports of the use of chemical weapons against the civilians. However, given that in 1982, the Bolshevik Government suppressed Sennikov’s find and criminalised Sennikov, the published version of the documents are guaranteed to be highly sanitised in favour of the Jewish Bolshevik Regime.
It is essential to understand that post-1917, the Jewish terrorists that had been subverting the Russian Empire for decades previously now constituted the established regime. In fact, only in 1922, did the Jew Lenin officially conceal Jewish Bolshevism’s atrocities against ethnic Europe under the veiled title of the Supreme Soviet. Naturally, this was not meant to purge the government of Jews or their deadly weapon of Communism – only camouflage it from the rest of the world. Indeed, the only threat to Jewish Bolshevik consolidation of power was the ethnic European native inhabitant, and even those who had been duped pre-1917 by false advertising were very quickly realising that Communism was not the fantastical ‘workers utopia’ promised. The Bolshevik methodology was implemented quickly, and the seizure of grain had been introduced by the summer of 1918. Jewish Bolsheviks seized livestock, crops, grain, and farm implements, imposed heavy taxation and grain seizure to starvation level to instigate native resistance, providing a ‘plausible excuse’ for the Bolshevik authorities to use force against the population (beatings, torture, and rape.) Thus, confiscated grain by the cartload was deliberately left to rot in the open air to infuriate the civilians and incite violent resistance. The psychology worked perfectly and resistance broke out almost immediately. The largest, most organized, and therefore, the longest-lasting resistance, was in Tambov.
Located less than 300 miles southeast of Moscow, Tambov Province was the largest wheat-producing area near Moscow, and since the autumn of 1918, more than 100 Cheka detachments had been scouring this densely populated agricultural region, seizing grain. In 1919, a number of small occurrences of resistance had been met with savage and violent retaliation from the Cheka. In 1920, the volume of grain confiscation increased, from 18 million to 27 million pudy (unit of weight), while the farmers had considerably reduced the amount they sowed, knowing that anything they did not consume themselves would be immediately snatched. On 19th August 1920, in the town of Khitrovo, a Cheka detachment looted everything in their path, even pillows and kitchen utensils, shared out the booty, and beat up old men of seventy.
Ethnic Europeans were arrested, locked up in big unheated barns, whipped, tortured, and threatened with execution. Other Europeans were bound and forced to run naked all along the main street of the village, and then were locked up in another freezing cold hangar. A great number of women were beaten unconscious, raped, and thrown naked into holes, dug in the snow, in full view of the public – all ‘punishment’ for the lack of grain to confiscate. Following this incident, in Khitrovo, resistance spread rapidly. By the end of August 1920, more than 14,000 men armed with rifles, pitchforks, and scythes, had chased out or killed all representatives of the Jewish Bolshevik regime from the three districts of Tambov Province. In the space of a few weeks, this specific native resistance, which at first could not be distinguished from the hundreds of others that had broken out all over Russia and Ukraine over the previous two years, was transformed into a well-organized uprising, under the inspirational leadership of a first-class patriot, Aleksandr Stepanovich Antonov.
Under Antonov, the native movement in the Tambov region had a military organization, an information network, and a political program, that lent it strength and unity, things that no other homeland movement (with the possible exception of the Makhnovist movement) possessed. In October 1920, the Bolsheviks controlled no more than the city of Tambov and a few provincial urban centres. The European inhabitants flocked by the thousands to join Antonov’s army, which, at its peak, numbered more than 50,000. Thus, after the defeat of Wrangel in the Crimea, the number of Red Army troops deployed to Tambov Province quickly reached 100,000, and hence forth, the Red Army used heavy artillery and armoured trains, and engaged in the summary execution of civilians. Chemical weapons were used “from end of June 1921 until apparently the fall of 1921”, by direct order of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) and Red Army leadership.
Order No. 171, dated 11th June 1921, and signed by Vladimir Ovseenko, shows clearly the sorts of methods used to “pacify” Tambov Province. It stipulated:
- Shoot on sight any citizens who refuse to give their names.
- District and Regional Political Commissions are hereby authorized to pronounce sentence on any village where arms are being hidden, and to arrest hostages and shoot them if the whereabouts of the arms are not revealed.
- Wherever arms are found, execute immediately the eldest son in the family.
