Foreign Relations of the United States : 1918 The Conclusion of the Peace of Brest Litovsk
The Ambassador in Russia (Francis) to the Secretary of State

File No. 763.72119/1080
The Ambassador in Russia (Francis) to the Secretary of State


PETROGRAD, January 6, 1918, 6 p.m.

[Received January 7, 10.41 p. m.]

2204. Trotsky gone to Brest to meet German peace commission but told one man at noon yesterday and another at 5 p. m. that Lloyd George had expressed hope that Russia be compelled to make disgraceful peace and Trotsky said on both occasions that policy of Allies was to have German demands satiated in the east so her requirements be minimized in the west.

Trotsky also said Germans experiencing great difficulty in transferring troops from the Russian to west front, because German soldiers tired of fighting and would jump from the trains and desert; cited Kovno district where 25,000 deserters congregated and when soldiers ordered to fire on them had refused to fire and deserters were now surrounded and being starved into submission.

Trotsky and Lenin are now acting as if sincerely desirous of social democratic peace and not as German agents, but think German money still accepted by some Smolny (1) subordinates and some Germans employed at Smolny. Germans became so conspicuous and presuming here that Smolny has ordered them to be less in evidence. Tomorrow, also Tuesday and Wednesday, Christmas holidays.


(1) Smolny Institute was used by the Bolsheviks as their headquarters. Back

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