Current History, Vol. VIII, No. 3, June 1918 online

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this treaty.

4. For the settlement of outstanding affairs and other civil
obligations, officially recognized unions for the protection of
debtors and for the examination of claims of lay and legal persons
belonging to the union, as well as their plenipotentiaries, are to
be mutually recognized and permitted.

Article 9. Each contracting party will immediately after the
confirmation of the peace treaty resume payment of its obligations,
especially the public debt duties to subjects of the other party.
The obligations which became due before the confirmation of the
treaty will be paid within three months after the confirmation.

Article 10. Copyrights, trade protective rights, concessions and
privileges, as well as similar claims on public legal foundations,
which have been influenced by war laws, shall be re-established, in
so far as nothing else has been stipulated in Article 12.

Each contracting party will grant subjects of the other party who on
account of the war have neglected the legal period in which to
undertake an action necessary for the establishment or maintenance
of a trade protective right, without prejudice to the justly
obtained rights of third parties, a period of at least one year in
which to recover the action. Trade protective rights of subjects of
one party which were in force on the outbreak of war, shall not
expire in the territory of the other party, owing to their
non-application, till after the termination of four years from the
confirmation of this treaty. If in the territory of one of the
contracting parties a trade protective right, which in accordance
with the war laws could not be applied for, is applied for by an
agent who during the war has taken protective measures in the
territory of the other party in accordance with the rules, such
right, if claimed within six months after the confirmation of the
treaty, shall, with the reservation of the rights of third parties,
have priority over all applications submitted in the meantime, and
cannot be made ineffective by facts which have arisen in the

Article 11. Periods for the superannuation of rights shall, in the
territory of each of the contracting parties, toward subjects of the
other party, expire at the earliest one year after the confirmation
of the peace treaty in so far as they had not expired at the time of
the outbreak of war. The same applies to periods for the submission
of dividend-warrants or warrants for shares in profit, as well as to
bills which have become redeemable or have become otherwise payable.

Article 12. The activities of authorities who on the strength of war
laws have become occupied with the supervision, custody,
administration, or liquidation of property or with the receiving of
payments, are without prejudice to the stipulations of Article 13,
to be wound up in accordance with the following principles:

1. Properties under supervision, in custody or under administration,
are to be set free immediately on the demand of the parties entitled
to them. Until the moment of transfer to the entitled party care
must be taken for the safeguarding of his interests.

2. The provisions of Paragraph 1 shall not modify the properly
acquired right of a third party. Payments and other obligations of a
debtor which, as mentioned at the beginning of the article, have
been received or caused to be received at the places mentioned,
shall, in the territories of the contracting parties, have the same
effect as if the creditor himself had received them.

Civil dispositions which have been made at the places mentioned at
the instigation of the parties or by them will have full effect and
are to be maintained by the parties.

3. Regarding the operations of the places mentioned at the beginning
of this article, especially those for receipts and payments, details
shall at once be given to the authorized parties immediately upon
demand. Claims which have been lodged to be dealt with at these
places can only be dealt with in accordance with the stipulations of
Article 14.

Article 13. Land or rights in land or in mines as well as rights in
the use or exploitation of lands, or undertakings, or claims for
participation in an undertaking, especially those represented by
shares, which have been forcibly alienated from the persons entitled
to them by reason of war laws, shall be transferred to the former
owner within a period of one year after the confirmation of the
peace treaty, and there shall be returned to him any profits which
have accrued on such property during the alienation or deprivation,
and this shall be done free from all rights of third parties which
may have arisen in the meantime.

_CHAPTER VI. - Indemnity for Civil Damages_

Article 14. Subjects of one of the contracting parties resident in
the territory of the other contracting party who, by reason of war
laws, have suffered damage either by the temporary or lasting
privation of concessions, privileges, and similar claims, or by the
supervision, trusteeship, administration or alienation of property,
are to be appropriately indemnified so far as the damage by the war
cannot be replaced by the actual re-establishment of their former
conditions. This also applies to shareholders who, on account of
their character as foreign enemies, are excluded from certain

Article 15. Each of the contracting parties will indemnify the
civilian subjects of the other party for damages which have been
caused to them in its territory during the war by the State
officials or the population there through breaches of international
law and acts of violence against life, health, or property.

Article 16. Each of the contracting parties will at once pay to the
subjects of the other party their just claims so far as this has not
already been done.

Article 17. For the fixing of the damages, according to Articles 14
and 15, there shall meet in Berlin a commission immediately after
the confirmation of this treaty which shall consist of one-third of
each of the contracting parties and one-third of neutrals. The
President of the Swiss Bundesrat shall be asked to nominate the
neutral members, from whom the Chairman shall be chosen. The
commission shall fix the principles, on which it is to work, and it
shall decide as to what procedure it shall follow. Its decisions
shall be carried out by sub-commissions, which shall consist of one
representative from each of the contracting parties and a neutral
umpire. The amounts fixed by the sub-commissions are to be paid
within one month of the decision being made.

