The Snows Bleak Siberia by nnm20839


									                                                                                                                                                               THE SAN FRANCISCO                                    SUNDAY CALL:

                   Tramps Throught
                             The Snows
                   of Bleak Siberia
                of the bleakest wastes of Si-

  OUT      beria there ha« recently emerged
           ii man that has tramped nearly
            7000 ißi!es, in a zigzag course,
           through that vast stretch of Czar
  Nicholas' domain. He "has met with
  and combated        all kinds of hardships,
  fume of them worse than have been ex-
  perienced     by the unfortunate    political
  ar.d criminal exiloF, that are forced to
  make ihcir abode in that isolated por-
  tion of the world. At certain periods of
  his long am! arduous           journey    ha
  fraternized with these banished Rus-
  sians, whose conditions he studied: par-
  took of the meaner hospitality of the
  natives of that !und; crossed on foot th2
  snow-clad Tsehauen mountains, a feat"
  credited to no other white, man,-, and
  finally reached the civilized world again
  with a tale of adventures some of which
  are thrilling in character.
    llerr Oscar Iden-Zeller is the name of
  this interesting traveler. He landed here
  several days ago from Nome, where he
  arrived on- September 2 from Eastern Si-
  beria. He is a journalist by profession,
  a member of the staff of the Berlin
  Tageblatt. a graduate of the Kaiser Wll-
  helm University and a traveler Ly pref-
  erence. His recent adventures in Russia
  and Siberia were the outgrowth of his
  detcnuinatlon to study tho^e great coun-
    Leaving Berlin on the morning of April
  23, 1903, Iden-Zeller proceeded to Copen-
  hagen and thence by steamer to Stock-
  holm, from he walked to Helsihg-
  fors, Finland, and on to St. Petersburg
  and Moscow, arriving in the latter city in
  October. I*j3. January of (.ha following
  year found him in the Siberian towtruf
  Bamara and by gradual stages he tramp-
  ed on to Tomsk. Irkutsk and Yakutsk.
    It had been the original plan of Iden-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cage ne needs to establish his home In light vapor of icy crystals hovers neir
  Zeller                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the' far off country." From the moment             tiW ii»uuad. Ifound tha thermometer
          to 'cross the Russian domain to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                '
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            of his- arrest,         however,
  Vladivostok and to also visit Tokro. but                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      his letter* there registering 2i degrees Reaumer. or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            pass       through      the hands      of    the 124 degrees Fahrenheit below zero.
  the war compelled him to change his                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       police authorities , and/ It rests           en-     "For a fortnight I      remained in Vercho-
  route in the direction of Verschojansk,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   tirely with them if he- shall           receive ja;isk as the guest of the district chief.
  at which, he arrived in October, VM. It                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    them later.       During my long tramp I hose house, built of logs, with .snow
  was there that the more arduous part                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      saw .many trains 1 bearing exiles to for^a roof, is little better. than the habi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            penal colonies, the coaches in which tations of other members of the village.
  of his long journey was encountered, for                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the exiles are Imprisoned being des- A dozen Russian officials, two ministers,
  the country is wild and trackless and in-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ignated by their green coat of paint twelve Cossacks, one or two merhants
  habited only by native tribes, principally                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and barred windows. \                              and 130 Yakuten constitute the popula-
  Yakutas, except at occasional mining                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ••:.".-'. "The government allows all political tion of this world-forsaken town, where
  camps, where civilized people are to be                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   offenders en route to Siberia sixteen the social line is sharply drawn and tha
  found. In December, 1901, Iden-Zeller,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    kopeks or seven cents a day as ration food most miserable.                       The ordinary diet
  footsore and hungry, arrived in Sredne*                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   money 'on their trip, but this may be is dried beef, rye bread, bad. tea and th«
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            supplemented with money of their own Siberian
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           strogauin.       a preparation         of.•
  Kolymsk, and three months later he was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In the-ir purchase of food on their way chopped frozen fish, which I pleased                am
  resting in the Nijni-Kolymsk district,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    :o Tomsk. Itis there that the govern- to say. has a rather palatable taste by
  where Pantleicha. a well known trading                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ment assembles         the exiles before dis- reason of the fact that it la served with
  center, ex'.sts. and where the annual fair                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           tributing them to their future and re- some sort of a mustard dressing. Her*
  of the natives was In progress when he                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   moUr places of abode. Tomsk, which Is the political prisoner enjoys the same
  reached there.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           situated 'on the line of the Trans-Sl- privilege oft other inhabitants and draws
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           bei lan road, has a population of about a Government allowance of what would
    On    leaving    Pantleicha    Iden-Zeller                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             35,C00 people and is liberally endowed amount to about t) In American money.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 "Sredne-Kolymslv is even, more miser-
  turned his course toward the* lofty and
  snow covered Tschauen mountains, across
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            with churches, a university and a li-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           brary, and a music hall.- \                        able than Verchojansk. I               reached It af-
  which his journey with the hardest                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          _;'After .segregating the prisoners those ter three weeks' riding in a reindeer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            who are' to serve less than three years sleigh. loaned to me as a 'favor for car-