- Any family that has harboured a bandit is to be arrested and deported from the province, their possessions are to be seized, and the eldest son is to be executed immediately.
- Any families sheltering other families who have harboured bandits are to be punished in the same manner, and their eldest son is to be shot.
- In the event that bandit families have fled, their possessions are to be redistributed among peasants who are loyal to the Soviet (Bolshevik) regime, and their houses are to be burned or demolished.
- These orders are to be carried out rigorously and without mercy.
In village after village the women and elderly were tortured and savagely beaten, the women raped then along with the children removed to concentration camps.
A prelude to the Gulag, conditions in these camps was intolerable: typhus and cholera were endemic, and the half-naked prisoners lacked even basic requirements. A conservative estimate states that at least 50,000 were interned, with the mortality rate in the camps at least 20 percent a month. Ovseenko also signed an order, dated 12th June 1921, concerning the resistance fighters, stipulating that:
“The forests where the bandits are hiding are to be cleared by the use of poison gas. This must be carefully calculated, so that the layer of gas penetrates the forests and kills everyone hiding there.”
However, the indigenous population was finally beaten by Jewish Bolshevik instigation of the great famine 1921-22, also known as the first Holodomor. Hunger was the most powerful weapon imaginable, and evidence substantiates a Bolshevik-engineered famine during this period; areas of resistance and high grain seizure suffered worst, indicating an effective punishment measure. On 19th October, Lenin wrote to Felix Dzerzhinsky: “It is vital that this movement be crushed as swiftly as possible in the most exemplary fashion: we must be more energetic than this.” Lenin also outlined the need for famine by stating, “destroying the peasant economy and driving the peasant from the country to the town, the famine creates a proletariat…” By 1922, patriotic leader Antonov was also murdered by a Cheka detachment that cornered him near Borisoglebsk. He was buried in Tambov, along with the other members of his group and his brother Dmitriy, near the walls of the male monastery, Kazan Mother of God, on the fifth day after his death. The death toll among the population of Tambov region during the period 1920–1922 has been conservatively estimated at 240,000; however, the forced famine in Russia and the first of the three Holodomors, as a whole, took nearly 5 million lives.
Adapted from Holodomorinfo.com.
The Tambov Rebellion
From: Soviet History
Peasant Revolt: The Tambov Rebellion
Peasant Revolt: The Tambov, or Antonov Rebellion. April 22-23, 1921
Late Winter to Early Spring 1921
Original Source: Volia Rossii (Prague), 22-23 April 1921.
Rebellious sentiment has been smoldering for a long time in the Tambov plains, having been engendered almost simultaneously with the coming into power of the Soviet rule. From time to time this sentiment breaks into open flame, and then the bells of the villages are tolling ominously across the fields, multitudes of insurgent peasants are gathering, railroad tracks arc taken apart, the hateful ‘Commissars’ disappear from the villages, and not a trace remains of the Communist ‘nuclei.’ This is followed by the arrival of troops, and then savage vengeance is meted out to the rebels. The so-called ‘Peasants’ Government of the Bolsheviks makes cruel reprisals on the peasants, extirpating by fire and sword the very thought or a genuine peasant government, stifling their exasperation, the peasant- once more harness themselves to the Bolshevik yoke and watch silently the Bolshevik officials returning to the villages and making themselves comfortable on the ‘broad backs of the peasantry.’
Then again there comes an end to the patience of the Tambov peasants, and again the village bells are heard tolling across the plains. This story has been repeating itself every year since 1918. And only the village cemetery knows how many gray and blond heads the Tambov peasants have laid down in their struggle for freedom.
In the Fall of 1920 the Tambov peasantry once more revolted and attacked the Soviet authorities with clubs and pitchforks. Ever since there has been a state of open rebellion; and, now subsiding, now flaring tip again in full force, the struggle has been going on continuously, being carried on by partisan detachments scattered broadcast and disappearing from view entirely if too greatly outnumbered.
In common with other revolutionary organizations, the Party or Socialist Revolutionaries organized in the Spring of 1920 the ‘Tambov Peasants’ Union’ which succeeded within a brief period in covering the entire Tambov district with a network of branches. The Union had not yet fully succeeded in organizing the whole peasantry when, quite unexpectedly for its leaders, a spontaneous peasant insurrection broke out in the south of the Tambov district. This movement started on the 12th of August in the village of Kamenka at the very moment when a well attended district convention of the peasantry was being held at a place about 10 miles distant from the city of Tambov.
