Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18 +)

Original taken from

From the article by Evgeny Zhirnov.

In the new year of 1922, reports of cannibalism began to arrive in Moscow with ever-increasing frequency. On January 20, reports referred to cannibalism in Bashkiria, and on January 23, the country's leaders were informed that in the Samara province the case went beyond the bounds of single cases:
“The famine has reached terrible proportions: the peasantry ate all the surrogates, cats, dogs, currently eating the corpses of the dead, pulling them out of their graves. massive forms. The ogres are isolated. "

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The party press also began to write about the horrors occurring in the starving areas. On January 21, 1922, Pravda wrote:
"The impressions of a comrade who had been in hungry places were printed in the Simbirsk newspaper" The Economic Path. "These impressions are so vivid and characteristic that they need no comment. Here they are:
"We drove together in one deaf abandoned village to warm up, relax and eat. The products were their own, you just had to find a corner.
We go in the first izba. On the bed is still a young woman, and in different corners on the floor - three little guys.


Still not understanding anything, we ask the hostess to put the samovar and to flood the stove, but the woman, not rising, not even lifting herself, whispers weakly:
- Vaughn samovar, put yourself, but I have no silushki.
- Are you sick? What's the matter?
- The eleventh day there was no crumbs in the mouth ...
It became terrible ... We took a closer look around and we see that the children barely breathe and lie with their little hands and legs bound.
- What is the mistress you have with your children, sick?
- No, my relatives are healthy, but we did not eat for ten days either ...
- But who tied them, yes, scattered in the corners?
- And I myself came to this. How hungry for four days, began to bite each other's hands, well, I tied them up, and put them apart from my friends.
Like madmen, we rushed to our little basket to give perishing children a piece of bread. But the mother could not stand it, got out of bed and on her knees begged us to quickly remove the bread and not give it to the children.


I wanted to express the censure of this mother, to express my indignation; but in a weak, crying voice she spoke:
- They suffered painfully for seven days, and then became quieter, now they don’t feel anything. Let them die in peace, and then feed them now, they will go, and then again seven days will be tormented, biting, to calm down again in the same way ...
After all, neither tomorrow nor a week nobody will give anything. So do not torment them. For Christ's sake, leave, let me die in peace ...
We jumped out of the hut, rushed to the village council, demanding explanations and immediate assistance. But the answer is short and clear: “There is no bread, there are many hungry people, there is no possibility to help not only everyone, but even a few.”


And on January 27, Pravda wrote about rampant cannibalism in starving areas: “Nightmares are happening in the rich steppe counties of the Samara province, full of bread and meat, and an unprecedented rampant cannibalism is observed.
Driven by hunger to despair and madness, having eaten everything that is available to the eye and tooth, people decide to eat a human corpse and secretly devour their own dead children.
From sec. Andreevka Buzuluksky County reported that "Natalia Semykina eats the meat of a deceased person - Lukeri Logina."
The police chief of the 4th district of Buzuluk district writes,that on the way of his journey in the three volosts he "met experienced ancient cannibals of ancient Hindus, Indians and savages of the northern region" and that these "experienced cases" expressed themselves in the following:
1) In the village of Lyubimovka, one of the citizens dug from the grave of a dead man-girl of 14, cut the corpse into several parts, folded the body parts into cast iron ... When this "crime" was discovered, it turned out that the girl's head was "cut in two and scorched" . It was obviously not possible to cook the corpse as an ogre.


“Hunger is getting worse, deaths on the basis of hunger are on the increase. In November and October, 663 children died from hunger, 2,735 patients, and 399 people died. Epidemics are increasing”
“Hunger is getting worse, deaths on the basis of hunger are on the increase. In November and October, 663 children died from hunger, 2,735 patients, and 399 people died. Epidemics are increasing”
2) From the words of members of the Executive Committee with. Lyubimovka shows that “wild cannibalism” in the village takes on massive forms and that “in the dead of midnight the cooking of the dead goes,” but in fact only one citizen is “persecuted”.
3) In p. Andreyevka, in a police warehouse, lies in a trough of a head without a body and part of the ribs of a sixty-year old woman: the body was eaten by a citizen of the same village, Andrey Pirogov, who confessed that he had eaten and did not give up his head and the dead body.


4) In with.A citizen Jung delivered to the executive committee of a Samara district a certain Timofey Frolov, "explaining that on the night of December 3rd, he, Jungov, let Frolov to his apartment and, after feeding him, went to bed.
At night, Frolov got up and stole one bread, ate half of it, and put half in his bag. In the morning in the same bag he found the strangled cat Jungova. "
When asked why he had strangled a cat, Frolov explained: for personal consumption. "He strangled a cat at night quietly and put it in a bag to eat afterwards," the act says.
The executive committee decided: to release the detained Frolov, since he had committed the crime because of the famine. Reporting this, the Executive Committee adds that in general the citizens of the village "arrange hunting for dogs and cats and feed on caught prey."
These are the facts, or rather the insignificant part of the facts. Others have already been reported, while others escape the attention of society and the press.
What is done with cannibals? The answer is simple - they will arrest, “persecute”, forward the perpetrators along with “with material evidence” - with bloodied sacks of meat - to the People’s Court, accusing them of cannibalism. ”


Despite the fact that the article further blamed foreign bourgeoisie and new Soviet entrepreneurs, the nepmen,who eat well, while the starving die, the article made an unpleasant impression on the members of the Soviet leadership.
On January 27, Nikolay Semashko, People's Commissar of Health, wrote to members of the Politburo on the same day: “Dear comrades, I allow myself to draw your attention to the“ over-salting ”that our press admits in the anti-hunger campaign, in particular, reports multiplying every day growing "cannibalism".
In the only one at random taken by the current N "Pravda" (from 27/1) we have a message about mass cannibalism ("in the manner of ancient Hindus, Indians and savages of the northern region") in the Buzuluk district; in N "Izvestia" of the same number of "mass cannibalism" in the Ufa province, with all the detailed supposedly reliable descriptions.