  of experiences lasted for 113 days. Early
  in his difficult climb he lost his matches                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               are sent to "West Siberia; those with ex- rying mail from Verchojansk.                           Sredne-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .* lies of from four to ten years go to East Kolymsk will ever he remembered by me,
  and tobacco, while crossing a' river, and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Siberia, and Northeastern Siberia Is mada        . for its fishy odors and its remarkabU
  nearfy lost his life by felling through a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           the^home.of prisoners of longer terms. howling' polar dogs, that yelp through-
  crevice in the Ice. With no means of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ;\Vest Siberia exiles serve out their terms out ' day and night. So intense Is tha
  building- ;i fire or drying his' clothes and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             at Omsk, Krasnojask, Kurgan, Mariensk cold in the daytime that unfortunate in-
  warming his half frozen body the intrepid                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and tha,t vicinity. They.receive a monthly habitants of the village have to keep in
  traveler was stricken down with a. severe                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                allowance of twelve rubles and live where constant motion, and* even then ItIs im-
  cold mid a fever and was crippled with-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and how they please. They are permitted possible to remain comfortably                            warm.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           to engage in any labor and from what One is continually in a sense of deadly
  rheumatism. It wa3 while in this suffer-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I     could    judge of their condition they drowsiness            despite     the exercise        he U
  ing cuiiuiuon       without proper nour-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 were suffering from only one restriction, taking. There is no terror felt for death
  ishment he was found by a band of na-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    that of      not being permitted to .' leave. in Sredne-Kolymsk.              When one's time to
  tives., who carried him off to a of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Irkutsk, Alexandrofsk prison, Katshuga, die comes he makes no attempt to stay*
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kirensl:, Olcckmlsk and -Yakutsk are              ' off the end. When he passes away his
  dicker and carefulij- nursed bacK his                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       grave is scooped out In the snow. Blocks
  bUdlgtii.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                where most of the Kast Siberian exiles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          live. .The country being more barren and of ice are placed above his rudely con-
       On one occasion luen-ZelleV- encountered                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the- weather severer, the exile there re- structed coffin and they mark the burial
    a member cf the Jiust ian police, who' es-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ceives fifteen rubles a month. Ifound place of the departed for many years
    corted him to the        next station "and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             them engaged there in the construction, after.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           and repairing of their houses of clay, in             "My study of the Russian exile satis-
    furnished t!ie traveler,. with*"food and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       my mind that he is
    lretsh clothing. It was seldom, however,,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            'which they /spend many dreary years.. ' fied to lead a shiftless a life. His life's       class that pre-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               "In Northeast-Siberia, In the villages of fers
    that be. enjoyed the society of any one                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   hatred is directed toward the Govern-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Verchojansk. Sredne-Kolymsk,           Verchne-
    other than natives during those many '                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kclymsk und Pantellcha,             the greatest ment, and the greater                  the concessions.,
    cays of terrible experiences and he was                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                terrors, so often oictured In tales of Si-: granted "by. the latter to Us subjects. th» »
    glad at times to .accept' from these In-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              beria, still exist. The entire country Is           stronger Is his railing against the ruling
    habitants of the frozen country morsels                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                bleak and barren. Oft«n in the middle, power."
    of bleeding raw iish that they obtained                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                it summer the mountain lakes are cov-                The trans-Siberian Journey of Iden-Zel-
    from beneath the Ice coating of tha                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ered with ice and discomfort seems- to ler had its pleasant side, for he was met
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           prevail everywhere. I         had the pleasure     and. entertained       by many noted men.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           of bearinr; from .Verchojansk to Sredne- whose signatures and words of greeting
       Idcn-Ztller lays claim to the distinc-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Kolymsk, a manlft-st of the Czar. on. the grace the pages/ of his interesting diary.
    poa of being the lirst white man to cross                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              occasion of the birth of his son. granting In the early part of hisSweden, was was      trip he
   Ihuy Tschautn Mountains on foot. He at th* latter plac? early last August.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              amnesty to a number of political exiles. ceived by King Oscar of                                and
    fcays a number of white j>ersons have Seventeen, days later he reached a sta-                 occasion I             saw dozens of bodies                                                                                                                                                             These -unfortunate men were of an edu- al3o greeted by the CrownIden-Zeller Den-          Prince of
    made the Journey In sleighs, but they                                                                  floating in a river.pjol, where the. lee had                                                                                                                                                                   cated class, but, strangely, were not over mark. In St. Petersburg                                  name
                                                  tion -at the JSastcrn Siberian Company,
    wire wr&jiped In furs arid, traveled under' and                                                        thawed. Alienee piays havoc with'th*                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    guest of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          anxious to leave the penal settlement. The the familiar Prince Knilkoff. whosepeople,
                                                         from          he waa conveyed to the              natives,, and'especially leprosy .rand ele-^.                                                                                                                                                                  supervision of the police in these places           is               to the An.c -lean
    the escort of natives, who provided them American there. in*a small vessel," and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -is a farce, fur I allowed to s"ee anar- among whom he lived for a number of
                                                                side               \u25a0-
                                                                                                           phantiasts, '-'which are .rnbst                 .
                                                                                                                                                       prevalent                                                                                                                                                                                 was                          years In order to avoid being exiled to
    vlth food! In his case, however, he ' was eventually taken aboard            the schoo.ner   \u25a0