The occasion for that particular uprising among the peasants of Kamenka was furnished by the arrival of a requisitioning detachment which began to collect additional levies of grain. Seven members or the detachment were killed by the peasants, and the village then realized that it would not escape Bolshevik retaliation. Thereupon a peasant ‘Staff’ was hastily organized, trenches were dug, and the villages, prepared under the leadership of the local branch of the Peasant Union to repel the punitive expedition of the Bolsheviks. The latter was not slow in making its appearance. Soon there appeared 20 cavalrymen from the direction or the Sampur railroad station. A brief fusillade of shots was exchanged. as a result of which the punitive expedition was beaten and fled. This first expedition was followed by a second and third one, with increasing numbers of soldiers, but these, too, were routed by the peasants.
A Secret Meeting in the Night
Learning of the happenings at Kamenka, the regional committee of the Peasants’ Union, whose headquarters was at the village of Khitrovo, held a meeting of its members during the night in a barn, to decide upon the attitude to be taken with respect to the Kamenka events. Although the meeting voted to abstain from rendering assistance, the participants had not yet managed to leave the barn when they found themselves surrounded on all sides by a detachment of about 30 cavalrymen which galloped up to the scene. Thanks to the darkness, however, most or the members succeeded in making their escape, but three of the peasant were held and driven off along the road towards Sampur under the convoy of the detachment. The villagers of Khitrovo then decided to free the prisoners by force, and in the morning they started out in pursuit of the soldiers, They surrounded the detachment, defeated it and freed the prisoners. The remnant of the detachment were captured, while several of the soldiers who turned out to be Communists were shot by the peasants. In this manner the peasants of Khitrovo were also, against their own will, drawn into the sanguinary strife that had commenced in Kamenka.
The ensuing events came about with amazing swiftness. For the suppression of the insurrection there were dispatched from the Sampur station and from Tambov, one after another, several detachment-, of the ‘Vokhra’ (special police force for putting down insurrections, in Bolshevist Russia) and military cadets. By the time they arrived the news of the events at Kamenka and Khitrovo had spread throughout the whole region. and one village after another began to make preparations for the inevitable clash with the troops. All the concealed supplies of arms were brought forward in the villages, ‘Staffs’ were elected and here and there some trenches were dug.
The most stubborn resistance of all was offered by the peasants of Kaptevo village. Three times in succession they repelled the attacks of the Government troops, each time routing them completely. Meanwhile one village after another was overthrowing its Soviet and, arming itself with anything that came to hand,-rifles, pitchforks, but mostly clubs it made preparations for battle, The Soviet Executive Committee of Vetkhodenie was killed by the peasants to the last man. From other villages the Bolshevik authorities fled themselves, and some even joined the rebels.
The strength of the rebels was growing from day to day. The troops sent to suppress them showed little energy and mostly retreated without a fight, and even in cases where they did make use of their arms they soon gave way before the onslaught of the peasants.
Encouraged by their successes, the peasants resolved to Lake Tambov. This army of peasants on the march to Tambov presented a striking appearance, Along the highway there was moving forward, amidst clouds of dust, silently and ominously, a multitude of thousands of peasants. They had their own cavalry as. well as infantry. Most of them were only armed with weapons made by themselves, such as axes, pitchforks, clubs, etc.
The villages along the road welcomed the Marching peasants with the ringing of church bells, and furnished them with provisions and arms, adding detachments of their own to the army of peasants. As they were drawing nearer and nearer to Tambov, the insurgents were growing more and more numerous. All Bolshevik attempts to repel the peasants and to force them to give up their plan or marching on Tambov ended in failure. The insurgents advanced like an avalanche, easily beating off all attacks. and on the 1st of September they were already at Kuzminka, the last railroad station before the city of Tambov along the Balashov railroad line. The Bolshevik authorities at Tambov were in a panic. To their luck, however, aid arrived at this most critical moment from neighboring provinces, and the insurgents were forced to retreat from Tambov after having come to within 10 miles of the city.