_CHAPTER VII. - The Exchange of Prisoners of War and Interned

Article 18. Finnish prisoners of war in Germany and German prisoners
of war in Finland shall, as soon as practicable, be exchanged within
the times fixed by a German-Finnish Commission, and subject to the
payment of the costs entailed in such exchange in so far as those
prisoners do not wish to stay in the country where they happen to
be, with its consent, or to go to another country. The commission
will also have to settle the further details of such exchange and to
supervise their execution.

Article 19. The deported or interned civilians on both sides will be
sent home as soon as practicable free of charge so far as, subject
to the consent of the country on whose territory they are staying,
they do not wish to remain there or wish to go to another country.
The settlement of the details and the supervision of their execution
shall be carried out by the commission mentioned in Article 18. The
Finnish Government will endeavor to obtain from the Russian
Government the release of those Germans who were captured in Finnish
territory and who at the present time are outside Finnish on Russian

Article 20. Subjects of one party who at the outbreak of war had
their domicile or commercial establishments in the territory of the
other party and who did not remain in that territory may return
there as soon as the other party is not in a state of war. Their
return can only be refused on the ground of the endangering of the
internal or foreign safety of the State. It would suffice that a
pass be made out by the authorities of the home Government in which
it is to be stated that the bearer is one of those persons as
stipulated in Item 1. No visé is to be necessary on these passes.

Article 21. Each of the Contracting Parties undertakes to respect
and to tend the several burial places of subjects of the other party
who fell in the war as well as those who died during internment or
deportation and the persons intrusted by each party with care and
proper decoration of the burial places may attend to these duties in
accord with the authorities of each country. Questions connected
with the care of such burial places are reserved for further

_CHAPTER VIII. - Amnesty._

Article 22. Each of the contracting parties concedes amnesty from
penalties to the subjects of the other party who are prisoners of
war for all criminal acts committed by them and further to all
civilian interned or deported subjects of the other party for all
punishable acts committed by them during their internment or
deportation period, and lastly to all subjects of the other party
for crimes against all exceptional laws made to the disadvantage of
enemy foreigners. The amnesty will not apply to actions committed
after the confirmation of the peace treaty.

Article 23. Each party concedes complete amnesty to all its own
subjects in view of the work which they have done in the territory
of the other party as prisoners of war, interned civilians, or
deported civilians.

Article 24. The contracting parties reserve to themselves the right
to make further agreements according to which each party may grant
an amnesty of penalties decreed on account of actions committed to
its disadvantage.

_CHAPTER IX. - The Treatment of Mercantile Vessels and Cargoes Which
Have Fallen Into the Hands of the Enemy._

Article 25. Mercantile ships of one contracting party which lay in
the ports of the other contracting party on the outbreak of the war,
as well as their cargoes, are to be given back to their owners, or
in so far as this is not possible they are to be paid for in money.
For the use of such embargoed vessels during the war the usual daily
freight is to be paid.

Article 26. German mercantile ships and their cargoes which are in
the power of Finland, except in cases foreseen in Article 25 at the
signing of this treaty or which may arrive there later, are to be
given back if on the outbreak of war they were in an enemy port or
were interned in neutral waters by enemy forces.

Article 27. The mercantile vessels of either of the contracting
parties captured as prizes in the zone of power of the other party
shall be regarded as definitely confiscated if they have been
legally condemned as prizes, and if they do not come under the
provisions of Articles 25 and 26. Otherwise they are to be given
back, or, in so far as they are no longer available, they are to be
paid for. The provisions of Paragraph 1 are to apply also to ships'
cargoes taken as prizes belonging to subjects of the contracting
parties, but goods belonging to subjects of one of the contracting
parties on board ships flying enemy flags which have fallen into the
hands of the other contracting party are in all cases to be handed
over to their rightful owners, or, so far as this is not possible,
they are to be paid for.

Article 28. The carrying out of the provisions contained in Articles
25 to 27, especially the fixing of the damages to be paid, shall be
decided by a mixed commission, which shall consist of one
representative from each of the contracting parties with a neutral
umpire, and shall sit in Stettin within three months after the date
of confirmation of the peace treaty. The President of the Swiss
Bundesrat shall be requested to nominate the umpire.