                                                                                                           among the tribes. Often I               had toslee'p                                                                                                                                                           -chistic literature in Verehojansk which
    clad only Gkn reindeer, parka and was AblefT which had been sent, north -to the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       had :   been ./ received through the regular Siberia for a Khilkoff offense. While on                  la
    without means of building fires to cook rescue of the crew of,the Barbara Hern-
    or warm his food. For days and days ster at
                                                             Plover Bay.      if ..
                                                                                                           at night in the huts of these unfortunate
                                                                                                           creatures, but even leprosy is |not feared
                                                                                                          ;by. a man who Is -hungry, and -eager for
                                                                                                                                                       .                                                                                                                                                                                    -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          nfail and 'distributed among the exiles.;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               "Early In September— a year ago— l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              this" country                  was employed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the railroads and. after receiving a par-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yakutsk, the largest and most don from the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Czar, he returned to Russia
    he subsisted wholly on raw fish, and suf-
                                                    "While I      now recall: my experience in             shelter from the
                                                                                                                    ;              "frigid night air of                                                                                                                                                               • reached"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          important '       of the Northeast Siberian and tool*of prominenta                  part in the con-
    fered severely from the torturing cold.
                                                  the Techauen Mountains an mere inci-                     Northern    Siberia. »'\u25a0 .-.';*
                                                                                                                                                              ..I                                                                                                                                                       t towns.        It  is the most northerly tele- struction             the Trans-Siberian Railway.
   Among his many trials < was the fording:
                                                  dents, of what was, as a -whole, a pretty                                                                                                                                                                                                                                graph station Jn the worjd. belns at 62               At Jasuju Poiiana the German trave|er
                                                                                                              What surprised .me most In Siberia                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Leo Tolstoi and
   of mountain torrents. Frequently, when rough
                                                            trip," said ICon-Zcller, "I doubt               was the comparatively easy ;              arid com-,                                                                                                                                                          degrees, north latitude. It was founded In was the guest of Count home,
    weak and ssick, lie was compelled to bal- very                                                                                                          '                                                                                                                                                            •1632;and in 1535 numbered its population the tatter's son at their                              and from
   ance Ills pack on his head; while he tempt '         'much if I -'be persuaded
                                                                      could      "                         fortable" life  of the political /exile. HV
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        .at     1650. When I there It had SCO po- the two he received the people and tha
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 was                                                       much valuable in-
    weded painfully through these seething
                                                            the Journey again. .And :yet 1                 had been pictured to me as a, man, who                                                                                                                                                                      ;  litlcal-iirtsoners.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              formation regarding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               be later visited, and letters
                                                 learned much by It, especially as to the                  suffers/, constantly, in -his,, exile from                                                                                                                                                                          "From Yakutsk I         journey on to the country .that persons in Siberia that in-
 imasses of broken ice.

