"The Red Terror became so wide-spread that it is impossible to give here all the
details of the principal means employed by the [Jewish] Cheka(s) to master
resistance; one of the most important is that of hostages, taken among all social
classes. These are held responsible for any anti-Bolshevist movements (revolts, the
White Army, strikes, refusal of a village to give its harvest etc.) and are
immediately executed. Thus, for the assassination of the Jew Ouritzky, member of
the Extraordinary Commission of Petrograd, several thousands of them were put to
death, and many of these unfortunate men and women suffered before death
various tortures inflicted by cold-blooded cruelty in the prisons of the Cheka.
I have in front of me photographs taken at Kharkoff, in the presence of the Allied
Missions, immediately after the Reds had abandoned the town; they consist of a
series of ghastly reproductions such as: Bodies of three workmen taken as
hostages from a factory which went on strike. One had his eyes burnt, his lips and
nose cut off; the other two had their hands cut off.
The bodies of hostages, S. Afaniasouk and P. Prokpovitch, small landed
proprietors, who were scalped by their executioners; S. Afaniasouk shows
numerous burns caused by a white hot sword blade. The body of M. Bobroff, a
former officer, who had his tongue and one hand cut off and the skin torn off from
his left leg.
Human skin torn from the hands of several victims by means of a metallic comb.
This sinister find was the result of a careful inspection of the cellar of the
Extraordinary Commission of Kharkoff. The retired general Pontiafa, a hostage who
had the skin of his right hand torn off and the genital parts mutilated.
Mutilated bodies of women hostages: S. Ivanovna, owner of a drapery business,
Mme. A.L. Carolshaja, wife of a colonel, Mmo. Khlopova, a property owner. They
had their breasts slit and emptied and the genital parts burnt and having trace of
Bodies of four peasant hostages, Bondarenko, Pookhikle, Sevenetry, and
Sidorfehouk, with atrociously mutilated faces, the genital parts having been
operated upon by Chinese torturers in a manner unknown to European doctors in
whose opinion the agony caused to the victims must have been dreadful.
It is impossible to enumerate all the forms of savagery which the Red Terror took. A
volume would not contain them. The Cheka of Kharkoff, for example, in which
Saenko operated, had the specialty of scalping victims and taking off the skin of
their hands as one takes off a glove...At Voronege the victims were shut up naked
in a barrel studded with nails which was then rolled about. Their foreheads were
branded with a red hot iron FIVE POINTED STAR. At Tsaritsin and at Kamishin
their bones were sawed...At Keif the victim was shut up in a chest containing
decomposing corpses; after firing shots above his head his torturers told him that
he would be buried alive. The chest was buried and opened again half an hour later
when the interrogation of the victim was proceeded with. The scene was repeated
several times over. It is not surprising that many victims went mad." (S.P.
Melgounov, p. 164-166; The Secret Powers Behind Revolution, by Vicomte Leon
De Poncins, p. 151-153)