Article 29. The contracting parties will do all in their power to
facilitate the free return of the mercantile ships and their cargoes
to their homes as set forth in Articles 25 to 27. The contracting
parties will also give their support to each other in the
re-establishment of the mutual commercial intercourse, after the
assuring of safe shipping routes, which had been disturbed by the

_CHAPTER X. - Adjustment of the Aland Question._

Article 30. The contracting parties are agreed that the Forts put
upon the Aland Islands are to be removed as soon as possible, and
that the lasting non-fortified character of these Islands and also
their treatment in a military and technical sense for purposes of
shipping, shall be settled by agreement between Germany, Finland,
Russia and Sweden; and to these agreements, at the wish of Germany,
the other States lying in the Baltic Sea shall be invited to assent.

_CHAPTER XI. - Final Provisions._

Article 31. The Peace Treaty shall be confirmed. The confirmatory
documents shall be exchanged as soon as practicable in Berlin.

Article 32. The Peace Treaty, so far as is not otherwise stipulated,
shall come into force with its confirmation. For the making of
supplementary additions to the Treaty the representatives of the
contracting parties shall meet in Berlin within four months of its

German Aggression in Russia

Record of Events Placing Finland and the Ukraine More Fully Under
Teutonic Control

During the month ended May 15, 1918, the German advance in the territory
of the former Russian Empire continued uninterruptedly. While minor
military operations were conducted in the Province of Kursk, in Russia
proper, the main body of the invading army occupied the Crimea and
penetrated into the Donetz coal basin. On April 24 the German troops,
under General Kosch, reached the City of Simferopol, in the Crimea. A
week later they occupied Sebastopol, the great military and commercial
seaport, famous in Russian history. A portion of the Russian Black Sea
fleet fell into the hands of the Germans. On May 3 the invaders seized
Taganrog, on the Sea of Azov. On May 9 they took Rostov, at the mouth of
the River Don, but two days later the city was again in Russian hands.
The Germans are apparently intent on occupying the seacoast from
Bessarabia, on the west, to the Caucasus, on the east.

The Bolshevist régime gave signs of undergoing a process of
reorganization. It sought to enlist the services of officials who had
served under the Provisional Government and of Generals of the old army.
A new War Department was formed. Trotzky, the Minister of War and
Marine, advocated universal conscription of labor. The Central Executive
Committee, at his suggestion, decreed compulsory military service.
Workmen and peasants from 18 to 40 years old were to be trained for
eight consecutive weeks, for a weekly minimum of eight hours. Women were
accepted into the army as volunteers.

The Bolshevist authorities made several attempts to suppress rioting and
street looting. Early in May the Red Guards fought a pitched battle with
the Moscow anarchists, who refused to surrender their munitions, and
stamped out their organization. The Soviets passed resolutions and took
measures against the anti-Jewish massacres which occurred in numerous
cities. Disorder and mob rule, however, continued to prevail in Russia,
while hunger and unemployment were daily increasing.


On April 16 M. Gukovsky, the Commissary for Finance, reported to the
Central Executive Committee of the Soviets on Russia's financial and
industrial condition. He said that the semi-yearly expenditure would
amount to 4,000,000,000 rubles, while the income expected was only
3,300,000,000 rubles. The railroads had lost 70 per cent. of their
freight capacity, and the cost of operation had increased ten times,
(120,000 against 11,600 rubles per versta.) The Central Government, he
stated, derived no revenue from taxes, as the local Soviets used the
sums they collected for their own purposes. To illustrate the industrial
conditions the Commissary cited the example of the Sormov locomotive
works, whose daily output is two locomotives, instead of eighteen as
formerly. M. Gukovsky recommended strict economy in expenditures and
urged the necessity of securing the services of financial and industrial
experts for the purpose of organizing an efficient State machinery.

Among the recent legislative measures of the Moscow Government must be
mentioned the nationalization of foreign trade, which is a part of the
general Bolshevist scheme of Socialist reforms. A special board has been
created to regulate the prices of all exports and imports.

In the middle of April hostilities were reopened between the newly
collected troops of General Korniloff, former Russian Commander in
Chief, and the Bolshevist forces. It was reported that the Bolsheviki
heavily defeated the anti-Soviet troops, capturing Novocherkask and
wounding the Cossack General. It was also stated that General Dutoff,
another anti-Bolshevist leader, was captured by the Soviet troops, and
that General Semyonov, the leader of the Cossack movement against the
Bolsheviki in Siberia, was killed.