                                                 habits of the native tribes.- which, in my                the   brutality of, his guards and,is                   4for-                                                                                                                                                  Kaelte-Pole, or the coldest place of exile. to
*I One eye righted
             gloomy    morning     Iden-Zeller's opinion, are. the very lowest of the type                                                                                                                                                                                                                              v                                                     sured him a welcome to many homes on
    weary                  far oft the Arctic of mankind. They are extremely lilhy.'
   Ocean. Whlie the first glimpse of the inhospitable and treacherous!. -True, they,
                                                                                                           ever in want of food and V;clothlngf. T :
                                                                                                           Quite to the
                                                                                                           be, ; the majority "of cases, a man of \ ment to direct th.affaJf* «ff t&* •xflo 864 days upon' a' prisoner,' but* If the. jansk. It was a dreadfully cold spot and ctels. particularly the chiefs of districto
                                                                                                                        -   contrary I           found '-hlm'f to
                                                                                                                                             \u25a0                          ~                                                                   •    \u25a0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ,   «
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      >   •/'   \u25a0'-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       .           • • >
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          '-\u25a0      '\u25a0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -   .: I , accompanied by the district chief.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ispravnlck, as police convoy to -Vereho- his
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          . .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ,                                   trip to the Far East. His diary fa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              filled with the signatures of various oflj-
   Ice-bound sea revived bis spirits 'it by cared for me
                                                                     when I sick, but only
                                                                            was                            considerable contentment, and I'
                                                                                                                                                                                                         -      .:
                                                                                                                                                          recall -.} villages;;./-- ;.- \u25a0\u25a0* \u25a'': ;/. .\u25a0\u25a0.-:,.;.'-.'.. >: later's^ offenso merits ; ;
                                                                                                                                                                                                           0/\u25a0                                                             his getting a '.at times our breath actually crystallized in Siberia through which he passed, cer-
   no means lessened tie task of descend-        af tfer I   had aroused their superstition to            oue exilej who jtold mo , that ; ;would V'The :• procedur* •,' pr*»orTb«d {ior \u25a0:\u25a0'. the •longer^ sentence: the case goes to the .'before us.' It was midnight of October tifying to fcls presence in their places of
                                                                                                                                                      he                                                                   t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             of- 'Minister i the Interior/ of Russia ', for ; that we arrived at- Verchojan3k. hay- Jurisdiction and commending him to the