Pay attention to:
1) that many of these descriptions are obviously implausible (in Izvestia it is reported that the peasant of the village of Sikterma left "the corpse of his wife, having had time to eat the lungs and the liver", meanwhile everyone knows what a disgusting place the dead man's lungs represent, and of course, the starving person ate would rather be meat, "found during the search the rotting bone of a slaughtered brother" - meanwhile the bones, as is known, do not rot, etc.)
2) the White Guard press is intensely savoring the "horrors of cannibalism in Soviet Russia",
3) that, in general, in our agitation, we should not beat on the nerves of sensitive subjects, but on the feeling of solidarity and organization of the working people - I suggest, in a party order, to prescribe our bodies:
1) more strictly related to the printing of sensational messages from hungry places,
2) stop typing stories about any "mass cannibalism". "

Who knows what the reaction of the Politburo members to the Semashko appeal could be, but the next day Pravda allowed herself to question the Politburo's decision about cannibals.
After reporting cases of cannibalism, the Politburo decided not to judge them, but to send them to psychiatric treatment. And the organ of the Central Committee of the RCP (B) published such reflections of its employee:
“Before me is a whole bundle of documents about the famine. These are the protocols of the investigators of the Revtribunal and the People’s Courts, official telegrams from the field, acts of medical examination.
Like all documents, they are a little dry. But through the official shell very often terrible pictures of our Volga region make their way. A peasant in the Buzuluk district of the Efimov volost Mukhin told the investigator at the inquest:
"My family consists of 5 people. There is no bread from Easter. We first ate bark, horse meat, dogs and cats, chose bones and ground them.
In our village, the mass of corpses. They are lying on the streets or in a public barn. In the evening I made my way to the barn, took the body of a boy of 7 years old, took it home on a sled, cut it into small pieces with an ax and cooked it.
During the day we ate the whole corpse. Only the bones were left. In our village, many people eat human meat, but they hide it.
There are several public dining facilities. They feed only young children. From my family, two younger ones were feeding in the dining room. They give a quarter pound of bread for a child, a watery soup and nothing else.
In the village all are exhausted. Not able to work.
About 10 horses for 800 yards remained in the whole village. Last spring, there were up to 2500 of them. At present, we don’t remember the taste of human meat. We ate it in a state of unconsciousness. "

Here is another document. This is an extract from the testimony of a peasant woman of the same Chugunova volost: "I am a widow. I have 4 children: Anna, 15 years old, Anastasia, 13 years old, Daria, 10 years old, and Pelageya, 7 years old. The last one was very sick. In December, I did not I remember the numbers, I did not have any products with the orphans.
The eldest girl pushed me to kill a smaller, sick one.I decided on it, stabbed her at night when she was sleeping. Sleepy and weak, she did not scream under the knife and did not resist. After that, my eldest girl, Anna, began to clean up the dead, that is, throw out the insides and cut her into pieces. "
“What to do with cannibals?” Asks the police chief of one of the districts of Buzuluk district. “To arrest? To bring to court, to punish?”
And local authorities are lost before this terrible truth of hunger, before these "old-time cases" of Indian cannibalism. A characteristic touch: cannibals almost all confess to the local authorities: "Better arrest, better prison, but not the former daily hunger pangs."
"I ask only now not to return me to my homeland, - says peasant Semikhin from the village of Andreevka, Buzuluksky district, - take me wherever you want."
“Like me, I know, many are allowed to go home,” said the arrested peasant from Yefimovka, Konopykhin. “My wife was also allowed to go home, but she didn’t want to, because she would have to die at home.”

What is it, criminals? Mentally abnormal? Here is the protocol of the medical examination made by the assistant professor of the Samara University:
“No evidence of mental disorder was found in all the testimonies. From an analysis of their mental state, it turns out that the acts of necrophagy committed by them (eating corpses) were not able to produce any form of mental disorder, but were the end of a prolonged and progressive feeling of hunger that gradually broke all the obstacles, broke the fight with itself and immediately attracted to the form of satisfaction, which was the only possible under these conditions, to necrophagy.
None of the testimonies showed inclinations toward premeditated murder or the abduction and use of corpses. "
“I want to work with all my own strength, just to be full. I can sew mittens, used to be a coachman, worked as an assistant at a bakery. Give me a job,” Semykin, who consumed a woman, asks. Millions of Semykins from our Volga region are asking for the same thing. Will their request be heard? "

But criticizing the Politburo, and even publicly, was a bust, even for the party favorite and Pravda editor-in-chief Nikolai Bukharin. The Politburo supported Semashko and on January 30 adopted the following decision:
one.Strictly relate to printing sensational messages from hungry places;
2. Stop typing stories about any "cannibalism". "
True, from the suppression of the facts of cannibalism, cannibalism itself has not disappeared anywhere. For example, in the information summary of the Cheka for March 31, 1922 it was stated:
"Tatrespublica ... Hunger is increasing. Mortality due to famine is increasing. In some villages, 50% of the population has died out. The livestock is ruthlessly destroyed. The epidemic is rampant. The incidence of cannibalism is increasing."
The last report of cannibalism came to Moscow on July 24, 1922 from the Stavropol province: “Hunger continues in Gratitude of Gratitude. Several cases of cannibalism are registered.

American mission.




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  • Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)

    Soviet press about hunger and cannibals. 1922 (Tin 18)