The incident of the Japanese landing at Vladivostok was near closing,
when further interest in the Far Eastern situation was aroused in Russia
by a number of documents seized on the person of a member of the
anti-Soviet "Siberian Government." According to a note addressed on
April 26 by M. Chicherin to diplomatic representatives in Moscow, these
documents proved that the Consuls of Great Britain, France, and
America - and the diplomatic representatives of these powers in
Peking - sought to interfere in the internal affairs of Russia by
participating in the counter-revolutionary movement for an autonomous
Government in Siberia. A similar charge was laid to the Japanese
officials. The Russian Government, therefore, demanded the recall of the
allied Consular officers at Vladivostok, also asking the Allies to
define their attitude toward the Soviet Government. Neither Ambassador
Francis nor the French Ambassador, M. Noulens, made any official reply
to the Russian charges. M. Noulens had previously drawn upon himself the
wrath of the Bolsheviki by declaring that the armed intervention of the
Allies in Russia would be an act of friendly assistance. Mr. Francis
informally notified the Moscow Government that, in his opinion, the
documents failed to involve the American officials. On May 9 Secretary
Lansing instructed him to present informally to the Russian Foreign
Office a denial of its charge against the American Consul at


In a speech on April 27 Baron Shimpei Goto, the new Japanese Foreign
Minister, referred to the malevolent propaganda which is being conducted
in Russia with a view to creating an estrangement between Japan and
Russia. He expressed the view that "Russia is a power endeavoring to
reorganize a machine temporarily out of order," adding: "Japan must
give encouragement, assistance, and support to the work of
reorganization in Russia. We trust the sound sense of the Russian people
will not be misled by reports calculated to keep the two neighbors

Shortly after the capture of Sebastopol the Russian Government protested
to Germany against the seizure of the Black Sea fleet and the invasion
of the Crimea. The Russian note pointed out that these acts were in
contravention of the Brest treaty and that they might endanger the
peaceful relations between the two countries. The Germans did not seem
to be concerned to maintain these relations. They treated the population
of the occupied territories with harshness. Starving refugees were not
admitted into the regions under their domination. It was reported that
in the Government of Minsk able-bodied persons were seized in the
streets and sent to Germany in locked cars. Constant food requisitioning
was another feature of the German rule in Russia.


On April 15 M. Chicherin, Russian Commissary for Foreign Affairs,
protested to Berlin against the outrages committed by the German troops
in Russia. The text of the note follows:

The Central Soviet institutions receive many complaints with regard
to German troops burning Russian villages and using violence against
Russian inhabitants. An eyewitness well known to us and absolutely
trustworthy states that at Lepel, northwest of Mogileff, German
soldiers killed a whole family, not sparing women and children, on
the plea that one of the family belonged to a partisan detachment.
The local military authorities state that at the village of
Novoselki, Mogileff, on April 5, there appeared an officer and
soldiers of the 346th Regiment and took oats from the inhabitants by
force. The officer was killed by the peasants, and the soldiers
fled. After this the village was surrounded by the soldiers, fired
on by machine guns, and burned.

The following day the German commander sent a notice to the Russian
military authorities at Orsha saying that the inhabitants of
Novoselki had been ejected, and the village burned owing to a German
officer's being killed.


Observers of Russian life agree that feelings of resentment and
animosity on the part of the Russian population for the German oppressor
are steadily growing throughout the country. At the same time good
feeling between the Russians and the Allies, especially the Americans,
is on the increase. British and French troops are co-operating with
Bolshevist forces in defending against Finns and Germans the Murman
seacoast and the railway from the interior of Russia to the arctic ports
of Alexandrovsk and Archangel, where large supplies of valuable war
materials are stored up. The War Council attached to the Murman local
Soviet consists of one Russian, one Englishman, and one Frenchman. The
landing of the allied troops at Alexandrovsk the Germans regarded as a
violation of the Brest treaty, which provides for peace with Finland,
and protested to the Moscow Government against the act.

The constant exchange of protests between Berlin and Moscow is partly
caused by the ambiguous wording of the Brest treaty. On April 24 Adolf
Joffe, the Bolshevist Ambassador in Berlin, telegraphed to Moscow that
the Russian translation of the treaty was considered by the German
authorities incorrect, and that the publication of the final draft of
the document was postponed until the receipt of an authentic version.


It appears that Germany has been making further attempts to encourage
the separatist tendency in Russia, in contravention of the Brest
treaty. The German Government is reported to have inquired of the local
Crimean authorities concerning the nationalization of their flag. The
Bolsheviki interpreted this step as indicative of the German desire to
separate the Taurida Republic from the Russian Federation.

According to a communication issued by the Rumanian Chargé d'Affaires,
the National Assembly of Bessarabia voted, on April 9, the union of the
province to Rumania by 86 against 3. Thereupon, the Rumanian Premier,
amid enthusiastic acclamation, proclaimed the union to be "definitive
and indissoluble," and a delegation was sent to Jassy to present the
homage of the people of Bessarabia to the King. Rumania seems to have
acted at the suggestion of Germany. It is known that the latter proposed
to Rumania to annex a part of Bessarabia and thus compensate herself for
Rumanian territory taken by Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. It is also
known that (on March 22?) Russia signed a treaty with Rumania regarding

Online LibraryVariousCurrent History, Vol. VIII, No. 3, June 1918 → online text (page 12 of 30)