For some time the Bolsheviks again became masters of the situation. New punitive expeditions were organized and sent to the insurgent regions, where they established a bloody reign of all-round responsibility among the peasants for individual acts of hostility. Not to mention the large masses of peasants shot and killed, the exact number of which is beyond calculation, the punitive detachments also burned down to the ground several villages of the Tambov district. The first to suffer was the village of Kaptevo, which was put to the torch simultaneously in several places and more than one-half of which was destroyed in the fire. The Bolsheviks also burned the villages of Khitrovo, Verkhodenie, Verkhospasskoe and others.
Who Is Antonov?
Wholesale shootings and fires concluded the first period of the Tambov peasant insurrection. That period was one of spontaneous, unorganized mass risings, without definite leadership. The second period commences from the moment when Antonov takes over the leadership of the defeated insurgents.
Antonov took part in the Revolution or 1905, while still a youth, and was imprisoned by the Tsar’s Government for it. He spent 12 years at hard labor, and only the Revolution of 1917 opened the prison doors for him. Returning to his native city of Tambov, he was appointed chief of militia of the Kirsanov district of Tambov Province under the Provisional Government, which post he continued to hold for a brief period after the Bolshevik revolt.
In 1919 Antonov made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the line to the Samara front to join the anti-Bolshevik troops there, and had to go into hiding, having been condemned to death by the Bolsheviks. But from that moment on he becomes the hero or the masses throughout Tambov Province. The peasants are aiding him gladly, regarding him as the avenger of their downtrodden rights. while the Bolsheviks call him a bandit and send regular armies against him, but have failed during a period of two years to catch him, and vent their spleen on the innocent peasant population.
In the intervals between his acts of anti-Bolshevist terrorism Antonov managed to strengthen his ties with the peasantry, organizing them into local branches of the Party of Socialists-Revolutionaries, although he proved personally unwilling to submit to the orders of the Party Organization. But the rank and file or the peasantry were honestly convinced that by joining Antonov branches of the Party they were doing the bidding of that Party in their struggle against the Bolsheviks, The Tambov peasantry, in its search for a leader, rallied to the name of Antonov, and thus set in the second period of the peasant movement. Its main feature is the struggle by scattered partisan hands. From the offensive the peasants now turned to the defensive manner of warfare, breaking up into small, elusive detachments.
However, at first Antonov, too, succeeded in gathering about him rather formidable forces which enabled him from time to time to assume the offensive. His first appearance he made among the defeated peasants who were retreating from Tambov, in the beginning of September. He discharged all poorly armed insurgents, retaining only those who had either guns or rifles, these he formed a small detachment of cavalry and infantry.
His very first important engagement with the Bolshevik troops near the village of Zolotovka, in the district of Kirsanov, ended in the defeat of the latter, among whom there was also the so-called ‘Trotsky Unit.’ The first engagement was soon followed by others, and many of these, too, were victorious for the men of Antonov.
From the end of September the insurgents under Antonov’s general command, apparently, begin to break up into several more or less independent partisan detachments. We say ‘apparently’ because otherwise, if we are to discard the theory of the multiplicity or the ‘Antonov’ army, it would be incredible that Antonov could ever attack in one day different places frequently located as far as 100 miles distant from each other.
Passing through villages, the insurgents disperse the Soviets; sometimes they burn the official archives and tell the peasants to take back the grain the Bolsheviks have made then haul to the Soviet granaries.
As for the Punitive expeditions following in the wake of the Antonov partisan bands they show but little inclination to fight against armed peasants. Almost every detachment of the Red Army sent out to ‘pacify’ (he peasants gradually dwindles down by deserting on the way over the Tambov plains. Thus, out or two trainloads of troops dispatched from Griazi to the station of Mordovo with orders to recapture the sugar refinery, there arrived at the final destination only 50 soldiers.
We have already spoken about the villages burned down to the ground by the Bolsheviks’ punitive expeditions, with all the ruined peasant families which that implies. Another favorite method of dealing with the refractory peasants of Tambov frequently used by the Bolsheviks consists of wholesale shooting. Within the brief period which the author of this article spent in the city of Tambov he had the opportunity to read three official lists giving the names or peasants shot there by the Bolsheviks. More than 150 names were given there. But what of the victims not mentioned in these lists?