   ing the precipitous mountain sides, for a degree
                                                              where they suspected that I  pos-           notigo back to Russia if freedom' was
                                                                                                                                                                     arrest; and |
                                                                                                                                                                     fenders ; .: ;' Siberia '; is,"- however, ;; r 7' the YissuanceltJf an ..imperial \ ukase. Jlngjeft Yakutsk October 10. The place -favor of others.
                                                                                                                                                                                    the isending lof political I                                               ofi                                                                                                                               -
   be was weakened by the* lack of food sessed some demon-like . Influence that
                                 days of hard might
                                                                                                          granted .to. hlin.~As.a~                    mater"/of                  to
                                                                                                                                                            fact ':" changed.; There is ;- an. i           "                           «un                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    administrative Prisoners t sentenced to life servitude' is.hardly, the size of an American village Although the hardest part of Iden-Zel- •
   and foot sore after- bis                                                                                                                                                                                                                  \u25a0

   traveling. At*the close of the 115th day
                                                           he exerted against them.'
                                                    "They show no respect ,for their :dead
   of bis mountain tramp he reached the and little for the aged mamber3 of their
                                                                                             .            the, status! of,

                                                                                                          past? ten -years.'
                                                                                                                                                          In Si- officer,' in whom' is reposed thoTauthor- •are;no; longer sent to ;
                                                                                                          beria has materially... changed In" the Ity to: take; an' offender -from his) bouse, consigned 1to "Schluessnlberg, an "island v over with'-Ice!" presenting a most bleak ap- ler's thousands of miles to travel befora
                                                                                                                                    Brutal, ''methodsV of s at any,;
                                                                                                                                                                               time Tqf|day; or nlglit and keep prison \u25a0In Ladoga Lake, a short• dis- ' pearance^ Undoubtedly, this la the coldest he returns to Berlin. From here hi*
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Siberia btit are /and is covered with small log huts frozen'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           .       "
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      iong tour "L* '\u25a0passed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      he still has

                                                                                                           handling this class of ,- exiles "ihaveia'p- him under; restraints untllf a'isufficlent' tance from St> Petersburg.                                        :                                                   spot yet 'lnhabited, on either hemisphere.
   Arctic coast at a point near the mouth tribes. It was not an " uncommon sight
   of the Kockven River,; after a short to see these natives in the . mountains
                             and                                                                           parently'been abandoned." iThe';prison- number; of-.''offenders',' aro-*" gathered ;_. In; ."When ian oKend«"r*-i3 • sentenced' • to It Is situated 67-desrees 37 minutes north Angeles before he
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       -.' •'•"\u25a0                                                         route lies to the south and includes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        starts on bis trip
  rest he proceeded       along- the coast to hauling a dead tribesman from :         his \ hut,                                                                             ..
                                                                                                          erp..; if you': may^ so eall>» them, are now to fwarrant-^theiiv' being 1-transported/; to exile in Siberia he has -the" privilege of./ latitude and 133 degrees 51 minutes east across the continent. In New York he
 •Cape Nord and Xhenec'»on.U> Ca;>e-Van- and after                stripping him 'of his furs,
  luirexn and Capa Swdze-Kamen,' arriving throwing his frozen body Into a- stream.
                                                                                                          uhder the control of educated men JronV ;a plf^-c of "exile jn',tho •' Far ?East*'; It-iss taking, his :family, with" him, and is alsQ.

                                                                                                          somo of the;. best ;famiiics Via".lJussia,,- ;within thcr.V power :- of ','tliis officer to pprmittodrttv ;carry- with him .books and enjoys '_ magnifiedntslg*bts of the polar
                                                                                                           who have been selected"              by.tiic^govcrn- ?•impose a", sentence "\u25a0 of >eleven ;              years 'and , ;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       .           ether            *         '                       "
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         .; readlns matter, and all the bag- lights,' ;                   ~.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           It.Is at "Verchojansk that one will take a steamer for.London and will
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              visit A number of the largest metropolises
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      scintillating* with splendor, pa a of Europe before reaching Berlin.

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