Insurgents Forming Large Units Again
With the beginning of 1921, encouraged by their successful campaigns, the insurgents once more, as during the first period, began to form large ‘regiments,’ organized this time, however, according to sound Military strategy, under the direction and command of regular Staffs. Although, according to an official statement of the Tambov Provincial Supply Commissariat, a Red Army of 100,000 men had been massed against Antonov by the middle of February, the soldiers were still reluctant to take the offensive against him, and went even as far as taking the part of the population in many instances against the punitive and foraging expeditions. So, for instance, there was a case in the village of Mordovo, in which the indignant soldiers forced the Bolshevik authorities to set at liberty about 100 old men, women and children brought there from the village of Politovo under the convoy of a detachment of Hungarians, as a punishment for a shot Fired into that detachment (the young men of the village having fled before that).
More than once the regular troops which were sent to suppress the insurrections joined the partisans, or else turned over to them their arms and munitions. The only unit-; of the Red Army to he relied on for prompt execution or official commands are the so-called ‘international’ ones, made up largely of Chinese and Hungarians, with only a few Russian units.
The insurgents, on the other hand, are acting with energy and precision, delivering short but telling blows. Recently they succeeded in capturing at the village of Inzhavino the whole itinerary staff of the Tambov Extraordinary Commission in the act of making the circuit of the district, in company with a detachment of executioners, and they dealt with them most severely.
Among particularly dramatic incidents of this insurrection the following deserves to be mentioned:
Towards the village of Ermolovka in the district of Usman, just abandoned by Antonov’s men, a Government detachment of several hundred soldiers is making its way. Outside of the village, in the open Field, they are met by five aged peasants who commence calmly and point-blank to shoot at them. Finally the peasants are surrounded and captured.
‘Have you idiots gone mad altogether?’ they are asked. ‘What made you shoot?’
‘It’s the chaff we were defending,’ answered the old fellows. ‘Our grain has been taken away from us, but we are not going to give up our chaff, too!’
The peasants were led away, and nothing could be learned about their fate.
In conclusion, we shall quote a most interesting document which goes to show the sentiments of the insurgents. It is entitled ‘Statutes of the Tambov Provincial Peasant Union.’ The document does not show great political skill in it’s composition. It is written in plain and unpolished peasant language, which only tends to enhance its intrinsic value as the true voice of the peasantry.
The Program of the Peasants’ Union
The Peasants’ Union regards it as its foremost task to overthrow the rule of the Communist-Bolsheviks who have brought the country to a state of destitution, disgrace, and ruin.
For the purpose of destroying this oppressive power and its system, the Union, by forming volunteer partisan detachments, is carrying on an armed struggle, with the following objects in view:
1) Political equality of all citizens, without class distinctions, except the house of the Romanovs.
2) Convocation of the Constituent Assembly on a basis of universal, direct, equal and secret ballot, without predetermining its acts in the matter of choosing and establishing a political system and with the right for the voters to recall representatives who fail to express the will of the people.
3) Pending the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, temporary local and central authorities are to be set up on an elective basis by associations and parties which are taking part in the struggle against the Communists.
4) (Omitted, either in original text or through error in setting up the newspaper issue.)
5) Freedom of speech, conscience, press, associations and assembly.
6) Carrying out in real life the provisions of the law on the socialization of the land, adopted and confirmed by the former Constituent Assembly.
7) Supplying with articles of prime necessity, with food in the very first place, the inhabitants of town and country through the medium of the co-operative societies.
8) Regulation of wages and prices of commodities manufactured by factories and mills which are operated by the State.
9) Partial denationalization of factories and mills. Essential industries (coal mining and metallurgical) should remain in the hands of the State.
10) Workers’ control and State supervision over industry.
11) Admission of Russian and foreign capital to restore the economic life of the country.
12) Immediate resumption of political and economic relations with foreign powers.
13) Free self-determination for the nationalities and population of the former Russian Empire.
14) Opening of extensive Government credits to individuals.
15) Freedom to engage in cottage industries.
16) Free instruction at school anti general compulsory primary education.
17) The partisan and volunteer detachments organized and operating at present shall not be disbanded until the convocation of a Constituent Assembly and until it shall have solved the problem of a regular army.
The Tambov Provincial Peasants’ Union.
Long live the Peasants’ Union!
Long live the battle eagles who are leading the people along the path of truth!
Source: Bulletin of the Russian Information Bureau in the U.S., 28 May 1921, pp. 113-117.
Reproduced from: Soviet History